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COMPARE Columbia MFE vs. NYU Tandon MFE

Hi all,

The title pretty much says it all, I need advice on deciding which is better. I recently got admitted in both Columbia and NYU MFE program and both the universities have a pretty small window to reply and accept / reject the offers. So any help in this matter would be useful.

I would like to know the pros and cons of both the programs, to help me decide which one would suit me better. Fellow applicants, current students and alumni please share your views on both schools and your perspectives.

Thanks in advance!
 
In a single line, if you have the extra money go for columbia. Pros and cons as per my research
Columbia:
Pros: Good curriculum with strong core quant training.
Great placement record for placing students into quant roles.
Well reputed university and Well respected program in the quant community.

Cons: Like any other program, your degree is what you make of it. The univ's program can only get you till the door after that its pretty much how you perform.
Less support from program's placement wing in comparison to CMU,NYU, GaTech etc.
Less chance for scholarship and assistantship
The program cost would be around 100K (85K - tuition, 15K living) minimum.

NYU:
Pros: 70K tuition and easy to get a assistantship in comparison to other top programs like CMU, Columbia
Diverse curriculum, could be safe even if you are looking to shift to a data science role.
Good support for placements from college. Especially for fall 2021 its worth going as they are very selective, 120 students from fall 2020 have deferred their admits.
Large cohort size, can be helpful in getting diverse connections.
This is a safe bet for lesser degree cost and good placement chance.

Cons: Its more suited for "Risk" related roles and less for actual quant research, trader, analyst roles.
Diverse electives might not help in actually strengthening the core quant skills which would negatively effect the students caliber especially in comparison to a CMU, Columbia student with more confined rigorous curriculum
Still not a completely established quant program due to the -ve reviews in quant net and other mediums.

But its very important to understand that, a program is what you make of it and if you are honest with your intent and preparation you can crack any interview given both program are in the financial capital of USA. So a lot depends on you, but if you are willing to spare the extra money, Columbia is the best bet in this case.
 
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In a single line, if you have the extra money go for columbia. Pros and cons as per my research
Columbia:
Pros: Good curriculum with strong core quant training.
Great placement record for placing students into quant roles.
Well reputed university and Well respected program in the quant community.

Cons: Like any other program, your degree is what you make of it. The univ's program can only get you till the door after that its pretty much how you perform.
Less support from program's placement wing in comparison to CMU,NYU, GaTech etc.
Less chance for scholarship and assistantship
The program cost would be around 100K (85K - tuition, 15K living) minimum.

NYU:
Pros: 70K tuition and easy to get a assistantship in comparison to other top programs like CMU, Columbia
Diverse curriculum, could be safe even if you are looking to shift to a data science role.
Good support for placements from college. Especially for fall 2021 its worth going as they are very selective, 120 students from fall 2020 have deferred their admits.
Large cohort size, can be helpful in getting diverse connections.
This is a safe bet for lesser degree cost and good placement chance.

Cons: Its more suited for "Risk" related roles and less for actual quant research, trader, analyst roles.
Diverse electives might not help in actually strengthening the core quant skills which would negatively effect the students caliber especially in comparison to a CMU, Columbia student with more confined rigorous curriculum
Still not a completely established quant program due to the -ve reviews in quant net and other mediums.

But its very important to understand that, a program is what you make of it and if you are honest with your intent and preparation you can crack any interview given both program are in the financial capital of USA. So a lot depends on you, but if you are willing to spare the extra money, Columbia is the best bet in this case.
Thanks for such a detailed answer. I graduated with a major in mathematics and am currently working on the sell side at a large IB and looking / preparing for buy side portfolio strategist role.

I am not too concerned about the money aspect. I dont want to bias my decision based on differences between the fees of program ( assuming it won’t impact me negatively in the long run )... please correct me if i am being wrong here.

Can anyone shed some light on how easy / practical is it to take courses from other departments at both Colombia and NYU i.e. business schools / courant / cs dept.
I think apart from getting world class quant, business understanding and networks through cross dept. interaction will be v valuable as well? What do others think? Should I factor in this while making decisions?
 
Thanks for such a detailed answer. I graduated with a major in mathematics and am currently working on the sell side at a large IB and looking / preparing for buy side portfolio strategist role.

I am not too concerned about the money aspect. I dont want to bias my decision based on differences between the fees of program ( assuming it won’t impact me negatively in the long run )... please correct me if i am being wrong here.

Can anyone shed some light on how easy / practical is it to take courses from other departments at both Colombia and NYU i.e. business schools / courant / cs dept.
I think apart from getting world class quant, business understanding and networks through cross dept. interaction will be v valuable as well? What do others think? Should I factor in this while making decisions?
Yes, money is not a factor if you can afford it so striking it off. Columbia would be the better of the two.
 
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I am a student of NYU Tandon's MFE program aiming for trading and data science roles. We can select a large number of courses from other departments. Some of my friends are taking MATH-GA 2708.001-Algorithmic Trading & Quantitative Strategies, MATH-GA.2798-001 Interest Rate & Fx Models from Courant's MF program. We could also take courses from Data Science Center.
Actually, Tandon MFE program already provides courses such as Machine Learning in Finance, Advanced Machine Learning in Finance, Big Data, NLP and the Investment Process which are more practical for MFE students than general data science courses.

Besides that, I find it useful that Tandon also offers LeetCode Bootcamp and Data Analytics Bootcamp each semester to help students find jobs.
 
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