Quant Guide 2020: University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson School of Management)

Los Angeles, US

University of California, Los Angeles

The Master of Financial Engineering programme at UCLA – taught at the Anderson School of Management – has broken into the Risk.net quant guide’s top 15 this year. The master’s is one of several US Pacific coast programmes in the latest edition of the guide aiming to loosen the east coast’s hold on the top 10.

While some changes have taken place on the UCLA curriculum, a lot has remained the same. It’s still selective, with 22% of applicants receiving offers, and international students still account for the majority of its population. Mikhail Chernov, professor of finance, remains academic director. The degree’s postgraduate employment rate has dropped slightly to 94% – down from 96% the previous year – but the programme reports a strong average salary of $97,644.

Executive director Elisa Dunn says the programme’s provision of merit-based scholarships has also increased, with $190,000 – up from $45,000 at the genesis of the degree – available to students in funding for the class of 2020. Beyond that, Dunn says, the programme has incorporated a mandatory extracurricular programming boot camp.

“R is the primary language in our faculty-led courses, but Python is used more often in the industry,” she says. UCLA has partnered with online learning platform Datacamp to provide the additional training. Students choose the language they see as the best-suited to their own studies and career goals.

Changes have also taken place among the faculty. The established derivatives module is now taught by chair in finance Andrea Eisfeldt, and Ben Iverson, an assistant professor of finance at Brigham Young University, joined as a visiting professor, teaching the financial decision-making class.

View this institution’s entry in the 2019 guide

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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