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UCLA Financial Engineering program

Review of UCLA Financial Engineering program

I am a current student in the MFE class of 2010. We are almost 1/3 of the way through the curriculum. The experience has been amazing so far.

1) For my class, we had the option of taking the math/stats/probability prep class. The prep course was amazing. It was taught by a professor who has PhD in applied math and has industry experience. I have seen other prep courses that are offered in other top quant programs. The UCLA prep course is one of the most comprehensive ones. It is priced cheaper than some of the other prep courses.

2) The curriculum is relativley inflexible because we have to cover so much ground and we only have one year.
Empirical Methods (time series analysis) and StochCalc classes are absolutely amazing. Our StochCalc prof. runs the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics at UCLA.
Our investment course is taught by Prof. Schwartz, who is ex-president of American Finance Association, which publishes Journal of Finance. Based on feedback from MFE board members and last year's class, UCLA MFE is introducing a special topics/elective course in the last quarter of program.

3) Group assignments are not random. The MFE office spent considerable amount of time figuring out the assignments of the groups. Majority of the groups have one PhD and at least one Master.

After 8 weeks, the program has been amazing. My classmates are amazingly smart and have extensive background with hedge funds, ibanks, prop desks etc. Many turned down offers from other top quant programs to attend UCLA MFE. The finance faculty here is truly one of the best in the world. Anderson's industry connection is extremely strong.

For those who are planning to attend this program next year, study stoch calc and financial time series now. Take the math prep course and C++ courses.

Live in Weyburn Grad Housing.
sounds more like a personal attack from a disgruntled student than a real review to me....I don't really think this is the right forum for that, quant net should try to remain a professional space aimed at gathering real reviews
I have been accepted to the 2014 class at UCLA. However, I have been reading such a bad reviews on this forum, that I am starting to doubt. Why do you think guys that companies like Goldman, BlackRock or JP Morgan do not recruit at UCLA MFE?
Please remain professional about leaving comments. Whether you can get a job has nothing to do with the quality of the program.
Can anyone lend some information about the quality of UCLA's program at this time?

I am currently a student graduating in December 2018. The program recently got expanded to 15 months, I am just one quarter in the program. I am going to give you all of the honest reviews, what I like and what I don't like - trust me there's no lying on Christmas.

Things I like:

1. The education quality is absolutely great. I probably learned more material than my entire 4 years of undergrad. Professors love their subjects, treating every moment of teaching you with great enthusiasm. Class are competitive - you really have to work hard to get an A if that's your standard.

2. The career office, they are trying hard to help you. Yes, I am still looking for an internship, but I don't think spoonfeeding you an internship position is part of the responsibilities of any program. When you see those negative reviews about the career offices, they are probably dreaming of landing an internship without going through interviews- Nah too unrealistic. We have interview workshops regularly, networking events, open houses regularly. Rest is on you.

3. A lot of support - I can talk to program executive director anytime I want. She will work around her schedule to meet me one-on-one. The career advising associate director lent me her office for my phone interview once. Tell me how many programs do that!

Things I don't like that much:

1. Not that much flexibility in course selection. More electives would be great. I really enjoy data analytics, I really hope I can take more machine learning courses. But anyway, I am learning it online by myself, it is all good.

2. Possibly locations, maybe we are at a little disadvantage of locations compare to programs in New York, but it's not a killer. We just have to have a little more phone interviews than those people in New York.

3. We could have the program start a bit earlier. Big banks/tech companies recruit early in September, but our program starts in late September. I have to walk into Morgan Stanley test without learning stochastic calculus - not a fun experience.

Ok, what I am trying to say is, this program way exceeded what I was hoping for. I did not have a great experience during undergrad, this program is all I could hope for. Now it's up to me to make the most out of it.