• C++ Programming for Financial Engineering
    Highly recommended by thousands of MFE students. Covers essential C++ topics with applications to financial engineering. Learn more Join!
    Python for Finance with Intro to Data Science
    Gain practical understanding of Python to read, understand, and write professional Python code for your first day on the job. Learn more Join!
    An Intuition-Based Options Primer for FE
    Ideal for entry level positions interviews and graduate studies, specializing in options trading arbitrage and options valuation models. Learn more Join!

COMPARE UCLA MFE (with scholarship) vs UCB MFE

UCLA MFE (with scholarship) vs UCB MFE


  • Total voters
    42
Hello,

I would like to ask for your advice. I have been accepted to UCLA MFE program with a tuition scholarship. On the other hand I have also been accepted to the UCB MFE program but with no tuition help.

I have around 5 years of experience in the finance industry in a South American country. My main concern is being able to land a good job either in the US or Europe.

My first choice was UCB for several reasons:
- It has a higher ranking (especially here, where UCB #7 vs UCLA #16)
- The average salary is better for UCB vs UCLA, but I'm not sure if it has to do with the average experience of their students.
- The application process for UCB has been very tough which makes me believe better-prepared students join the program. This is double-edged as sometimes I have interpreted the admissions team responses as borderline rude, so I'm not sure how supportive they'll be in order to land the best job.

On the other hand, UCLA seems to be a good and similar program, but I am worried:
- Some places will not consider my resume based on reputation only.
- Average salary seems to be lower.
- Some older posts didn't recommend UCLA ( ex: COMPARE - UCB MFE vs. UCLA MFE ) don't know if the situation could have changed in recent years.

There is of course the scholarship matter, but taking into account the average salaries (124k vs 103k) the tuition difference would be offset in around a year.

Would you please help me with an opinion on this?
 
I have some votes for UCB as of now, but any insights on the reasoning behind it (is UCLA clearly worse?) would be greatly appreciated!
 
I think it depends on how much the scholarship is? But I would go for Berkeley, the career placement is better and 20k up to 40k will be recovered in one year or so when you have a higher salary. But it also depends if you get the job you want in the US or Europe. If you don´t mind, could you tell us a little bit about your GRE results and when you got interviewed by Berkeley. I am also waiting for Berkeley´s decision but I dont know if they are already over with interviews because the deadline its in about 2 weeks.
 
I don't want to share the exact amount for privacy, but as I mentioned, taking into account the average salaries, the scholarship difference would be paid in about a year.
I was interviewed around 2 weeks ago by Berkeley. My GRE quant score was around the 90 percentile and verbal around 95 percentile.
 
UCLA is a good program also, I think after a couple of years It doesnt make a difference if you come form berkeley or ucla, both universities are respected. Your analysis is dependent on wether you get a job in the us, but if you dont and return to south america, that scholarship will really make a difference. You should analyze those scenarios.
 
I've heard the career services at UCB are top-notch (this is just from my research and what I've read on forums, haven't spoken to anyone first-hand ), Linda is kind of a legend and personally puts in the effort to make sure everyone gets placed. I'm not sure how the curriculum rates against UCLA but I'm pretty sure it's at least the same level, most probably way better.
 
I've heard the career services at UCB are top-notch (this is just from my research and what I've read on forums, haven't spoken to anyone first-hand ), Linda is kind of a legend and personally puts in the effort to make sure everyone gets placed. I'm not sure how the curriculum rates against UCLA but I'm pretty sure it's at least the same level, most probably way better.
Heard the same thing--and not just from alum of the program. And from what I've seen with the checklist UCB MFE wants applicants to complete, it really shows they want you to be trained well. I think the best way is to just check LinkedIn and see where alum work. I voted for UCB only because I've heard so many good things about their program and there are alums at Citadel.
 
Heard the same thing--and not just from alum of the program. And from what I've seen with the checklist UCB MFE wants applicants to complete, it really shows they want you to be trained well. I think the best way is to just check LinkedIn and see where alum work. I voted for UCB only because I've heard so many good things about their program and there are alums at Citadel.
Thank you for your input, really good suggestion!
 
Thank you for your input, really good suggestion!
Alternatively, you could just search up places on LinkedIn that you would really like to work at--I mentioned Citadel before because literally every person from the top MFE programs wants to go there or elsewhere that's good (Jane Street, AQR, Two Sigma, etc)--and see if there are UCB MFE alum there. I think this may be faster unless you also want to connect with (the entire) UCB MFE alum base (which isn't a bad idea actually lol) 😛
 
Top