Columbia MAFN vs NYU MFE vs UChicago MSFM as of 2022

Columbia MAFN vs NYU MFE vs UChicago MSFM as of 2022?

  • Columbia MAFN

    Votes: 15 42.9%
  • NYU MFE

    Votes: 8 22.9%
  • UChicago MSFM

    Votes: 12 34.3%

  • Total voters
    35
Got admitted to the Columbia MAFN and NYU MFE programs. I am still waiting on UChicago's decision but I am including it here in case I get an admit.

I have possibly gone through all the threads on this website talking about either of them and it seems like a lot changed for both recently. Below are my pros and cons about each:

Columbia MAFN
Pros:
- Great brand name
- Career services seem to have greatly improved very recently. They now have a dedicated placement person who works only with MAFN students
- Alumni in almost every top company
Cons:
- Very theoretical (not sure if enough emphasis will be put on programming and real-world applications)
- Classes might be very large compared to NYU or UChicago
- Strong competition with other Columbia programs (MFE for example)
- Very vague about career prospects on their website and it seems like there is a lot less hand-holding in terms of recruiting which could be a problem for me since I do not have much relevant internship experience
- Cost: For 3 semesters the program will cost me 120k total which is a hefty amount compared to NYU's 63k total for 4 semesters.

NYU MFE
Pros:
- Program seems to have been improving quite a lot recently. A lot of people seem to have been vouching for it since Peter Carr became its head. Rare to see a negative review since then
- Classes are small and seem to be very geared towards a mix of theory and practical applications in the industry. Also taught by practitioners which is a plus
- Lots of opportunities to pick up coding which I understand is now a very important skill to have
- Cost: NYU will only cost me 63k total, which is about half of Columbia's tuition. I also get to study at NYU for 2 years vs 1.5 for Columbia
Cons:
-
Vague about career prospects (info published is only about employers from 2016-2021), which makes me a little worried
- NYU is not as well known as Columbia which might be a con since I might want to go back to Europe later in my career
- Even though the program seems to be improving a lot, there is no tangible evidence of improvements of placements, which is my main goal

UChicago MSFM:
Pros:
- Great opportunities to pick up coding and seems to have a lot of coursework geared towards practical applications
- UChicago's name brand is also very good
- Many alumni end up working for prop shops or hedge funds in Chicago
- Pretty good career services overall
Cons:
- Might be tough to come back to NYC afterwards
- Might be harder to recruit for positions with banks in NYC
- Lower ranked on QuantNet's ranking than the other 2
- It's in Chicago and I would prefer to be near NY since my family lives there
- I haven't received an admit yet :ROFLMAO:

Overall my career goal would to be have either be a desk quant at a bank, or work as a quant trader/execution trader for a prop shop or hedge fund. I haven't particularly made a choice as to which I would like better and I am thus looking for a program that would open the most doors to me.

So students and alumni familiar with all 3 programs as of recently, what is the better program in your opinion?
 
Last edited:
Any reasons as to why Columbia and UChicago seem to be ahead of NYU for the people who voted?
Columbia MAFN, because Columbia is a very good name with great placement rates and alumni network.

In NY, the competition is very high, CMU Baruch Columbia NYU Cornell, whereas no one is there in Chicago except UChicago.

Seeing the list above, I had the following ranking:
(Columbia MAFN >= Chicago MSFM) > NYU MFE
 
Last edited:
Columbia MAFN, because Columbia is a very good name and their placement rates.

In NY, the competition is very high, CMU Baruch Columbia NYU Cornell, whereas no one is there in Chicago except UChicago.

Seeing the list above, I had the following ranking:
(Columbia MAFN >= Chicago MSFM) > NYU MFE
Do you think that Columbia being twice the price of NYU is still worth it in the long run? I can pay both, but it's just a question of whether I will be throwing money out the window by going to Columbia (120k for 1.5 years at Columbia vs 63k for 2 years at NYU for reference)
 
Do you think that Columbia being twice the price of NYU is still worth it in the long run? I can pay both, but it's just a question of whether I will be throwing money out the window by going to Columbia (120k for 1.5 years at Columbia vs 63k for 2 years at NYU for reference)
If you can pay, and you have the admit from a top ranked program, the what’s stopping you?

If you were not getting any student loans and you were unable to fund Columbia MAFN, then NYU no doubt.

But if you can pay 120k then go with the best program you are admitted to.
 
Fair I guess, hopefully that 60k difference is due to more than just having Columbia on your resume.

People who voted for Chicago/NYU what was your reasoning?
 
Top