Quant Guide 2020: University of California, Berkeley (Haas School of Business)

Berkeley, US

Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
Photo: David Schmitz

Berkeley’s Master of Financial Engineering programme, part of the Haas School of Business near Berkeley’s Southside neighbourhood, is among the most selective in this year’s quant guide: it made offers to 87 of its 565 applicants.

Linda Kreitzman, the programme’s executive director, says the Haas School keeps up to date by adding new tenured faculty and guest lecturers every year. Teachers are well represented in research; long-serving professor Laurent El-Ghaoui, who teaches topics in machine learning and optimisation techniques, is particularly highly cited in scholarly journals.

The one-year Berkeley degree – which includes a 10- to 12-week corporate internship – emphasises teamwork; it is encouraged in almost all classes to mirror the structure of the workplace. As they progress, students form small groups and take part in a two-month applied finance project, supervised by finance lecturer Eric Reiner. The winning team receives a $5,000 award from Morgan Stanley.

Kreitzman says that in the past year the staff has worked to heighten student preparation in in-demand areas like machine learning, artificial intelligence and programming languages such as R and Python. The programme has added coursework on deep learning, as well as the financial applications of machine learning. The internship is given significant weight in the programme, and degree candidates start looking into sponsoring companies as early as orientation.

The class of 2019 got jobs at a variety of financial firms, including BNP Paribas, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, as well as at tech companies like Google and Uber.

View this institution’s entry in the 2019 guide

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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