MSF Decision

Hey guys!

I've recently applied to several MSF programs and got admitted to some of them. My career goal is to enter the US asset management industry upon graduation and i only had internship experience in the banking industry.

I am wondering which program could be better for a finance career in the US. The programs are listed as below.

  1. U Maryland - MSF (Q)
  2. Boston U - MSMF
  3. Duke MQM Finance track
  4. WUSTL MSF (Q)

I personally prefer to choose between Duke and WUSTL but would like to hear any advice. Thanks!

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Comments (6)

Dec 20, 2018


Jan 3, 2019

I'm currently at a "top MSF". Most prospective students have been completely hoodwinked and they don't realize their career goals are completely unrealistic for post graduation from a MSF program.

Students of one-year programs are ineligible for the summer internship opportunities that are paramount for banking, and even if you are in a two-year program, most firms, especially the BBs, don't open the SA programs, especially FO positions, to graduate students -- BO positions are a different story. As a result, there's no such thing as on-campus recruiting for MSF students, at best you will have to try to piggyback off of undergraduate recruiting -- if hired, you will come in as an analyst, not an associate, even though you have a masters degree -- the government does not differentiate between a specialized masters and a MBA, so the pay-grade is the same, otherwise, the compensation difference between analyst and associate is real dollars.

At this point, I would say depending on your case, the MSF should probably be avoided completely. You would be better served to pursue an MBA for a career change, especially for banking. A top 20 program will open up paths to financial services that are unfortunately highly unlikely from a MSF program, regardless of your school.

    • 1
Jan 3, 2019


    • 1
Jan 5, 2019

I think most MSF students are aware that they will start as summer Analysts at the end of the program. Most don't expect to start as associates. Also most of them also know that only 10-20% will get IB. The literature usually makes this quite clear

MSF is a way for non Finance majors to get into Finance. The advantage is that MSFs who do get into IB can expect to become Associates after two years. At which time those who didn't get the MSF will be Ex-Analysts in some MBA Program starting their second year of MBA.

In the end MSF is a second chance for kids who didn't go to Ivy League schools and didn't start interning with IBs in sophomore year. There is very little recruiting by IBs at this stage. One has to to be willing to network to get in.

Jan 3, 2019

WUSTL is a clear choice here based on placement, curriculum and STEM designation (extended opt).

Disclosure, I'm a WUSTL msf grad.

Jan 3, 2019