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NYU Tandon School of Engineering - MS in Financial Engineering

Bridging Financial Theory and Practice

  1. Anonymous
    I agree with the most recent reviews of the NYU Tandon Finance and Risk Engineering department. However, there were some one star reviews that were deleted, they are trying to scrub the internet for bad reviews. Good tactic to better market the school, but this is not helping anyone.

    If you look at other schools and compare Tier 1 schools to this, what I would consider, a Tier 3 school, there is more emphasis on learning and getting students ready for the finance industry for the former.

    Some background on myself: I'm currently a second year student in the NYU Tandon FRE department, and as some students have already stated, this program is sub-par. Now, I'll reiterate the fact that the two new professors for News Analytics and Hedge Fund Strategies, the NYU Finance and Risk Engineering department has added are not industry professionals. Although they look great on paper, we know how far that gets you in the real world. I've sat in on these classes, and there was one student who really knew more than both of these professors, I believe he's an American student with some industry experience, I'm not really sure. The student knows a lot more than the professor for the Hedge Fund strategies classes and really directed the professor in the right direction. This professor does not really teach proper hedge fund strategies, and I'm really disappointed as I had to drop the class to save my money.

    The department is not all that bad. There are some really good professors, such as Andrew Papanicolaou, Nassim Taleb and Peter Carr. However, three good professors cannot carry one whole department full of amateurs.

    If you want to go to a school where you're forced to cheat just to keep up with the other cheaters, then by all means come to this school. If you want to learn and actually compete with the brightest minds in the world, you're better off buying 50 books related to math, computer science and finance. That'll run you around $5K to $10K, and you'll save a lot of time and money. In my honest opinion, this department seems like it's trying, to a certain degree, but here's the real kicker: the department has been burning a lot of cash hiring new professors, who are really not all that qualified to teach.

    If you want some advice from a student who's been through what you have been through, the answer is: "Do not spend your money to come to NYU FRE." Tuition costs are only going to rise, and you may end up paying a lot more soon for an education that's not helpful at all. Given this information, you should consider it. The old street saying goes: "Success breeds success." If you come here your subject to the opposite of that, barring a few good professors who are of great help. When your around students who cheat and professors who allow it, this school is all about "Failure breeds failure." Please save your money cause I'm talking from experience here.
  2. ahuang
    The most recent reviews below mine, are sadly, all facts. Sebastien Galy does not teach anything, and it was a complete waste of money. However, I still believe Corporate Finance and Accounting are needed. Albeit, the accounting course should make you review companies and be able to sniff out their accounting practices.

    I completely agree that they currently do not have any good coding courses to get you ready for the real world, minus Financial Computing and Numerical Simulations. It's very true, I have friends in the industry and they never heard of Tandon and believe it's not even in the top 30. In terms of cost, it's way too expensive for courses that will not teach you anything. Reiterating what the student below said, there are no python, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and optimization courses. The department is full of broken promises. The newest additions to the faculty are bad as well, from what I've heard. I'm currently a second semester student, and I've heard really bad things about Kosrow Dehnad is a self-proclaimed data miner and statistician. From what I've heard, he's making students use poor statistical practices in his News Analytics class and does not even teach you how to decipher news or SEC Filings.

    In addition, I'm enrolled in Hedge Fund Strategies, and the professor cancelled three lectures in a row, and is only teaching 5 lectures. I should get a full refund for this course because I did not get what I paid for and the number of lectures I was promised. Also, now I have to work under his schedule and go to class now. This should be the other way around, the professor should work around the students' schedules. He does not even teach any strategies, there was one student that actually corrected this professor multiple times in the first two lectures...and this student didn't seem like he was paying attention at all. He was busy typing on his computer and still corrected a professor that has "worked" in the industry for so long. I think that student would've been a better professor than Sudeep Gupta.

    Cheating is also a big thing in this department. It's unfair to the students that actually study for hours on end and have jobs. The TAs outright send you solutions and don't even explain you the thought process behind it. I never ask for solutions, I ask for explanations because I want to learn this. There should be indifferent proctors for the exam, those that are not afraid to throw a student out of the school for cheating. I see students take out their phones, look up answers, go to the bathroom for 10 minutes (not even one student at once, but multiple students). Make this a project based school with no exams, that's how you combat this cheating. The real world does not make you take exams, the real world makes you work on projects. The department should be ashamed of giving such a poor representation of NYU. How does this school claim to bridge theory and practice, when in practice there are no exams and barely any cheaters. The students are left with no education and no skills. There are some very bright students, but they learn everything on their own and the professors can't even answer their questions.

    In conclusion, you should save your money and not come to this school. I know from experience already the level their operating at is more like a high school. There are some good classes, but overall, it's not worth it to spend over $50,000 just to get a degree and take five good classes. This department is full of broken promises, they're selling students the dream, and this is by far the worst decision I've made in life, to travel thousands of miles to NYC to get what is the equivalent of a high school degree. Professors letting students cheat without a care just shows you what type of professors they're getting. Low quality. There are some good professors there, but they should all leave and go to a better school to teach.
  3. Anony Mous
    Anony Mous
    I am a fall 2016 graduate from NYU Tandon, and the program failed to meet expectations. Sespite what these reviews have said, courses and the professors fail to get you ready for the real world. I've spent countless nights studying for courses of no use and were not practical at all. There are a few good courses, such as the course Dr. Taleb teaches.

    In my honest opinion, this school is not worth the price tag whatsoever. The emphasis has been on improving and providing students with practical knowledge, but the school has been stuck in the theory aspect. Schools such as CMU, Columbia, UChicago or NYU Courant would be a better choice. The school has not released its placement numbers at all, and it did not have any courses focused on Java or Python, which is what many companies are looking for. However, they do have courses in C++, Big Data and R. Additionally, I studied under the Algorithmic Finance Track, and did not learn any algorithms at all. The topics that were taught in these classes were of no help and do not properly get you ready for a career in algo trading. I've had to spend most of my time studying on my own, and not listening to the professors because some of the material they teach is just blatantly wrong.

    Please, save your time and choose another school. I am speaking from experience and have not found a job yet, despite getting a 3.9 GPA. The school is also not fond of penalizing cheaters. I have seen countless students cheat on exams, and those professors did not say anything even after bringing it to their attention. If a few students cheat, it might as well be an open book exam. There needs to be drastic changes, from creating new courses and emphasis on more projects rather than exams to get students ready for the real world.
  4. Anonymous
    I am a fall 2016 MFE student.

    Now we have Dr Peter Carr as the director. And the program is obviously improving now. He hired several noted professors from the industry. He is working on the placement, hiring the placement officer, inviting the guest speaker to the seminar.

    Pros: the curriculum is well diversified. We could freely choose different tracks. The location is excellent. And the careernet of NYU is very useful for students.

    Cons: There are some core courses that seem to be irrelevant to the financial engineering. Some professors are not dedicated to teaching.
  5. richard yang
    richard yang
    Couple reviews above seem butthurt (sorry for being blunt, well.. not really sorry). Like all MFE programs out here, it's a professional degree. If you want the jobs bad enough, you go out and get it, network, talk to people in the industry. School only takes you so far, you should also pick up stuff on your own, and quite frankly you learn most O.T.J. and its a continuous learning process.

    If you hope to have a job handed to you by the time you graduate, boy maybe you are just in the wrong industry. Absolutely Caltech, Princeton students do get frequently targetted/approached by HRs, and you have to go the extra mile to land an interview, but once you're in, its a level playing field.

    but i digressed, there has been big shift in the industry, specifically on the sellside. Greater emphasis on risk management, modelling more focused on time series and statistical learning. School tries to accommodate, next year (from what I heard) they are bringing in a new professor in machine learning.

    School provides curriculum in programming, numerical methods, derivatives and sto calc, if you are interested in particular asset class, there are special topics class in commodities, interest rate, credit and abs. They are more than enough to prep you for the interviews.

    If you are into hardcore research/modelling role, I don't think any of the mfe programs out there will prepare you for it, unless you have a prior phd background.

    Job Placement:
    Granted I wish there were bit more help from school on the career services front, I have enjoyed the job searching process (even though it has been a long, stressful process, I do appreciate it, the experience could be useful down the road). Received offer from bb asset management, risk management, and consulting. Job market has been pretty tough on S&T front, thanks to volcker, and possibly worse with frtb coming online. I also know couple classmates decided to go into analytics, big data.

    You do get a lot of interviews with bulge brackets GS/JPM/MS etc in strat/market risk/quant related roles. Again, S&T is almost nonexistent, but that's the same for everyone.

    Student Body:
    Majority asian/indian, as quant industry in general.

    PM me if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
  6. Anonymous
    I am a fall 2015 MFE student, and I rate this program as tier 2.

    Pros: 1) The location is good, along with lots of job opportunities. 2) The career service is very professional, especially the On Campus Recruitment (OCR) System, which reflects NYU's high reputation in financial service. 3) The courses are very diversified, covering all finance areas. 4) Audition is possible, and you can audit Courant's class if you want.

    Cons: 1) Some professors are good at teaching, but others are not. 2) The career service of the program is not as good as the one of the university.

    Totally speaking, the platform is well established, and the program is suitable for those of high self-motivation.
  7. Anonymous
    The quality of the program is sub-par.

    Some professors, especially those for core courses, do not speak english at a fluent enough level. Many other professors simply come in once a week to teach class. Office hours are normally held by the TAs, who more often than not do not even show up unless you make an appointment with them before.

    The biggest drawback of this program is that it's simply not targetted by financial firms. Those who are recruiting at NYU tend to recruit out of Stern or Courant, or are looking exclusively for undergraduate students. The majority of On Campus Recruitment (OCR) jobs in the financial services industry on NYU Careernet do not allow Masters' students to even apply. The job fairs that are held on the Tandon campus are mostly from firms looking to recruit for technical positions such as computer programming instead of finance positions.

    NYU Tandon does not even release placement numbers for its financial engineering program.

    The program is a very awkward hybrid of finance, computer programming and mathematics; the problem is, recruiters who are hiring for any one of these fields tend to look elsewhere. This program is fine if you are an international student, have a job lined up and simply need to complete a program to get work authorization. If you want to study in a program that will help you find a job by teaching the necessary skills and connecting with the right employers, look elsewhere.
  8. Anonymous
    Below is an email from a professor at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.

    1. How many full-time students and part-time students will be enrolled in this program(2014 Fall)?
    We try to have between 75 and 90 new students each fall. Sometimes there are more, sometimes fewer. Almost all are full-time — perhaps 90%.

    2. How is the diversity of students like? How many are Chinese students?
    Students right now come from (I think) 23 countries. As we look for students with the highest mathematical abilities and China has a wonderful mathematical education for young people there are a lot of students from China — right now, about 1/2 of the student population.

    3. How is the placement of international graduates?
    Job placement depends mostly on the strength of the economy. Things have been getting better each year since the crisis of 2008-9, but we are not yet back to the days of 2007. Our top international students generally have good job offers, and some have multiple offers to choose between. Our average students usually get good jobs too. The students who graduate with the lowest grades or who have problems presenting themselves in English or as professionals take longer time to get employed. As a rule, students don’t tell me everything about their situations so what I am writing to you is a summary of anecdotal data and not the results of statistical analysis.
  9. fake
    I am a second year student in this program. It has been changed a lot. Sto Calc is now one semester's long (3 cr), tracks and courses are more flexible. Lab courses and topics/practice courses are well organized and diversed. NYU resources are fully opened to us. Most poly FE students got on-campus interviews from those big names. Many international students (at least half) secured summer internships in New York area including BB and top consulting firms. I am super confident that the program is within one of the most valuable programs.
  10. reda
    A program where you can either get out as a hero or a zero

    What do you think is unique about this program?
    The program all together is decent, it doesn't focus on Financial Engineering, the track system makes it that you obtain a masters in corporate Finance or actuarial sciences instead of a pure FE degree. So you get to readjust yourself based on what part of the financial industry you want to work for. it Has an enormous amount of classes, and so choice won't be a problem.

    What are the weakest points about this program?
    The choices offered in this program can either make you a hero or a zero, I personally recommend to take Maymin's classes as well as High frequency trading, if you pick your classes and your professors well you will get the most value out of this program. However if you go for easy classes you might get your degree without learning much.
    1.5 credit system isn't appropriate for most classes, Derivative Algorithms and Stochastic Processes should be 3 credits at least.Remove Econ as a required class, nobody needs it. Finally instead of tracks just have masters in FE, actuarial science or MS in Finance.

    Career services
    NYU careerLink is where I got most internship interview calls it's a large university so companies reach out for NYU students. Poly's career service is almost inexistant for FE students.

    Student body
    A lot of communautarism in this program, some times I get into the class and half of it is chinese taking the right side and indians the back left and then the rest of the world. Chinese hang out with Chinese only, and make it hard for a strong student relationship, specially when they speak broken english and prefer to speak their own language instead.

    So why the hopeful 4/5, well because of the merger with NYU, things improve and you can feel it. I heard stochastic will be a required class, Quant finance is made harder and most importantly the next batch of applicants will know huge selectivity. The department is trying to make the program more technical to be at par with Courant, so give it 2,3 years either poly FRE department will be merged into Courant or vice versa.
  11. Guest
    A very broad program which covers all aspects of the Financial Industry

    What do you think is unique about this program?
    It's location, access to an incubator and select faculty.

    What are the weakest points about this program?
    Very poor focus and exposure to Investment Banking. No jobs for students choosing to mould their course work towards Capital Markets. Very bad at providing relevant jobs.

    Career services
    Very bad. All jobs posted were channeled towards computer science.

    Student body
    Majority were Indian and Chinese. Very few of american nationality
  12. Anonymous
    It's what you make of it

    What do you think is unique about this program?
    The program in its current state is not exactly a Financial Engineering degree, more like a bunch of courses ranging from corporate finance, to technology, to true financial engineering courses. There are students who are happy taking simple courses and breezing though, while there are some taking harder courses depending on their interests, it's really up to the student. At the same time, the merger with NYU has provided an opportunity to to gain exposure to the vast resources of NYU, including Courant (for the people who want more quant) and Stern (for the more business oriented students). Like most other universities in the area, New York as a location is definitely a plus point.

    What are the weakest points about this program?
    It offers a huge number of courses to choose from, so a lot of the times students end up learning a little of everything, which is not very helpful. The concept of 1.5 credits according to me does not work, 7 weeks to understand Stochastic Calculus is definitely not enough (need minimum 3 credits, I would say it's more like 6).

    Career services
    Career services for FE specifically, is almost non-existent, being part of an engineering school a lot of the companies are geared to hire hardcore engineering students, I was in this state while looking for internships and was on my own. But, the merger with NYU has opened up a huge portal through their Career services, going forward it should only get better. I was in this position while looking for full-time opportunities and definitely got a lot more interviews.

    Student body
    There was no student body when I joined. But, started picking up, I think it's from batch to batch. Since there are so many courses being offered students don't really to get to know everyone, because of which the alumni network also suffers.

    This review was submitted anonymously
  13. anonymous
    A practical approach to Financial Engineering

    What do you think is unique about this program?
    The biggest advantage of this program is that you learn from practitioners. Professors who are or have worked in the industry tend to have a much different view of finance than someone who is a pure academician. Most courses are not heavy on the math and instead they incline towards helping you gain the underlying intuition. My star picks from this course would be classes taken with Prof. Philip Maymin, Prof. Peter Cai, Prof. Andery Itkin, and Prof. Nasim Taleb.

    What are the weakest points about this program?
    I felt throughout the program that there should be more focus on certain concepts of math and programming. There were many 7courses which needed a full 3 credits to do justice to them, 7 lectures is just not enough. Programming should be incorporated more strongly, especially for implementation of the concepts that you learn.

    Career services
    The Career services offered by NYU are quite good. A structured On-Campus recruiting along with a very active career website gives you umpteen resources to find yourself a job.

    Most jobs are into Risk Management, Valuations, Financial consultancies, financial software firms. Though is highly depends on your skill set. Sales and Trading is also an option.

    Student body
    The students in this program are helpful and smart. Most of them being new to finance have a keen enthusiasm to learn and explore this domain.

    There is a Trading club which is a good forum to get yourself started. In the past two years our team has entered the CME Commodity Trading challenge Championship Round by qualifying in the top 16 of 160 teams globally.
  14. intentionally anonymous
    intentionally anonymous
    The MFE program provides a great opportunity for learning the skills required to add value on day one to any trading floor on the street.

    What do you think is unique about this program?
    While the program teaches both theoretical and applied financial engineering, there is a strong preference to focus on the latter. I found this is unique and proves to be exceptionally beneficial when entering the workforce since you will be able to hit the ground running on day one.

    What are the weakest points about this program?
    The program is still undergoing a transition to become NYU's school of engineering. This transition is not quite finished, but should be done soon.

    Career services
    You will have access to the standard NYU career services.They use both the career services offered by the program and by networking. They typically end up on trading floors on either the buyside or sellside. Some go into a career of risk management, some go into trading and some go into quant modelling.

    Student body
    The students are smart and competitive