"MFE program profile evaluation" master thread

I guess the new modern technique to select an applicant is the whole package including the personality not only the scores of standardized tests or even the GPA.
So focus on your resume, let it shows your own skills and goals.
And yes do a math GRE subject test besides contact the advisor of the university you'd like to apply to ask him for an advice.
I did it for my case and I don't have a MSc. In mathematics like you. They told me I can get a certificate in applied math to help me and shows I'm good in math, such a school can help also in your recommendation letters.
Here it is a certificate for applied mathematics:

They told me I can apply regardless my GPA but I need to make a double check before I apply.

Also we may check this


For me I didn't make up my mind yet. But I think it's good to get this certificate then I can apply direct to master degree or even phd as some web sites of universities offer.
Hi, looking for a bit of advice on applying for MFE programs if I don't have relevant work experience in Finance. I have about 6 years working in Financial Services - specifically as a Risk Manager for a Canadian Credit Card issuer. I do a lot of predictive modeling however I know the models we use are quite different than the ones used in modeling prices and behaviours of derivatives.

I'm going to be moving to NYC next year for personal reasons and would like to switch careers into something Finance related, possibly Trading.

My profile:
  • MSc and BSc in Statistics from University of Guelph, Canada - 3.85 GPA
  • Undergrad minor in Mathematics
  • CFA Level III Candidate
  • Strong programming skills - MATLAB, C++, SQL, SAS
  • Work experience?
Have not taken GRE yet, however planning on doing that soon. Do I stand a chance?
Hi everyone,

I'm currently considering applying to MFE/MFin/MFM programs at UCBerkeley/Princeton/Stanford/CMU/NYU Courant/Columbia/MIT (as well as a couple of backup schools), while hoping to move into a Trading/Structuring role afterwards.

I'm scheduled to write the GRE next month, but this is my current profile apart from that.

  • Final year of BMath in Mathematical Finance from University of Waterloo - 3.97 GPA
  • Coursework: Real & Complex Analysis/Measure Theory/PDEs & ODEs/Linear Algebra/Multivariable Calculus/Numerical Computation & Computational Finance/Course in options and financial models (BOPM, short rate models)/Mathematical Optimization/Probability Theory & Stochastic Processes/Statistics & Linear Models/2 courses in programming (C, C++)/Micro & Macroeconomics/Corporate Finance
  • Worked as a teaching assistant throughout undergrad
  • Completed CFA Level I
Work Experience (1 year)
  • Worked in a support role in credit risk at a large dealer, working mostly in VBA/SQL
  • Wrote Monte Carlo models for a large pension plan to price exotic options/run portfolio strategies (in Matlab/VBA)
  • Worked at Deutsche Bank Securities in Debt Capital Markets
I know a few people from my school who got into MIT's MFin program, but most (if not all) of them had research experience, in addition to similar profiles. Also, I'm a bit worried that my last letter won't be as strong as the other ones. Please advise and thanks in advance!
This is my first post, but I've been a long time reader. I'm in my final year in undergrad and want to apply to the top MFE programs. I have good grades and have a quantitative background as well as programming and financial knowledge. Only problem is I got a 750 in the GRE quant section (old GRE). I know I could have done better but just ran out of time at the end. Does this kill any chance I have of getting admitted to top 10 MFE programs? Is it worth retaking it knowing that I would probably have to study for a couple of weeks because of the new format? Thanks in advance for the help.
Thanks Andy. Do I really need a 170Q in order to be competitive? I'm thrown off by the new scoring system, but what do you think is the minimum one needs for top MFE's?


Ting Ting
Thanks Andy. Do I really need a 170Q in order to be competitive? I'm thrown off by the new scoring system, but what do you think is the minimum one needs for top MFE's?

Aim and work for 170. The GRE is pretty easy (if somewhat tricky and time constraint), but you should aim to do the best.
Hi All. I am currently researching schools to which I can apply, but sometimes it is helpful to have an outside reality check. Hopefully you all can help?

3.85 GPA, B.S. Mathematics, Pepperdine University (full-ride, with merit-based scholarships to back).
720 GMAT (49 Q, 41 V, 6.0 AWA). Still need to take GRE.
REU Experience at UCLA in Computational and Applied Mathematics
Equity Research Intern at small hedge fund, Variant Capital
some other intern experience including think tank work.

Mathematics Coursework:
The essentials through Diff Eq.
Abstract Alg.
Real Analysis
Complex Analysis
Numerical Methods
Comp Sci 1 (C++)

Programming Skills:
MATLAB, Maple, R, Intermediate C++

What do you guys think? Do I not have enough work experience? Coming from a non-target school I feel like applying to these schools is somewhat of a Catch-22 since you need work experience to get in, but you often need to be from a target school to get solid work experience...at least I haven't been able to get any interviews or job offers...
Hi All, I have already posted in the MIT MFin Forum yesterday to have my profile evaluated but thought that posting it here might give me more opinions of people usually not so much searching through MIT Forum.

I am not applying to any MFE programs, just the MFin at MIT and Princeton (at least thinking about it and want to make sure that all the effort is not entirely useless if I do not stand a chance anyways)

Here is my profile - any help is very much appreciated:

GPA: 3.97 (Business Administration Undergrad with Finance Major - studied in US (2 years) and Germany (2 years at top German business undergrad program - GPA here was 1.3 on a scale from 1-6)
GMAT: 730 (48q,42v) (Could quant be a problem?)
Math courses: Calc I, Stats I, Microecon Theory, Macroecon Theory, International Econ - BUT I am willing to enroll in a German university to take further Calc, Lin Alg, Stats and Econometrics classes in the German spring/summer semester - would mention this in my application
Work Experience:
(1) 3 months internship small consulting firm in Germany,
(2) 4 months internship Audit Financial Services Big 4,
(3) 6 months work experience VC provider focused on debt in Palo Alto,
(4) 4 months internship at PE arm of one of the big IBs
Other info: Dean's list, German National Merit, Member of Beta Gamma Sigma (Business Honors Undergrad Society - don't know whether such helps as I am German and thus cannot really evaluate this), have written Research Bachelor Thesis as part of my German undergrad degree on Venture Capital Due Diligence (but main focus on qualitative aspects) and received a grade of 1.2 on it
I know my quant background is not comparable to most of the other applicants here - I would appreciate it if someone knew whether conditional offers were also amde at Princeton or MIT, so that I could take any other required classes next semester)

Thanks very much,

If you consider yourself a top applicant for a top MFE program, there is no reason you should not have 800Q on the on old or 170Q on the new GRE. Running out of time or having to spend few extra weeks is not an excuse.
That is a long answer for "retake it".
Andy, it looks like new GRE 170 score is not the same level as old 800. One can have 2-3 questions wrong and still get 800, but not 170.
Do you think that programs will expect applicants to get 170 anyway?
Andy, it looks like new GRE 170 score is not the same level as old 800. One can have 2-3 questions wrong and still get 800, but not 170.
Do you think that programs will expect applicants to get 170 anyway?
Yep, at least the top programs will. Think about this logically: they have the opportunity to pick only applicants with 170's, so why would they pick a substantial number of 160's?
At this point, we don't have enough data to know about the percentiles of a specific score. In the past, 800Q is 94th percentile, 790Q is 91th percentile, and so on.
It may well be the new GRE is so hard that 168 has 94th percentile and 170 has 96th percentile, etc. Keep in mind that the scores go up by one, instead of 10 like in the old exam.

I also suspect that admission people will use judgement call in the near future when they have a mix of applicants with new and old GRE scores.
MIT and Princeton are HIGHLY quantitative programs. Every student will have taken at least through Differential Equations (meaning Calc I, Calc II, Calc III, Linear Alg. too), the majority of them will have coursework in probability, statistics, and some sort of analysis. Much of modern financial theory stems from highly abstract math. Read the current students profiles. While your academics and experience look great, I think MIT and Princeton are looking for students with much more quantitative coursework.

Hi Folks
Below is my profile.

GRE- 800Q 580V

Education- BE in Computer Science from BIT,Mesra(India) - First Class
-DE, Calculus,Probability, Statistics, Simulation and Modelling ,Genetic Algorithms, Methods of Solving Equations like Newton Raphson etc were a part of my Coursework

DEC 2011 CFA L1 candidate

Programming Skills
- C ,C++(in High School and College),Java, PL SQL,MATLAB

Experience - 2yrs in the IT department of a big Inv Bank

1. I have planned on applying to Berkley,Columbia,Baruch as of now. What other top colleges is my profile suitable for?

2. Also I understand that tier 1 colleges have very low acceptance rates ,in that case what tier 2 colleges should I apply to .

Hi all,

If you could please throw at me any acceptance rate estimates for

CMU, MIT, NYU, Columbia, UC Berkeley, andUniversity of Chicago,

I would immensely appreciate it.

Here is my profile:

GMAT - Q50, TOTAL760

University of California, San Diego
B.S. Mathematics: Probability & Statistics - GPA 3.51
B.S. Cognitive Science: Computation - 3.24
Minor in Economics

Programming background:
Associate Degree in Computer Science from a community college about 6 years ago. I have taken courses in C, C++, Java, Data structures, and Object-oriented programming about 7 years ago at a community college. Ever since then I had been programing in C, C++, and VBA on and off.

Extensive professional experience in C, R, Matlab, Java and personal experience in C++. During the last 2 years, I have been working as a senior algorithms engineer at an internet marketing company where I used R, Matlab, SQL, and Java on a daily basis . I got promoted to senior after one year which I understand is quite fast. In the past, I have completed an algorithm research internship and a statistical analysis internship.

Some of the more shiny projects I have worked on professionally before:

1. A fully bayesian beta-binomial model for click-through-rates that I explored, prototyped, and implemented in R, Matlab, and Java, respectively. I used adaptive rejection sampling and adaptive metropolis sampling within Gibbs sampler to take the sample from the posterior. I automated the generation of a viable sample via raftery diagnostic and tracked markov chain quality via some other diagnostics.
2. Real-time green apple detector from an adaptively-boosted classifier in C using the Open CV library. The detector found centers of green apples using inputs from 24 cameras mounted on a robot.

Math/Finance background:
I have taken Calculus 1, 2, 3 about 7 years ago as well at a community college (and then used toward my BS at UC San Diego). Unfortunately, at the time I had received C, C, B, respectively. Since then, I have taken at University of California, San Diego:

Financial Mathematics - A
Vector Calculus - A
Ordinary Differential Equations - A
Partial Differential Equations - B
Applied, Numerical Linear algebra - A, A
Numerical Methods - A
Complex Analysis 1 - A
Real Analysis 1, 2 - B, B
Linear Programming - A
Intro to Cryptography - A

Intro to Probability Theory - B
Stochastic Processes 1, 2 - B, A+
Parametric Statistics - B, A
Non-Parametric Statistics - A
Machine Learning - A, A
Artificial Intelligence - A
Time Series - A

Micro Economics 1, 2 - A, A
Macro Economics 1 - B
Econometrics 3 - A+
Financial Markets - C initially, but then took Corporate Finance at UCLA and got A / letter of recommendation

This is all,

Thanks so much,
GRE 1350 (Q-800,V-550,AWA 3.0)
BE Computer Science From University of Mumbai
1st 6 semester Average @ 68.5% (approx 3.5 GPA)

Attended Summer School @ London School of Economics for a Course In
Futures Options and other derivatives - Hence Well versed with Stochastic Calculus and financial Models like BS etc. Course Was based on John C. Hull

Scored B+ ranked 14 in class of 136

Won a National Level IEEE Technical Paper Presentation Contest for a paper which was an improvement to my Profs paper in his PhD(rel to comp sci) thesis

Majortiy of My research at Undergrad level is in Algorithm and optimization theory and fundamental Maths with a final year project in Ant Colony Optimization.

I have a declining graph in my mathematics scores with a 82 62 59 40 in the 4 applied maths classes I have taken

Would be attempting CFA level 1 after my undergrad completes.

Have A Good Research background and can prove it through
Recos - from above concerned profs

Very Well versed with C++,Java,Oracle(SQL),matlab -Oracle cetified Expert

Chess player with International FIDE Rating of 1911

Have Shown leadership/Social activity in college , actively involved in Technical Festivals (both organising/ participation)
I am interested in Applying to only few and good colleges
For my profile what can those be ? and Do I have chance of an Admit in any of those ?
Baruch , Colombia , Cornell , GaTech - Any other worth applying ?
After going through so many posts and profiles I do not consider mine much worthy. But, I need help from all the experienced persons here in my application for fall 2012.
My profile is as follows:
Bachelor of Engineering (University of Mumbai) aggregate 73.94% (highest being 79%)
Participated in IIT Techfests
National Service Scheme (University chapter) : hold the post of Treasurer
Has undertaken fund generation programs to put up donation camps, conducted 2 successful blood donation camps, conducted 2 village camps in rural schools schools of India.

I have had 4 semesters of Engineering Mathematics, rigorously covering almost all subject pre-requisites for Quant. Have got excellent marks in the subject and the professor is keen on giving me a good recommendation

Well versed with C, C++ and MATLAB

GRE: Quant 800 Verbal 600 AWA 4.0
TOEFL: 112

I am not asking whether I'll get into this university or that, because that is a futile question. My dilemma is more toward the universties that I should be applying to. I do not have any work experience and I have not done any financial course though I am well versed with the field, my father being a charted accountant.

I have to take a very critical decisions, as to where I will be applying. I don't want to just look at the ranking and start applying but want to make an informed decision and this is where I need help from the people on this forum

1st options : CMU, Columbia, Baruch, Purdue, Gtech, UMich
2nd options: Illinois-Urbana Champaign, NCSU, USC, Rutgers, Boston
3rd options: Texas A&M, Minnesota-Twin cities, NYU-Poly, SUNY Stony brook

These are the 15 universties I have short-listed and I have to cut it down to 8-10. I will be glad if anyone can help me to decide based on my profile and the quality of course offered at the universities.

Andy Nguyen: Would really appreciate your views.

Utkal Desai