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COMPARE Columbia MFE vs CMU MSCF NY Campus

michael K

New Member
Hello everyone!

I am having trouble deciding between these two programs which I have been admitted to.

The Columbia MFE seems like a well rounded program for quants in general, but has a less robust support in terms of career services.

In contrast, CMU MSCF is well-known for its concentration to computer programming, and has a strong career caring services; however the name value is a little bit behind Columbia, and I am not sure that NY campus is a best place to satiate my academic needs.

My goal is to (1) land successfully in the US as a quant (haven't decided a specific role yet), and (2) meet great colleagues who are both motivated in academics and job searching.

If there are any current students or alumni seeing this post, it would be great to know more about the general pros and cons of each program. Thank you very much!


Active Member
Hello !
First, congrats on your admits !

I'd personally go with CMU.

Indeed, Columbia is a well established program in NYC, and is definitely well represented in all IBs in NYC, so you'll have plenty of networking opportunities. On the other hand, CMU has an incredibly strong curriculum, and its graduates got into great jobs in both IBs and buy side firms. If you are unsure about the type of jobs you'd like, I'd advise you to go to CMU, as I guess you'd get more skills, and the placements are strong in a wider range of jobs.

I may be wrong, but I feel like Columbia's MFE is not as good as it used to be in terms of curriculum, and that it did not manage well the post-crisis switch to data oriented methods. Don't get me wrong, it is still a strong program and has strong placements and a very strong name. However, I think that Courant's and CMU for instance may be more interesting in terms of skills.