Which is the best MFE programme that might lead on to a PhD in Finance?

There is an old thread relevant to this topic that has some valuable insights, MFE after PhD, PhD after MFE, and related questions

Note that I'm not talking about one in lieu of the other, but specifically a PhD in Finance after a MFE.

First off, let's address the elephant in the room. Why would one do an MFE if the eventual goal is to do a PhD? It makes little economic sense for sure and I'm expecting some strong views to this effect :) The following are my reasons,

a) As an international student, the MFE is one major foot in the door if you want to do a PhD in a top school in the US. That said, it is one helluva expensive foot.
b) As somebody who's worked with BB banks in different roles (as a quant for 1+ years, overall 4+) it is just so much easier for me to get into a MFE than into a PhD programme directly.
c) As a working professional for quite long I have a significant amount of savings, but no research work-experience. This pushes me naturally towards a MFE.
d) I want to work in research and academia in the long run probably and hence a PhD is a necessity pretty much.
e) An opportunity to get good grades in the MFE which again improves my chances at getting a top PhD.
f) The ability to f2f interact with faculty and look for potential research opportunities/topics. Some MFE coursework is research oriented too and have some of the biggest names in their fields as faculty. The opportunity to interact with them is invaluable imo.
g) Future positions in academia have some correlation with where you went to school for your doctorate.

Some arguments against,
a) If you plan to be a working professional all throughout your life, then the value of a PhD after a top MFE is questionable.
b) Might be better to do a research based job at say a think-tank etc if the PhD is an eventual goal. Unfortunately for me, it might be a little too late.
c) Good research need not necessarily be from say a top 5 school. Most good schools in the US have decent funding and opportunities and it ultimately boils down to you and your advisor.

Okay so going by the above the most important criteria for a good MFE leading on to a PhD becomes,

a) The presence of world-class and outstanding full-time faculty with whom you can network. Part-time industry practitioners as faculty might not be as good.
b) Coursework geared towards research (if possible)
c) Decent enough so that you can get a job if you wish to (to help your MFE loan)
d) Must be offered by a B-School preferably (seeing as this will facilitate interaction with faculty which is the goal anyway)

Going by the above here's my list of colleges (in no particular order),
a) UC Berkeley
b) Princeton
c) CMU
d) MIT

What do you guys think? I'm essentially asking three questions to the group here,

a) Is a PhD in Fin after a MFE really valuable like I think? Or am I under an elaborate delusion?
b) Which MFE programmes do you think are good if one does want to do a PhD later?
c) How about MFE programmes like say Columbia for this particular choice of career path?
Not really...Peter carr did his phd in financial math with an accounting masters. If you want to stay in academia...it’s a great option. But it’s kinda weird as some jobs require phd. I guess those are for people who decide academia is boring and then make the switch to full time jobs. But honestly...the reasons u want to do a PhD is completely wrong especially If you want to do a phd just to work...perhaps someone can chime in
a) No. The MFE is supposed to be a terminal degree.
b) Probably none of them. Maybe NYU or Columbia MathFin, or Princeton, MIT? They are not designed for doing a PhD afterward.
c) See above. Columbia and NYU are technically Masters in Mathematics, so they'd be closer academically to a PhD.

I will repeat this sentence I have posted so many times: do NOT do a PhD just to get a job. You will regret it!
And also if your goal is to do a PhD, just do a masters in mathematics. Don't waste your hard earned money on the MFE. do a Msc in mathematics which requires a thesis dissertation, or a large research component of some sort. Identify a university with a professor you'd like to work with. if a PhD is truly what you are after, and you feel like you do not have yet the experience for it, DO NOT WASTE YOUR EFFORTS ON THE MFE, there was a dude on this forum who graduated from UCLA MFE, applied for admission to a PhD in Finance and still got rejected. It's an expensive mistake.


To do PhD in Finance, the best preparation is to do Masters in Financial Economics at Columbia or to do 2-year PhD preparation program (like an internship) at Stanford Business School.
The only MFE grads I have seen in Finance PhD programs were from Chicago and Princeton. They were doing PhD at Berkeley and Stanford.
There are probably more at the lower ranked Finance PhD programs, but I think Chicago and Princeton can easily place you into a top-ranked Finance PhD program.
A lot of the Finance PhD applicants and admits already have a PhD in Math / Stats / Physics from top-ranked schools. Don't know why they do a second PhD, but it is what it is.