2017-2018 Bulletin 
    May 29, 2024  
2017-2018 Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Financial Engineering, MS

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degrees Offered

Management of risk is a necessity in today’s highly leveraged, highly competitive, global economy. Using advanced quantitative methods and path-breaking concepts of strategic planning, financial engineering has emerged as a specialized discipline. Financial Engineering focuses on designing, evaluating, and managing financial products and using quantitative methods. This intensive degree program prepares graduates for careers in a broad range of specialties including risk management, portfolio management, investment banking, corporate finance, and data analysis. 

The Master of Science in Financial Engineering (MSFE) can be completed in three semesters, although many students choose to spread the degree over four semesters.  Students may enroll on a full-time or part-time basis and are given the flexibility to switch between either.  All students are advised to plan their schedules carefully since most courses are only offered during the day.

Admission Requirements

An applicant to the program should have a strong quantitative undergraduate background, and preferably some experience in programming languages such as C, C++, java, SQL or mathematical software. Some background in business or economics is desirable. An undergraduate degree in mathematics, physical science, engineering, or economics is an advantage. Each student will acquire advanced quantitative and managerial tools in the course of the program.

An applicant must submit a completed application, application fee, transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work completed, three letters of reference, résumé, personal statement, and GMAT or GRE scores as indicated in the Admission  section of the Bulletin.  Students whose first language is not English must submit TOEFL test scores. The admissions committee reviews applicants for clear indications of analytical and leadership ability, particularly in quantitative work.

Quantitative Background Criteria. Applicants are expected to have completed Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III, (multivariate calculus), and Linear Algebra with a grade of B or better. 

Degree Requirements

Coursework.  The program requires 40 units of coursework. 

New students are required to show competency in Financial Accounting and Probability prior to enrollment in coursework via the following options:

  • Have taken a Financial Accounting course in their undergraduate coursework or recently online
  • Pass a probability waiver exam or have taken a Probability course in their undergraduate coursework or recently in a community college, college or university

New students are required to have successfully passed both courses prior to the start of the program or within the past 5 years and received a grade of a B or better. Students who do not fulfill the competency requirements for probability will have to take a probability course at CGU for 4 units and would have to pay the required tuition. The same requirements apply for Financial Accounting.

MSFE Unit Breakdown (assuming competency is fulfilled)

Finance Core Courses 14 Units
Mathematics Core Courses 14 Units
Elective Courses 12 Units
Total Degree 40 Units


Mathematics.  Four courses in mathematics are required.

  • Statistics or Financial Time Series
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Mathematical Finance
  • Quantitative Risk Management or Optimal Portfolio Theory

Students with a sufficiently strong mathematical background may request a waiver of one or more of the required courses.

Management.  Four courses in management are required.

  • Introduction to Risk Management
  • Corporate Finance
  • Asset Management Practicum
  • Derivatives

Students with a sufficiently strong management background may request a waiver of one or more of the required courses.

Electives.  Three approved courses in Mathematics, Management, or Economics are selected from a list of approved courses.

Data Analytics Concentration (Optional). The concentration focuses on the theory and tools needed to understand, extract, and model data. Students will learn the concepts for financial markets and economic data, will work with real data exercises, and will integrate graphical and analytical methods for modeling and diagnosing modeling errors.

Students will be required to take 3 of the courses listed below in Data Analytics:

  • Statistics
  • Linear Statistical Models
  • Data Mining
  • Large Scale Inference
  • Statistical Learning

Field Study (Optional).  An integral component of the financial engineering degree is an internship opportunity that allows candidates to examine specific applications of derivative instruments and risk management in a business environment. Depending upon student and sponsor needs, internships can be structured on a full- or part-time basis. The internship is not a requirement, but is optional and may be taken for academic credit toward the management electives requirement. Students are encouraged to visit the Drucker Career Development Office for assistance in internship and job search.

Satisfactory Academic Progress.  University policies on satisfactory academic progress apply.  Students must maintain an average grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better in the 48 required units to qualify for the degree.  Students whose GPAs fall below 3.0 or who do not make satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree may be dismissed by the faculty.

University Policies.  University policies detailed in the Academic Policies  section of the Bulletin apply.

Program Opportunities

Dual Degree Programs.  Dual degree programs allow CGU students to work toward and earn two degrees at the same time.

For the MSFE degree, students must complete a minimum of 32 units.  These units are separate from the units required for the second degree.  Upon approval, the MSFE Program may accept up to 8 units from the second degree program to meet the 40 units required for the MSFE degree.

Students interested in a dual degree with MSFE should meet with the Financial Engineering program coordinator.  Dual degree program models are available for students in Mathematics, Economics, the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA), and the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs.

For complete information regarding dual degrees, refer to the Enrollment in Multiple Programs  section of the Bulletin.

Accelerated Degree Program.  Claremont Graduate University offers qualified undergraduate students of the Claremont Colleges an opportunity to begin the MSFE degree while completing their undergraduate study. The applicant applies to the MSFE Program during the junior year and, with the guidance of both the program coordinator and the undergraduate advisor, enrolls in up to 16 units of coursework that may be counted toward the graduate degree.  Following baccalaureate graduation, the accelerated degree student is able to complete the MSFE with one additional year of study.

Interested undergraduate students should consult with their undergraduate advisors and contact Admissions  at CGU.

International Exchange Program. Financial Engineering students have the option of participating in a semester-long exchange program with our partner school University of Lausanne, Switzerland. The Management office notifies MSFE students of the application process for the international exchange program. Only a limited number of students may be accepted into the exchange program. Students will be required to pay tuition to CGU. All cost of living and travel expenses are the responsibility of the student. Students in good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 and above) and have completed both Fall and Spring semester at CGU may apply to an international exchange program.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degrees Offered