• C++ Programming for Financial Engineering
    Highly recommended by thousands of MFE students. Covers essential C++ topics with applications to financial engineering. Learn more Join!
    Python for Finance with Intro to Data Science
    Gain practical understanding of Python to read, understand, and write professional Python code for your first day on the job. Learn more Join!
    An Intuition-Based Options Primer for FE
    Ideal for entry level positions interviews and graduate studies, specializing in options trading arbitrage and options valuation models. Learn more Join!

COMPARE compare Oxford MCF with US programs

Hi guys,

I am wondering that is Oxford MCF comparable with tier 1 programs in US?
I think Princeton would be tier 0, and the reset reputable programs would be tier 1.
We have to neglect the geographical reasons, that we assume Oxford program takers are mainly focusing on EU/UK market and US ones are focusing on US ones.
Also, are oxford mcf students competitive compared with the us tier 1 counterparts in landing a phd position for top us universities?
Your ideas would be highly appreciated if you can also compare the difficulty of being admitted by these programs.
 
Last edited:
I'm going to take a stab at answering your question. In terms of overall university reputation, I think Oxford is definitely up there with tier 1 US programs. In terms of landing a PhD position for top US universities, I think it depends on whether you'll have the opportunity to do research as part of the program and, even better, get that research published with a well-known professor (for example, Prof. Rama Cont | Mathematical Institute. He used to be a professor at Columbia IEOR). Nearly every person I've seen who got into a top US PhD program had some publications. Also, it might be a good idea to take PhD level courses at Oxford if possible--I'm not from the UK, so you should double check on this. If you check out PhD after MS in quant?, I've sort of given a detailed breakdown there based on what I've seen.
 
Last edited:
I'm going to take a stab at answering your question. In terms of overall university reputation, I think Oxford is definitely up there with tier 1 US programs. In terms of landing a PhD position for top US universities, I think it depends on whether you'll have the opportunity to do research as part of the program and, even better, get that research published with a well-known professor (for example, Prof. Rama Cont | Mathematical Institute. He used to be a professor at Columbia IEOR). Nearly every person I've seen who got into a top US PhD program had some publications. Also, it might be a good idea to take PhD level courses at Oxford if possible--I'm not from the UK, so you should double check on this. If you check out PhD after MS in quant?, I've sort of given a detailed breakdown there based on what I've seen.
Thanks for your reply Alex,

On my opinion, the oxford MCF is very similar with CMU's MCF in coursework, reputation and many other aspects, and on the level of hardcore, it is similar with more theoretical courses as MIT, but compared with Columbia and NYU, it shows lacking in employability.
UK system may values comprehensiveness but US pays attention to industrial needs. Therefore, Ox has better potential for phd by its big name but a serious problem is it only has 10months, quite difficult to have any publications.
To be honest, only peer review process for mathematical papers could cost 10 months or more.

back to myself, i value the life in uk more than that in us, however, the salary may be higher in us. When it comes to employability in the program's own country, the mcf would definitely be similar as those us tier 1 programs. But for me, if one day i want to have an exchange to work in us or other countries, will the oxford be similar with those us programs?
 
back to myself, i value the life in uk more than that in us, however, the salary may be higher in us. When it comes to employability in the program's own country, the mcf would definitely be similar as those us tier 1 programs. But for me, if one day i want to have an exchange to work in us or other countries, will the oxford be similar with those us programs?
Hmm... ignoring potential visa issues, which I don't have the knowledge to advise on, I don't think there should be any issues with Oxford, but you should double check on that. Maybe someone on here can shed some light on that.
 
Hmm... ignoring potential visa issues, which I don't have the knowledge to advise on, I don't think there should be any issues with Oxford, but you should double check on that. Maybe someone on here can shed some light on that.
yea...

however, the COVID-19 changes the whole job market, and it seems UK programs show some hidden pros for overseas students. In US, you still have to land a job within 3 months after the completion of the course, but now, UK opens PSW visa policy. Under the recession caused by pandemic, it is more and more difficult to achieve this in 3mo but for UK, you have more time haha.

While, i have to admit uk's pay is bit higher.
 
yea...

however, the COVID-19 changes the whole job market, and it seems UK programs show some hidden pros for overseas students. In US, you still have to land a job within 3 months after the completion of the course, but now, UK opens PSW visa policy. Under the recession caused by pandemic, it is more and more difficult to achieve this in 3mo but for UK, you have more time haha.

While, i have to admit uk's pay is bit higher.
Perhaps you could start in the UK first, gain some experience and do an internal transfer to a US branch of whatever UK company you work at? Again, I've never done this myself, so do take it with a grain of salt...
 
Perhaps you could start in the UK first, gain some experience and do an internal transfer to a US branch of whatever UK company you work at? Again, I've never done this myself, so do take it with a grain of salt...
Yes, very good idea, thanks bro for your interaction.
 
Once you start working and accumulate work experience, people don't really care about where you got your degree from. If they do, then it's not a serious institution you want to be associated with. if you got an admit from Oxford and you'd rather live in the UK then go ahead. an Oxford degree will never put you at a disadvantage in life compared to a US degree. I would go as far as say that if your goal is to get into a US PhD, and you are good enough to get into Oxford MsCF then you're probably already good enough to get into a US top PhD program in Quant Finance.
 
yea...

however, the COVID-19 changes the whole job market, and it seems UK programs show some hidden pros for overseas students. In US, you still have to land a job within 3 months after the completion of the course, but now, UK opens PSW visa policy. Under the recession caused by pandemic, it is more and more difficult to achieve this in 3mo but for UK, you have more time haha.

While, i have to admit uk's pay is bit higher.
You may want to include the visa problem into consideration. The UK offers students something called PSW(post-study work visa) which allows them to stay in the UK for 2 years after graduation regardless of their employment status. (you could be either work for a UK firm or looking for a job). But for the US, the sponsorship and H1B problem can really be a pain in the ass.
 
I'm pretty sure this has been asked before, but have you thought about putting UK/Europe Quant programs onto the rankings, @Andy Nguyen or would it be a logistical nightmare? I'm sure myself and countless others would like to see how Oxford MSc CF, Imperial Math and Finance, RMFE would compare with top US programs like CMU and Baruch.
 
Last edited:
I'm pretty sure this has been asked before, but have you thought about putting UK/Europe Quant programs onto the rankings, @Andy Nguyen or would it be a logistical nightmare? I'm sure myself and countless others would like to see how Oxford MSc CF, Imperial Math and Finance, RMFE would compare with top US programs like CMU and Baruch.
Theoretically it seems the same by current discussions. I have to say it is already hard-won for Oxford to obtain a similar level with NYU and Baruch as these universities are targeted at business and finance while oxford is a comprehensive university. It not only provides you with top math finance education but also reputation, where more opportunities in many areas could be opened up for you other than math and finance area.
For people determined in quant job, many of them would choose NYU and Baruch or LSE for a smooth career path, namely, locating in london / new york, training with the clear motivation and target, close tie with industry... but for guys hope to pursue a phd or will opt his job in the future, ox maybe a better choice.
 
Regarding the PhD I can tell you that it’s certainly possible to get into a top PhD program with the Oxford MCF. I did The MCF myself and have been accepted for a PhD at many top US unis such as Princeton, Stanford and CMU.
Thanks bro, are you currently undergoing your phd course?
 
I applied this year and still have to decide which one to take. Basically, I am facing a similar decision as you but for a PhD program :D
hhh, all the best and big cong!!
If you still have time don't forget to shed some light of bg of your mates in your phd community when you start, which could assist us further!!!
 
I'm pretty sure this has been asked before, but have you thought about putting UK/Europe Quant programs onto the rankings, @Andy Nguyen or would it be a logistical nightmare? I'm sure myself and countless others would like to see how Oxford MSc CF, Imperial Math and Finance, RMFE would compare with top US programs like CMU and Baruch.
I have to say US schools are better at promotion.
This is also a critical reason for their higher rank.
 
Regarding the PhD I can tell you that it’s certainly possible to get into a top PhD program with the Oxford MCF. I did The MCF myself and have been accepted for a PhD at many top US unis such as Princeton, Stanford and CMU.
Impressive stuff man, congrats! I'm set to start the Oxf MCF this Sept and am curious about the course (job prospect, syllabus, industry-affiliated research opps), do you think you could do a brief Review of the course? The most recent review of OxfMCF dates back to 2014: Review of Oxford MScMCF, so a update would be massively helpful and I'm sure heaps of us would appreciate the insight :~) congrats again on the offers!
 
Impressive stuff man, congrats! I'm set to start the Oxf MCF this Sept and am curious about the course (job prospect, syllabus, industry-affiliated research opps), do you think you could do a brief Review of the course? The most recent review of OxfMCF dates back to 2014: Review of Oxford MScMCF, so a update would be massively helpful and I'm sure heaps of us would appreciate the insight :~) congrats again on the offers!
Oh wow, congrats to you man, Oxford MSc. MCF is super hard from what i've read.
 
Top