COMPARE Princeton Mfin vs CMU MSCF

Which one would you pick?

  • Princeton Mfin

    Votes: 33 76.7%
  • CMU MSCF

    Votes: 10 23.3%

  • Total voters
    43
I was fortunate enough to receive offers from both programs but have slight confusion on which one to take. I was to enter into quant research / trading at a prop trading firm (JS, TwoSigma) or a hedge fund. Any thoughts are welcome. The CMU program I was offered is In Pittsburgh.
 
Given how hard is to get one of this positions I think it is fair to say it will depend more on you than a specific school, given that both are great. I would look at their track record. From what I remember CMU has place ~3 people in Two Sigma over the last 3-4 years. What is the focus of Princeton? I know CMU is computational heavy but if Princeton focuses on something different then I guess it will not be a fair comparison.
 
Both programs are phenomenal—that said, I’m of the opinion that the MFIN is on a different level relative to the MSCF. If you were admitted to Princeton, chances are you would be in the top 1% at CMU whereas at Princeton you would have many more students that your background and level of knowledge would be comparable to.

I would choose Princeton for the flexibility of the curriculum and also the cultural element of being with students that are on par with you.
 
Both programs are phenomenal—that said, I’m of the opinion that the MFIN is on a different level relative to the MSCF. If you were admitted to Princeton, chances are you would be in the top 1% at CMU whereas at Princeton you would have many more students that your background and level of knowledge would be comparable to.

I would choose Princeton for the flexibility of the curriculum and also the cultural element of being with students that are on par with you.
What would be your tier list? Baruch, Princeton… and then the rest?
 
Personally, I put Princeton and Baruch in tier 1, CMU and Berkeley in tier 2, then the rest. I’m biased, but I would also rank Columbia Financial Economics near these 4 though admittedly my program has their work cut out for them and I’m unsure the right people will ever come together to truly allow the program to be seen as on par with Princeton/Baruch.
 
Personally, I put Princeton and Baruch in tier 1, CMU and Berkeley in tier 2, then the rest. I’m biased, but I would also rank Columbia Financial Economics near these 4 though admittedly my program has their work cut out for them and I’m unsure the right people will ever come together to truly allow the program to be seen as on par with Princeton/Baruch.
A Financial Economics admit here and thinking about going - can you elaborate on why you think MSFE at CBS is on the same par with Princeton/Baruch? Is it career-wise or something else?
 
A Financial Economics admit here and thinking about going - can you elaborate on why you think MSFE at CBS is on the same par with Princeton/Baruch? Is it career-wise or something else?
I don't want to take over the thread in case OP wants any more feedback so allow me to be brief (my definition of brief is clearly not a good one).

I think I put the MSFE at CBS in the company of Princeton and Baruch for two reasons:

(1) Selectivity. While there are definitely some MSFE students that leave me a bit puzzled with how they were admitted, by and large, the students are top-notch. The MSFE's acceptance rate is consistently in the single digits, and the backgrounds of students I feel are very competitive in terms of their professional experience and academic backgrounds.

(2) Coursework. In my opinion, no other quant finance masters program can compete with us in terms of coursework. You have complete freedom in your second year. You can take PhD courses from outside CBS e.g. math, stats, EECS, IEOR, econ departments and you can take MSFE (IEOR) and MAFN courses -- Princeton and MIT come close in terms of how much you can tailor the degree, however, their required courses are not PhD level and thus I feel the MSFE edges them both out. You can also take MBA courses -- at first glance not incredibly useful for quants, but I think taking 2-3 really augments the other courses well (especially the pool of value investing courses). If you know what area of quantitative finance you want to work in, have a strong command of prerequisite coursework, and are comfortable taking the lead with your internship/job search process (best career support from the program is through professors, I personally had a professor get me an interview with a dream shop, however, aside from this, career services are poor) then, in my opinion, there is no other better program than the MSFE.

Feel free to PM me if you would like answers to more specific questions. Happy to hop on a call or Zoom to talk through things.
 
Personally, I put Princeton and Baruch in tier 1, CMU and Berkeley in tier 2, then the rest. I’m biased, but I would also rank Columbia Financial Economics near these 4 though admittedly my program has their work cut out for them and I’m unsure the right people will ever come together to truly allow the program to be seen as on par with Princeton/Baruch.
How does the Columbia MFE compare to the MSFE in terms of career outcomes and the help that’s given by the careers department?
 
How does the Columbia MFE compare to the MSFE in terms of career outcomes and the help that’s given by the careers department?
I don’t attend the MFE so I really cannot comment. Career outcomes seem solid from the sample of students I’ve observed on LinkedIn, but I have heard from some current students that the career services are not great—from what I’ve read and heard, the career services of the Columbia programs are nowhere close to CMU/Baruch/Princeton/Baruch.
 
I don’t attend the MFE so I really cannot comment. Career outcomes seem solid from the sample of students I’ve observed on LinkedIn, but I have heard from some current students that the career services are not great—from what I’ve read and heard, the career services of the Columbia programs are nowhere close to CMU/Baruch/Princeton/Baruch.
Ah okay
 
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