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"MFE program profile evaluation" master thread

btw if it matters, my university has an above average reputation (since it is a government undertaking) in India but is not as high rated as the Indian Institutes of Technology(aka IITs)

It doesn't matter, really. You have a good background and anyone here will tell you to simply apply and see where it gets you. Or contact the directors of some of the programs, introduce yourself, and ask them about your background. They can give you a much better indication of your chances.

There is no hard-and-fast rule about who gets in where. Anyone can get into any school, on any given Sunday. Or however the saying goes.
 
hey MikeK,

thanks a lot for the inputs.

Could you help me understand how 'bad' the courses at the universities ranked 11-15(UIUC,NCSU,UMich etc) are, as compared to the top 10?and does being away from NYC at some place like UMich(which conceivably is more manufacturing oriented)have any disadvantage associated to it?

It doesn't matter, really. You have a good background and anyone here will tell you to simply apply and see where it gets you. Or contact the directors of some of the programs, introduce yourself, and ask them about your background. They can give you a much better indication of your chances.

There is no hard-and-fast rule about who gets in where. Anyone can get into any school, on any given Sunday. Or however the saying goes.
 
Could you help me understand how 'bad' the courses at the universities ranked 11-15(UIUC,NCSU,UMich etc) are, as compared to the top 10?and does being away from NYC at some place like UMich(which conceivably is more manufacturing oriented)have any disadvantage associated to it?

I honestly have no idea. Any ranking is very subjective, and I wouldn't consider the courses at the 11-15 schools "bad". What makes a program weak or strong is its job placement record, just like any MBA or other professional graduate program.

I would imagine the benefit to going to school in NYC is that many of the major investment backs will recruit locally.

There really is no right or wrong answer here. Your best bet is to focus on job placement stats, at least as a starting point.
 
Chances of admittance to Baruch and Cornell

Please help me evaluate my chances at being admitted into the Baruch and Cornell FE programs.<o:p></o:p>

First the bad: I dropped out of MIT EE graduate program after 2 years in, I have been a stay at home dad for the last few years because of the health of my child. I am 29 years old. I have no financial work experience.<o:p></o:p>

Here are my credentials:<o:p></o:p>
GRE: 640/800/3.5, taken October of 2009.<o:p></o:p>
Graduated from Umich with BSEE, GPA 3.93/4.00; <o:p></o:p>
MIT: I took 5 courses, got 2 Bs and 3 As. I did take a graduate level stats class and got an A in that. I was a TA for the probability class.<o:p></o:p>
Programming: The language I’m best at is MATLAB, but I can do C++.<o:p></o:p>
Math: I’ve taken all of the courses described.<o:p></o:p>
I am a domestic applicant if that matters.
I have 2 strong letters of recommendation (guessing).

My child is doing very well health wise and I am restarting my career. I have been reading this site for the last couple of weeks and you guys make Baruch sound fantastic and Baruch would be my first choice. I am interested in applying to Cornell as well. So what are my chances? Does Baruch take applicants who have dropped out of another grad school? Much thanks in advance to anyone who replies.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
 
Your child's health is most important and as a parent myself, I would do the same. As long as your grades are decent, your courses are recent, your skills are up to date, then you definitely should apply to any program you select.
I assume your GRE Q is 800. The typical listing of GRE score would be Q/V/AWA so in your case it should be 800/640/3.5

Besides reading from the folks here (majority are current and graduates of various programs in the tri-state area), you should definitely get in touch with the faculty, tour the school, attend the open house.
If you visit NYC, you can tour many programs all in one day worth.
 
I assume your GRE Q is 800. The typical listing of GRE score would be Q/V/AWA so in your case it should be 800/640/3.5

Besides reading from the folks here (majority are current and graduates of various programs in the tri-state area), you should definitely get in touch with the faculty, tour the school, attend the open house.
If you visit NYC, you can tour many programs all in one day worth.

Thanks for the quick reply Andy, my GRE is 800/640/3.5.

I will try to get in touch with some faculty, dstefan seems very accessible considering that he's the director.
 
Help! Evaluate my profile and chance

I am an undergraduate applicant who is now applying for the MFE programs, my academic background are as the following,

graduate from Fudan University, the top 4 universities in P.R.China with a B.S. in mathematics,
overall GPA 2.89 rank: 33/72
upper division GPA 3.43 rank: 19/72
GRE general: 390/800/3.5 GRE subject(math): 85%
TOEFL: 103
I have several scholarships in the university and prizes in the mathematical contests in modeling(including the Meritorious Winner of the Mathematical Contest in Modeling 2009).
I have no financial working experience, only two months internship in Deloitte Consulting (based in Shanghai)

I know my backgroud is rather weak, but since the chance of getting a job in US is very rare for the international students if they are not admitted to a first-tier university, I just want to apply for the prestigious universities in US and UK, such as Columbia, Stanford, Cornell, NYU, Oxford, Imperial College, etc... If I am rejected by every program I applied for, I will have to do the auditing job in Price Waterhouse Coopers, but that's not the career I want.

p.s I don't need a fellowship or financial aid, will that increase my chance?

Thanks!

---------- Post added at 06:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:57 PM ----------

to be more specific, let me list the courses I took as the following,

mathematical analysis, advanced algebra (not doing every well since I wasted to much time in my freshman year, so I took the GRE subject math test, hope I can compensate for that)

ODE,PDE, probability theory (got good scores)

optimization, mathematical programming, numerical analysis (got good scores)

real analysis, abstract algebra, complex analysis, mathematical modeling,etc...

besides, I took a course of Visual C++ programming
 

GoIllini

Market Crises= Gray Hair
I am an undergraduate applicant who is now applying for the MFE programs, my academic background are as the following,

graduate from Fudan University, the top 4 universities in P.R.China with a B.S. in mathematics,
overall GPA 2.89 rank: 33/72
upper division GPA 3.43 rank: 19/72
GRE general: 390/800/3.5 GRE subject(math): 85%
TOEFL: 103
I have several scholarships in the university and prizes in the mathematical contests in modeling(including the Meritorious Winner of the Mathematical Contest in Modeling 2009).
I have no financial working experience, only two months internship in Deloitte Consulting (based in Shanghai)

I know my backgroud is rather weak, but since the chance of getting a job in US is very rare for the international students if they are not admitted to a first-tier university, I just want to apply for the prestigious universities in US and UK, such as Columbia, Stanford, Cornell, NYU, Oxford, Imperial College, etc... If I am rejected by every program I applied for, I will have to do the auditing job in Price Waterhouse Coopers, but that's not the career I want.

p.s I don't need a fellowship or financial aid, will that increase my chance?

Thanks!

---------- Post added at 06:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:57 PM ----------

to be more specific, let me list the courses I took as the following,

mathematical analysis, advanced algebra (not doing every well since I wasted to much time in my freshman year, so I took the GRE subject math test, hope I can compensate for that)

ODE,PDE, probability theory (got good scores)

optimization, mathematical programming, numerical analysis (got good scores)

real analysis, abstract algebra, complex analysis, mathematical modeling,etc...

besides, I took a course of Visual C++ programming
The 2.9 GPA doesn't look so hot compared to how American schools handle things. Can you do anything to de-emphasize this like just giving your class rank? Also, you need to get your Verbal up to at least a 550-600. The Quant score is helpful, but you're competing against students with 800Q/700V/4-5.5 AWA scores with 3.5-3.8 Engineering or Hard Science GPAs from schools like MIT, Stanford, Georgia Tech, UC Berkeley, etc. Your Math subject test score would be helpful if you were a CS, Engineering, or hard science major, but 85% actually shows weakness for a Math major. I help hire for a major investment bank and rightly or wrongly, we've never heard of Fudan University; it doesn't have the same international profile as IIT, and according to one set of rankings I looked at, Fudan ranks at about the same level as schools like Pitt, Penn State, and Rochester internationally. Fudan is a great school that ranks like a land-grant American program, but it doesn't even carry the same reputation as your best competitors like MIT and Stanford- or even the runners-up in math and engineering like Georgia Tech, Illinois, Technische Munich, IIT, and Dartmouth. You'll be at a disadvantage if schools look at your GPA instead of your rank, so do everything you honestly can to focus on that.

You seem like a bright guy who currently lacks a background that translates well for an application to top Financial Engineering programs, so I would recommend going back for a Math, CS (Theory) or Econ PhD in China. "PhD" translates well no matter where you're from or what grades you have as long as it's from an accredited institution and provides a good back-up plan. You could also try pursuing work in industry for a few years, but schools will still look at your GPA, so the best move is to go for a post-graduate degree so you have better grades to get past the first-round filtering process.
 
I know my backgroud is rather weak, but since the chance of getting a job in US is very rare for the international students if they are not admitted to a first-tier university, I just want to apply for the prestigious universities in US and UK, such as Columbia, Stanford, Cornell, NYU, Oxford, Imperial College, etc...
Where did you get that impression? Do you have any number to share?
If it's the case, what happened to the majority of international students in not-so-prestigious universities? Go home?
I haven't seen any data to suggest that's the case.
If I am rejected by every program I applied for, I will have to do the auditing job in Price Waterhouse Coopers, but that's not the career I want.
You don't have to take the job. You can work on improving your application and reapply next year.
p.s I don't need a fellowship or financial aid, will that increase my chance?
None whatsoever. Admission is granted on the assumption that you can finance the whole cost without aid.
 

GoIllini

Market Crises= Gray Hair
Where did you get that impression? Do you have any number to share?
If it's the case, what happened to the majority of international students in not-so-prestigious universities? Go home?
I haven't seen any data to suggest that's the case.
I just spoke with one of my coworkers who said that Fudan's international reputation is on par with an upper-tier flagship state school in the US. If a 2.9 GPA means the same thing at Fudan as it means at the University of Michigan, ZCY is up against some pretty tough odds as it stands. I'm not saying he shouldn't apply, but my view is that getting into a postgraduate program in China ought to be the main focus, and if he gets lucky and is accepted at Cambridge or Columbia, all the better.

You don't have to take the job. You can work on improving your application and reapply next year.
I agree with you, but I'd note that PWC could be helpful depending on what ZCY winds up doing- I note that he is a Math major and not Accounting major. If he works on securities pricing as part of an audit team or in derivatives taxation, two years at PWC would look good. I'd still go the MS or PhD route, but everybody in the business world recognizes the Big Four accounting firms- not everyone recognizes Fudan. If ZCY can save money while he works at PWC, that won't directly help his application, but having money in the bank could help him get better sleep if he winds up graduating from a financial engineering program in a recession.

If you can survive two years on a derivatives pricing team at PWC, it says you know something about derivatives pricing. You may not even need a financial engineering master's. One of the senior executives at my former firm's wealth management group (now spun off as Neuberger Berman) was originally a partner at KPMG. My Dad, who works as a CPA in Chicago, also knows a few people who went from accounting firms to financial engineering.

ZCY has a difficult climb ahead of him no matter which way he goes, but PWC could be one option for getting relevant experience if he gets placed into the right group.
 
I am an undergraduate student, graduating this January.

My background is as follows -- from a private college (not top-tier) in New York:

Major: Mathematics with Finance minor
GPA: 4.0
GRE: 800/600/3.5

I have 10 years of self-taught C++ and other programming experience. Moreover, I took one independent study in C++ to satisfy prerequisites for FE.

I initially planned on taking the standard actuarial route, so I have passed the first two exams (Probability and Financial Mathematics / Basic Derivatives), and had an actuarial internship in a very reputable company.

I am considering primarily Baruch's MFE and Columbia. What do you think my chances are for each (I already applied to Columbia)? Will my minute actuarial experience help or hinder me?

Thanks in advance
 
Actuarial experience is a bonus if you can blend it with your MFE education. I know a Baruch MFE grad who is now a trader at CS in life finance. Life finance is a product where prior knowledge in actuarial (mortality table, life expectancy, etc) can be seen as a plus.

That sounds very interesting. Actually, I met a few actuaries working for the company I interned at, who had a quant background. Speaking to them was how I became truly interested in expanding my horizon and wanting to pursue FE. From what they told me, a solid quant background can be really helpful as an actuary, especially as more and more of them work in the financial sector.

I was just wondering if you think the FE programs would see it the same way -- would going in with the plan to still become an actuary, be considered as a lack of motivation to become a mainstream quant, and hurt my chances of being accepted?
 
The mandate of an MFE program is to select people who will successfully obtain a job in finance after graduation. Some programs have students with a more diversified background than others.
Frankly, what you plan to do with your life after the program shouldn't be any of their business. If I decide to open my own business raising chicken in a farm after MFE, I don't want a program that tell me I can't. If one decides to get an MFE for his own personal betterment, he should be able to.
 
How to get my chances up?

I finished my undergrad in CompEngrng with a 2.5 gpa, took the GRE and got a 790 quant, 660 verbal. I realized I would have no chance in hell with my gpa to get into one of the more competitive schools.


  • Is there a way I can get into a more competitive grad school (top 10)? Such as applying for schools with high acceptance rate, and try for a transfer (do people usually have success doing this)?
  • Any other things that people who are in my situation try
After reading the other posts, I guess I should post my courses. I've taken the math all EE's take: calculus, linear, ode, multivariable calc, probability, complex variables. CS courses were java, C++, python, matlab, perl (CS gpa was a 4.0 if that matters at all).
 
Hey guys, I'm new to the forum.

I'm currently a sophomore in college dual majoring in math and finance. I am looking to go to grad school in FE. Here is my experience so far and what I have planned for the future:

<u>Quantitative Courses:</u>
Calculus I-IV
Differential Equations
Linear Algebra
Advanced Calculus
Probability & Statistics I
Numerical Analysis
Math Econ & Optimization

<i>Going to take:</i>
Discrete Math
Intro to Abstract Algebra
Probability & Statistics II
Advanced Linear Algebra
PDE
Real Analysis I & II
Financial Math
Object Oriented Programming (with C++)
Computer Simulations
Econometrics
Stochastics Processes I & II
Linear Regression
Time Series
Advanced Numerical Analysis
Fourier Transformations

<u>Finance Courses:</u>
Intro to Financial Management
Investment
Corporate Finance

<i>Going to take:</i>
Quantitative Methods
Portfolio Management
Investment Practicum
Derivatives

Current GPA: 3.96/4.00
Math GPA: 4.00/4.00
My currently professors says that I have a good chance of maintaining the 4.00 math gpa.

<u>GRE Score (yet to be taken):</u>
I'm confident in 800Q, but my verbal really sucks. I used to practice so much for SAT verbal but could never get good at it. I am not an US-born but I am US citizen so I can't use TOFEL. I'm looking at a 500-550 after studying. I have tried remembering about 300 of the most common vocab, but I tend to forget after a while... since memerization is not the method used in math classes...

<u>Research:</u>
Currently co-authoring a paper with one of the finance professors that teaches derivatives in the grad school. Looking to participate in at least two more research projects before I graduate. At least one will be with a math professor whose emphasis is on pde and financial math.

<u>Experiences:</u>
Had an internship last summer at Citi. Did not work in a quantitative department but had a chance to do a bit of quantitative research. Not sure about this summer.

Rest of my experiences are mainly entrepreneurial.

<u>Computer Skills:</u>
C/C++, Matlab, Java

<b>My questions:</b>
<ol>
<li>What are my chances of getting into a decent FE program going from here? Considering that I will graduate in 2012.</li>
<li>Should I take the Math Subject Test? I have read many responses to this question, and it seems like its not a big deal.</li>
<li>Since I already took Diff Eq, and going to take PDE, should I still take an additional ode course?</li>
<li>Additional steps that I should take?</li>
<li>Tips on studying for GRE Verbal? XDD. And what V score should I aim at if I'm looking at, say Columbia, NYU, and Baruch.</li></ol>
 
I'm really really nervous about applying just to CMU MSCF program. I'm hoping someone can tell me if it's a smart idea to just apply to CMU or should I apply to other lower tier schools such as Michigan for a better chance of entrance.

Education:
BA in economics in University of Chicago (graduation expected : spring 2010)
CGPA 3.5/4.0
GRE : will be taking it next week but I don't think math will be hard. My verbal is not strong though. I'm not US citizen and English is not my first language. Is verbal really important? I'm looking at 400+ after studying.

Computer knowledge:
C, C++, STATA, PYTHON
Will be taking a class on HTML, CSS, and another class on MATLAB

Work experience:
Grader in the mathematics department for class teaching multivariable calculus, linear algebra and differential equation
I also shadowed a financial broker for a month in an externship program in a local investment bank

Math Courses (7 courses):
Calculus (single variable, multivariable)
linear algebra
analysis
plus grading for 2 math courses

Economics courses (10 courses)
Intro to Macro, microeconomics
Intermediate Macro 1,2, microeconomics 1,2
Econometrics
a economics of marketing course
2 other elective

Finance courses
none so far but this coming winter quarter, I'll have financial accounting and in the spring quarter, I'll be taking corporate finance and investment

Computer courses
Foundation of Software (a class on counting, finite automata, recursion, truth tables, logic .. etc)
Intro to computer system (will take this in spring)

I'm also getting 4 recommendation letters (1 from my math lecturer, 1 from my math prof that I worked with, 1 from economics lecturer, and 1 from economics prof.)
Does the profile of the recommenders matter? I have a high-profile recommender but I'm not sure how far that will carry me through the application.

Also, does it help to mention in my statement of purpose that I already have a job ready for me by the time I graduate? I want the education more than the job since I already have a job.

The thing is, I do not know if I should apply for the Jan deadline or the March deadline because I would have gotten a lot more courses down by the end of March due to the quarter system.
But I really want to hand in the Jan deadline because I need to know the result asap in order to provide evidence of financial support.

Any advice?

Thanks.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Josephine, I don't see a single probabilities or differential equations course in that list. You better take some of those.
 
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