# Should I take ODE or calculus-based probability?

#### Lune

Hello,
I am a finance graduate who is trying to pursue a master degree in financial engineering.
During my bachelor degree, I have taken 2 business calculus, 2 stats, 1 econometrics and 1 financial math course. Currently, I am taking linear algebra through Netmath and I plan to take one more course from Netmath as well. However, I can only take another one course before the application opens. So, could you please help me choose between ODE and calculus-based probability? Which one would benefit the application more? Btw, I plan to apply to universities in the US.

#### Qui-Gon

Go for probability. ODEs is certainly important, but calc-based probability is essential. Mention in your personal statements you’re actively learning new mathematics to further prepare, such as ODEs. You know calculus and soon you’ll know linear algebra — buy/find an ODEs book such as the one by Boyce & DiPrima and work through it on your own. Focus on chapters 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7.

#### Lune

Go for probability. ODEs is certainly important, but calc-based probability is essential. Mention in your personal statements you’re actively learning new mathematics to further prepare, such as ODEs. You know calculus and soon you’ll know linear algebra — buy/find an ODEs book such as the one by Boyce & DiPrima and work through it on your own. Focus on chapters 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7.
Thank you very much. That is really helpful. May I ask you why probability has more priority? At first I thought someone would say ODE because it seems to be more difficult.

#### Qui-Gon

I would say at the undergraduate level, by and large, they are equally difficult courses. Probability has more priority because it is more present throughout mfe coursework than ODEs is. Anytime you see stochastic ______ — fill in the blank with whatever you want — you’re using probability. ODEs is certainly important, but I think admissions would care less if you’re missing this on your transcripts as opposed to probability.

#### Daniel Duffy

##### C++ author, trainer
Some universities require ODE/PDE

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