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Rutgers University Mathematical Finance program

Rutgers MSMF program is offered at New Brunswick/Piscataway campus

  1. QuantNet
    Established:
    2006
    Type:
    Full-time, part-time
    Tuition:
    $49,648 (non-resident), $29,052 (resident)
    Application deadline:
    Feb 15
    Location:
    New Brunswik, NJ
    Placeholder

    Images

    1. Rutgers-University.jpg

Recent Reviews

  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous
    5/5,
    The program is strong. Students are expected to take two courses each of stochastic calculus, numerical analysis, and statistics (regression and time series analysis). These courses are very rigorous. But it is not all theory. Many elective courses are taught by current practitioners, and provide hands-on and up-to-date methodologies that are actually used in the industry.

    Being so close to the city, all Rutgers FE programs (MSMF, FSRM, MQF) have close ties to the industry. Networking opportunities are readily available for those who take it. And speakers visit every week.

    Moreover, the MSMF is a great value proposition. Rutgers undergraduate math students have the option of taking an accelerated BA/MSMF track. For in-state students, this results in an affordable $20k degree. However, most students are not domestic, let alone alumni. About 80% of the current class are Chinese.

    The biggest con is the number of competing degrees at Rutgers. The FSRM, MQF and MSMF are very similar. The main difference are the departments that administrate them. I think that Rutgers would have a stronger program if some of these were merged.
  2. mxhan
    mxhan
    5/5,
    highly link with financial industry -> we have mathematical finance seminar every week. Carla, our career adervisor, will invite people from quant domain to give us speech, or introduce some tools or skills in job markets. BTW, some elective courses are introduced by Director of some financial company.
    technically tough program -> this program pay great attention on theories and their uses in financial area. They will also introduce how to use C++, MATLAB, R and Bloomberg. And if someone has such experience in these tools, they can be waived. So this program is also flexible
  3. pratikmehta
    pratikmehta
    4/5,
    I am an alumnus of Rutgers MSMF program and graduated in May 2013. MSMF is an intense program with heavy focus on theory. A lot of new application based courses have been added in the last couple of years which make the program more practical. Overall, if you are hungry for knowledge and work hard, you can get into whatever field you want; quant analyst, developer, trader, risk management etc.
  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous
    4/5,
    Challenging and rewarding program with a lot of focus on theory

    What do you think is unique about this program?
    One of the most unique aspects about the Rutgers MSMF program is that we have our own career services director who sets up seminars & presentations from industry practitioners (see more below).

    Another unique aspect is that all of the courses are taught at night (between 5 and 9:30) which allows the program to pick up industry practitioners after they finish work to teach some of our electives in High Frequency Trading, Interest Rate Derivatives, Credit Risk Modeling, and Portfolio Theory.

    From the programming side, there is one elective offered by the Electrical Engineering school on C++ that is strongly recommended for all students to take. I wouldn't say this course is hardcore, but I am a better programmer for having taken it. Most all of our courses have a programming aspect. Regression and Time Series use R or Gauss or SAS. Computational Finance, HFT and Interest Rate Derivatives use C++ with Excel interfacing. Numerical Analysis, Time Series, and Portfolio Theory use MATLAB.

    What are the weakest points about this program?
    A couple of the core courses in the program are way too theoretical, in my opinion. These courses are taught by very competent mathematicians, but the applications to finance are lacking in some of the areas. I have heard rumors that the program is trying to add more application to the theory courses, but only time will tell.

    The main improvement that I would like to see would be to make some of the courses less theoretical. There should also be more flexibility in the course curriculum with more electives to choose from. One improvement they have already made, which will begin this summer, is a primer in mathematics to get incoming students up to speed.

    Career services
    I have heard rumors about the past career services in the MSMF program and they were not good. However, when I started a new career services director had just been hired. She seems genuinely focused on getting jobs for those who want one. She brings firms on campus and sends out resume books to the ones who can't make it, which have led more than a few interviews this fall and spring.

    Some of the career services seminars are very geared towards the foreign students to help them to understand the culture here. Everything from attire to dining etiquette to speaking etiquette.

    Rutgers brings in recruiters from financial institutions to sessions for the general population. These recruiters are generally looking for Technology and Business analysts at the undergrad level, though. One good source of job postings is the campus-wide career services platform that matches your degree with recruiters who are interested in hiring people like you. Basically you just log on, fill out your profile and then check back every few weeks for new jobs that match your profile. Some postings you can just apply for on the Rutgers Career Services page. I thought this was impressive. The MSMF program has a similar platform that recruiters can post to, but it is not as advanced.

    The most effective sources of jobs and internships has been from networking. That includes introducing yourself to the speakers that come to campus, going to events in New York and grabbing as many business cards as you can. Also, a lot of companies post positions to the MSMF career site and we apply through those, which have turned into intership/full-time positions.

    I am pretty impressed by the speaker lineup that we have had this spring and last fall. In the fall there is a mandatory (pass/fail course) career services seminar every couple weeks where you are taught everything from how to write a cover letter/resume and make an elevator pitch to proper dining etiquette. On top of this, there is generally a speaker/recruiter from the industry giving a presentation to the MSMF students every 1 to 2 weeks. They are generally MDs from quant, risk, technology or portfolio management groups at BBs or Tech firms. Overall, career services is like another class (as it should be).

    Student body
    Class make up - 10% American, 10%-15% Indian, 75%-80% Asian (mostly from China). I would say that the American and Indian students are very interactive with the Asian students and probably around 50% of the Asian students are interactive with other groups.

    I will classify the student body in two parts, those who really want to find a job in the US (50%) and those who either don't care or plan to go back home upon graduation (50%). The ones who really want to find a job are hitting the street, making cold calls and basically doing everything they can to get there name out there. Out of this group that really want to find a job, they are finding really great internships and jobs at top banks, hedge funds, mutual funds, consultant firms, trading firms, financial software firms, etc. The roles range from quant analyst, associate, developer, trader, etc.

    Some of the students do not want to work in the US but are actively seeking and finding quant jobs at banks back in their home countries.

    Of those who aren't as motivated to find a job, they will end up either finding a not so great job in the US or else matriculate back to their home country and work.
  5. anonymous
    anonymous
    5/5,
    Good for learning applied math with exposure to finance.

    What do you think is unique about this program?
    I haven't been in any other MFEs, so I don't know what others do / don't offer.

    RU has a really good math department. The RU math department is ranked much higher than the overall university. I just checked the US News & World website and found RU math at #20 and RU statistics at #37 and RU as a whole at #68. I'm not a huge fan of these rankings but in this case they are fairly indicative. In the MSMF you'll be taking one or more courses in the Statistics department and most of your courses in the Math department (which is the sponsor of the program).

    As mentioned in another review, in RU you take 7 required and choose three. Three electives actually strikes me as being a lot as the whole MS is only 10 courses. I still have two courses to take before finishing and one is an elective and one is not. My experience was generally getting an opportunity to most of what I wanted to do in terms of academics.

    The courses are very mathematical and I think in general people find them either reasonable, difficult or very difficult. I haven't encountered anyone who thought their courses were easy or didn't spend a lot of their time on schoolwork, in other words. In choosing a program, it's good because your paying money to be challenged not waste your time. On the other hand, the focus can be a little too academic for some students, so your mileage may vary.

    What are the weakest points about this program?
    The really bizarre thing about Rutgers is that they have 3 quant programs and there doesn't seem to be a lot of interaction between the programs.

    I met a couple of the kids in the new FSRM just out of being friendly to new faces in Hill (and they're great kids), but there is no effort made to facilitate this.

    Another review mentioned the value of networking. Rutgers kids not networking with other Rutgers kids is a big missed opportunity, IMHO.

    Similarly, Rutgers is a huge school and you can look into a lot of different departments to take courses that have relevance to mathematical finance (optimization theory, game theoy, econometrics, financial statistics). However, some courses are limited to 'clan' affiliation and it can be more trouble than it's worth to try to force your way into someone's course. It would be great if the school did more in coordinating the relevant academic opportunities for students.

    Career services
    The career services director is new. I believe she entered around when I started full time (Fall 2011). She's been doing a good job and is very dedicated. She's also dedicated to learning and I think she'll do an even better job next year.

    My personal experience is that she referred me to someone who ended up interviewing and hiring me as an intern before my second full time semester started. So I have no complaints.

    Student body
    I don't spend a lot of time with the other students as I don't live on campus. In general, I think they are a good bunch.
  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous
    3/5,
    Can you tell us a bit about your background?
    Graduate in Computer Science and Worked in Analytics for 2 yrs.
    I studied full-time in the program from 9/2008-5/2010

    Did you get admitted to other programs?
    Yes

    Why did you choose this program (over others, if applicable)?
    Curriculum and proximity to NYC

    What alternative sources of info you used to learn more about the program?
    Spoke to people who were enrolled in this course, internet

    Tell us about the application process at this program
    Online, prompt and the office staff was quick at communicating and responding

    Does this program offer refresher courses for incoming students? What do they offer and how much it costs?
    Yes but I didn't take any

    Tell us about the courses selection in this program. Any special courses you like?
    Some electives were great. However making a choice of 3 out of 4 or 5 courses was as good as no flexibility at all.

    Tell us about the quality of teaching
    Average

    Materials used in the program
    Shreve 1& 2. Hull a couple of book for stats and a lot of research papers for the electives.

    Programming component of the program
    C++, VBA, MAtlab,R

    Projects
    Coding and Math intensive

    Career service
    Helpful

    What do you like about the program?
    This course is more math intensive than many other financial engineering or Quant courses.

    What DON’T you like about the program?
    lack of flexibility at least when I was in school. I hear a couple of things have changed.

    Suggestions for the program to make it better
    Mark it to the industry than to books.

    What are your current job status? What are you looking for?
    I am working.

    Other comments?
    Good school
  7. intentionally anonymous
    intentionally anonymous
    3/5,
    Can you tell us a bit about your background?
    I had just completed my undergraduate degree before starting this program with minimal experience in the field.
    I studied full-time in the program from 9/2008-5/2010

    Did you get admitted to other programs?
    No

    What alternative sources of info you used to learn more about the program?
    Visited the director

    Tell us about the application process at this program
    Online system

    Does this program offer refresher courses for incoming students? What do they offer and how much it costs?
    Yes at tuition cost for undergraduates

    Tell us about the courses selection in this program. Any special courses you like?
    I thorougly enjoyed the elective courses I took because I felt they really gave me a well rounded picture to understanding the context fo all the theoretical math covered in the Math finance and Numerical courses. I would recommend students to take as many elective courses as they can afford because it helped me tremendously.

    Tell us about the quality of teaching
    The math finance courses are fine. However, the numerical courses require some improvement--the homework and applications of these courses should be geared towards using financial examples or using financial data in the least.

    Materials used in the program
    shreve volume I and II, hull

    Programming component of the program
    C++ for mathematical finance

    Projects
    Assigned a Master's research project with a ton of coding and a lot of homework assignments can be completed using different programming languages such as R and Matlab.

    Career service
    There is a full time career advisor with the program and there were efforts being made to bring different types of industry professionals in to speak about their experiences.

    What do you like about the program?
    I like the rigor of the curriculum and the fact that it was housed the math department allowed for some exposure to different fields in mathematics. I felt that the program was evolving quite a bit even during my time there so I feel that curriculum now is more conducive for a student wanting to learn how mathematics and finance relate.

    What DON’T you like about the program?
    I didn't like the fact the assignments were not varied year to year--this gave some students an unfair advantage over the others. Also, I think there a lot of events available through the business school and undergraduate program that would welcome students from our programs, but their events are not publicized enough.

    Suggestions for the program to make it better
    1) bring more relevant industry speakers in
    2) Also have some professional building workshops for the students so we could get all of our mistakes with career fairs and interviewing out of the way before the real position was available.

    What are your current job status? What are you looking for?
    I am working.
  8. Guest
    Guest
    4/5,
    Can you tell us a bit about your background?
    I have BS Engineering and worked (<2yrs) as an Associate with a Big 4.
    I studied full-time in the program from 9/2/2008-5/13/2010

    Did you get admitted to other programs?
    U. Manchester, MFE, U. Birmingham, Math Finance

    Why did you choose this program (over others, if applicable)?
    It was more of choosing New York over London, my choice of Rutgers was due to the fact that of the reputable schools in the Tri-state area it had an extended application deadline. Considered Baruch/NYU/Columbia/Princeton but deadlines were past when I applied.

    Tell us about the application process at this program
    The application process was very straight forward, I had emailed the program director who responded timely. I sent in my application pack and got a response about a missing item, sent that over and got an acceptance mail then the paperwork followed, it was quite much being that I am an international student but everything went in an orderly manner.

    Does this program offer refresher courses for incoming students? How useful was it?
    Yes, the program offers a refresher course. I didn't need to take the refresher course as it is only mandatory for certain people with provisional admission, also I wouldn't want to incur additional cost. I did see the course content of the refresher courses though.

    Tell us about the courses selection in this program. Any special courses you like?
    My best course in the program is Portfolio Theory and Applications. The program as a whole requires completion of 7 core courses and 3 other courses from variety available or even one or two from the business school or computer engineering dept.

    Tell us about the quality of teaching
    I've completed 8 courses so far in the program (2 to go!). Frankly two of the classes weren't that good, not as practical as it could have been, another 2 classes were good but nothing beyond expectation but 4 classes were very good, well taught, reviewed papers, industry practice and engaged in stimulating class discussions.

    Materials used in the program
    The core textbooks we used were:
    course - Math Finance I&amp;II
    Shreve, Stochastic Calculus for Finance II
    Wilmott, Paul Wilmott on Quantitative Finance
    course - Numerical I&amp;II
    Quarteroni, Numerical Mathematics
    Atkinson, An Introduction to Numerical Analysis
    course - C++
    Deitel &amp; Deitel, How to Program in C++
    course - Computational Finance
    Glasserman, Monte Carlo Methods in Financial Engineering
    Joshi, C++ Design Patterns and Derivatives Pricing
    Achdou &amp; Pironneau, Computational Methods for Option Pricing
    course - Portfolio Theory and Applications
    Meucci, Risk and Asset Allocation
    Grinold &amp; Kahn, Active Portfolio Management
    course - Applied linear regression and time series analysis (I used lecture notes)

    Programming component of the program
    There is a significant programming component with two fully programming class (C++ and Computational Finance), the program however had an option for the not so pragramming savvy people to take the business emphasis route and avoid this.

    Projects
    Projects were both individual and group work depending on the class although there were more individual. The projects range from re-performing the fama-macbeth cross-sectional regression method to get risk premia using past 10 yr stock prices of 10 securities using the S&amp;P as benchmark to pricing a double barrier stock option in heston stochastic volatility model using ADI finite difference method or implementing the black-litterman asset allocation model to find the mean-variance optimized efficient frontier and frontier allocations for a given market portfolio.

    Career service
    The program has a dedicated full time career staff and she has organized quite a number of company presentations and info sessions, although most times the firms still refer students to their website (Morgan Stanley, Schonfeld Trading, Murex, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg came this semester). Also the school itself has a number of career fairs and company info sessions that we leverage on for more reach, although the typical target there are the undergrad population. I was at the NYU/IAFE Math Finance career fair and I think I do appreciate the career efforts here better plus its free.

    Can you comment on the social interaction between students of different ethnics, nationalities in the program?
    Well yeah, we've got a Chinese group, an Indian group, a small American and the rest of us in between. Although this creates some barrier to harnessing the benefits of a diverse learning environment, it all depends on the individual to break such barriers. I interact very well with all groups in class and hang out for beer with them too, actually picking up some Indian and Chinese words now.

    What do you like about the program?
    At the end of the day, it is the rigor of this program that sells it. I remember a new student telling me she's thinking of a part time job since all the classes are in the evenings and she'd be bored... only two weeks into classes I saw the same student rushing to complete an assignment before time complaining that she spent most of the night going through the problems and only just figured out how to do it.

    What DON’T you like about the program?
    On top of the list here would definitely be it's price tag, we pay significantly more than other graduate student here even when taking the same course. Also, in my view I think it better to admit fewer and more qualified students so as to reduce the class size.

    Suggestions for the program to make it better
    Continue to take student recommendations about lecturers serious, they made some good changes after my first year. Try to get more employers to interview on campus as opposed to just coming around for info sessions.

    What are your current job status? What are you looking for?
    I work part-time with the funds management unit of a global investment banking and securities firm and currently seeking full time positions for June 2010.