Stanford ICME vs Columbia MSFE

EchoLiu

New Member
Hi all. I've been reading posts on this forum for a long time, but this is my first time asking a question. I appreciate all your help and advice ;)

I got offers from Stanford and Columbia. By Stanford ICME I mean MS Mathematical & Computational Finance Track, and Columbia MSFE is MS in Financial Economics at Columbia Business School.

Besides the fact that both are prestigious programs, I list the pros and cons as follows:

Stanford ICME
pros:
1. top brand name
2. CA's weather and living environment
3. more focus on solid subjects like math and computer science
4. small class (15 people)
5. most professors are super-stars in finance
6. potential to continue with a PhD

cons:
1. away from NY

Columbia MSFE:
pros:
1. even smaller class (12 people)
2. extremely supportive faculty and placement
3. great location and alumni network

cons:
1. not that quantitative-orientated (more finance and MBA courses)
2. NY is coooooold....

A little about myself: I'm an undergrad graduating with dual degrees in math and finance. I want to go to industry, and prefer to having a solid training in math and computer science. Quant may be a good starting point, but I wish finally end up working in hedge funds/PE.
As personal experience, I feel that math and computer science is more critical than pure finance or economics. However, the courses offered in Columbia are more finance-focused, which I personally feel less challenging than math (just think about how beautiful is functional analysis or harmonic analysis!)

Sadly, by far I really don't know much about the industry(no intern experience in US) besides what I read in news and classes... ;(

Thanks for your reply.
 

Dataminer

Member
Don't you have to take PhD level Econ courses in MSFE? Those are quite mathy. Also NY ain't that cold, it just gets really annoying when it snows because of their shitty snow plowing.
 

IntoDarkness

Active Member
academic super star...

well i remember bears once hired patrick hagan for developing sabr but mr hagan just too academic and many of his implementation suggestions simply didnt fit the market and infrastructure his personality had some problem as well and soon became annoying they eventually get rif of him...
 

Eric Liu

New Member
Hey, I just realized there are two MSFE programs at Columbia. I think most quants are from the other MSFE (Financial Engineering) program.

Career wise, going to hedge funds and PE/VC firms are two rather distinct paths. If you feel more affinity to the latter, it might make more sense to hang around in Bay Area.
 

fe app

Member
I don't know anything about Stanford. Having gotten into the fu engineering msfe myself and having been asked the q of which one I'll tell u that from the responses if u wanna be a quant I wouldn't go to any other ones at columbia. Everyone has said go elsewhere versus the other programs. That's for me and the other option was cmu but u gotta see what the deal with Stanford is
 

IrisEpode

New Member
C++ Student
I don't know anything about Stanford. Having gotten into the fu engineering msfe myself and having been asked the q of which one I'll tell u that from the responses if u wanna be a quant I wouldn't go to any other ones at columbia. Everyone has said go elsewhere versus the other programs. That's for me and the other option was cmu but u gotta see what the deal with Stanford is
So you are saying Columbia is bad if I'm understanding right?
 
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