Oxford MFE vs HEC Paris MIF vs Notre Dame MSBA vs MIT MFin/MBan


I'm in the very fortunate position to have been admitted to Oxford, HEC and ND. I have interviews for both MFin and MBan programs this coming week. HEC have committed to at least 20k scholarship, bringing the course fee to 12k euro. Notre Dame haven't confirmed an amount yet but indicated approximately 25-30k dollars, which will bring the cost to 20-25k dollars. Oxford scholarships have not been released yet, so lets assume nothing on that front, so ~50k euro.

I have applications pending for LSE (Finance, Financial Mathematics), and I would assume I will be admitted to one of those programs on the back of the application results so far. I think MFE > both of those, but thoughts here appreciated. I have also have been invited to interview for Dukes MQM:BA, but I think I will scratch that.

Background: Final year Undergraduate in Management Science and Information Systems in a top Irish University. We don't have CGPA, but currently 1st in class with a high 1st class honours (3.7-4). GMAT: 770 (Q49, V48). Had an internship in one of MS,GS,JPM in the UK, and currently a teaching assistant for 1st and 2nd year students in my university.

Location: Regarding where I work after the masters, I am not particularly inclined either way at the minute. Happy to go to London, but also equally happy to try out the US. I have a good level of French, but probably not employable proficiency just yet.

Goals: The goal at the moment is Hedge Fund/Quantitative Strategy/Research. I have an M&A internship this summer so I will see how I find that too. I think my short-term career goals (first couple of years out of college) are flexible-ish.

Thoughts: I actually never expected to get into to Oxford or MIT, and always thought that if it was my choice entirely, then MIT is the way to go. I know Notre Dame isn't as high ranked or even a Finance related course, but I think it is hard to overlook the scholarship and the fun I could have there compared to Oxf/MIT. I have no idea what the job prospects out of the MSBA are, but I have been treated very well by the AdCom and like the look of the school and area. HEC Paris offers a chance to improve my French, and is the number 1 ranked pre-experience finance masters. However, my research kind of indicates that the Oxf MFE is a better program, although I will be worked much harder on the MFE.

Really tough decision, and would appreciate any input. Happy to answer any questions as well.

Comments (18)

Feb 16, 2019

Note that it will be very hard to recruit for US jobs in the current market directly. I'd be better to start in London and transfer to US offices after 1-2-3 years on the job.

From my perspective: MIT>Oxford>HEC>ND especially given that you want to be on the quant side. If you were to apply to IBD i'd say Oxford=MIT. Thing to note is that both MIT/Oxford and even LSE will carry a much better brand name that HEC in the world as HEC is usually know by french firms and limited to them/to the European market

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Feb 16, 2019

Thanks for the input. I had gathered as much about HEC.

How do you think recruitment would be coming from MIT back to London after graduation? Feels like it would difficult to network/interview with firms in London from over there.

Feb 16, 2019

Most firms would fly you out. Also consider that usually you should have a summer lined up before starting a 1year masters, although you could apply to Summers after your masters only few firms allow that and it is very competitive to get into FT roles without similar summer experience.

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Feb 16, 2019

I agree that for your goal of quant - MIT would be the best. For banking/consulting where brand matters the most, Oxford/MIT both are equal and the best on your list

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Feb 16, 2019

Yep I think I agree. Thanks for the input.

Most Helpful
Feb 16, 2019

Hey there!

Fellow MFE admittee here, and I believe I do recognize your name from Oxford's post-offer page. For me personally (MBB internship background, IB/PE aspirations), Oxford and MIT were neck-in-neck for my first choice with Oxford perhaps having a slight edge due to the cost, more relevant coursework and brand recognition.

Ultimately, I got dinged at MIT, so I didn't even have to make the decision.

If I were you though, I'd go for MIT especially if the cost isn't a prohibitive factor. The FE concentration seems like a good way to go for someone with a more quant-focused career plan.
I don't think you'd have much trouble finding a job in Europe with a degree from MIT, especially if you're an EU citizen. I don't think the same can be said for finding a job in the US from Oxford/HEC, as (based on the prevailing sentiment on WSO) US recruiting usually entails a heavy amount of networking and the whole visa sponsorship thing can be rather annoying if you don't have an OPT extension, which you can only get by completing a degree in the US.

As for HEC/ND, I'd avoid them entirely. Too regional, not particularly rigorous, lower recognition etc. The FT rankings are worthless IMO. I mean seriously, Skema and ESCP > MIT and Oxford? I don't even think the folks at Skema and ESCP would believe that ( no offense intended to anyone there, I'm sure they are fine institutions).

At the end of the day, you really can't go wrong with either one of MIT or Oxford. With your qualifications though, I'm sure you'll do fine at any of the programs you mentioned.

Best of luck!

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Feb 16, 2019

Hey. Thanks for reaching out, pleasure to meet ya. Congrats on the admit as well!

Good commentary all round. From what I can tell, living costs aside, the costs are not a million miles away from each other (although MIT is more expensive). The MBan at MIT is 20k less due to company sponsor.

Sorry to hear about the ding. To be honest, I wasn't expecting to get anywhere with either MIT programs, but have interviews for both this week, which is a bit nerve wrecking. Agree completely with quant-focused point.

I'm leaning towards MIT MFin first, but the MFE ahead of the MIT MBan.

Keep in touch - could be we cross paths in Oxford in a couple months time!

Feb 18, 2019

I am a current undergraduate who is interested in the quant finance masters programs. I was curious what division you worked at in your BB Junior summer internship? I am thinking about the balance between prestige from a large firm on the application vs. something that might be more applicable?

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Feb 18, 2019

I'll pm.

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Feb 22, 2019

Hi OP, I noticed on your linkedin that you state you were an investment banking summer analyst during your summer internship but you were in fact part of the CADP summer analyst program. I.e. You weren't an investment banking SA. I would strongly recommend clarifying this.

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Sep 3, 2019