How good is Stony Brook QF program?

Few things I wanted to point out as a final year grad student in the Quant Finance Program at Stony Brook University

1. The course structure has been updated last year itself and since you are just 1 week into the program I wonder how you are able to come to a conclusion that the course structure hasn't been updated in years. The first semester courses are pretty much same for all different tracks in Applied Math (Linear Algebra/Calculus/Data Analysis) which helps to revise the basics (if you are not from Math/Statistics background) and as you enter into your second sem onwards, the courses are more track specific and honestly these courses are extensive like Stochastic Calculus/ Case Studies in Computational Finance/Quant Risk Management/ML in finance and it's always good to have some coding experience because these courses are all heavy Math+ Finance+ coding based [For QF track]

2. Talking about seminars, please go through this link : Seminars | Applied Mathematics & Statistics & Quantitative Finance Program Webinars. We have regular weekly seminars which you probably have received emails about and if you attend any of them you will get to know the varied topics covered in these seminars. Moreover the department covers the cost for top performing students to attend the yearly ARPM Quant Bootcamp (if you are eager to become a quant in future)

3. Also, there are highly skilled professors in the QF department covering extensive courses like Professor Stanislav Uryasev's Advanced Stochastic Models and Portfolio Optimization, Prof. Pawel Polak's Machine Learning in finance, Prof. Andrew Mullhaupt's Computational Finance, Prof. Robert Frey and Prof. Haipeng Xing's courses they are all project based and personally the courses have helped me tremendously to prepare for industry interviews. Plus, the best part os AMS dept. is there are 5 different tracks and you can also pursue an advanced certificate in data science as an example.

4. Talking about industry internships & jobs, I wonder how did you get this specific number that only 4 students received internship. First of all, quant positions are very competitive in nature but very lucrative. It's unfair to compare with CS department where the total batch of students is 400+. Bagging an internship is 90% dependent on your skill and the way you communicate. I was a part of the internship drive and, as far as what I have seen people did get multiple interview opportunities from top IBs (which means companies do not segregate if you are from Ivy league or not) but finally getting the job is dependent on your skillsets and convincing the interviewer that you are fit for the role. People from my batch who were looking for summer internships did get some or the other opportunity and people who did not probably were looking for PHD opportunities or their way of preparation was wrong. And, to crack a Quant Role you need to be diligent and be good at coding & Math and if you have some previous work experience in this field then that's awesome. My friends at Columbia and NYU were all in same boat during internship hunt and since their batch size is huge you probably don't get to know their struggles. And just to add, the QF courses and projects have actually helped me to grab a full time quant role at one of the top 3 Investment Bank. So, it's good to get a whole perspective before posting such comments.

Moreover, contact your seniors and professors (sometimes professors recommend you to companies since they have strong industry ties) and QF program is extensive and you need to work really hard since becoming a quant is not easy and if you have decided to pursue this field then there is no shortcut unfortunately. Also, once again companies do not segregate between universities. If you are not getting the opportunity then that's probably because you need to work on your resume or skills or your approach is not the right way.
Unfortunately, I do not have a coding background and I am working hard on my coding skills, but it doesn't change the fact that majority of the batch is not able to land an internship and do odd on-campus jobs during the summer.
The industry experience of the professors is a sham. For example, Prof. Frey takes his lectures on Mathematica which is an obsolete software and has no use outside the campus premises, telling the students to submit their assignments on that software is basically shoving it down their throats. The department is highly underfunded and if you are a planning to pursue your PHD, your funding might get taken away mid program.
There is a reason why there are no employment statistics published on their website. I would recommend all the aspirants to do their research on LinkedIn to see where the students work, how they work or if they work. Prof. Stan Uryasev himself said that only 4 students in the entire batch landed an internship and none of them was quant profile, even if it was it was probably in a mid-tier start up.
Very few of the guest lecturers in the seminars mentioned by @kayd were industry professionals.
If you can afford a good college, go for it as SBU won't help your career and I won't recommend you to spend your life savings coming to this college.
 
Unfortunately, I do not have a coding background and I am working hard on my coding skills, but it doesn't change the fact that majority of the batch is not able to land an internship and do odd on-campus jobs during the summer.
The industry experience of the professors is a sham. For example, Prof. Frey takes his lectures on Mathematica which is an obsolete software and has no use outside the campus premises, telling the students to submit their assignments on that software is basically shoving it down their throats. The department is highly underfunded and if you are a planning to pursue your PHD, your funding might get taken away mid program.
There is a reason why there are no employment statistics published on their website. I would recommend all the aspirants to do their research on LinkedIn to see where the students work, how they work or if they work. Prof. Stan Uryasev himself said that only 4 students in the entire batch landed an internship and none of them was quant profile, even if it was it was probably in a mid-tier start up.
Very few of the guest lecturers in the seminars mentioned by @kayd were industry professionals.
If you can afford a good college, go for it as SBU won't help your career and I won't recommend you to spend your life savings coming to this college.
I am sorry to hear that you are not initially fond of your SBU experience. Here are some things to think about:
1. You have been in the graduate program for under two months - give it some time to adjust.
2. The employment statistics you are citing are misleading (I can personally guarantee they are wrong) - either the professor is out of the loop or they were misinterpreted.
3. There is a huge difference between academia and industry. Both define success differently, therefore have different motivations. That being said, the SBU program has professors with interesting industry insights. Being this is your first semester, your classes are more general and less related to quant finance. This will change over the next few semesters.
4. This should be obvious, but maybe this needs to be said. Getting into a grad program does not come with a guarantee of job prospects. It is up to the individual to do the leg work. Maybe I am wrong, but I would doubt other programs on this list are handing students internships/jobs.

If you have concerns about the program, talk to the professors or the graduate coordinators (they are very helpful and may fill in the gaps). Please refrain from bombarding this forum with your opinion on the program, or at least, wait until you have had enough time and exposure to properly experience it.

SBU has a lot of opportunities to offer, I would browse and find what you are interested in. Don't hesitate to reach out to professors or further along students - we would be happy to provide insights/suggestions. I hope you heed some of this advise and take advantage of what the program has to offer!
 
I am sorry to hear that you are not initially fond of your SBU experience. Here are some things to think about:
1. You have been in the graduate program for under two months - give it some time to adjust.
2. The employment statistics you are citing are misleading (I can personally guarantee they are wrong) - either the professor is out of the loop or they were misinterpreted.
3. There is a huge difference between academia and industry. Both define success differently, therefore have different motivations. That being said, the SBU program has professors with interesting industry insights. Being this is your first semester, your classes are more general and less related to quant finance. This will change over the next few semesters.
4. This should be obvious, but maybe this needs to be said. Getting into a grad program does not come with a guarantee of job prospects. It is up to the individual to do the leg work. Maybe I am wrong, but I would doubt other programs on this list are handing students internships/jobs.

If you have concerns about the program, talk to the professors or the graduate coordinators (they are very helpful and may fill in the gaps). Please refrain from bombarding this forum with your opinion on the program, or at least, wait until you have had enough time and exposure to properly experience it.

SBU has a lot of opportunities to offer, I would browse and find what you are interested in. Don't hesitate to reach out to professors or further along students - we would be happy to provide insights/suggestions. I hope you heed some of this advise and take univeadvantage of what the program has to offer!
I maybe wrong about the program because of my lack of exposure but I am certainly right about the employment statistics that I mentioned here. I asked for the official numbers, and they were bad. Plus the numbers also can't be believable because the department said that they did not conduct the survey for the missing employment stats (imagine math department not conducting a survey). Its been half a semester and I have not written a single line of code in class. I was terrible at coding a few months ago and still found the bootcamp useless. The faculty is unavailable most of the time and do not respond to queries ( how to learn coding or what to learn, which resources to use etc.) instead they make me solve problems on Mathematica. Other universities may not be handing out job/internship opportunities but they offer a lot of flexibility in selecting courses aligned to their career goals which I clearly don't see here. The program is very rigid and you can't take courses of your own choice. I find it counter productive as it keeps me involved in their subjects and prevents me from acquiring any industry related skillsets. I can tolerate this course if professors/seniors can give me a roadmap to land an internship or a job.
More than the course, I find the unavailability of the professors/seniors/alumni damning.
I don't want to argue any more on this topic. I respect every opinion about this University and my opinion hasn't changed till now.
I urge everyone reading this to form their own opinion by going through LinkedIn profiles, asking the department directly for the statistics (if they care enough to conduct a survey) etc.
 
I maybe wrong about the program because of my lack of exposure but I am certainly right about the employment statistics that I mentioned here. I asked for the official numbers, and they were bad. Plus the numbers also can't be believable because the department said that they did not conduct the survey for the missing employment stats (imagine math department not conducting a survey).

Your arguments and the counter-arguments by other Stony Brook students or alums seem valid, depending on the vantage point. However, the publicly available information on QuantNet's Ranking is telling, and I find the employment statistics an outlier.

Its been half a semester and I have not written a single line of code in class. I was terrible at coding a few months ago and still found the bootcamp useless. The faculty is unavailable most of the time and do not respond to queries ( how to learn coding or what to learn, which resources to use etc.) instead they make me solve problems on Mathematica.

It seems to me that your programming skills have improved compared to a few months ago, and I think that's laudable. Following what you've said, I think the best solution is to focus on personal development if you want to land an internship or get a job after graduation.

To learn how to code: Be passionate, disciplined, and consistent. Learning how to code is more of a journey than a destination.

What to learn: In Quantitative Finance, the most used programming languages are Python and C++. If you aim for an internship in the summer of 2023, you can pick any of these programming languages and start learning.
Tip - It's easier to learn Python than C++.

Which resources to use:
For Python:
  1. Youtube tutorial on Python for Beginners by freeCodeCamp
  2. Introduction to Python Programming by UDACITY
For C++:
  1. Youtube tutorial on C++ for Beginners by freeCodeCamp
  2. C++ Programming for Financial Engineering

Other universities may not be handing out job/internship opportunities but they offer a lot of flexibility in selecting courses aligned to their career goals which I clearly don't see here. The program is very rigid and you can't take courses of your own choice. I find it counter productive as it keeps me involved in their subjects and prevents me from acquiring any industry related skillsets. I can tolerate this course if professors/seniors can give me a roadmap to land an internship or a job.

I think landing an internship in quantitative finance is arduous because of the high standards, extreme competition, and an excess pool of talented individuals. However, it's not impossible.

Here's a roadmap I think may help land an internship for the summer or a full-time job:
  1. Networking: You can land an internship by attending conferences and building relationships with people already in the industry. An excellent example is an annual conference organized by the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Society of New York and the SQA (Society of Quantitative Analysts). The attendees are professionals in academia and the industry. Tip - The annual conference takes place in January of each year.
  2. Referrals: If you know anyone working at a quant firm that interests you, you can approach them and kindly ask for a referral when applying. Referrals can go a long way.
  3. Use Glassdoor or Indeed to get an update on quantitative analyst intern job openings and apply. Good Luck!
 
I am currently at SBU in QF (masters) and I am happy with my choice. First off, I saved a fortune. Not sure if people in the industry know SBU, but also not sure if they care. Academics love over emphasizing the school name, it is how they make money. The reality is, most of the employers out there do not care too much about where you went to school.

AMS QF is definitely less terminal than other MFE degrees, which I like. I picked this option because I was initially unsure about pursuing a career in quant. I wanted a degree that left other doors open to me (data science/tech/research).

The coursework is actually pretty rough, you will either learn a lot or fail. If you like a challenge, this may be a good pick.

I have gotten pretty strong opportunities at SBU. I worked a HPC student assistantship last semester (was even offered a full time job), performed school funded research, and landed a quant internship at a hedge fund for the spring/summer. Last semester, the QF students received roughly 5-8 emails from employers looking to fill quant internships exclusively from the SBU QF students.

There is a lot of flexibility in the AMS program, which is attractive. To note, some of those other programs you listed are on the tier above SBU. So if you can afford those and get an offer, I would go.

Stay away from forums and make the decision yourself. A lot of people who comment on here are in the same position you are. It is the blind leading the blind. Is SBU the best school for you? The internet does not have that answer. Rank your offer letters by cost, coursework, potential opportunities, etc and pick the top one on the list.
The opinion posted by @jarryds and @kayd here is quite misleading and full of lies.
1. The AMS program has 0 flexibility ( Even the coordinators and the professors accept it). For example, No course is available for both Fall and Spring semesters which means that you will have to stick to the courses in the sequence recommended on the website. You can't drop courses you don't like and you can't even do any extra course without paying any extra money.
2. Only 3-4 Students to my knowledge have an internship and that internship is definitely not in a hedge fund. ( Let alone everyone receiving 5-8 job offers). I know graduates who have been deported to their home countries and seniors paying extra money to extend their stay to avoid deportation.
3. Few "Billionaires" have questionable competence when it comes to teaching as they only focus on platforms like Mathematica. They don't care enough to conduct in-person lectures and are very inaccessible. You have to get to 100s of people for 1 message to go through.
4. The department is heavily underfunded ( I don't know if they make any money let alone academics emphasizing on it's name and everything). If you are planning a Phd here, your funding may get taken away mid program and the stipend you'll receive will be barely enough to survive let alone eating healthy food or living in a clean apartment.
5. I personally do not want to work at a hedge fund, I want to work at a respectable Investment Bank and have a steadier life but one of the professors told me that like regular courses which offer you opportunities to be skillful for roles like a Credit Analyst, Investment Banker, Financial Analyst etc., this course fails to do so. Let Alone getting an opportunity as a Data Scientist.
6. You don't save a fortune after choosing this university as in regular universities, most people get TA/RA opportunities to offset their living expenses but here even Phd students do 2-3 jobs for one low stipend let alone a masters student getting paid.
7. As an international student, I feel insulted at the career fairs organized by the University as very few companies give F1 Visa sponsorships and there the competition increases even more.
8. Hedge Funds do segregate on the basis of Universities for example, Renaissance Technologies which one of our Faculties is an MD in, doesn't hire people from AMS. Imagine not being able to make your students competent enough to work for your own company in 3 semesters.
9. They don't post the employment statistics because they have nothing to show. Imagine being a Statistics department and not conducting a survey!!
In conclusion, I would like to request people to do their own research in choosing the university and don't make the same mistakes like I did as getting transferred later becomes difficult because even if you are accepted to a good college, they either wont take you in spring or won't transfer enough credits.
Thank you
 
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