CMU MSCF vs Stanford MCF

CMU MSCF or Stanford MCF


  • Total voters
    37

yuyuyuyu

New Member
Hi guys, I received offers from both CMU and Stanford and I'm struggling between. On one hand, MSCF is a long-established and courses and career services are great. On the other hand, Stanford is Stanford. Yet there is not much discussion about the MCF online so this kind of stopping me from this program. Does anyone know about the Stanford program? Please give me some suggestions and any suggestions are appreciated.
 
Hello, congrats on your offers !
Indeed, CMUs is more established and will help you land a great job ! The curriculum is really strong in computing with a good education in math. On the other hand, Stanford may give you a more in-depth background in math, with a strong education in CS. However, you won’t get much help landing a job.
If you have an already strong background in stats, CS, proba... and a good CV, I think Stanford may be a good choice since you may learn top skills. If you lack in some areas, CMU’s well rounded and well structured curriculum may be better, and help you more with job seeking.

Good luck deciding !
 

yuyuyuyu

New Member
Hello, congrats on your offers !
Indeed, CMUs is more established and will help you land a great job ! The curriculum is really strong in computing with a good education in math. On the other hand, Stanford may give you a more in-depth background in math, with a strong education in CS. However, you won’t get much help landing a job.
If you have an already strong background in stats, CS, proba... and a good CV, I think Stanford may be a good choice since you may learn top skills. If you lack in some areas, CMU’s well rounded and well structured curriculum may be better, and help you more with job seeking.

Good luck deciding !
Thank you so much for your advice! It really makes a lot of sense. In this case, I am more towards Stanford. I feel like my initial motivation to do a graduate program is to learn more skills, and Stanford is stronger in this aspect. Then the only concern left for me is about networking. I'm definitely not good at networking. Do you think that is a deciding factor when choosing programs?
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
Take this for what it’s worth, but I (working on east coast) haven’t met someone from Stanford working on the field; I’ve met UCLA, UCB, MIT, Princeton, Illinois, CMU, NYU, Cornell, etc. but not Stanford. I don’t know anything about their program. Take a close look at employment outcomes, try to do a search on linked in for alums and see what they are working on 1-3 yrs out. Be careful of choosing a school just based on reputation. Good schools can have lackluster programs, and sometimes less prestigious schools capture lightning in bottle (eg Baruch).
 

yuyuyuyu

New Member
Take this for what it’s worth, but I (working on east coast) haven’t met someone from Stanford working on the field; I’ve met UCLA, UCB, MIT, Princeton, Illinois, CMU, NYU, Cornell, etc. but not Stanford. I don’t know anything about their program. Take a close look at employment outcomes, try to do a search on linked in for alums and see what they are working on 1-3 yrs out. Be careful of choosing a school just based on reputation. Good schools can have lackluster programs, and sometimes less prestigious schools capture lightning in bottle (eg Baruch).
Sure I will do that. The webpage mentioned that the employment rate is 100% and also named some companies that hire the students, but I still somehow feel worried. I will try to dig out more information and thank you so much!
 

yuyuyuyu

New Member
I got accepted into Berkeley and Stanford. For me, I will place Stanford over any other program (except Princeton) due to its flexibility to either PhD and the industry.

I can only speak for myself, let me know when you make your decision.
Maybe can you share more about your reasons? For me Berkeley seems really good.
 

ooAugust

New Member
Maybe can you share more about your reasons? For me Berkeley seems really good.
ICME master program stand at the intersection of research and industry. You can go either way, and the program has a "pathway" for placement in ICME's PhD program, although it's not guaranteed and official. But references from Stanford professors will greatly improve your chance if you want to apply for PhD in the future. Masters programs at CMU and Berkeley are intense and career-oriented, you won't have too much time to do research in my eyes.
In terms of career, Stanford's career service is clearly not good. But it is still target program and target school of almost all banks & buy-side companies. During my undergraduate studies in UK, I feel career service is not so important for our placement into front-office & quant roles, especially directly from undergraduate. Most of my friends secure internship/full-time offers by mass application/networking etc. But maybe US is different.
 

ZFL

New Member
Hi guys, I received offers from both CMU and Stanford and I'm struggling between. On one hand, MSCF is a long-established and courses and career services are great. On the other hand, Stanford is Stanford. Yet there is not much discussion about the MCF online so this kind of stopping me from this program. Does anyone know about the Stanford program? Please give me some suggestions and any suggestions are appreciated.
I have voted for Stanford. I believe if you don't have too much work experience or eye-catching resume, and as a result need more career support, CMU would be a good choice. You will land on good jobs more easily due to the network and career support. If you envision your first job out of school is in Asia instead of USA, Stanford is no doubt a better choice. My two cents.
 

quantbucks

New Member
I guess another point worth noting is that while CMUs program is very targeted at the finance industry, Stanford keeps the door open for a switch to data science or something of the sort at any point of time (perhaps in the unlikely scenario that it becomes a necessity). Many alums from Stanford are working in the Silicon Valley right now, which possibly addresses @Onegin 's observation of not having met many on the east coast (lower numbers). This is also evident from their incoming class profile where they value a strong mathematics background more than having financial exposure. The MCF curriculum includes a breadth of data science electives which must be completed.
This is not to take anything away from the fact that it does allow for one to get into finance completely by appropriately altering the flexible curriculum.
 

yuyuyuyu

New Member
I have voted for Stanford. I believe if you don't have too much work experience or eye-catching resume, and as a result need more career support, CMU would be a good choice. You will land on good jobs more easily due to the network and career support. If you envision your first job out of school is in Asia instead of USA, Stanford is no doubt a better choice. My two cents.
Thank you so much! My plan as for now is to work in the US for several years then go back to China, then Stanford is definitely more well known in this case.
 
Thank you so much for your advice! It really makes a lot of sense. In this case, I am more towards Stanford. I feel like my initial motivation to do a graduate program is to learn more skills, and Stanford is stronger in this aspect. Then the only concern left for me is about networking. I'm definitely not good at networking. Do you think that is a deciding factor when choosing programs?
I don’t know much about networking. I’m from EU and there you can land a job without networking and career service...
I really think both programs are good. If you think you already are strong in CS, stats, numerical methods, proba, ML and have a bright resume, go to Stanford ! If you need help with landing a job or need strong foundations in different areas, go to CMU.
you can’t go wrong with either choices, which to me are among the very best programs (on par with UCB and Princeton)

It wouldn’t be a bad reasoning to just go wherever your heart wants to !
 

ooAugust

New Member
I don’t know much about networking. I’m from EU and there you can land a job without networking and career service...
I really think both programs are good. If you think you already are strong in CS, stats, numerical methods, proba, ML and have a bright resume, go to Stanford ! If you need help with landing a job or need strong foundations in different areas, go to CMU.
you can’t go wrong with either choices, which to me are among the very best programs (on par with UCB and Princeton)

It wouldn’t be a bad reasoning to just go wherever your heart wants to !
Agree, just follow your heart. You won't go wrong either way.
 

Soccent

New Member
Truth in advertising. I got an MBA from Stanford in 1985. California has become less attractive since then, but I have no reason to believe this is true about the Palo Alto area.

I am an outrageous Stanford fanatic. I love everything about the university. Top notch in everything. Impressive classmates. The Farm reminds one of a country club. I have one story that best sums up my Stanford experience. In April of 85, roughly two months before graduation, I attended a meeting of the Finance Club. The speaker was a guy who had graduated the year before. He mentioned that he was in contact with all of his friends, and everyone would rather be back as a student at Stanford rather than wherever they were. I thought he was crazy. We could not wait to graduate and make a kazillion dollars. Six months later, I was wishing I was back there, too.

Stanford sets you up for success. But more importantly, it is a MAGICAL place. It is extremely difficult to spend time there and not love it. Not like it, love it. There were trying times there, but overall, attending the Graduate School of Business was one of the greatest experiences of my life. ss I said, it is a magical place. If I were going to get training in Mathematical Finance, the MCF program would be my first choice; no one else comes close.
 

DataScientist

New Member
Congrats on getting both offers!

Generally agree with what previous comments say - can't really go wrong here so just follow your heart.

But I would say that if your goal is to get a solid job in the industry right out of master, CMU would actually be of more value, given its much larger alumi base in quant space (very important if not most important factor when comes to placement), proximity to NYC, and rock solid syllabus with heavy focus on practical skills like programming. My friends who graduated from there all ended up at very good positions. Basically both universities' brand name are good enough to get you interviews and the rest is really all on yourself.

However, if you have plans for PhD, Stanford all the way.

Good luck!
 

yuyuyuyu

New Member
Congrats on getting both offers!

Generally agree with what previous comments say - can't really go wrong here so just follow your heart.

But I would say that if your goal is to get a solid job in the industry right out of master, CMU would actually be of more value, given its much larger alumi base in quant space (very important if not most important factor when comes to placement), proximity to NYC, and rock solid syllabus with heavy focus on practical skills like programming. My friends who graduated from there all ended up at very good positions. Basically both universities' brand name are good enough to get you interviews and the rest is really all on yourself.

However, if you have plans for PhD, Stanford all the way.

Good luck!
Yes, I can tell that by the career services webinar of CMU today. They started the whole career preparation in early August, with all those resume workshops or other activities. I really like their series of career preparation. Yet I'm leaning towards Stanford right now, somehow because I started to worry about the future of the quants. CMU's courses are very targeted towards the quant career, while Stanford keeps other doors open, e.g. data scientist. The other reason is the brand name honestly. I plan to go back to China after working in the US for a few years and in this case Stanford is more famous than CMU. Still, I'm attending the activities for admissions offered by CMU and I just liked CMU a lot. During my application, I had been expected myself to attend CMU.
 

ooAugust

New Member
Yes, I can tell that by the career services webinar of CMU today. They started the whole career preparation in early August, with all those resume workshops or other activities. I really like their series of career preparation. Yet I'm leaning towards Stanford right now, somehow because I started to worry about the future of the quants. CMU's courses are very targeted towards the quant career, while Stanford keeps other doors open, e.g. data scientist. The other reason is the brand name honestly. I plan to go back to China after working in the US for a few years and in this case Stanford is more famous than CMU. Still, I'm attending the activities for admissions offered by CMU and I just liked CMU a lot. During my application, I had been expected myself to attend CMU.
I might be wrong, but brand name won't play an important role after several years' working experience. Also, given the current market condition, just be careful with the pure MFE program. I'm not sure how the coronavirus outbreak and the consequent crisis will affect the placement to be honest.
 

ZFL

New Member
I might be wrong, but brand name won't play an important role after several years' working experience. Also, given the current market condition, just be careful with the pure MFE program. I'm not sure how the coronavirus outbreak and the consequent crisis will affect the placement to be honest.
Everyone should be fully aware that COVID-19 is playing deeply in to the job market and job hunting. Of course, it affects economy and financial market in the first place. I never thought it could have affected world economy so badly.
 

gaitonde

New Member
Final Decision:
I will go to Stanford! Reasons are first Stanford's courses are pretty hard-core and second, it offers an option of transitioning into phd. Though being a phd was not in my plan but it is not a bad choice. Let's see what this decision will lead me to!
Looking forward to meet you at Stanford :))
 
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