MFE Rankings for 2008

Yuriy

MFE Alum
Also, does anyone have advice on the Claremont Graduate University program? I am interested in a Ph.D. in FE but doubt I will live up to the Cornell or Princeton standard :cry:.

If you are looking for a PhD in FE, ty Document Moved (PhD at the University of Florida that I happened to attend which has excellent placement rate).
Their program is built around IE/OR, they do a lot of portfolio and risk management but not much of PDEs.

And by the way, each program is built around faculty interests. Research each program and make sure they have what you want. For example, Baruch MFE has a lot of PDE and Linear Algebra, other programs have almost no PDE or Linear Algebra.
 
If you are looking for a PhD in FE, ty Document Moved (PhD at the University of Florida that I happened to attend which has excellent placement rate).
Their program is built around IE/OR, they do a lot of portfolio and risk management but not much of PDEs.

And by the way, each program is built around faculty interests. Research each program and make sure they have what you want. For example, Baruch MFE has a lot of PDE and Linear Algebra, other programs have almost no PDE or Linear Algebra.


I looked around but could not find placement information - is it mostly academics?
 

Yuriy

MFE Alum
I looked around but could not find placement information - is it mostly academics?

They do not disclose their placement information. I know someone with a Ph.D. got a job at American Express and some one else got a job at Deutsche Bank. But many people find jobs at universities (thats is what Ph.D. is for) :). I was there at the Stats department (that by the way gives Teaching Assistantship to all graduate students).
 

writankar

Consultant - CRM
hi all,
how would you guys rate the following universities vis-a-vis Financial Engineering?
1) Kent State University.
2) North Carolina State.
3) Univ of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign
4) USC.
Please let me know if possible..!! thanx!
 

alain

Older and Wiser
hi all,
how would you guys rate the following universities vis-a-vis Financial Engineering?
1) Kent State University.
2) North Carolina State.
3) Univ of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign
4) USC.
Please let me know if possible..!! thanx!
Again, we don't rank schools, we don't evaluate profiles, we have no idea about your chance of getting in... if it's up to me, Baruch MFE is number one.
 

dstefan

Baruch MFE Director
Of the four programs you listed, I heard of Kent and USC, but could not say anything relevant about them.
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
I must say in my capacity as a quant headhunter that the original list up there is just rubbish.
The ordering is plain wrong, and there are places which ought to be up there as well.

That isn't to diss vaibhav, since every other list I've seen published fails miserably, indeed we go as far as to state our policy in the Guide that we now don't even bother to read such lists, except to mock them online.

I have a strong professional interest in this area, and my metrics are quite unlike the ones I've seen published.
P&D look at the quality of the recent output, and how much effort I have to spend convincing potential employers to look at this output.
The function you get out the other side has both discontinuities and subjectivity.

For instance a French quant manager at GS NY would probably refuse to deal with me ever again if he thought I even took the list at the start here seriously. He'd see it very differently from an algotrading HF in Chicago, and in London no one's list would look even remotely like that even if they were American in origin.
 
I notice that when the issue of MFE ranking is brought up, all the names mentioned are dominantly US-based programs. Even on WM which is supposedly a UK centric forum, you see the same group of names mentioned there.
With this false perception, one would tend to think this is the only the ranking. I know we have the Ecole system in France, ETH in Switzerland, Cass and whatever there are in UK. So being from NY, my vision of those systems is very distorted. I hardly heard of those oversea programs, let alone able to rank them.

This brings back the point that Dominic pointed out. A Frenchman manager would have a very different view of ranking compared to some HF managers in Chicago, NY, LA.

Quantnet is NYC community for Quants. With that in mind, I think we should stick to what we know best: NYC local programs
 
how would you guys rate the following universities vis-a-vis Financial Engineering?
3) Univ of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign
Please let me know if possible..!! thanx!
This is some review of a student at UIUC. He posted a rather long review after first semester and now a more complete review when he is close to being done with the program. Informative and use your judgment.

June 15, 2007
I am completely bitter about this program after 2 weeks. So take whatever you may from this post. It is not only biased, it is also skewed.

Of course the good aspects are -- good school, strong alum connection and regional power, beautiful campus and wonderful lifestyle among cornfield (in relative terms.) Professors are competent, courses diversified, being a big giant oversized school, you basically can take whatever class your little heart desires.

But the biggest problem is the abundance of international students that makes up the class. I do enjoy meeting people from diverse backgrounds, but when a program is 90% international students, you are not exactly learning how to do business in the US. The class interaction is horrible. Half the class is very bright and fluent in english. But significant amount of students have trouble expressing themselves. Do you honestly want to sit in a group meeting listening to someone saying "they mean, i mean repeat 200 times" without expressing their center idea? If you do, please come here and take my spot.

This is a young group. But they admit too many without work experience, thats not something to expect in a business school. certain number of people havent learned proper attitude to attend a professional school, for example, too many little chats during middle of lecture, poor feedback during peer interaction. bottom line, too many immature underage undergrads yet to grow up before they think about something serious. But this may because I am too used to be in a conservative corporate world.

Of couse the campus resource can ensure a quality educational experience. But I am a bit disappointed. I will check back in 8 week to decide if I should transfer up or stay. No flaming plz.
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OK I am back, didnt transfer. This is the recruitment season, so the location finally paid off, almost every top firm, major fortune 500 companies, plus boutique IBs and PE firms come to campus to recruit, tons of consulting practices. This is pretty amazing.

Job prospects are good, the opportunities are out there. But doesnt mean you can sit back and wait till a phat job fall off from the sky. If you are throughly prepared for the recruitment season and do your homework, the chances of landing a great job are enormous.

In the past (present?) our program is known not to have the best placement rate. A lot of people say its the visa problem. But I think its the fact that half the international students plan to go back to their own countries which lead to them not being active in job search at this moment. Two people I know who graduated this summer went back to their country (some asian nation) and landed jobs as senior associate in E&Y and some M&A manager position.

More update: a couple guys (international students) from class 08 got job offers from hedge funds. Domestic students are doing pretty good. International students who tries hard also gets handful of interviews. Things that chracterize one of those lucky ppl:

1. Great resume, make sure to get industry insider to proof it for you, dont rely on school counsler too much as they are too ivory tower spoiled
2. Decent grades, 4.0GPA will definately give you an edge, 3.3 is also fine. But in general, you shouldnt be wasting your time if your GPA is lower than a 3 at masters level
3. CFA isnt that big of a credential unless you pass all 3 (according to recruiters) but if you plan to get it, better early than late.
4. Good communication skill, you dont need to speak like [insert famous public speaker], but it is important to make proper eye contact, talk slowly and clearly, organize your thoughts well, LISTEN carefully.

November 11, 2007
Update on job status.

Recruitment season is mid september - mid november. But November is typically 2nd rounds and office visits. So far 11 offers for 8 individuals have been landed on msf program here.

Companies: Caterpillar, John Deer, Some giant trucking company, Citadel Solutions, Private Trading Firm, Ernst & Young, Deloitte
Locations: 1 in LA, 1 in NYC, most in Chicago + Illinois
Half domestic students and half international.
Pay: Lowest is 55k, highest is ... dunno, most common seen in 60k-70k

Hope to hear more good news by End of semester.

March 23, 2008
When I first joined the program I wrote an angry post about 10 month ago. If you are interested, just look up my name. Now with more discussion coming up inquring about the program, I decide to finish off the review as the program is approaching the end. All of this post is subject to personal opinion and you should be careful not to align your position with me

Academics
UIUC has some great faculties, and some not-so-great ones. Big school has the advantage of offering more courses tailored to your special interest. What you, as a new participant in the program, will be responsible for your own academic planning. Overall the academic aspects are excellent.
Advice 1: Please consult with prior year students when you are about to choose a class, and avoid the professors when instructed to do so. I am not at liberty to discuss about them in specific details. However, feel free to look up MSF 2007 & 2008 participants on facebook and send any of them a msg.
Advice 2: Do not pay too much attention to the program specializations. You will not get to enroll in a specific area of study until spring semester. Leave your options open. Trust me, in industry, none of these will matter. You will only benefit from the class if you truly love what you do on a daily basis.
Advice 3: CFA partner, Bloomberg certification sounds fancy. Don't waste your time unless you have a job by October and you are bored to tears in Spring semester.
Advice 4: Feel free to explore other curriculum from other departments, UIUC has a great graduate college. Be a bit aggressive if you want to take a class from Econ or engineering or math or speech communication, learn while you are here.

Job Proespect
Terrible.
When I say Terrible, it is terrible. The career coach is of little help and professors are ivory-tower frame minded. If you are international students, try to start your job search as soon as you arrive. I dont know what else to tell you. A lot of great firms recruit here. But only a few sponsor H1-B and most of them will back off if your spoken english is not as great as they expected.
Advice: try get a speech coach if possible, work on the little things such gesture, eye contact and learn to make small talk. Its pure culture. And when a consulting firm wants to hire you, they want to see you as out-going, easy and yet hardworking. Smooth talk is essential.

Students + Overall Experience
This program is very young with majority between age 21-27. If you seek meaningful industry expertise' input this is not the place. Most of the students are not big classroom participants, which I think is a pity because class contribution is important to business school learning style.

Student groups is benefiticial if you can work with different people. Avoid the government sponsored students from, eh...certain countries. Because they dont care about academics because they got phat jobs lining up in their home country and this program is just a party year in the cornfield for them. Other students are self-motivated and try not to limit to your own country because similar minds = no good. you are better off checking out hot chicks by the quad.

Wroth the 40k?
Trick. I thought of this program as the ivory tower essence, a place to refresh you in the great minds of academic research and betterment of humanity. and Guess what, it is not. This program has a lot to offer. I dont regret joining here. and Judging from what I heard from comparable programs. The problems here arent unique. Afterall, this program intends to place students close to their long term career goal. and in that sense, I was successful, in fact, a huge step up from where I was. Same thing can be said for the other participants. They either placed jobs in the US with great opportunities or great jobs in their own countries.

Maybe the whole program, even those clique-huggy foreign students, and the process of learning about the world out there, learning about each other and come to conquer ourselves is what we are here for. At first I was disappointed, but then I realized there are greater lessons to learn thats so much greater than our own.

Narrow mind wont survive the financial services industry, but lack of comformity will not be tolerated either. I can say that everyone in this program learned something, not neccessarily in the sense of "finance" or "american schoolz." but it is a life experience i cannot easily forego.

Good luck to all of you who will be joining here this summer. Your hardwork will be paid off, just stick through with it.
 
I agree that ranking is difficult. Fx, I got accepted into Columbias MFE, Princetons MFin, NYUs finmath, Oxfords MathCompFin, Cambridges MFin, and LSEs Econometrics programs. I was in doubt (wanted to go to us, and to a "famous" uni which is why I didn't apply to fx Baruch - know it's silly, but it was also a lifelong dream). I asked my "mentor" at goldman, and he said "whatever program you choose, it will not influence your future - at least not predictably", meaning that I wouldn't be able to choose beforehand. I chose Princeton, and I still have doubts up til this day, when I read about the cool curriculum at fx Baruch (much more computation, me likes), but am also sure that Princeton will prove to be great!

Some other programs to consider:
Oxford MatCompFin
Cambridge
ETH Zürich (this curriculum is actually probably the coolest I've seen till date)
Purdue - also very cool
LSE - many good

It also depends on your background. I've done a lot of finance and economics, so I lack computation and mathematics. A guy with a maths background should IMO look for a program with focus on computation and finance. Etc etc. Ranking is difficult, any of the top schools are "the same". Just go for the one that your gut tells you to (this is how traders do all their decissions, so you have to learn how to listen to your gut anyways:D)
 
My Rankings

Top Curriculum:
1. UCB MFE
2. CMU MSCF
3. NYU MSMF

Top Faculty:
1. UCB MFE
2. NYU MSMF
2. Princeton MFin

Top Career Placement:
1. UCB MFE
2. Princeton MFin
3. NYU MSMF

Top School Prestige:
1. Princeton MFin
2. Stanford MSFM
3. Columbia MSFE

Top Value/Cost Ratio:
1. Baruch MFE
2. Princeton MFin
3. UCB MFE

Overall Ranking:
1. UCB MFE
2. Princeton MFin
3. NYU MSMF
 
A friend of mine works at Goldmann Sachs and he says U. Chicago and their branch at Stamford, CT is the best program overall.
 
I work at Goldman as well, and I think Princeton is best :) No, as I said earlier, the difference is SMALL. The article in the other ranking thread got's it going. The only reason why baruch is not in top there is the prestige I think! and yes, that does matter - when i tell people here that i did my undergrad and first master at uni. copenhagen, where the level imo is higher than anywhere else I experienced (Princeton, LSE, NYU, Sorbonne), they don't care, but when i say princeton, they all go "Wow". So that makes a clear difference, but if one likes the curriculum much better at fx baruch, then go for that (and, one might not get offered a placement at all the schools, so just apply for all of them and they will decide for you :)
 
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