5/14/11

Hello,

Could you please rank the following MS Finance degrees in terms of employment prospects from best to worst for new entrants to Finance industry? I need to make sure before I invest my money in these programs. Hence I am asking for your valuable insights regarding these programs :)

  1. University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
  2. Purdue University
  3. UT Dallas
  4. SUNY Buffalo
  5. Hofstra University
  6. Washington University
  7. Villanova University
  8. Vanderbilt University
  9. Ohio State

Does anyone have idea about Hofstra ? I was interested coz I live in NYC.

I contacted UT Dallas about their employment prospects but they didnt reply me back. I can only assume it is not good otherwise they would have shared.

Thanks :)

Comments (48)

5/14/11

You can read more details on ANT's MSF site (http://msfhq.com/)
... that said, if you have those options I would eliminate everything except WUSTL, Villanova and Vanderbilt (with UIUC looking in from the outside)

WUSTL and Nova are generally agreed to have the best placement stats, with only an incremental advantage over Vandy. This means that between the three you could to a certain degree have your decision be a function of scholarship/funding levels.

If you don't get into any of those three (or UIUC), Purdue is the only other option which IMHO would even be worth your tuition if you wan't to transition to an FO positon in finance.

No to UT Dallas and Hofstra. Just no.

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns or dollars."

Accepted.com
5/14/11
Independent Gestion:

You can read more details on ANT's MSF site (http://msfhq.com/)
... that said, if you have those options I would eliminate everything except WUSTL, Villanova and Vanderbilt (with UIUC looking in from the outside)

WUSTL and Nova are generally agreed to have the best placement stats, with only an incremental advantage over Vandy. This means that between the three you could to a certain degree have your decision be a function of scholarship/funding levels.

If you don't get into any of those three (or UIUC), Purdue is the only other option which IMHO would even be worth your tuition if you wan't to transition to an FO positon in finance.

No to UT Dallas and Hofstra. Just no.

Cud u tell me why UT Dallas and Hofstra is so bad ? Why is their b school ranked so well by USNews :S

5/14/11
tomal.web:
Independent Gestion:

You can read more details on ANT's MSF site (http://msfhq.com/)
... that said, if you have those options I would eliminate everything except WUSTL, Villanova and Vanderbilt (with UIUC looking in from the outside)

WUSTL and Nova are generally agreed to have the best placement stats, with only an incremental advantage over Vandy. This means that between the three you could to a certain degree have your decision be a function of scholarship/funding levels.

If you don't get into any of those three (or UIUC), Purdue is the only other option which IMHO would even be worth your tuition if you wan't to transition to an FO positon in finance.

No to UT Dallas and Hofstra. Just no.

Cud u tell me why UT Dallas and Hofstra is so bad ? Why is their b school ranked so well by USNews :S

It's best if I address that in two parts,

i) US News rankings don't specifically refer to MSF programs but generally to MBA quality. In addition, only a portion of MBAs are pursuing careers in Finance, and different schools may have strengths in non-finance business recruiting training. UT Dallas for example has been rising in rankings meteorically the past few years (and it may well be destined for a pseudo-flagship campus role in the UT system later on ). As you can see from a quick search though, most placements to BBs from UT Dallas are not to front office positions. Hofstra I know less about, however the placements given proximity to NYC are disappointing from what I have observed.

ii) None of these schools are so bad per se , but if you have the option of {WUSTL, Nova, Vandy or even UIUC}, you shouldn't even consider third tier programs like UTD, OSU and Hofstra. This isn't a knock on people who go there. I didn't go to Harvard, but if I'd gotten in my life would have been easier the past 4 years and I definitely would have taken the offer. It's the same reasoning that should tell you to take the best you can get. The second poster agreed and I'm sure that most will; 4 of those options are in a higher league than the other.

Cheers,

IG

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns or dollars."

5/14/11

I will attend next year Ohio State University.Obviously I cant rank it in terms of employment prospects,since its a brand new program (begins in autumn).But as a business school overall,Fisher College of Business is compared only to WUSTL from the above list.And its undergraduate recruitment in finance is pretty solid,with its Fisher Futures program.

From the established programs I would pick WUSTL,Villanova and Vanderbilt,then UIUC (which btw begins in June).
If you have some FT WE and you are interested in corporate finance or research you should also check Boston College.

5/14/11
SalGr:

I will attend next year Ohio State University.Obviously I cant rank it in terms of employment prospects,since its a brand new program (begins in autumn).But as a business school overall,Fisher College of Business is compared only to WUSTL from the above list.And its undergraduate recruitment in finance is pretty solid,with its Fisher Futures program.

From the established programs I would pick WUSTL,Villanova and Vanderbilt,then UIUC (which btw begins in June).
If you have some FT WE and you are interested in corporate finance or research you should also check Boston College.

definitely i will keep these in mind for next year :)

5/14/11

UT Dallas is more for working professionals. I suppose if you only want to work in Dallas, then UTD should be your top choice. Outside of that narrow focus, UTD should not outrank the other schools. Purdue is a good school, I just think they don't really focus on their MSF program a lot.

SUNY Buffalo is cheap and really big with international students. Lots of BO/MO roles in Buffalo also. Not a Wall Street MSF program, IMO.

I've spoken to the Hofstra rep and while they have an MSF, it is really secondary to their MBA. Most of the students are part time also.

The thing that really separates these programs is the emphasis the schools place on the MSF program. Villanova, Vanderbilt, WUSTL, UIUC, Claremont, Princeton, MIT, BC, etc all have defined programs. The grad office places emphasis on recruiting for these programs and they are not an after thought.

Example. University of Kansas has an MSF program. I think it is mainly pre PhD students. No website, no active recruiting, nothing. Basically a dormant program with maybe a few students.

Hope this helps.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

5/15/11
ANT:

UT Dallas is more for working professionals. I suppose if you only want to work in Dallas, then UTD should be your top choice. Outside of that narrow focus, UTD should not outrank the other schools. Purdue is a good school, I just think they don't really focus on their MSF program a lot.

SUNY Buffalo is cheap and really big with international students. Lots of BO/MO roles in Buffalo also. Not a Wall Street MSF program, IMO.

I've spoken to the Hofstra rep and while they have an MSF, it is really secondary to their MBA. Most of the students are part time also.

The thing that really separates these programs is the emphasis the schools place on the MSF program. Villanova, Vanderbilt, WUSTL, UIUC, Claremont, Princeton, MIT, BC, etc all have defined programs. The grad office places emphasis on recruiting for these programs and they are not an after thought.

Example. University of Kansas has an MSF program. I think it is mainly pre PhD students. No website, no active recruiting, nothing. Basically a dormant program with maybe a few students.

Hope this helps.

Hmmmm thanks for the valuable feedback :)

U r a graduate from Villanova, right ??? Do they target business/BBA graduates? From their website, they say their undergrad target is finance, engineering, economics etc. So will I be at disadvantage if I apply ???

5/15/11

What is your background?

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

5/16/11
ANT:

What is your background?

Well my undergad degree is BBA with GPA 3.91 with major in finance. I am from Bangladesh.

My gmat is 710.

Also giving CFA Level 1 this June 5th.

5/16/11

Ranking MSF programs is a worthless endeavor. You will get different answers from different people for different reasons. The only program you have listed that I would drop is UIUC unless working in Chicago is your number one priority than I would "maybe" consider it.

You need to ask what you want to accomplish with a MSF and then figure out what program best helps you achieve your goal.

So I would ask yourself these 2 questions and then research the programs that match your preferences.
What do you want to do?
Where do you want to work?

5/16/11

Agree with Alte, although I'd drop all those programs all together... Masters in Finance don't get you jobs in a BB if that's what you are hoping to get out of it. Masters are far more common in Europe were you are expected to have one. In the US you go to an MBA after a few years of work. Masters in Finance were quasi non-existant 7 years ago in the US, they just caught on recently as a cash cow for Universities

5/16/11

Disjoint:

Agree with Alte, although I'd drop all those programs all together... Masters in Finance don't get you jobs in a BB if that's what you are hoping to get out of it. Masters are far more common in Europe were you are expected to have one. In the US you go to an MBA after a few years of work. Masters in Finance were quasi non-existant 7 years ago in the US, they just caught on recently as a cash cow for Universities

Not necessarily true. I know multiple people who went the MSF route and received BB IB offers, numerous others receive offers in PWM/RE/etc.

The degree really is for a certain type of person though. Usually it is best geared for someone from a nontarget or someone with little work experience in a different field who want to re-brand themselves. If you are coming from a target or even a good semi-target then an MSF really might not be that beneficial. However, if you are coming from an unknown school with zero recruiting the MSF is a very worthwhile degree.

To answer the original question it really depends on where you want to work, what industry, etc.

5/16/11

Disjoint:

Agree with Alte, although I'd drop all those programs all together... Masters in Finance don't get you jobs in a BB if that's what you are hoping to get out of it. Masters are far more common in Europe were you are expected to have one. In the US you go to an MBA after a few years of work. Masters in Finance were quasi non-existant 7 years ago in the US, they just caught on recently as a cash cow for Universities

The degree caught on because it is a much needed product. You had too many kids looking for a bridge program going into MBA programs that they weren't qualified for and using up their MBA card later on.

As for placements, there are plenty of programs that place kids into BB IBD. The world is not BB or bust either. All the above mention programs place well regionally as well as in major markets and have strong MM and Boutique FO placement.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

5/16/11

Disjoint:

Agree with Alte, although I'd drop all those programs all together... Masters in Finance don't get you jobs in a BB if that's what you are hoping to get out of it. Masters are far more common in Europe were you are expected to have one. In the US you go to an MBA after a few years of work. Masters in Finance were quasi non-existant 7 years ago in the US, they just caught on recently as a cash cow for Universities

I actually know of someone personally who is starting at a BB next week that was in an MSF program.. Not saying everyone can do it.. But its doable

You are correct in that they are far more common in Europe but a majority of the European programs are geared to post-experience as a substitute for the MBA.

But to the OP I would say:

USC if your goal is LA/SF (I don't care how much better the claremont program is... the USC brand opens doors)

Texas if your goal is Texas but even nationwide it carries weight McCombs is a target for most/all banks (Obviously Texas focused but there are a good amount of alumni in LA and NY)

Vandy if you want to work in the south

Nova has the location for NYC but the downside is the program DESTROYS the cohort as approximately 70% of the class under a 3.5 going into fall recruiting (If you go to Nova you need to be a [email protected] rockstar at accounting, finance, stats/calc)

5/16/11

Claremont would definitely be #1 followed by Vandy and UVA. The rest are essentially on par, with the exception of UIUC. As far as Disjoint's comment is concerned, there is some truth to it, but it entirely ignores the fact that many individuals aren't solely looking for BB IB. MSF programs can open doors, especially to students who had a hard time during the crisis, or those who didn't attend tier 1, prestigious universities for undergrad.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

5/16/11

Well, I want to break into sales and trading. BB would be great but not necessary. I'm an international applicant by the way.

5/16/11

One last comment. While I understand the desire to rank things, this thinking is a major hindrance. Very square peg. IMO, rankings will be the worst thing that happens to the MSF degree when they inevitably occur. You need to decide what you want, where you want to be and which school is best for you. Even in MBA programs you will find rankings do not tell the whole story.

Do your own diligence and make a decision that feels right for you.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

5/16/11

Duke sends a few kids to S&T each year, I know of at least 3 people with offers, 1 FICC Trading, 2 sales one equity, one FI. There isn't much interest to go into it, there is a decent network on the street, but you'll largely be running your own process, I got a first round through OCR with a top prop shop, think FNYS, Jane St, DRW.

Accepted.com
Best Response
5/16/11

There no official rankings yet.

But, check this out:
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/comprehensiv...

"Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

5/16/11

Dependents on what your plan is. If you want to work on Wall Street or in BB banks, Vanderbilt is the only school worth considering in your list. The other schools are only good if you want to work in the specific region the school is in.

You may want to try WUSTL, Boston College, and Villanova

5/16/11

Track TNA he can give you a very good idea where to go just by reading his threads.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

5/16/11

MIT, Vandy, WUSTL and CMC would have the best MSFs in the US. Closely followed by schools like Nova, BC, USC, UT (the last two are newish programs). There are many great MSFs threads on WSO and MSFHQ.com would be the website to follow and TNA would be the man to talk to.

5/16/11

Cool thanks for the replies/advice. I just found the comprehensive MS Finance thread which is very useful as well as MSFHQ.

I am not necessarily aiming for BB/IB, so I think that some of these schools with more regional recruiting grounds could still provide me with opportunities. So far I have been focused on programs with a 'good' name and an interesting program. For example, Arizona has a very specific track focused on fixed income, which is of particular interest to me. Florida also has a similarly detailed curriculum, with seminars on emerging markets.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Villanova (a school I have never heard of until today) has a better reputation, but also appears to have a much more limited curriculum. Suppose I am unable to get a job in the US and I end up having to return to Toronto. In this case, I would probably be more happy with the UF degree over Nova degree - but let me know if my reasoning is off base here.

5/16/11

If you want to head back to Canada or even eventually settle in Canada, I would go with schools that are probably better known there. UF does not take non UF undergrads for their MSFs, I think but not sure.

5/16/11

I'd say Vandy, UIUC, OSU, UMD, Suny, UA. UF can't be on there BC only UF undergrads can go. If it could, it would be tied with Vandy.

5/16/11

Ah true enough about about UF, didn't see that. I guess they have a large enough student population to make it work.

5/16/11

I think UIUC is the best in your list. It has a really good reputation in Chicago. OSU might have a strong connection with KeyBank.

5/16/11

I am interested as well. I looked at Duke's MMS program, which I am also interested in, and your stats are above average for them.

You are not eligible for UVA's program because you will have an UG business degree.

5/16/11

Villanova's MSF will probably give you the best chance to for IBD NY. It's a well-established program. But I would consult ANT on this

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

5/16/11

Look at UTexas too. They just launched a new MSF program.

5/16/11

Since those are not exactly top tiers, and considering you do get a 710 GMAT and a SA job... I don't think you would have a problem getting in.

Are you trying to go straight for an analyst position at BB IB?

5/16/11

Associate*

5/16/11

No I am just looking at straight analyst position, because I don't think that I will be able to receive a summer analyst position, because I am yet to hear back on any opportunities yet and therefore will have a difficult time breaking into BB IB without any experience. That's why I am looking to go to these programs. Yeah, I know these may not be the top tier schools but I am not exactly interested in going overseas considering i want to work in NY and I kind of prefer these programs based on what I have read on them. And thanks for the tip on UT Austin will definitely look into that as well.

5/16/11

Have heard great things about MIT's MSF from a friend.

5/16/11
blueny:

Ok, so I currently attend a non-target (great public school) as a Finance and Economics major with a GPA of 3.85. I also believe I can get a gmat score of approximately 710. I also do not have any work experience but am trying to this summer, in addition to research with the economics department.

I am currently looking at:
Claremont McKenna MSF
Duke MMS
UVA Commerce MSC
Villanova MSF
BC MSF

Do I have a chance of getting into these schools as someone who by that point of applying may still have little finance experience despite being a finance and economics major. Any help is appreciated. Also which would provide me the best shot to go into IBD in NY. Thank you for your help.

UVA is off the list, you are a finance grad and are excluded from applying.

BC's program is great and will do well in Boston/NYC, but it is a night time, PT MSF. They have a new full time quant track MSF during the day, but not sure if you are looking for that. Pro with this program is Boston and internship opportunity.

Villanova's program is right outside Philly so you can intern there. Philly, like Boston is a decent finance city so you have networking and work opportunities as well. The program is established and has solid placements and alumni. The school is well ranked and has lots of alumni on the street. It is also the lowest cost of the programs listed. Placements in NYC/Philly.

Claremont is a great MSF program. Strong West Coast placements. You are pretty close to LA so I suppose you can intern also.

Duke has the best brand, but it is a general management program. Not saying this is a bad thing, just saying it is kind of different. Placements and program have been improving. The MMS program is finding its sweet spot.

MIT is obviously the gold standard for traditional MSF programs. Expensive, but worth it.

UT Austin is a great program. Probably going to be strongest in Texas or the south.

Decide where you want to start your career (location wise) and how much you want to spend. Your stats are great and you will get into or be competitive at all schools .Claremont might pass on your since they see top UG schools with engineering backgrounds. They love Harvey Mudd. Their GMAT average is also rather high (over 700).

Whatever you do, get an internship 1st. You don't want to have a bare resume when you start these programs.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

5/16/11

Thanks ANT, will definitely keep all of that advice as I go forward definitely because I am most likely looking to work in Boston, New York or Philly. Definitely going to continue to focus on getting internship for now, but just trying to plan ahead.

5/16/11

Yeah, no worries. The internship is key. Also, redo your resume and make sure it is linear. You want to paint a picture of someone who systematically is interested in finance.

BS Finance

Finance Internship

MS Finance

Analyst bank gig

Etc.

Try and get two internships, with one being a boutique bank or whatever and another being PWM. Use the PWM to get your Series 7 and 66. Both are good for 1 year if you quit and will look good on the resume.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

5/16/11

ANT, just to clarify an earlier comment, if an IB recruits an MSF or MMS student, they would start as an analyst, correct?

5/16/11

Yes, unless you have relevant experience.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

5/16/11

@Ant...how have MSF students done in IB recruiting who don't have IB exp but other finance related internships. It seems a decent amount of kids have faired pretty well without direct IB experience, just by browsing through linedkin.

5/16/11

quick chime in -- didnt duke make a seperate MMS for a foundations in business and another for finance seperately?

ive also found it interesting that UT's MSF has only core finance classes and not a lot of the O&G finance classes -- which may yet change

5/16/11
5/16/11
5/16/11
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