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April 1, 2014

Top 10 Trading Schools

By Phil Albinus and Maggie Patrick

Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences/Master's of Science of Mathematics in Finance (M.S.M.F.) New York, N.Y.

APPLIED/ACCEPTED: Only 10 percent of applicants from around the world are accepted.

PROGRAM TERM: The program consists of 12 courses (11 one-semester courses plus the master's project), to be completed over three semesters or 1.5 years.

CLASS SIZE: 120 students; 35-40 full- time, with the remainder split between part-time and non-degreed students.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The M.S.M.F is a professional master's program with a strong pragmatic component, including courses rooted in practical applications and student mentoring by finance professionals. The curriculum has five hubs: computational training, financial theory and modeling, mathematical tools, financial applications, and real-world training. Classes drill down on risk, derivatives securities and portfolio management with econometrics. Electives include algorithmic trading and quantitative strategies, energy derivatives, foreign exchange, statistical arbitrage and more. NYU students are expected to find internships inside financial banking and investment firms during the summer break.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: A weekly seminar series features lecturers from leading Wall Street establishments. Evening classes are also available.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR: As a veteran of Goldman Sachs Asset Management's quantitative strategies group, Peter Kolm used his knowledge from his Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University, as well the degrees he earned from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and ETH Zurich. He entered NYU in 2007 as a clinical associate professor of mathematics and as the deputy director of the mathematics in finance M.S. program in 2007.

PROFESSIONAL PLACEMENT: Graduates have found careers in all aspects of the banking and investment arena, such as the fields of asset management, trading, research and risk management. Graduates have been hired inside such institutions as BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and moreothers. In 2010 and 2011, NYU claims the placement rate was nearly 99 percent, while in 2012, more than 85 percent of graduates found positions.



Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering MS in Mathematical and Computational Finance (formerly the Masters of Science in Financial Mathematics) Palo Alto, Calif.

APPLIED/ACCEPTED: Not available, as this program is new in this format

PROGRAM TERM: 15 months, including a summer internship. (The last quarter has a lighter course load to allow students time for job interviews.)


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This is the inaugural year for the program in this format, although financial mathematics has been offered by Stanford since 1999. A steering committee was tasked with creating a leading-edge program to adapt to the evolving field, by focusing on a more computational and data-oriented approach to mathematical finance, better use of information technology and data, and better models and strategies for investments, risk management and regulatory reforms.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: Stanford founded the Financial and Risk Modeling Institute (FARM) at Stanford in 2012. This was largely in response to the financial crisis, which Stanford faculty viewed as exposing weakness in traditional financial models, pricing and hedging theories, risk measures and management of derivative securities and structured products. The shift to the new degree will incorporate integration with FARM, by adopting a more computational and data-oriented approach.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR: Margot Gerritson is associate professor of energy resources engineering and director of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. She completed her Ph.D at Stanford in 1997.

PROFESSIONAL PLACEMENT: Current statistics are not available for the new program.