CMU MSCF CMU MSCF launches Online program

Andy Nguyen

Member
UPDATED: The online program as well as CMU MSCF part-time program have been eliminated as of January 2016.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) announces today that it will offer an online version of its Master in Computational Finance (MSCF) program, to be called MSCF ONLINE starting in Fall 2012.

Among the first universities to offer a master degree in financial engineering (MFE) degree in the US during the 90s, CMU MSCF program attracts a large pool of applicants vying for 90-plus slots available at both main campus in Pittsburgh and its downtown NYC campus. For the 2011 admission year, CMU MSCF received an all-time high 1,123 applications, most among all MFE programs.

cmu-mscf-nyc-campus.jpg
While not the first university to do so, the decision by CMU to offer a quantitative finance online degree marks a new phase in the increasingly competitive MFE education landscape. University of Southern California recently introduced an online MFE degree, delivered through Viterbi School’s Distance Education Network (DEN). Stevens University is another offering an online certificate and degree equivalence of its Financial Engineering program. University of Washington offers two online certificates, one in Computational Finance and another in Financial Risk Management.

These are not the only educational options available online to anyone unable to take the usual night-time courses for part-time students. Certificate in Quantitative Finance (CQF), a $20,000 six-month online program run by 7City and started by Paul Wilmott, claims to "educates many hundreds of people every year, all around the world, in the highest level quantitative finance". Despite the fact that CQF does not lead to a Master degree as those offered by many aforementioned universities, the low cost, short-time, access to online material, contribute to attract many to enroll.

Rick Bryant, Executive Director of the CMU MSCF program sounded plenty optimistic in his conversation with Quantnet. "We believe high quality, on-line instruction will continue to gain traction and are persuaded that this option will meet the needs of many individuals keen to develop their knowledge and skills in the field of quantitative finance but cannot relocate to Pittsburgh or New York", he said.

Long known for its use of live telecast lectures between Pittsburgh and NYC campus, CMU MSCF plans to leverage the technology to give MSCF ONLINE students the most bang for their buck. Besides giving online students access to live and recorded video lectures, the program is actively exploring other modern technological venues such as forum for homework discussion, social media for networking.

With an estimated $3,228 per course, the 25-course MSCF ONLINE would cost close to $82,000, the most expensive among similar online offerings. Adding to the overall cost is a list of required hardware that all ONLINE students must obtain. Among them are a projector, a scanner, a HD webcam, and an approved computer. And no applicant who lives within 50 miles of either Pittsburgh or NYC campus need apply.

Realizing the obstacles to attract students to the MSCF ONLINE, CMU plans to pilot test the program on few applicants. Qualified applicants with a complete application by August 22 may be able to attend this Fall. This would allow CMU MSCF to work out technological kinks and logistical problems before Fall 2012.

CMU certainly would not be the last university to venture into online quant education. In September, Quantnet will introduce its own online C++ certification for MFE applicants in partnership with the Baruch MFE program and author/trainer Daniel Duffy.

With much of the world's communication, entertainment, and learning gradually moves online, it's not hard to imagine a future world where one would get an entire post-baccalaureate education online, even in such a highly specialized as financial engineering. Whenever it will be, it will certainly be just as competitive as their traditional counterparts.
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
Summary
  • Starting officially in Fall 2012 but a few applicants can apply for Fall 2011
  • Costs around $82K (25 courses times $3,228/course + fee)
  • Can participate in live telecast + access to the same recorded video as regular students
  • Have access to career services remotely.
  • Can travel to NYC/Pittsburgh for internship interviews
  • Need at least 2 years of relevant work experience
 

neohio

Member
i wonder how they will do admissions for the online program. i also wonder how many students this will add to the overall class size.
 

Abdel

Economist
VERY interested in this.

I guess the cost of this program will be pretty cheap.

As I said in another thread. I don't even go to my classes anymore. I just get the powerpoints and read the pages in the book and I'm good.
 

Abdel

Economist
o I just cheked, it costs $90,000 !!!:eek:

For the same program with the same classes here at Université de Montreal, it is almost 70% cheaper.
 

curltron

Member
I'm really skeptical about how on online version of any program, even from a school like CMU, will look to serious employers.
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
o I just cheked, it costs $90,000 !!!:eek:

For the same program with the same classes here at Université de Montreal, it is almost 70% cheaper.
I just made some correction to the article after the program's website edits the number of required courses. It's 25 required courses and 2 electives, instead of 27 required courses. So the cost comes out to around $82K.
 

Lin

Member
MSCF NYC is already kinda online/distance learning isn't it?

what is it with CMU wanting to kill the joy of college education? :p
 

alain

Older and Wiser
o I just cheked, it costs $90,000 !!!:eek:

For the same program with the same classes here at Université de Montreal, it is almost 70% cheaper.
correction... for a similar program at Université de Montreal...

Remember, some people (I don't) value the name of the university, CMU in this case.
 

Abdel

Economist
correction... for a similar program at Université de Montreal...

Remember, some people (I don't) value the name of the university, CMU in this case.
2 things:

I tooked some classes at McGill (ranked 18th in the world) and Concordia, and let me tell you, they are ALOT easier than those at UdeM.

The most important thing is to get your first job. Once you find it, you can prove yourself as a better quant than your McGill competitors.

On top of that, for this program, it costs 10k at UdeM for the exact same classes, lol.

If I'm going to spend +80k, I rather put it in the stock market and flip it.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
I tooked some classes at McGill (ranked 18th in the world) and Concordia, and let me tell you, they are ALOT easier than those at UdeM.
It doesn't matter. What I posted is totally subjective.

The most important thing is to get your first job. Once you find it, you can prove yourself as a better quant than your McGill competitors.
I would argue the most important thing is to convince somebody to hire you. The "convincing" part is the beginning to prove yourself.

On top of that, for this program, it costs 10k at UdeM for the exact same classes, lol.
Again, similar classes.
 

Abdel

Economist
Still, +80k is too much.

No one knows about CMU up here, so let alone the rest of the world. lol

At this price I rather buy a house in Miami :D
 

gstanczak

CMU MSCF Director of Admissions
i wonder how they will do admissions for the online program. i also wonder how many students this will add to the overall class size.
Dear Neohio,

We will have the exact same procedure for candidates to apply to the online program as there is to our Pittsburgh or New York programs. The Fall 2012 application will be available in early September, so check our website then for more information. As Andy mentions, for applicants who are able to satisfy all the application requirements by Monday, August 22nd, we will consider qualified applications for Fall 2011 start (classes begin on August 29th). The only difference in terms of the requirements for admission as compared with our on campus options is that candidates to the online program must reside 50 miles from either the Pittsburgh or New York campus and must have 2 years of relevant experience. Further information on the MSCF Online program can be found at: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/master-in-computational-finance/the-mscf-program/on-line-mscf/index.aspx. If you are interested in applying for Fall 2011, please email me directly at gwens@cmu.edu.

Thank you,
Gwen Stanczak
Director, MSCF Admissions
Carnegie Mellon University
www.cmu.edu/mscf
 
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