Top Master's Programs for Financial Engineering

Best U.S. Schools Offering Quantitative Finance Programs

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••• Carnegie Mellon University

As the role of the so-called quant has grown in importance within firms and the broader , a new academic specialty has developed in its wake. Degrees in financial engineering, mathematical finance, financial mathematics, quantitative finance, or computational finance, as this new discipline is variously known, are being awarded by an increasing number of universities. For the prospective quant, this presents an alternative to obtaining a Master in Business Administration (MBA) in addition to a degree in engineering, mathematics, physics, or other highly quantitative field.

The 2019 QuantNet Ranking

The Quant Network is based in New York City and focuses on financial engineering education and career resources for so-called quants. It boasts 50,000 community members. QuantNet rated a preselected group of 38 North American master's degree programs in financial engineering (MFE) from September to October 2018. Factors used to rank the programs were:

  • Frequency with which employers interviewed or hired graduates
  • Student to administrator ratio
  • Employment rate at graduation
  • Employment rate three months after graduation
  • Average GRE quantitative scores of students
  • Average undergraduate GPA of students
  • Percentage of applicants accepted

The latter three measures indicate the selectivity of the program. The more selective, the higher the program ranks.

Caveats With the QuantNet Ranking

The ranking started out with a preselected list of 38 master's in financial engineering. mathematical finance, and quantitative finance programs. Data from the schools were not independently audited. Surveys of employers went to a select list, of which 33 responded and 27 provided the information needed to calculate the rankings. The survey favors programs with fewer students per administrator, though the supposed benefit gained by the student from this cost-increasing factor is not described. Finally, as with any degree program, attendance at any institution is no guarantee that the degree holder will obtain a suitable job in the field.

Key to the Rankings

Following the institution's name is its location, the name of the degree awarded, the tuition cost, whether full-time (FT) or part-time (PT) study is offered, and the length of the program in years.

  1. Princeton University
    Princeton, NJ
    Master in Finance
    $102,500 (2 years)
    FT
    2 years
  2. Baruch College, City University of New York
    New York, NY
    Financial Engineering
    $42,395 (non-resident); $28,670 (resident)
    FT/PT
    1.5 years
  3. University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA
    Financial Engineering
    $70,796
    FT
    1 year
  4. Carnegie Mellon University
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Computational Finance
    $86,339
    FT
    2 years
  5. Columbia University
    New York, NY
    Financial Engineering
    $72,648
    FT
    1 year
  6. New York University
    New York, NY
    Mathematics and Finance
    $72,000
    FT/PT
    1.5 years
  1. Cornell University
    Ithaca, NY
    MEng, FE concentration
    $78,000
    FT
    1.5 years
  2. Columbia University
    New York, NY
    Mathematics and Finance
    $72,505
    FT/PT
    1 year
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Cambridge, MA
    Master of Finance
    $78,312 (12 months); $105,968 (18 months)
    FT
    1 year
  4. NYU Tandon School of Engineering
    New York, NY
    Financial Engineering
    $63,403
    FT
    1 year
  5. University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, CA
    Financial Engineering
    $75,816
    FT
    1 year
  6. University of Chicago
    Chicago, IL
    Financial Mathematics
    $79,412 or $85,985 based on placement
    FT/PT
    1 year
  1. Georgia Institute of Technology
    Atlanta, GA
    Quantitative and Computational Finance
    $61,135 (nonresident); $29,989 (resident)
    FT/PT
    1.5 years
  2. Boston University
    Boston, MA
    Mathematical Finance
    $79,224
    FT
    1.5 years
  3. Fordham University
    Bronx, NY
    Quantitative Finance
    $60,000
    FT
    1 year
  4. North Carolina State University
    Raleigh, NC
    Financial Mathematics
    $56,974 (non-resident); $32,112 (resident)
    FT
    2 years
  5. University of Washington
    Seattle, WA
    Computational Finance & Risk Management
    $40,950 (42 credits); $52,650 (54 credits)
    FT/PT
    1.5 years
  1. Rutgers University
    Newark, NJ
    Quantitative Finance
    $61,532 (non-resident); $40,383 (resident)
    FT
    1.5 years
  2. Illinois Institute of Technology
    Chicago, IL
    Mathematical Finance
    $59,376
    FT
    2 years
  3. Rutgers University
    New Brunswick, NJ
    Mathematical Finance
    $57,100 (non-resident); $33,262 (resident)
    FT/PT
    1.5 years
  4. Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, MD
    Financial Mathematics
    $80,610
    FT
    1.5 years
  5. University of Illinois
    Urbana, IL
    Financial Engineering
    $74,500
    FT
    1.5 year
  6. University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN
    Financial Mathematics
    $40, 224 (non-resident); $32,128 (resident)
    FT/PT
    1 year
  1. Stevens Institute of Technology
    Hoboken, NJ
    Financial Engineering
    $47,270
    FT/PT
    1 year
  2. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Troy, NY
    Quantitative Finance and Risk Analytics
    $55,440
    FT
    1 year
  3. University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    Charlotte, NC
    Mathematical Finance
    $40,505 (non-resident); $20,354 (resident)
    FT/PT
    1 year
  4. Claremont Graduate University
    Claremont, CA
    Financial Engineering
    $77,600
    FT
    1.5 years