MSc for Quant Finance

Hey everyone!

Im currently a bachelor student of Economics at Sciences Po Paris (just completed) who also did some mathematics in parallel (2 courses in Analysis, 2 in Linear Algebra, 2 in Proba/stats, Numerical methods, programming in python) and am considering the following MScs in Financial Mathematics/Quant Finance/Financial engineering:

UK:

LSE - Financial Mathematics or Risk and Finance

Imperial College - Risk management and Financial Engineering

King's - Msc FInancial Analytics or Financial Math

Oxford - Math & Computational FInance

UCL - Financial mathematics

Warwick?

FRANCE:

HEC - International Finance

HEC & Polytechnique (X) - Data Science

ESSEC & Centrale - Data Science

ITALY:

Bocconi - Master in Finance or the Quant finance

OTHER:

ERSM Rotterdam, IE, ESADE, ETH Zurich, EPFL

Considering also USA/Canada

I am now wondering if I missed some key programms that one should apply to in Europe? Also what are some good Finance Master programms in the US/CA (after checking NYU it seems that the class is made of 95% people from China is this the case with all technical finance masters in the US?) since I am also interested in working in the US and landing a job in the US after graduating from a European uni is near-impossible (allegedly?).

Comments (7)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 23, 2022 - 10:57am

If you want to do true quant stuff I would advise you to go to a school with a strong engineering department, most positions are filled with engineers and typical business schools don't have a strong network in that space.

Don't think UCL, Warwick, or King's programs are worth the tuition fee to be honest, the top programs in continental Europe will be considerably cheaper and allow you to place just as well or better.

In France the flagship programs for Quant Finance are El Karoui (X/Sorbonne) and Laure Elie (University of Paris), not the ones you listed above.

My rough ranking for London Quant Jobs:

Tier 1 (no order): 

Oxford - Math & Computational FInance

Imperial College - Mathematics and Finance

Tier 2 (no order):

LSE - Financial Mathematics 

Imperial College - Risk Management and Financial Engineering

El Karoui

Laure Elie

ETH/UZH - Master in Quantitative Finance

EPFL - Master in Financial Engineering

Tier 3

The rest

Any program that does not have or does not go deep in Stochastic Calculus should be viewed with skepticism.

You also do not need necessarily to go through a MFE program to get a job like this, a lot of STEM PhD, Masters in Physics/Mathematics from top engineering schools break in but with your background I assume that going through a program like this is the right move since Sciences Po is not a quant powerhouse.

Jul 23, 2022 - 11:56am
luciano.codelli, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey guys thanks for the replies!

This has been my primary concern about these prorgammes as they don't seem deeply technical. The problem is, I do not currently hold a mathematics degree but only some key mathematics courses and I doubt I can apply to El Karoui which requires a mathematics bachelor. I could however do another year of mathematics and thus complete 90% of the mathematics bachelor but I doubt I could obtain the bachelor degree in math with 1 additional year (I've been taking courses in a programme of Financial Mathematics). 

This brings me to my next question - what do these (Masters I wrote up there) lead to exactly? As they are not quantitative enough for true quant positions.. 

Also what about data science programmes, I've heard that there is an increasing nead for machine learning and other data science techniques in finance, would such a programme be appropriate?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 23, 2022 - 12:55pm

When I say true quant roles, I mean quant research, i.e. reading papers/writing papers and developing/maintaining models for your bank/fund. Obviously out of these programs you can do some more data sciency stuff as well or things like trading, structuring, risk management, etc.

The programs you have listed seem more appropriate for data scientist roles at traditional tech companies like FAANG, to be clear there is a need for data scientists at banks within quant research but to pass interviews/screening you will likely still have to learn stochastic calculus, classic financial econometrics/statistics, etc hence why the programs I listed would be more appropriate. Maybe there are some data science only positions but realistically this is a subset of all roles available in quant finance, and the programs I listed have data science options and would enable you for those positions as well.

I think if you are proactive you can make it happen from a MSc in Data Science (again go for engineering schools), just if you want to give yourself the best shot possible go for a MFE because this will be the path of least resistance.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 23, 2022 - 11:26am

For quant finance it 100% is, what makes you say that?

Jul 24, 2022 - 1:27am
Transcending, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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