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CMU MSCF Straight A's in math required?

I'm working on my CMU application but have noticed one area of major weakness in my application.

Do top programs like CMU MSCF usually require straight A's in all the undergrad programs? My math marks are average but have a few years of C++ experience working on trading system in a trading firm. Planning to talk about using MSCF to transition to a more quantitative role in HFT related fields.

These are my math marks:
1st yr:
Calculus 1 - B+
Calculus 2 - B
Algebra - B+

2nd yr:
Advanced Engineering Math (mostly PDE) - C+ (oh no...)
Calculus 3 = A
Discrete Math = A

3rd yr:
Probability = A-

Overall: 3.5 in Engineering

Is the 'C+' gonna totally kill my chance? I think I can talk about how my calculus marks improved significantly, and would say I'm reviewing one of the FE prep books to brush up my PDE knowledge again. However not sure how that will help. Also I got 94% on my quant part on my GMAT, not sure if that will help at all.

Any comments would be appreciated!
 
I mean... I'm an undergrad, so take my opinion with a grain of salt...

But why should the top mathematical finance program take someone who got a C in a math course, when it could take an applicant with a perfect 4.0?
 
I mean... I'm an undergrad, so take my opinion with a grain of salt...

But why should the top mathematical finance program take someone who got a C in a math course, when it could take an applicant with a perfect 4.0?
I'm also still in undergrad but I completely disagree with you. 4.0 is useless.

Edit: Granted, a C probably isn't the best thing to have. But if you don't have a perfect 4.0, that's fine. A 3.8 vs a 4.0, no difference IMO. Shine outside of class.
 
I mean... I'm an undergrad, so take my opinion with a grain of salt...

But why should the top mathematical finance program take someone who got a C in a math course, when it could take an applicant with a perfect 4.0?

That's my thought. I asked CMU about it and they said people had GPA ranges from 3.0 and up. However I'm not sure whether or not if the guy with 3.0 GPA has A's in all his math class.
 
I'm also still in undergrad but I completely disagree with you. 4.0 is useless.

Edit: Granted, a C probably isn't the best thing to have. But if you don't have a perfect 4.0, that's fine. A 3.8 vs a 4.0, no difference IMO. Shine outside of class.
Absolutely; I don't mean to suggest you need a 4.0 in your math courses. But a C in such a math-oriented profession is not really acceptable either...

yippee I would still apply but make sure you have back-ups!
 
Thanks guys. I'm hoping that my work experience will compliment my not so good math grades. (the C+ was from 8yrs ago) I've been working on trading system for a trading firm for a few years. Even though it's mostly comp sci work but I hope they'll find it relevant.

Also, I spoke with someone who had a post reject conversation with them. They mostly care about calculus-based probability (which is obvious from looking at the essay question). If you don't do well in that you'll be rejected for sure.
 
So I did some research and found some interesting info here

http://www.global-derivatives.com/forum/index.php?topic=6418.60


I am sure they have a profile which will make our jaw drop.

You would be surprised. Mine certainly wouldn't. I mean, I had a 3.3 GPA and came right from undergrad.

CMU's biggest issue is finding students who can not only do the math, but can also sell themselves to Wall Street. Tepper isn't a target school for most banks, and the financial engineering programs are only known on very specific desks. Post credit-crunch, getting kids who can not only handle Stochastic Calculus but can also network and schmooze like an MBA has become very important.

Again, you just want to have the background to prove you can do the course work. The program gets hundreds of applications that all look the same -- perfect grades, perfect scores, and no personality. Your application should really highlight what makes you different and how you will be able to land a sweet job that makes Tepper look good when you graduate.
 
The material covered in the "Advanced Engineering Math (mostly PDE)" course is going to form a major part of your studies in any MFE program.

You might want to consider taking some refresher course, or enrolling NOW in a course at a local college on a non-matriculated/post baccalaureate basis, in order to ensure that you can indeed handle this material.

Once you get to Stochastic Calculus, things are going to get a LOT harder.

A program is not doing you any favors by admitting you and taking your tuition money if it turns out that you still struggle with this material.

It's better for you to be aware of and deal with this issue now, rather than at the point when you have entered the program.

Good luck.
 

roni

Cornell FE
What was your undergrad institution?
People don't understand that a B in a top program is not the same thing as a B in a low ranked program...
IMO, if you are in some somewhere around the top 5 US eng/math program, take your chances and apply.
 
myampol: I actually had a personal problem in that term. All my courses in that term were S#(t. however, I think it'll be pointless to explain that on the application.

roni: I went to a pretty good school in Canada (#1 or #2) It was tough because they limit # of A's given in each course.
 

roni

Cornell FE
myampol: I actually had a personal problem in that term. All my courses in that term were S#(t. however, I think it'll be pointless to explain that on the application.

roni: I went to a pretty good school in Canada (#1 or #2) It was tough because they limit # of A's given in each course.
I'd apply if I were you, then.
I don't think it's pointless to explain bad grades if your transcript shows better grades in other terms and you have a good reason.
 
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