• 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!

Recommended undergraduate preparation for MFE

I'm currently an undergraduate in UMich and want to pursue MFE degree after college. Now I have two options for choosing majors.1.Financial Math concentration+Economics concentration+CS minor;2.CS major+Financial math concentration.Which one is better preparaion for MFE?
Financial Math courses includes:
1.Linear algebra;
2.Probability theory;
3.Stochastic Process;
4.Numerical Analysis;
5.Differential Equations;
6.Derivative analysis;
Economic topics:
1.Intermediate Macro/Micro;
3.Game Theory;
4.Monetory and Financial Theory;
5.Financial Time series analysis;
6.International Finance;
The difference between CS major and minor is the depth. CS major introduces lots of foundation and theoretical stuff as well as programming skills, while CS minor just teach you how to program.
I know MFE do require a lot of programming and modeling. So the choice is between taking more economics course, or taking more CS courses(both of the two opions include Financial Math).Is economics more useful in MFE than CS?


Cornell FE
I think math and statistics are more important than programming. I mean, you can choose your minor in CS, take 3-4 CS courses and pick up from there. After all, the only way to improve your programming skills is to sit down and code, I guess you can do it on your own.
I would go with the first option but I would also squeeze in a course in math statistics or advanced calculus.
For any prospective applicant I would suggest: Take as many relevant/irrelevant mathematics courses as possible. ;)

Hi! I would definitely choose the first option with no hesitation since this program is purely quantitative compared with the second one which is pure economic side but it depends on your preference. For MFE I think that first option is further beneficial than the second one.
Option 1 sounds most beneficial for your purposes. For the economics courses listed, focus on 2,3, and 5. The CS minor should be sufficient and motivate you to pursue additional independent studies at your discretion. Enjoy the fun.
This brings up a recurring topic on these forums of what is the value of a MFE if you already have an undergrad degree in financial math/financial engineering? If memory serves me right, the general consensus is that a MFE doesn't add much value and that FM/FE undergrad degrees aren't very valuable.

Math and computer science are the best preparatory undergraduate degrees that prepare you for a MFE and a multitude of other careers or graduate degrees. You can't take enough math/cs classes.

So from your two listed choices, I would recommend #2 CS major and FM concentration.
An undergraduate Financial Math degree can be valuable if it is essentially a subset of a Mathematics curriculum containing courses which have a nexus to financial applicaitons. I would like to supplement the courses above with a year of Real Analysis and maybe some PDEs (time pending). If it's not a subset of a pure mathematics degree, but rather a distinct sequence of courses which mimic an MFE, but at a lower academic level, than I would be cautious.

I think the main point to the Financial Maths is that the curriculum will exlude topology, group theory, and some other more theoretical courses. It's essentially an engineering math background with financial applications.

I do agree with you though, and I would much prefer the traditional pure mathematics curriculum.