WUSTL, Cornell, or Boston University for Masters in Finance

Dear WallStreetOasis,

I'm a Chinese student who will be graduating with a finance degree this semester. I've applied to several MFE and MSF programs in the US. So far, I've been accepted into:

Boston University for MSF
WUSTL for MSF on the Quantitative track
Cornell for MFE with Financial Engineering concentration

Right now, I'm torn between WUSTL and Cornell. I'm mostly interested in Boston University for the location. I hear that Boston is a great city. I'm not familiar with it's academic prestige in finance however.

I really do not know what kind of job I would like. I don't think I want to be a quant, but I chose WUSTL's quantitative track because I thought it would make me more competitive in general.

I hope to work in the US after I graduate, but if that fails, I hope my degree will help me land a job in HK or Shanghai. If you could help me understand the pros/cons of each university, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm interested in everything from job prospects, to social networking, to just plain fun. Cost of education is a strong consideration as well.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.



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Comments (12)

Apr 11, 2011 - 2:55pm

BU is a good University but it's no Ivy League. Boston is a financial hub though. I'm leaving Boston this fall to go to Cornell for my MBA. My plan is to return to Boston for investment management after school. My vote is you go to Cornell. Might even end up in a class with you next year. Good luck.

Apr 11, 2011 - 3:47pm

@SDBall22: Thanks for your input on BU.

@Going Concern: Why Cornell over WUSTL?

I've been thinking about working in New York. I hear that WUSTL isn't as strong for recruiting there. Can anyone confirm this? Or how does Cornell compare?

Attaining a work Visa will be a major obstacle after graduation. I would love to hear from foreigners who attended any of these schools on finance tracks or anyone else knowledgeable about this topic. What opportunities did you have after graduation?

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Apr 11, 2011 - 7:11pm

If you want to keep Hong Kong or Shanghai as backups, then definitely go with Cornell. The Ivy league name of Cornell has much greater reaches internationally than the other two programs.

Regardless of choice, all three are solid programs. Congratulations.

“Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do”
  • 1
Apr 11, 2011 - 8:14pm

@SalGR: Boston University has a MS in Mathematical Finance that is part of the school of management. Sorry for any confusion.

@GutShot: Thank you for the specific details. I will need to do research about those companies. I really have little idea about what I want to do for work after graduation. I was hoping that the graduate experience will help me discover my path.

@Nouveau Richie: Thank you for your kind words and advice.

It seems that there is a consensus so far on Cornell. My main concern is that the financial engineering degree will limit me to quant-type jobs. Does anyone have this experience or can contradict it? Quite frankly, I'm hardly tech-savvy, but I work hard; which makes up for a lot of things. =D

Also, I would still appreciate hearing from people who have tried to attain work visas in the US after completing a degree in any of the three schools.

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