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University of Washington Computational Finance & Risk Management program

The UW CFRM program is established under the Department of Applied Mathematics

  1. Seattlite
    $39,690 - $51,030
    Seattle, WA
    The Master of Computational Finance and Risk Management program is a degree offered in the University of Washington’s Department of Applied Mathematics.

    Students are able to attend the CFRM program on-campus full-time, online part-time, through the Computational Finance Certificate, or through single course enrollment.

    MS Admissions:
    February 15, 2017

    May 1, 2017


Recent Reviews

  1. viertelasiat
    I will be graduating from the CFRM program in spring of 2018. I chose UW as it allowed me to attend classes part-time and remotely for the entire program and UW is a very reputable school. I am currently working in corporate taxation and I am attempting to make a career change. Being part-time and attending remotely has allowed me to pursue the degree without my employer becoming aware that I am in the program, which is difficult but doable.

    The lectures for every course I took were recorded which I was able to download and watch on my own schedule (some courses use different formats that others). They have a lot of electives that I believe are useful (trading system design, C++, SQL/VBA, etc.). UW's CFRM program has made revisions to the coursework which I believe has been an improvement. They have improved the proctoring process quite a bit (I have used the same proctor for the whole program). The program advisor (Laurie) was extremely responsive to emails assisting me with scheduling, etc. There were one or two courses the instructors/professors were verbally strict on dates for taking exams for online/part-time students (i.e. had to be taken same day), but most of them were flexible when I communicated with them directly, allowing them to be taken same week and even on the weekend.

    The UW CFRM program is housed within the Applied Math department which provides a more mathematical based on structure to the program, however there is an extensive programing aspect as well. The VBA course I feel is very practical and even helpful even in my current career (I use excel all of the time). They use R throughout every course in the program. This has made me quite proficient at being able to crank out quick R scripts to finish assignments. I have a BS in Mathematics (from a top-5 public school) and an MS in Statistics (from a state school). I took the C++ course, however I wish that they had another C++ course or integrated it into the regular courses. Given my background some of the material was familiar to me and I didn't find the time required to be too much for me given that I regularly work 50+ hours a week.
  2. Anonymous
    I just graduated and overall my experience has been excellent.
    The professors are very organized and are a great mix of industry professionals and academics. The instructors and staff are constantly working to connect the students with individuals in the industry. If anyone is interested in working in the finance industry regardless of experience( I came almost straight out of a physics bachelors with very little experience) this program is a great choice. It is also very affordable and located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
  3. Anonymous
    I am a current full time student. I think it is a great program. The program is trying their best to cater students need and take them very seriously.

    The professors are great. Organized and very responsible. Not like other programs, a lot of international students found jobs eventually and get to stay in the states.
  4. Anonymous
    I’m a full-time, on-campus student graduating this fall (2015) from the CFRM program. I would classify my experience at the program as excellent. I think a prospective grad student would be hard-pressed to find another school that offered a better quant-finance education per dollar spent. The following are strengths and weaknesses of the programs:


    -Rigorous mathematically. For the most part, subjects are taught fairly rigorously. This is especially true of the classes which involve derivatives pricing. In a few courses, there just isn’t enough time to spend a lot on the theory (because of the sheer volume of topics covered), but this allows you to get a taste of more subjects and study them more thoroughly if you need to use them on the job (I’ve done this, for example, with a lot of time series concepts on the job).

    -Good experience using R, VBA, and SQL. In almost every class, there are a mixture of analytical exercises and computing exercises to be completed in R. This gives students a strong background in R computing and prepares them for tackling more involved projects in industry. There is also a course in VBA and SQL that has been very important for me in practice. In all cases, students get to work with real-world data.

    -Instructors are knowledgeable. Of course, there will always be a professor or two who aren’t superstars, but for the most part the faculty are highly skilled and have no problem teaching state-of-the art techniques.

    -Strong career help. Under the direction of Bill Anderson, the team members working to help students obtain internships and to network with industry professionals are one of the biggest strengths of the program. Each year, almost 100% of students who are actively looking for internships are able to get them. I am now working in a full time position at the company that I interned at because of the CFRM program.
    -Good online presence. All courses are offered both in-person and online. This is good for working professionals who are going back to school. The format allows for flexibility and the TA’s and professors are available online for office hours every week.


    -Not enough time to learn everything. Despite the program being 42 credits, I felt that there wasn’t enough time in the 18 month program to deeply learn all subjects. I would imagine this is the same elsewhere, however. Still, I sometimes feel like I’m not 100% prepared for what my career might throw at me.

    -I don’t feel prepared for a career in derivatives. Our iteration of the options and derivatives course was not great. This was the only class in the program that I would consider to be anything but high quality. This year and the year before I took the course, it was taught by different professors and seemed better. I feel our class was stunted by this and it made it harder to deal with derivative pricing and stochastic calculus material later on.

    - This is a new program and some of the curriculum is experimental. A few of the classes my cohort took were either being taught for the first time or were significantly altered from the previous year. As a result, the teachings were maybe not as cohesive or organized as they could have been. These things will change as the program becomes more developed, however.

    Overall, I absolutely think I made the right decision choosing this program. I was able to make it through the program with strong academic performance and now have a full-time job because of my decision to attend.
  5. EverySunnyDay
    I am a full-time CFRM student. I think it's a great program, especially for international students:

    1) Great training in career development, communication skills, which might be one of the most important things for international students who are not familiar with US culture. Not every program can have career coaches that help every student revise his/her resume, cover letter again and again (usually at least 3 iterations) and even help find the right positions for you to apply. The program has extremely strong connection to financial industry in Seattle, as well as fast growing connection nationally including New York, Chicago.

    2) Flexibility of graduation date. You can either choose to graduate in one year with general track, or choose to stay longrt by taking more courses (1.5 year, 2 year and even longer are all possible). Don't look down upon this if you are an international student!!!!

    As a student coming from anther country and plan to find a job in US, usually you want to stay longer here in order to get adapted to the culture and give yourself more time for career training/internship experience. The flexibility in choosing your graduation date, plus a much more reasonable tuition make all these possible. What's more, if you find a job/internship after one year's study, you can start to work either part-timely or full-timely and transfer to online student. That means you don't need to be in Seattle. That's extremely helpful because a lot of the times if you can't start to work right away, the company will not give you an offer. As far as I know, CFRM is the only MFE program that provide the online track choice.

    3) Seattle is so beautiful!!!!!!!!!You'll love it, I promise.
  6. weijiu wu
    weijiu wu
    I joined the CFRM certificate program first in 2011 and enjoyed the courses that the faculty offered and subsequently decided to continue progressing towards the M.S degree in computational finance and risk management. From my experience, the coursework is relevant to the real quant world, the faculty is caring in my career development, which in my experience really set them apart from many other similar programs in the country, and I benefited a great deal from the strong industry connection this program has in the area which not only helped me in landing my internship but also bridged me to my current job.
  7. Anonymous
    W-CFRM program is an excellent program which provides students with abundant knowledge and career resources. I joined the program in 2012 and I really enjoyed the courses they taught, which are based on real-world financial problems and are highly applicable in the industry. Almost all the students got opportunities to intern during summer quarters, and many winded up as full-time job offers. If a career in the financial industry is your goal, I would highly recommend this program.
    W-CFRM program is an excellent program which provides students with abundant knowledge and career resources. I joined the program in 2012 and I really enjoyed the courses they taught, which are based on real-world financial problems and are highly applicable in the industry. Almost all the students got opportunities to intern during summer quarters, and many winded up as full-time job offers. If a career in the financial industry is your goal, I would highly recommend this program.
  8. Serena
    UW-CFRM program is an excellent program which provides students with abundant knowledge and career resources. I joined the program in 2012 and I really enjoyed the courses they taught, which are based on real-world financial problems and are highly applicable in the industry. Almost all the students got opportunities to intern during summer quarters, and many winded up as full-time job offers. If a career in the financial industry is your goal, I would highly recommend this program.
  9. SSss
    Please provide information about your background.
    3.54/5 overall, 4.1/5 professional. Major in Financial Engineering.
    Did you get admitted to other programs?
    Yes, Fordham, Rutgers, SMU, Alabama, Uconn
    Why did you choose this program?
    The program has strong applied Math background and Statistic oriented. Also faculties are very awesome.
    Tell us about the quality of teaching.
    Very good. Workload is a little overwhelming, However, I got a lot coding experiences, which is very useful in job hunting.
    What is unique about this program?
    1. Focus on R programming, which is increasingly popular and very cool.
    2. Practical oriented curriculum set. We do some practical oriented project, such as designing a portfolio strategy, doing becktesting and competing final return with classmates, also pricing options by numeric.
    What are any weaknesses in this program?
    Workload is heavy and study pace is really fast. I didn’t have enough time to deeply dig some point you interested in. Also, if you didn’t have a good schedule and strong motivation to push you executing your plan, you may feel bad.
    What was your experience like with career services?
    I thinks the career services is good enough. It truly provide me and my classmates a lot of opportunities, even though the companies are not all big names and the positions are not all what you like. I have to admit the career services of our program do their best with the limited recourses.
    What is the student body like?
    Math, Engineering and stats is primary. One or two are finance
    Do you have any suggestions to make the program better?
    Let the students close to live markets and pay an attention to the markest. Maybe set up a trading floor and let all the students form a mock assets management company, each acting as a role in that company and running a mock fund continuously from every beginning to their graduate.
  10. DanniLin
    Before joining the CFRM program, I had a Bachelor of Science major in Statistics, minor in Mathematics. I felt the basic statistics skills were not enough for me, I wanted to apply my statistics and mathematics knowledge in my favorite field - finance. Since I studied my undergraduate degree in the University of Washington, I got chance to sit in the CFRM classes, the live discussion and materials taught there were really appealing to me. My friend who was a PhD at UW was taking the CFRM classes and gave me very positive feedback too. CFRM program became my top choice.

    Quality of teaching is great, the instructors are very helpful. Instructors use class time very efficiently and assign meaningful assignments. Outside classroom instructors and TAs give a lot of extra help. All the lectures are recorded and available online, which becomes very handy for review.

    CFRM program offers us seminars, career coaching events, networking events, student clubs. Those activities outside classroom provide different perspectives of learning knowledge, connecting us with what is happening in the world. Students like me who like to participate in organizing such events also get a chance to gain leadership skills.

    My classmates were friendly and with different backgrounds, which allow us always have something to learn from each other. Faculties and staffs were very helpful, especially when students look for internships and jobs. I got my first internship in a financial company during my second quarter in CFRM program, after 3 months of internship I was offered a full time job. Because the flexibility of CFRM curriculum, I could work full time in the day and go to classes at night, the materials were also available online. Without the things I learn from the program and the help from professors, I could not be offered a job while I was still studying the degree especially during years when economy was not that good. I was really thankful to everybody in the program.

    After obtaining my Master's degree from CFRM, I got an even better job offer from Microsoft. I am current a forecasting model specialist, leveraging many things I learned in CFRM program such as financial modeling, I think the 2 years I spent with CFRM were definitely worthy and significant to my future.