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COMPARE MIT MFin vs CMU MSCF (NY)

Joined
9/20/23
Messages
38
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8
Hi everyone!

I hope you are starting to hear back from programs you have been waiting for and get enough sleep during this stressful period. I was fortunate enough to receive admissions to both CMU MSCF and MIT MFin, and I had a hard time deciding between them. I would genuinely appreciate it if you could provide some insights on the two programs.

Some background about me: studied math + econ in my undergrad, no full time experience. International student, will need sponsorship. My goal is to 1) get a quant job in the US right after master’s graduation. 2) ideally QR in AM (or sell-side banks if I can’t get any in AM)

Some information I have collected:
  • Reputation & alum network: CMU has a better reputation in quant (?correct me if I was wrong) but MIT has a bigger name overall. CMU has more alums in quant, while MIT Sloan is well connected in the broader finance industry.
    • Although my short term goal is to do quant in the US, I am not sure if I will go back to APAC or pivot to other industries in the long term. CMU seems to fit me better now, while MIT might provide more possibilities in the longer term? But I don't know if the school name still matters after I work for a couple of years.
  • Employment statistics: CMU has better placement rate, both in terms of percentage of grad students getting full time job right after graduation, and percentage of people landing a US job
    • However, this might be biased, because some MIT students go to ibd or other non-quant jobs after graduation, and it’s hard to land an ibd job in the US as a master’s grad. Since I aim for quant, it makes more sense to only compare both programs’ quant placement. MIT didn’t provide more detailed information, maybe someone from the program can provide more insights?
    • Same bias exist in salary?
  • Career Service: People say CMU has better career services, and I know it only serves the MSCF program. For MIT, I’m not sure if MFin gets its own career service team or not, also if resources at Sloan would lean to MBA or other MS programs or not. (Maybe you can answer)
  • Curriculum: CMU is intense and MIT is more flexible. Some say CMU curriculum is “unnecessarily hard”, while MIT has some finance requirement courses that students don’t find useful. Not sure which is better for me, because I do need a hard-core curriculum to improve my skill sets, but also afraid of no time to look for a job.
  • Competition within school: Not many people have talked about this, but one MIT alum told me other master’s programs in CMU might also recruit for quant, while in MIT, MFin is the only master’s program that recruits for quant, so less peer competitions within MIT. (Didn’t count PhDs, because we are not in the same pool?)
  • Location: Minor point. My CMU program is in NYC, more job opportunities & worse living environment. MIT is in Boston, more AM companies(?) but overall less jobs. I’ve lived in Boston for half year before, really like the environment there.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide any additional information to help me make decision, even if it's a small or obvious one. I particularly want to learn more about MIT's US placement rate in quant. Thank you so much for taking time to read this.
 
CMU MSCF is superior in quant, your best shot is choosing CMU. I am only concerned of the difference between NY / Pittsburgh location (I would choose main campus). Also MS school brand is a fraction of worth compared to undergrad, not that CMU has no brand. CMU curriculum is also better for quant.
 
CMU MSCF is superior in quant, your best shot is choosing CMU. I am only concerned of the difference between NY / Pittsburgh location (I would choose main campus). Also MS school brand is a fraction of worth compared to undergrad, not that CMU has no brand. CMU curriculum is also better for quant.
Thanks! You are right that undergrad school brand matters more. I chose CMU NY location for more in-person networking & interview opportunities, but I've heard there's no big difference between the two locations.
 
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Is there a difference between Pittsburgh and NY? And is it more competitive for either campuses?
 
Is there a difference between Pittsburgh and NY? And is it more competitive for either campuses?
According to my research and replies from other posts, professors stay more in Pitts and industry practitioners are more approachable in NY. The enrollment is roughly half-half in both campuses and the admission team said no difference in their admission bar.
 
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