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Would you attend Baruch MFE or Columbia MFE?

If you have been accepted to both, Baruch's MFE and Columbia's FE programs which one would you attend?:

-- Is Columbia's name attractive enough to outweigh the extra tuition costs?
-- Is Baruch's education better quality or worse than Columbia's?

It would be nice to hear from both sides ...
I have to say...Baruch has a bunch of really nice people in it. I met them.

However: Columbia's program is truly legitimate. After all, it was created by one of the firsts himself, Emanuel Derman.

Hate to bash Baruch, but Columbia's program is one born of Derman's own experiences of 20 years at Goldman as a quant. I simply think that seals the deal. Any other program though, and I probably would have said Baruch.
hey there,

i might take a beating for my views, but what the hell im not scared of (baruch) quant students

you'll see a lot of arguments here about the cost benefit of baruch due to its low tuition compared to others. that seems to be its main differentiating factor

first of all, baruch's mfe is a strong program, possible tier one although i think of it as a high tier 2. doesnt matter, most rankings are bush and subjective, so let's just say it's a strong program.

that being said, if i had admits to both i would choose columbia in a heartbeat. if money is an issue, go with baruch. however, i dont see how money should be an issue unless you cant get a loan. most people graduate from these programs and get great jobs that make the loan simple to pay off. maybe the situation is different for people leaving jobs to do an MFE, but i dont see why somebody right out of undergrad who is getting a loan needs to worry too much about the tuition in the long run. you will hear different, though.

program strength, reputation, alumni network are all extremely important things for this type of degree.

there is a problem that columbia does not post placement info. baruch does, and has very good statistics. i have a hard time believing columbia does not place students just as well, if not better. some take columbia's missing placement info as an indication that placements are weak. this could be possible. i dont think so. there are many posts on a few forums from guys in the industry who note what mfe programs are most targeted and respected by wall street firms. the recent addition of an internship option will help those without experience get some, making it easier to get jobs upon graduation. also keep in mind that there are questions about the placement quality of baruch grads, some i have spoken to from previous cohorts have even alluded to this.

in short, columbia trumps baruch in everything except tuition cost. IMO

quantnet sent me a happy brithday email this morning. i love this site

baruchers, start your engines



Baruch MFE Director
If you are admitted to both programs, you will be able to learn first hand more things about each program. That could be the most helpful way in terms of how to make an informed decision as to which program to join.
Just to clarify:

I have not been accepted to both these programs yet. I am merely asking hypothetically, as I am going to be applying to both (of course I plan on being accepted to both as well :D). It will be helpful to know which program I "prefer" when applying.
There are some other things to consider.

Columbia is a full time only program as far as I know. Therefore, if you are working professional you cannot attend part time. And if you are not, you will not get a chance to have working professionals in your class. Meeting those people can be helpful in the future.

Class size in Columbia is much larger than in Baruch. A year ago I heard that they admitted about 80 people. In general this is not a good thing.

As an advice: apply to both; once you get your admits - visit schools, talk to students and faculty then make your educated decision. I know people who were admitted to Columbia but rejected at Baruch and vice-versa. You will see how it plays out in your case.

Good luck!
avirp, I'm a working professional having 8 yrs of c++ exp., working in front-office in IB; after meeting with Baruch students and professor, I decided to go for Baruch in Fall 2010 If I get a chance. I don't find any word to explain why after taking their demo class. Good luck !
There are many arguments for each of them.
Best advices were given by Dan and Max. Apply to both, go to demmo sessions, talk to students. After that, set a personal preference ranking and wait for the offers.

In the end it is a personal decision, no matter what others say. On this forum, you will find students that chose B over C or C over B. The programs are pretty different, starting with curriculum and format.

doug reich

Some guy
Stevens, have you attended either program? I am finishing up at Baruch. I have spoken to people at Columbia and NYU and from what I can tell, the job prospects in a down market such as this one (which seems to thankfully be abating somewhat) are the same at all three places. In boom times, name schools may have the ear of more employers, but Baruch does quite well for itself nonetheless.

It's important to go in somewhere with a specific goal in mind. A goal beyond "I want to make lots of money and work on Wall Street."