Maximizing Chances as a Computer Engineer Applying For MSFE


New Member
Hello everyone,

I'm a Computer Engineering major who has fallen in love with algorithmic trading, so much so that I have given up tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and work opportunities to pursue this true passion. I'm applying to grad schools this December/January and was wondering what you guys think my chances are for getting in (UC Berkeley, CMU, UCLA, Columbia). Below are my stats:

- 3.75 cumulative (got B in some math/physics lower division classes due to laziness)
- 3.93 for upper division courses at CSU Sacramento (stopped being lazy, worked 20-30 hours a week)

Work Experience:
- Information Technology Consultant (08/15 - Present): manage IT services for medical clinics
- R&D Test Engineer @ HPE (08/16 - Present): Automation in Python, testing network/core switches
- Certified Personal Trainer (2 years): Owe all of my people/sales skills to this job

- Haven't taken, but getting 170 Quant score in initial practice tests, verbal is 155 but haven't studied for that

Finance Experience:
- Not very much besides some trading with Quantopian and Robin Hood
- Registered for a computer science elective this semester that focuses on statistical modeling, monte carlo analysis, etc

Do you guys think I have a good shot at getting into a top school? Is there anything I should be doing to further increase my chances? I just want to do everything I possible can the next few months to maximize my learning and my chances of getting into a good school.


New Member
list all the math courses would have taken

I have taken the following math/physics courses:
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Calculus III
  • Differential Equations
  • Intro. to Linear Algebra
  • Physics: Mechanics of Solids and Fluids (Calculus-based)
  • Physics: Electricity & Magnetism (Calculus-based)
  • Physics: Heat, Waves & Optics (Calculus-based)


Well-Known Member
It's bare minimum. A course in probability theory & another in real analysis would be advantageous. I'm no fan of real analysis but it's very popular with the mathematicians on this forum.

I think you're fine if you did well in those courses if we are talking about eligibility.
Now can you get in the very top programs? I would let others answer that question.
Your gpa is very good, and if you get a very good GRE, you just need to provide adequate motivation to enter the programs.