• C++ Programming for Financial Engineering
    Highly recommended by thousands of MFE students. Covers essential C++ topics with applications to financial engineering. Learn more Join!
    Python for Finance with Intro to Data Science
    Gain practical understanding of Python to read, understand, and write professional Python code for your first day on the job. Learn more Join!
    An Intuition-Based Options Primer for FE
    Ideal for entry level positions interviews and graduate studies, specializing in options trading arbitrage and options valuation models. Learn more Join!

MS vs PhD?

Hi everyone, I was wondering if it is better to do a PhD or MS in finance/financial engineering/financial mathematics?
I am in a dual degree program right now as an undergraduate, meaning I will graduate with a Bachelor and Master degree in Mathematics & Computing after having spent a total of 5 years in college (as opposed to only 4 years for bachelors or 4+2 for separate bachelors and masters). But I don't know if my indian masters degree would be equivalent to a legit masters degree in the US.

My advisor recently suggested me to go for a PhD rather than MFE since "you don't know if you'll even like being a quant." While I find this advice very useful, I would like to get more opinions on this.

While I feel a PhD might attach more credibility onto my back, it takes quite a few years and may be expensive unless I get some wonderful fellowship. An MFE is comparatively easier to get in (?), and may take only 1-2 years.

Also, can I do a PhD after an MFE if I so desire?

Please help me out!
 
Well, first of all, to get into PhD programs in the US you don't need a graduate degree. So I think that's okay. But to answer your question, your dual degree will be viewed as a graduate degree.

What PhD programs are you looking at?
There are a couple of old threads on here regarding the prospects of a PhD after an MFE. I can't add anything useful to the discussion myself, but others might be able to help you out.
1) MFE after PhD, PhD after MFE, and related questions
2) DO MFE Graduates apply to PhD?
3) Which is the best MFE programme that might lead on to a PhD in Finance? - Slightly unrelated but could give you some useful insights.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
A PhD is a kind of degree you do because you _really_ want to do it. If that spark is missing then life is more difficult.


Getting the right answers is not the same as asking the right questions.
They are separate skillsets.
 
Last edited:
I would listen to @Daniel Duffy here. For yourself and anyone else - I’d take it a step further and say; if you’re even questioning whether you want to get a PhD or not, I wouldn’t do it. Dropping out halfway through a PhD is one of the worst situations to be in. If you’re on the fence about a PhD, and you like your STEM area, just do an MS in it. You can always do your PhD afterwards, or you can go into industry and still be very employable.

For you specifically, since you will be accredited as a MS in math just do your MFE. Depending on the classes you took, you will probably only need to do a year. Also, have you looked at how competitive you are in your market? If you’ve had a solid internship, can you get a job without any further education?
 
Top