Top UK undergrad to top MSF/MFE programs - Chance me!

Hi monkeys,

I am currently completing my third and final year of undergrad at a top London University (think Imperial, UCL, LSE) studying Mathematics with Economics (degree is comprised of 75% math and 25% economics), and currently in the midst of applications to top MSF and MFE programs in the US and the UK.

GPA: 1st Class Honours (71% average), equivalent to a 3.7/3.8 GPA for you fellow Americans (according to charts online, correct me if I'm wrong)

GRE: 168Q 159V

Work Experience: 2 months finance internship in continental Europe this past summer. The reason that I only have this one is that I only got 2 summers during undergrad (as I'm doing a 3 year program), and one of those summers was consumed by COVID.

Status: US Citizen/Permanent Resident in the US

Relevant Coursework: Lots of Linear Algebra, lots of Probability and Statistics, and lots of various applied mathematics. I am also currently taking a Machine Learning and Data Science course (at the Masters level), an Asset Pricing Course, and will be taking a Financial Maths course next semester.

Also took a Corporate Finance course run in partnership with the Columbia Business School - ICCF

Programming: I have some experience programming in Python with past courses (and have done a few small projects on my own), however I'm currently learning a lot through my current Machine Learning course. 

Picks for MSF:

  • MIT (top choice for MSF)

  • Princeton

  • Vanderbilt

  • Georgetown?? (Have heard mixed reviews about it)

  • LSE, Oxford, LBS, HEC

  • WashU and USC (to a lesser extent)

For MFE:

  • Columbia (top choice for MFE)

  • Carnegie Mellon

  • Baruch

  • Berkeley

  • ... and more (most of the top 10 on QuantNet's ranking)

My questions are should I retake the GRE to increase my Quant score? From what I understand it's not high enough for top MFE programs. What about MSF programs?

Do I stand a chance for those top MSF and MFE programs given my relatively low experience in Finance? Should I aim for lower tier programs? 

Thanks a lot!

(edit: I need to work in the US after graduation for personal reasons, which is why I included only very few European Masters)

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Comments (6)

  • Intern in PropTrad
Nov 8, 2021 - 3:54pm

Be very careful about US master's. Over there they have a much weaker pipeline for masters into something like IB (different story for quant roles but even then a non-stem degree wouldn't be wholly ideal). Look at prev threads for masters pipelines into IB in the US, outside of MBA-->assoc recruiting ofc.

Nov 8, 2021 - 3:57pm

I forgot to explain it in my post, but I need to work in the US after my Masters for personal reasons. Which is why I am mainly applying to US masters as opposed to European ones, even if the latter tend to place better in their respective regions. 

  • Intern in PropTrad
Nov 8, 2021 - 4:15pm

It would make more sense to break into London IB as an undergrad and spend a year there and then lateral to the US internally as a part of a rotation scheme. You'd end up in America at the same time and as you are a citizen you'd likely get to stay. This is assuming you have those offers which you might not (probably don't). In which case again, look at the masters with actual pipelines into IB. Something like princeon or MIT have a strong brand name but might not be great for placement at master's level. Just double check

FYI your degree is only offered by UCL and LSE :p

  • Intern in PropTrad
Nov 8, 2021 - 4:18pm

+ you won't be able to break into US IB from LBS/Oxbridge (for MFins Oxford is the only worthwhile one btw) out of school. You'd still have to do a london stint.

Nov 8, 2021 - 4:37pm

From what I've read online, the Princeton, MIT, and Vanderbilt MSF all offer very good placement into IB (that's of course not every student there, but I have seen that it is definitely possible)? Also for European Masters, would you say I am aiming too high? 

Nov 9, 2021 - 8:55am

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