UChicago vs Cornell vs NYU

Which one to choose?

  • Cornell MFE

    Votes: 19 39.6%
  • Chicago MSMF

    Votes: 10 20.8%
  • NYU FinMath

    Votes: 19 39.6%

  • Total voters
    48
  • Poll closed .

JinYu

Member
C++ Student
Hey guys! I've been admitted to these three programs. And I'm facing a tough choice. I might not work in the quantitative finance field in the long term, which is why I want to consider the brand of the university. And I am not a fan for competition. That's why I think Chicago might also be a good choice.
I'm really looking forward to your opinion. Have a vote and maybe explain your reason.
Thanks a lot!
 

JinYu

Member
C++ Student
Thank you so much for voting! Maybe you can leave a few words to indicate your reasons?
 
I voted for NYU because it's one of the top programs in the field (consistently among the top few in quantnet rankings if I recall correctly, alongside Princeton, Baruch, Columbia, CMU, Berkeley).

In terms of brand name, I don't think any of the three options you mentioned are much stronger than the others, but correct me if I'm wrong (might be different in your country). From what I've seen, Chicago is famous for its business school (Booth), and the MSMF program is not under the business school. Cornell is an Ivy League, but it's not what most people would consider one of the top among them (e.g. Harvard/Princeton). Admittedly I might be a bit biased because I came from math background, so NYU Courant is a very strong brand in my opinion. Ultimately I don't think going to any of the three universities you listed would harm your future career due to lack of brand recognition, but I'm also interested in others' opinions.
 

JinYu

Member
C++ Student
I voted for NYU because it's one of the top programs in the field (consistently among the top few in quantnet rankings if I recall correctly, alongside Princeton, Baruch, Columbia, CMU, Berkeley).

In terms of brand name, I don't think any of the three options you mentioned are much stronger than the others, but correct me if I'm wrong (might be different in your country). From what I've seen, Chicago is famous for its business school (Booth), and the MSMF program is not under the business school. Cornell is an Ivy League, but it's not what most people would consider one of the top among them (e.g. Harvard/Princeton). Admittedly I might be a bit biased because I came from math background, so NYU Courant is a very strong brand in my opinion. Ultimately I don't think going to any of the three universities you listed would harm your future career due to lack of brand recognition, but I'm also interested in others' opinions.
Thanks for your opinion! I'm from China and I feel that maybe NYU's brand is a little less strong than the other two. But I totally agree, NYU Courant is a very strong brand. Also I came from a finance background, maybe FinMath's courses could be hard for me.
 

MariosMGE

New Member
I would go for NYU Fin Math out of those 3. I also got admits from UCLA MFE and Columbia Mathematics of Finance.Which one of these would you guys choose ?
 

JinYu

Member
C++ Student
Thank you guys so much for voting! I will make my decision carefully. I think I will be choosing from Cornell and NYU.
 

ICimprov

New Member
Hi JinYu, if you decide not to go UChicago MSFM, can you refer me to this program? Thank you.
 

JinYu

Member
C++ Student
Hi JinYu, if you decide not to go UChicago MSFM, can you refer me to this program? Thank you.
I'm not sure if UChicago accept reference. But I could try if you like. You can send me more details in PM
 

ActuaryQFI

New Member
Hi Jinyu,

I am making a similar decision. I am accepted to Columbia's MFE, Chicago's MSFM and Imperial's program, but I am leaning towards the Chicago program for the following reasons:
1. The curriculum is more comprehensive (which I think can help lay a stronger foundation). I currently work as a senior quantitative analyst, and I really appreciate Chicago's newly revamped curriculum with a heavy emphasis on both theory and programming. They also have some really niche courses like market microstructure that can hardly be found elsewhere.
2. The possibility to take courses from the Chicago's top economics, statistics departments or even from Chicago Booth. You can confirm this with Meredith as you will need permission from Dr. Roger Lee.
3. The project labs can give you an opportunity to casually collaborate with a wide range of industry partners and expand your network.
4. The perceived support I got from their career team and people like Meredith is great. Their people seem to be more approachable than the other programs which I have spoken with.
5. Cheaper housing and potentially lower tuition (if you received some form of a tuition waiver).
6. Chicago has a great reputation among academics. If you plan to apply to a PhD program at some point later, the rosy relationship it has with the academia can potentially help.
7. Comparably easier to practice social distancing than NYC. Lol

I know that this may sound a little bit biased because I was awarded a generous scholarship from UChicago. But I am fully confident that the program will improve significantly over the years.
 

JinYu

Member
C++ Student
Hi Jinyu,

I am making a similar decision. I am accepted to Columbia's MFE, Chicago's MSFM and Imperial's program, but I am leaning towards the Chicago program for the following reasons:
1. The curriculum is more comprehensive (which I think can help lay a stronger foundation). I currently work as a senior quantitative analyst, and I really appreciate Chicago's newly revamped curriculum with a heavy emphasis on both theory and programming. They also have some really niche courses like market microstructure that can hardly be found elsewhere.
2. The possibility to take courses from the Chicago's top economics, statistics departments or even from Chicago Booth. You can confirm this with Meredith as you will need permission from Dr. Roger Lee.
3. The project labs can give you an opportunity to casually collaborate with a wide range of industry partners and expand your network.
4. The perceived support I got from their career team and people like Meredith is great. Their people seem to be more approachable than the other programs which I have spoken with.
5. Cheaper housing and potentially lower tuition (if you received some form of a tuition waiver).
6. Chicago has a great reputation among academics. If you plan to apply to a PhD program at some point later, the rosy relationship it has with the academia can potentially help.
7. Comparably easier to practice social distancing than NYC. Lol

I know that this may sound a little bit biased because I was awarded a generous scholarship from UChicago. But I am fully confident that the program will improve significantly over the years.
Hi, thanks for your response. But from what I've heard, Chicago's MSFM's curriculum is a little less practical. And I think Chicago's opportunity may be less than New York? As for project labs, I think all of these three programs provide project labs. But I am curious. You are already a senior quantitative analyst, why would you choose to apply for a graduate program? I am graduating this year so I don't have much work experience.
 

ActuaryQFI

New Member
Hi, thanks for your response. But from what I've heard, Chicago's MSFM's curriculum is a little less practical. And I think Chicago's opportunity may be less than New York? As for project labs, I think all of these three programs provide project labs. But I am curious. You are already a senior quantitative analyst, why would you choose to apply for a graduate program? I am graduating this year so I don't have much work experience.
Hi Jinyu,

Although I'm already working in quantitative finance, most of my knowledge has been limited to areas such as derivative pricing. I'm very passionate about financial engineering, so I would really like to take this opportunity to broaden my appreciation for other areas within quantitative finance (e.g. algorithmatic trading, credit risk modeling) while I am still young. For this reason, my top choices have always been Columbia (because of its track system) and UChicago (because of their curriculum and niche electives). I would also like to gain some research experience in economics/finance, so naturally it makes sense for me to be in an academic environment where I can collaborate with great researchers, professors and industry partners.

As for the Chicago vs New York question, it's ultimately an issue between supply and demand. Although there clearly are more job opportunities in New York, there are also more job applicants with strong financial engineering credentials from across the globe applying for those positions. Although arguably Chicago is not as important as New York or London as a financial centre, it plays a central role in derivative trading and has a high concentration of hedge funds and proprietary trading firms. If you are interested in working in such areas, I would say that Chicago is also a great place to consider. Also, I wanted to point out that the programs based in NYC (e.g. Columbia/NYU) or those that have strong connections to Wall Street (e.g. Berkeley) may have a higher average starting salary due to cost of living adjustments. So when making a decision about your postgraduate employment location, it's also important to factor in the costs associated with living in that city.

All the 3 programs you listed, in my opinion, are excellent choices for a fresh graduate. There are many reasons that prompted me to choose UChicago's MSFM over the other programs, but they may not apply to your case. At the end of the day, it's your decision and you should choose whichever that makes you happier.

Anyway, congratulations and It's been pleasure discussing with you. If you'd like, we can connect on LinkedIn.
 

JinYu

Member
C++ Student
Hi Jinyu,

Although I'm already working in quantitative finance, most of my knowledge has been limited to areas such as derivative pricing. I'm very passionate about financial engineering, so I would really like to take this opportunity to broaden my appreciation for other areas within quantitative finance (e.g. algorithmatic trading, credit risk modeling) while I am still young. For this reason, my top choices have always been Columbia (because of its track system) and UChicago (because of their curriculum and niche electives). I would also like to gain some research experience in economics/finance, so naturally it makes sense for me to be in an academic environment where I can collaborate with great researchers, professors and industry partners.

As for the Chicago vs New York question, it's ultimately an issue between supply and demand. Although there clearly are more job opportunities in New York, there are also more job applicants with strong financial engineering credentials from across the globe applying for those positions. Although arguably Chicago is not as important as New York or London as a financial centre, it plays a central role in derivative trading and has a high concentration of hedge funds and proprietary trading firms. If you are interested in working in such areas, I would say that Chicago is also a great place to consider. Also, I wanted to point out that the programs based in NYC (e.g. Columbia/NYU) or those that have strong connections to Wall Street (e.g. Berkeley) may have a higher average starting salary due to cost of living adjustments. So when making a decision about your postgraduate employment location, it's also important to factor in the costs associated with living in that city.

All the 3 programs you listed, in my opinion, are excellent choices for a fresh graduate. There are many reasons that prompted me to choose UChicago's MSFM over the other programs, but they may not apply to your case. At the end of the day, it's your decision and you should choose whichever that makes you happier.

Anyway, congratulations and It's been pleasure discussing with you. If you'd like, we can connect on LinkedIn.
Thank you so much fro sharing. It's really impressive. I think you fully understand what you want to get from this graduate program and how to decide. I feel like I'm at a loss as a fresh graduate. I would love to connect with you on LinkedIn! How can I reach you?
 

ActuaryQFI

New Member
Thank you so much fro sharing. It's really impressive. I think you fully understand what you want to get from this graduate program and how to decide. I feel like I'm at a loss as a fresh graduate. I would love to connect with you on LinkedIn! How can I reach you?
I will send you a PM shortly
 
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