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COMPARE Cornell MFE vs MIT MFin vs NYU Tandon MFE

Which Program to Choose?

  • Cornell MFE

    Votes: 36 60.0%
  • MIT MFin

    Votes: 21 35.0%
  • NYU Tandon MFE

    Votes: 3 5.0%

  • Total voters
    60

Chris_Ren

Active Member
C++
Hi guys, I want to make a thorough comparison between these three programs and would love to hear some suggestions from you.

Background: I did my undergraduate in Hong Kong, majoring in statistics and finance, and now consider coming back to work in Hong Kong or Singapore after I obtain the master's degree.

Career goal: My top choice is to be a quant trader, and I am open to IBD and quantitative risk analyst in investment banks.

I've been connecting with alumni from the three programs and reading posts, and have gathered the following information so far.

-> Cornell
pros: Excellent teaching quality. Outstanding career service (very important for us international students to get internships). Risk analyst - oriented curriculum.
cons: Ithaca is not as good as NYC, professionally speaking. (Not sure if this disadvantage can be offset by its career service). The curriculum makes it hard for students to become a quant trader.

-> MIT
pros: Unparalleled brand name (especially for banks in Asia). Freedom of choosing courses (which means I could self-design my curriculum as a quant program).
cons: Poor career service. Big class size and unsatisfactory teaching quality (professors are very busy doing things outsides).

-> NYU Tandon
pros: The most "quant" program of these three (we can learn a lot about quant-trading). "Peter Carr is trying hard to make this program the next Baruch MFE." (A student in NYU Tandon MFE told me this).
cons: Career service is still not as good as Cornell's (As an international student, I really need career service lol, seriously). Big class size (might make job searching competitive).

I appreciate your suggestions on which program is the most worth investing for me. Thanks in advance!
 
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cheron_jrm

Active Member
I’d go for MIT. The curriculum is well designed for quant trading as for instance, you get courses in non quant subjects, which is an asset for trading. Also, as you said, the name outside the US is in no comparison with the others.
 

Onegin

Well-Known Member
C++
MIT is quite heavy in corporate finance; NY Tandon is trending positively. Cornell seems incredibly solid, but I think they have organizational tensions between Ithaca and NYC campuses.
 

Onegin

Well-Known Member
C++
My impression was the 1st year course work in Ithaca were a small subset of the engineering dept, while the NYC was totally dedicated to the Finance part. Didn’t seem super integrated.
Very positive impression of the NYC crew.
 

longsoftskills

New Member
If your primary concern is employment post-grad then I'd definitely go with Cornell.

1. The alumni network is massive (actually bigger than most ivies that place higher in some rankings)
2. The third semester at CFEM has you working with top professionals in the industry (including Marcos Lopez de Prado - Quant of the Year)
3. Masters project has you working with one of the top firms (AQR, Citi, Jeffries, etc.) = easy networking opportunity
4. 100% internship placement last year -> opportunity to convert internship into job offer
5. Dedicated career team: resume drops through dedicated Cornell box, personalized resume screening, team to make sure you reach out and get a job
6. Third semester in NYC makes getting a job much easier if you don't already have one by then. Proximity with all the big firms = easy networking & convenient access to superdays.
 

vincentolee

New Member
- In terms of brand name, MIT is very famous for its brand name, but Cornell is also a fancy brand
- Career service, Cornell is very solid among three
- Location, I personally believe NYU has the best location among three, but the third semester of Cornell is also in NYC
 

InTenDecades

New Member
I'm a recent graduate from Cornell MFE program.

Honestly, if you want to find a risk/quant/quant trading/quant research job in the U.S., I don't think the brand name of the school itself matters. Idk why ppl talked about the brand name of the school. All the hiring managers of the quant programs in investment banks or alums working in buy side companies will set target schools, and Cornell is definitely their target school. Idk about NYU Tandon and MIT MFin but students from our program always find ourselves in superday with students from CMU, NYU MathFin, and Columbia MFE.
 

Chris_Ren

Active Member
C++
I really appreciate all your information and suggestions! :love:
I might need some time to make a decision. 🧐

Thank you all~
 

Sakshi_gupta

New Member
Hi @Chris_Ren,

As a recent graduate of Cornell MFE, I would be really happy to provide my take on the comparison.

I would begin by offering some points to address your concerns regarding the program starting in Ithaca. Though two semesters of the program are based out of Ithaca, the summer internship and the final CFEM semester are in New York City. Also, the practitioner courses are CFEM's highlight as most of them are taught by stalwarts in their fields in quantitative finance. Not only the practitioners share nuggets of top industry practices but also provide a platform for networking within their respective firms; not to mention the great interviewing opportunities that interaction with practitioners entails. I don't see why location would be a concern at all for an applicant. In addition to the professional advice at Ithaca in the first two semesters, the program offers several bootcamps in New York City allowing students to network with various professionals and alumni in the field.

Hope this was helpful.

Thanks
 

devconnolly

Active Member
If your primary concern is employment post-grad then I'd definitely go with Cornell.

1. The alumni network is massive (actually bigger than most ivies that place higher in some rankings)
2. The third semester at CFEM has you working with top professionals in the industry (including Marcos Lopez de Prado - Quant of the Year)
3. Masters project has you working with one of the top firms (AQR, Citi, Jeffries, etc.) = easy networking opportunity
4. 100% internship placement last year -> opportunity to convert internship into job offer
5. Dedicated career team: resume drops through dedicated Cornell box, personalized resume screening, team to make sure you reach out and get a job
6. Third semester in NYC makes getting a job much easier if you don't already have one by then. Proximity with all the big firms = easy networking & convenient access to superdays.

I want to give the MIT equivalent to this, as a current student.

1) The network you get at MIT really is second to none, especially with the MBA/EMBA/Fellows/MBAN classes running in close quarters with the MFin. We have access to a full database of people, working in top positions across the world, and I've yet to come across someone who was not willing to help in some capacity.

2) There are significant action learning opportunities available. I spent January working with a well-known asset management firm in NYC/Chicago on a quant project. You get some pretty good guidance from industry exports.

3) The career service here, for me, has actually been pretty good. 100% internship placement, very good salary post-graduation, and good resources available. I'm working in a quant role this summer and almost the entire thing was driven through the careers office here. We have easy access to resources, guidance, and alumni. Of course, you have to put in a bit of work, but you it gets you a long way, and you will have to do that anywhere. Our resume book gets pooled and gets sent out to a number of employers, and we can make appointments whenever we want to make any updates to our application or resume that we need.

4) Boston has some pretty good quant firms and quant roles available, and even more PE/VC roles. That said, the difference to NYC really is no barrier. Firms are very willing to bring MFins up to NYC, and are flexible working with us.

5) The brand name, to me, really is second to none. If, like me, you may look at going to Europe or Asia in the future, it really does get you far.

Good luck!
 

devconnolly

Active Member
WOW, that is actually disclosed in MIT MFin's employment report, that's pretty amazing, especially given the 100% response rate.

Stunning.


I think there is this misconception that you earn the right to be handed everything on a plate just by being admitted to any of these specialised programs. You get given the infrastructure (the career office, the coursework, the network, the events), but those that are going to put themselves out there and meet people and look for opportunity will be fine wherever they go, in my view.

The negative reviews on quantnet seem to repeatedly bring up the fact that recruiters only care about the MBA programs on campus. To be honest, as someone that is here, that is a plus for us. More people around campus, more networking opportunities, more going on. We have plenty to offer to those employers too, and I think that employment report shows that.
 
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