2018-2019 Bulletin 
    Jun 20, 2024  
2018-2019 Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Financial Engineering, MS

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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 are detailed in the Admission  section of the Bulletin.

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:

  • Demonstrate that they 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 will have to take the course(s) at CGU and pay the required tuition (4 units for each course).

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

Management.  Four courses in management are required.

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

*Most MSFE students start in the Fall and take the more rigorous FINEN 335 section of Corporate Finance; however, students starting in the Spring may either waive out of the requirement or take first the MGT 335 (MBA) section of Corporate Finance followed up by four (elective) units of MGT 373 in the Fall to fulfill the Corporate Finance degree requirement.

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

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
  • Mathematics of Machine Learning

Financial Technology Concentration (Optional)


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 a 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, dual 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.

You may apply units of your Financial Engineering coursework toward your second degree; the exact number of units depends on the rules established by the department conferring the second 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, MS , Economics, MA ,  and the Business Administration, MBA  programs.

For complete information regarding dual degrees, refer to the Academic Policies - 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.

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