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Master's Degree Programs in Mathematical Finance

Finance professionals looking to further their education can earn a master's degree in mathematical finance. Learn more about these programs, such as potential classes, admission requirements, and related careers.

How to Earn a Master's Degree in Mathematical Finance

A master's degree program in mathematical finance can usually be completed in 17 to 29 months after earning 30 to 39 credits from courses like financial computing, financial derivatives, risk management, and more. Some schools offer areas of concentration, such as asset management, risk management, and quantitative analytics. To graduate, a thesis is generally not required, though schools may require a comprehensive exam.

Financial Computing

A course in financial computing teaches students how they can use computer algorithms to help them complete financial computations involved in risk management, derivative pricing, and other financial applications. Students can also examine the ways that computations can go wrong and what they can do when this happens. Areas that may be covered include Monte-Carlo methods, differential equations, binomial methods, trinomial methods, random number generators, and Crank-Nicholson methods.

Financial Derivatives

Students in a financial derivatives class learn about the different computational and numerical techniques that are used to model financial derivatives. The different techniques for mathematical modeling are covered along with the application of spectral methods. This class might also introduce a variety of theories and concepts related to credit risk.

Risk Management

Risk management is a course set up to provide students with an explanation of the different theories and concepts involved in the process of modern risk management. Topics that can be covered here include how to quantify risks and risk management tools like Dodd-Frank proposals. By the time the course wraps up, students should understand how large financial losses can happen and how to avoid them in the future.

Portfolio Management

A class in portfolio management covers a range of topics, some of which could include forecasting, the allocation of assets, turnover, risk and return modeling, equity, and corporate bonds. Students also discuss the problems that can arise when managing assets or portfolios. Lastly, the class might cover the laws and regulations in place when it comes to business inventing.

Stochastic Mathematics

A stochastic mathematics class helps students learn about stochastic differential equations. Students learn how they can be used to predict dynamic behavior of systems under different variables. This course may cover binomial models, Girsanovs theorem, dynamic systems, and Markov processes.

Common Mathematical Finance Admission Requirements

Before a student can enter a master's degree program in mathematical finance, they will need to earn a bachelor's degree in a related field. Applicants will also generally need to hold at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in their undergraduate coursework. It may be necessary for applicants to take either the GRE or GMAT exam and submit their scores to the schools that they are applying to. Colleges often require applicants to have completed prerequisite courses like linear algebra, statistics, and calculus as well.

Related Careers for a Mathematical Finance Master's Degree

Financial Manager

Financial managers typically spend their days creating financial reports and helping businesses to both plan and reach their goals when it comes maximizing profits. Companies looking to hire these professionals may be more likely to select someone with a master's degree in an area like finance or accounting, placing individuals with a master's in mathematical finance at an advantage in the job market.

Financial Analyst

A financial analyst helps clients decide what to do when it comes to making investments. These professionals typically need to have a degree in a field like finance, and a master's degree could help applicants interested in advancing to positions as portfolio managers for a company or fund managers for individuals have a better chance at landing these promotions.

Personal Financial Advisor

A personal financial advisor is responsible for giving advice to people who need help managing and planning their personal finances, whether to prepare for retirement, save for college, or pay taxes. Individuals who work as personal financial advisors for a financial services firm could use a master's in mathematical finance to pursue management positions.

Career TitleMedian Salary (2019)*Job Outlook (2018-2028)*
Financial Manager$129,89016%
Financial Analyst$85,6606%
Personal Financial Advisor$87,8507%

*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Students who hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA and meet the rest of the admissions requirements can enter a master's degree program in mathematical finance. In these programs, students take classes like portfolio management, risk management, and financial computing to prepare for careers as financial managers, financial analysts, or personal financial advisors.