Without any STEM major..

Margot P

New Member
Hi all, I'm a french law student who is trying to break into finance. I need some.. general advice.

First of all, thank you so much for all of you who are contributing to this wonderful community. It has been so helpful.

So my situation : I passed the french bar last year and during my internship at a law firm I had a chance to work with people in Fintech and I became extremely interested in quantitative finance.

After some research I realized that I have no back ground in math which is a huge draw back that brings almost 0 chance of getting into MFE programs in the US.

What if I take online math courses? would I even stand a chance after that? I read several threads about online math courses such as Netmath and UCB online courses. I also checked the Berkeley prerequisite list where the institutions providing online math courses (PDE Stats Calculus 1 2 3..) were listed and I thought maybe it's doable? I personally sent the emails to schools and they told me that they will accept my grade if it is from accredited institution. But im still wondering if those online courses can be taken seriously .. (though Netmath was listed on the Berkeley website)

I'm willing to take all of the math courses listed on the list that I mentioned above including online C++ prgramming certificate from Quantnet. Also I passed CFA level 1 and considering taking level 2 next June.

I'm considering applying for 2021 admission.

Thank you so much in advance
 

nerdcore

New Member
What if I take online math courses? would I even stand a chance after that? I read several threads about online math courses such as Netmath and UCB online courses. I also checked the Berkeley prerequisite list where the institutions providing online math courses (PDE Stats Calculus 1 2 3..) were listed and I thought maybe it's doable? I personally sent the emails to schools and they told me that they will accept my grade if it is from accredited institution. But im still wondering if those online courses can be taken seriously .. (though Netmath was listed on the Berkeley website)
There are tons of online resources, books and youtube channels that cater to people with various mathematical backgrounds. That's the good part. Be forewarned! What you're about to do is a huge undertaking. Mathematical intuition is not an overnight process. It takes a tremendous amount of time, drive and dedication towards the subject. You also need to have some proclivity and liking towards the subject matter. Having said that, it is better to try and fail rather than not trying at all. Good luck with your endeavours.
 

nerdcore

New Member
Some of my favourite resources (books, online resources and youtube channels). Let me start with youtube channels.

1 Khan academy: Has all the mathematics from basic arithmetic to ordinary differential equations. The website also provides tons of practice problems. If you need additional practice then you can always supplement his lectures with Schaum's outline books.

Other noteworthy mentions: Professor Leonard, Patrick JMT, 3blue1brown.

Pauls Online Notes is an excellent resource for mathematics all the way up to Differential Equations.

Books: I am assuming that you have a good grasp on the fundamentals of mathematics all the way up to precalculus. If not, then I would strongly urge you to review your basics before venturing in Calculus.

Here is a list of my favourite books

Basic Mathematics - Serge Lang. A rigorous review of your math fundamentals before moving towards calculus.

Single Variable Calculus -
Calculus; an intuitive and physical approach - Morris Kline,
A first course in calculus - Serge Lang.

Multivariate calculus-
Calculus of many variables - Serge Lang.

Ordinary differential equations-
Ordinary differential equations- Tenebaum & Pollard
Differential equations- Shepley Ross. (Takes a more rigorous approach towards ODE's)

Probability
Probability theory - Rozanov
Introduction to probability models - Ross

Statistics
Principles of statistics - Bulmer
An introduction to statistical learning - Witten

Linear Algebra
Elementary linear algebra - Hefferon or Matthews or Strang (Can be found online for free)
Intermediate linear algebra - Linear algebra done right by Sheldon Axler. (Need to be acquainted with elementary linear algebra and proofs)

Discrete Mathematics. May not be directly useful in quantitative finance. However, it is tremendously helpful with algorithmic thinking.
Discrete Mathematics- Oscar Levin (Can be found online for free)
Discrete and combinatorial mathematics - Grimaldi (A bit more rigorous and comprehensive, my personal favourite)
Concrete mathematics: Knuth.


Mathematical reasoning and logic.
Introduction to mathematical logic - Suppes ( A fairly easy and comprehensible book. Assumes no math background)
A book of proof- Hammack (Free online)
How to prove it- Velleman (One of the very best books that can be used before transitioning towards advanced mathematics)

Real Analysis
Understanding analysis - Abbott
How to think about analysis - Lara Alcock. Can be used as a supplementary aid.
 
Last edited:
Top