Quant Guide 2020: Stony Brook University

Brookhaven, New York, US

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Stony Brook University’s MS in Quantitative Finance returns to the Risk.net quant guide and ranking this year as one of a large group of courses based in New York State. Stony Brook, which is part of the State University of New York system, maintains a smaller programme than most of its regional neighbours. The most recent cohort contained 21 students, 10 of whom are international, down from the previous year’s intake of 38.

The programme also has a new course director in Stanislav Uryasev, who joined Stony Brook last year as a professor in the department of applied mathematics and statistics, and directs the university’s overall quantitative finance teaching – which includes a PhD programme – alongside Robert Frey. The three-semester master’s has a strong teacher-to-student ratio, with nine members of staff on the quantitative finance faculty.

The range of modules on offer is expanding, says statistics professor Wei Zhu, with data science courses becoming increasingly important. “We did not drop any classical courses,” she adds, “[but] we added more data-centric courses so students can choose different tracks according to their personal strengths.”

Career prospects are changing too, says Zhu. She notes that investment firms are hiring more Stony Brook students, while fewer graduates are taking positions in risk management at banks.

One of the courses available is a class in socially responsible investing, cross-taught with Stony Brook’s MBA programme. Candidates who take the module learn about topics like negative screening, shareholder activism and ethical stock selection.

Other classes include a joint module on derivatives and stochastic calculus. A pair of case study courses is offered, in which students learn to develop practical strategies for real-world scenarios – with an emphasis on the differences between theory and practice. Other courses include portfolio optimisation and a for-credit internship, during which students take a placement at a financial company and submit written reports to supervisors.

View this institution’s entry in the 2019 guide

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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