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ETH UZH Quantitative finance program curriculum

What to do

  • Go to ETH

    Votes: 3 75.0%
  • Go to US program

    Votes: 1 25.0%

  • Total voters
    4
Hello everyone!
I got an admission offer from ETH quant program and would like to hear the opinion of people who have studied financial engineering/quantitative finance on how good is the curriculum in comparison to other programs in the USA and Europe.

The links to the course list:
Autumn of 2018: UZH - Master of Science UZH ETH in Quantitative Finance - Courses Fall 2018
Spring of 2019: UZH - Master of Science UZH ETH in Quantitative Finance - Spring Semester 2019

I also have an offer from top 10 program (from Quantnet ranking) and what do you think, is it better to take loan ~ 60-80K to go to the US program, or it is better to self-finance and go to ETH (it will cost 30K)?

I really hope someone could give advice because I have a hard time deciding on what to do :(
 
I’d go to Zurich in a heartbeat. Could you share your background.
Could you please tell why do you think so? I am worried about getting a job after ETH program in London or Zurich (I am Non-EU student, if I were European than the choice is obvious, but for Non-European it is a very hard decision.)

I am econ and stats major with a lot of ML, econometrics, and mathematics courses, had an internship in bb bank risks + research experience, GMAT >740, Toefl 100+
 
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My rationale for favoring ETH UZH may or may not apply to you. I love Switzerland, and the joint program has a pretty good reputation.

Having said that, I have recently read several comments on Quora from people who claim to be students or recent graduates of the program. Some say the curriculum is out of date.

Advice from other posters on this forum might depend on which particular US school you are considering.
 
Both UCB and CMU are top notch. My feeling about the costs are this. You should be able to get a good paying job after you finish one of these programs. Although inflation is low now, it will nonetheless whittle away the debt (in real terms), and you should be able to pay it off relatively quickly. In the long run, the extra money will seem trivial. I have known talented people who have opted for the lesser, but cheaper, school in other fields in order to avoid the costs/debt. After graduation, most of them have not had the opportunities they would have received had they gone to the better school and have regretted this choice (Note I am talking about Phd candidates in other fields, not quantitative finance students.)

Also note that although tuition is minimal at ETH UZH, the cost of living in Zurich is much higher than in Pittsburgh. That would offset some of the difference in tuition. Not sure about Berkeley, but cost of living is probably a little less there than in Zurich.
 
I have to smile when I see that US bias on this forum, comparing UCB with ETH Zurich, which is a top 10 university world wide.

I also think that the core program is quite outdated. It focuses on the typical course work for people that usually go into Risk,etc. However, most of the courses you can freely choose, also from the excellent CS department at ETH, so if you want to focus on something like investments or ML, you absolutely can.

Also, Zurich is one of the best places to live in the world, consistently ranking very high in several surveys - how about Pittsburgh ;0? Its more expensive than other places, but you have hardly any student fees. Moreover, taxes are low and wages very high (if you consider doing something part-time or an internship).

If you are not from the EU, then your argument regarding employ-ability might have some merit. Would it be easier for you to get a work permit in the USA?
 
Considering that the UCB and CMU programs are STEM programs, then I don't expect to have any problem of getting a visa for work. The only problem is the tuition which is way high. I don't know will I be able to pay loan in 2-3 years or not -_-
Do you know if it is real to get from ETH UZH program to London? I have looked linkedin and there are actually very few students of the program in linkedin :(

And my problem worsened because I also got admission from EPFL, but without a scholarship, so now I am absolutely confused about what to do:oops:
 
We often got emails from possible employers, mostly for Zurich, but also some for London. The majority also stays in Zurich, which is why you do not see many people switching countries, living quality + income-tax ratio is better than anywhere else I have ever been to.

You can see the first employer destinations from different cohorts at the msfinance.ch website; not everyone is registered there but you will find more hits than via LinkedIn. Also note that the careers service for continental universities is different than in the UK/US. While you have employer fairs/enquiries via email etc, I think career services in the UK/US are far more pro-active with this respect. That being said, I dont know anyone from my cohort who did not get an acceptable job.

EPFL is also a great (young) university. Both universities are fairly well ranked, I unfortunately do not know too much about the EPFL program. I also don't know what you mean regarding scholarship, tuition fees should be quite low as well. Keep in mind though that Lausanne is a french speaking city.
 
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We often got emails from possible employers, mostly for Zurich, but also some for London. The majority also stays in Zurich, which is why you do not see many people switching countries, living quality + income-tax ratio is better than anywhere else I have ever been to.

You can see the first employer destinations from different cohorts at the msfinance.ch website; not everyone is registered there but you will find more hits than via LinkedIn. Also note that the careers service for continental universities is different than in the UK/US. While you have employer fairs/enquiries via email etc, I think career services in the UK/US are far more pro-active with this respect. That being said, I dont know anyone from my cohort who did not get an acceptable job.

EPFL is also a great (young) university. Both universities are fairly well ranked, I unfortunately do not know too much about the EPFL program. I also don't know what you mean regarding scholarship, tuition fees should be quite low as well. Keep in mind though that Lausanne is a french speaking city.

I actually was confused about the employer destinations, because it was incomplete and I thought that meant that like 30% of students are unemployed after studying in the program... If not everyone is registered there, then I think the program should fill this gap, because it is a critical factor when deciding to go to study there or not:)

As for EPFL, it has the same costs as ETH, but I hoped to get a scholarship which would cover living costs:(

Dear vengeance if it is possible, can you please tell me, how is the process of taking courses from other master programs? I have seen 5-6 courses, which I would like to take from other programs in addition to electives and core courses. Maybe you would know if it is possible to take courses on more than 60 credits and study for example 1.5 years and write a thesis in the 4th semester?:)

Thank you very much for your answer!
 
They should indeed update this more regularly - and I can also only speak wrt to my cohort +- 1 year. There is another QFin ranking at Quant Finance Master’s Guide 2019 - Risk.net , which has some more facts and stated an employment rate of 100% for the last 5 cohorts. I am unsure if either of the two programs, EPFL and ETH/UZH, is listed in the quantnet rankings. Your other choices are also highly ranked so I guess in either way you are good to go.

You are free to pick as much other courses from ETH or UZH that you want to do without any costs, but only up to (I think) 18 credits are accounted to your studies. I did more than 30 extras credits, but only a few of them were counted in my GPA because of this restriction. Most people need actually 4 semesters, I hardly know anyone who could finish it within 3 (internships, more credits, long thesis, Job/PhD applications, etc).

Edit: I saw in the other ranking guide that almost 25% choose academia after graduating from this program, that might differentiate the program from others quite a bit.
 
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