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COMPARE BU MSMFT vs Stony Brook MS AMS QF

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3/28/23
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Well, I have acceptances from BU and Stony brook (and GaTech QCF as well, but I want to compare the first two). Info on BU program is all over the internet, but there shockingly little about the Stony Brook one, so it's not easy for me to decide. The main difference between the two programs in my mind is that Stony Brook is much cheaper and quite a bit more focused on theory, while BU will pretty much guarantee you a career of some sort. The career statistics for Stony Brook are nonexistent, so I imagine they're not great.

I need someone else's perspective on this. Suppose you are sufficiently smart and your only goal is to become a buy-side quant as early in life as possible. Which school should you pick?
 
I know my response is a bit late so I apologize.

Stony Brook's AMS (QF track) undergrad program is actually really great and prepares students beautifully for MFE programs. I can speak from experience. Some of the professors are hit or miss, but 90% of my professors have been good because I extensively research reviews of my prospective professors.

You aren't asking about the undergrad program though! You are asking about the graduate program. It has a very math-heavy focus so that's good. I networked with a bunch of MSQF students here and all of them have complained about the severe lack of support searching for careers. Other top MFE/MSQF programs support their grad students beautifully in obtaining quant jobs or other jobs in finance. Also, some of the professors are pretty hit or miss. If I've heard a bunch of the master's students complaining about the program, you can take that as a pretty bad sign.

I would advise caution if you select Stony Brook. I love my university, but I'm not sure if it matches up to Boston University or Georgia Tech.

Check out the 2023 Quantnet and risk.net ratings and let this guide you. I've linked them to the text for your convenience. Georgia Tech is rated above SBU in both rankings. Boston University is ranked below SBU in the risk.net rankings, though. However, I see that BU has a higher employment rate and career-start salary, which is much more important than the other metrics compared between the two schools.

Here are the links for the curriculum of BU and SBU for easy comparison. What you really want to be career-ready in the quant space is a nice blend/balance of math/theoretical coursework, programming classes (python, matlab, c++, etc), financial theory classes, and statistics/probability/Machine Learning classes. Dimitri Bianco (also known on YouTube as Fancy Quant) explains this nicely in his videos and also gives his personal opinions on a bunch of Master's quant programs. His entire channel is great. Check it out.

If you want my 2 cents, I'd say Boston University is your best bet, compared to SBU. Do your own research, this is just my opinion. Hope this helps!

I'm sure you've already made your decision by now, so this will mostly be for future students comparing these two programs.

-Mike
 
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