Hi I am applying to STEM Designated MS Finance program in US and would like some help.

I am an Indian male, graduated from a decent Indian university in Economics. GPA 3.1, GMAT 690 (Q49, V36) and cleared Level 3 of the CFA program.
I have been working as an FP&A analyst at a mid size textile firm for the past 2 years. Also recently I have started working as a financial consultant with an early stage solid waste management start up.
I have participated in several extra curricular activities during my college and also volunteered, but after college, working and preparing for the CFA exams took all my time.

I am targeting Master's programs at following universities:
SUNY buffalo

My goal is to work in buy side equity research in USA.
Substantial scholarship is crucial for me.
I wanted to know about the quality of these programs and also the career prospects post graduation.
I would also like to know how competitive my profile will be for entry level jobs in the US and what I should do to improve my chances to secure a job there.

Thank you

Comments (13)


Vanderbilt is STEM designated, they just don't advertise it like the others because that's not their only plus lol.

However, as an Indian applying to Vanderbilt, you will be at a disadvantage for 3 main reasons:
1) You are from an over represented majority. Every year, tons of Indians apply to MSFs and MBAs and other engineering STEM designated masters. So you'll have to stand out and reason number 2 is how you'll do it.
2) Since you're an Indian and a foreigner, you will need 700+ GMAT to get in. This is not to say that 690 is a bad score but 700+ to be on the safe side
3) Low GPA but luckily, MSF admissions are not as strict as top MBAs. So your GMAT can offset your GPA. Get a 720+ on the GMAT and I'm sure you'll be competitive.

Now, if you have any other solid verifiable achievements, that may also offset the low GPA.

In the US, only Vanderbilt, UT Austin, WUSTL, USC, UMN are worth attending, in that order. WUSTL and USC are not STEM but they have a lot of experience placing internationals.

Hope this helps!

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Edit: I totally forgot about your CFA. Yes, don't retake GMAT. CFA is enough. Only explain why you got a low GPA and you'll be fine. CFA is a major advantage because 90% of the applicants haven't passed all levels of CFA.


I echo this, the ones that the OP listed are out of range in terms of placement.
Vandy, UT Austin, USC, WUSTL and I would say UVA MS Commerce are more than fine.

Nicest haircut than Bateman


Thank you for your replies. I will look into Vanderbilt. For the other non STEM programs, I am extremely reluctant to apply because I have seen the problems people face due to Visa. Many of my friends had to return to India even after securing visa sponsorship and full time positions with top companies. The H1B itself is a lottery and now with rising RFE requests and higher scrutiny, its probably not a good idea to take the risk.

I would really appreciate it if you could expand upon the STEM programs.


Vanderbilt, UT Austin, UMN Carlson. That's it. Other MSFs even STEM are just not worth it.

Best Response

Here is a list of all the schools with STEM designation:

Vanderbilt University
Syracuse University
Tulane University
University of Rochester
University of Oregon
Loyola Chicago
University of California at Davis
University of Cincinnati
Babson College
Washington University - St. Louis
University at Buffalo
University of Conneticut
Northern Illinois University
Clark University
Princeton University
Case Western University
University of California Santa Cruz
Portland State University
Bentley University
Columbia University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Iowa State University
Lehigh University
Pacific Lutheran University
University of Utah
University of Minnesota
Brandeis University
Rutgers University
Temple University
Fordham University
University of Iowa

List formats weird, but you get the gist.

With your stats, Vanderbilt is going to be tough. MIT is near impossible. Rochester might be worth looking at. Utah has remarkably good placements. You could go for lesser schools in good metro's (Babson - Boston, Fordham - NYC, Temple - PHL, Loyola Chicago - CHI).

Hope this helps.

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


Thanks for the reply.


I don't think Vanderbilt is going to be tough. CFA plus that GMAT is enough. You have presented a list of schools that send majority of their international students back to their home countries even STEM. Congrats for giving the worst advice


@TNA is the n1!!

Nicest haircut than Bateman


what is n1? lol


I mean is the number one, an hardo

Nicest haircut than Bateman


Sorry @TNA do you know if one of these progrs have no gmat request?

The name of the game, moving the money from the client's pocket to your pocket


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