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FAQ: C++ for Financial Engineering Online Course

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Does the certificate satisfy the programming requirement of MFE programs?

The certificate meets the C++ pre-requirement for the Baruch MFE program. Students will be able to include in their application to any program the course syllabus and the C++ projects completed during the course to show programming proficiency. About 50% of the students who successfully completed the certificate prior to August 2012 are now enrolled in financial engineering graduate programs. Please see student feedback here.

What is the learning format of the course?
The course is organized in 10 levels with access to the next level automatically provided when finishing the current level.

Once enrolled, every student assigned a personal Teaching Assistant (TA) who will answer questions, grade the programming exercises, and proctor the final exam. A private forum is available to the students taking the course for interacting with the TA and with other students.

What is the best way to study for the course?
To best benefit from the learning format of the C++ Programming Certificate, it is suggested that you study the material in the following sequence:
  • Watch the recorded video clips
  • Read the accompanying materials
  • Run the sample code
  • Ask questions in the forum which can be answered by your TA or other students
  • Complete the programming assignments. Ask questions if needed
  • Take the quiz at the end of the level
  • Proceed to the next level
  • Repeat from the beginning for the next level
How is the final exam conducted?
The final exam is conducted online and proctored by the TA. Access to a webcam and Skype is needed.

What is the refund policy?
Full tuition refund is granted upon request within 14 days of enrollment. No refund is provided after that.

What certifications do students receive upon successfully completing the course?
The Baruch MFE program will issue a Certificate of Completion to students who pass the final exam and obtain a 70% or higher average. A Certificate of Completion with Distinction will be awarded to students with 90% or higher average. The certificates are sent as a PDF.

Is there a time limit to finish the course?
While students have indefinite access to the course materials, they have a maximum of 16 weeks to earn the certificate. Once enrolled, they are expected to submit the first level’s homework within two weeks. After the 16 week deadline has passed, students lose the ability to earn the certificate and lose TA support (can no longer submit homework for feedback/grade). There are no exceptions to this policy.

To progress to the next level, you need to finish all programming assignments of the current level and pass a quiz.

Do I have access to the materials after I complete the certificate?
You will have unlimited access to the private forum and the materials. This can be useful when you need to refresh memory and refer to the projects you have done.

What is the geographical location of the students who completed the online C++ certificate so far?
The C++ certificate was granted so far to people on five continents: Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America.


  • QuantNet_Online_C++_Course.pdf
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Which software do I need to study for the course?
The teaching instruction by Dr. Daniel Duffy will be based on Microsoft Visual Studio. The software is available for free from MS website. Below are free download links to the express versions of Visual Studio.

Note that there is no need for any more recent or advanced version of Visual Studio; in fact, the express versions are more streamlined and avoid the distraction of many of the extra features provided in the more recent, and full versions.

VS Community 2019 (free):
The installation of Visual C++ is just downloading the installer from the Microsoft website and follow the instructions. Just accept the default settings by clicking next, next, etc. No special settings needed.

Microsoft Excel (2010 or newer): A free trial or full version is fine; this is needed for one part of the final level, Level 9 only.

Boost libraries (most recent version): Boost C++ Libraries. Highly recommended link to download boost binaries Boost C++ Libraries - Browse /boost-binaries at SourceForge.net

I use a Mac; is there any way for me to install Visual Studio?
Many students have successfully used a virtual machine. www.parallels.com has been used successfully

What hardware do I need to study for the course?
A recent desktop/laptop, broadband internet connection, a webcam for video chat with TAs.
Which books do you recommend me reading before enrolling in the course?
Course planner (suggested study time for each level)
LevelVideo LecturesApprox Duration (hours)# of exercisesSuggested TTC (16 weeks)
962:506 Groups3
10n/an/aQuiz 10 & Final Exam1
Please note that the above is simply a recommended plan of study. There is no deadline to complete individual homeworks/levels -- you may work at your own pace. The only deadline is the 16-weeks to complete the entire course for the certificate.
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