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COMPARE NYU MSMF or Columbia MAFN

Hello everyone. I just received NYU MSMF unofficial admission. I have received offer from Columbia MAFN before as well and I want to choose between these two programs. Can anyone give some information about these two programs regarding the placement status? Since I am an international student I would also like to have some info about the reputation of NYU outside USA, like HK and China. Thanks for any helps.
 

volmacro

Active Member
I work full-time and am considering applying to the same 2 programs to study part-time. My impression is the following:

NYU Pros:
-great curriculum
-good experienced mix of professors and practitioners
-smaller program with better career support, but you still need to take your own initiative
-better location (at least for part-time, perhaps less so for full-time).

NYU Cons:
-weaker on computing, do any firms really still use Java?
-slightly weaker name recognition, brand, possible Tandon MFE dilution


Columbia Pros:
-Ivy League brand
-bigger alumni network (those hundreds of graduates from MFE, MSOR, MAFN actually mean there are many more people out there in industry).
-perhaps location for full-time. Think the central campus is nicer.
-option to finish in 1 year if you want

Columbia Cons:
-also weak on computing instruction
-curriculum less structured and cohesive
-little to no career support; you basically have to take initiative on this

If I had to choose for full-time and I don't have a reputable undergrad, I think I would end up choosing Columbia just to get an Ivy League degree. If I already have a decent undergrad, I would just go with NYU for the better program. Don't think either one publishes full placement stats. I think on average NYU would place a little better just because of size.
 
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AlphaBC

Member
Curious why people with full time jobs apply for these programs. Is it because people in your group have advanced degrees or hoping to get a better job out of it?
 

volmacro

Active Member
Curious why people with full time jobs apply for these programs. Is it because people in your group have advanced degrees or hoping to get a better job out of it?
I guess most would hope for a better job. I guess I am 50% in it for knowledge (I graduated from a target undergrad but don't have a lot of industry specific training, certainly not for highly quantitative work), 35% for advancement in current role by taking on more sophisticated projects, and 15% for potential job switches in the future and I would actually be able to talk math in interviews.
 
I work full-time and am considering applying to the same 2 programs to study part-time. My impression is the following:

NYU Pros:
-great curriculum
-good experienced mix of professors and practitioners
-smaller program with better career support, but you still need to take your own initiative
-better location (at least for part-time, perhaps less so for full-time).

NYU Cons:
-weaker on computing, do any firms really still use Java?
-slightly weaker name recognition, brand, possible Tandon MFE dilution


Columbia Pros:
-Ivy League brand
-bigger alumni network (those hundreds of graduates from MFE, MSOR, MAFN actually mean there are many more people out there in industry).
-perhaps location for full-time. Think the central campus is nicer.
-option to finish in 1 year if you want

Columbia Cons:
-also weak on computing instruction
-curriculum less structured and cohesive
-little to no career support; you basically have to take initiative on this

If I had to choose for full-time and I don't have a reputable undergrad, I think I would end up choosing Columbia just to get an Ivy League degree. If I already have a decent undergrad, I would just go with NYU for the better program. Don't think either one publishes full placement stats. I think on average NYU would place a little better just because of size.
Thank you. It is very helpful. I come from a good undergrad school in China with around 15 students get into top 10 MFE programs each year, but it is not top 5 universities in China I think.
 
This is absolutely nonsense. Courant is a well known institution in Math and top notch in Math Finance.

Even the often cited US News Ranking (if you don't want to look at QN) has it #1 in Applied Math for graduate programs:

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/applied-mathematics-rankings
I understand how reputable Courant is in US but I'm not sure its reputation is known outside US. My concern is that if I were not able to work in US after graduation NYU's brand name is not as good as Columbia outside US.
 
It sounds you are more concerned with the name brand than your education. I can't help you with that.
No I actually really love the courses in Courant. I think brand name is the only concern I have about this program. Other than that, Courant is dream program for me.
 

Zhusong Mei

Active Member
C++
Courant is definitely one of the top tier program in MFE. If you want to work in quant finance industry (e.g. desk quant, quant trading) in the future, Courant is no doubt your better choice. However, outside of the quant finance world, people would not appreciate the brand name of
Courant. Instead, Columbia is more famous in general.
 
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QKR

Member
The only columbia program id take over NYU is the MFE. The MAFN program is poorly organized and is widely known to be second to the MFE. Also, if you go to the NYU program, I'd say you have a very solid shot at getting a job in the US, given that you manage your visa stuff properly. Once you start working at a top tier firm, that work experience will be more recognized and valued globally.

Goldman sachs is a bigger brand than columbia tbh
 

alain

Older and Wiser
No I actually really love the courses in Courant. I think brand name is the only concern I have about this program. Other than that, Courant is dream program for me.
Again, if the brand name is so important, apply to Harvard in some easy to get program and you will sail through with a Harvard degree. You can't beat that!
 

pingu

Well-Known Member
Courant is definitely one of the top tier program in MFE. If you want to work in quant finance industry (e.g. desk quant, quant trading) in the future, Courant is no doubt your better choice. However, outside of the quant finance world, people would not appreciate the brand name is Courant. Instead, Columbia is more famous in general.
who gives a rat's ass what people think? do you want the best education or whatever the paper say?
Follow what @alain said, if brand name is your only concern, make a list of the most brand name universities out there from your point of view. Also, make a list of the easiest programs to get in those universities, apply to those and you will get your paper with your brand name school
 

Zhusong Mei

Active Member
C++
who gives a rat's ass what people think? do you want the best education or whatever the paper say?
Follow what @alain said, if brand name is your only concern, make a list of the most brand name universities out there from your point of view. Also, make a list of the easiest programs to get in those universities, apply to those and you will get your paper with your brand name school
Thank you for all the replies but I think maybe you are arguing with the wrong person. A good education is actually my only concern, which is why I didn't choose those brand name schools. All I did is to analyze the situation and leave the rest to the person who posted the question.
 
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volmacro

Active Member
Again, if the brand name is so important, apply to Harvard in some easy to get program and you will sail through with a Harvard degree. You can't beat that!
Don't understand why you and pingu take a reasonable consideration of name recognition to an unreasonable extreme. You find people who consider brand insufferable to a point that you just dismiss their concern and write it off? No doubt Courant is highly reputable but fact of the matter is that Courant is not known outside of the mathematical academia world and to anybody who hasn't done any research on this stuff, which is probably >99% of people. Not everyone who goes these programs is 100% into just learning math. Each program has its merits and each person has a unique profile. Most may want to be a quant but some also recognize situations change and may find other pursuits they're interested in. You almost place too much confidence on the programs. I have found that aside from highly specialized work, most people from any of these programs can do a majority of the work that the typical graduate is placing into, and learning accelerates on the job. Most programs are good enough. Top concern of everyone else on this thread seems to program quality, brand seems secondary. Only you and pingu seem to be getting out of your seats over brand. By your stretched logic, everybody should only apply to the top program as all other programs are of inferior quality and thus pointless and shouldn't exist.
 
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TehRaio

Well-Known Member
a bit of the first world problem here to be honest.
any HR department unaware of NYU brand name is a bad one.
You do not want to work for a company which doesnt know how great NYU business school, economics, math, and computer science departments are. It's simple.
 
a bit of the first world problem here to be honest.
any HR department unaware of NYU brand name is a bad one.
You do not want to work for a company which doesnt know how great NYU business school, economics, math, and computer science departments are. It's simple.
That's how I look at it now, and so I've decided to go to NYU. Thank you for the advice.
 

rnvpx

Member
a bit of the first world problem here to be honest.
any HR department unaware of NYU brand name is a bad one.
You do not want to work for a company which doesnt know how great NYU business school, economics, math, and computer science departments are. It's simple.
NYU Business School isn't so hot atm. It's ranked approximately #40 in the US
 

whoisGauss

New Member
NYU Business School isn't so hot atm. It's ranked approximately #40 in the US
Not sure what rankings you are looking at. Stern is consistently top 15 nationwide. The master in mathematical finance is housed in Courant though, which has one of the best applied mathematics departments. I agree with @TehRaio, I wouldn't want to work for a company that thinks NYU is mediocre.
 
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