Quant Guide 2020: ETH Zurich/University of Zurich

Zurich, Switzerland

QUANT 18 Uni of Zurich KOL_03.jpg
© University of Zurich; Frank brothers

Established in 2004, the Master of Science in Quantitative Finance is a collaborative programme offered by the University of Zurich, Switzerland’s largest public university, and ETH Zurich, a science and technology university. The programme repeats its strong showing in this year’s quant guide, retaining its position as the highest-performing master’s in continental Europe.

The programme is taught entirely in English. Classes run for a year over two semesters, and candidates spend a further six months writing their master’s thesis. New modules introduced in the past year include a machine learning class taught by professor of mathematics Josef Teichmann, and a course in applied credit risk modelling overseen by professor of financial engineering Markus Leippold. The programme director is associate professor of quantitative finance Erich Walter Farkas, a member of the department of banking and finance at UZH and of the department of mathematics at ETH Zurich.

Internships are not compulsory, though students who do wish to combine their studies with some industry experience may find a placement among the programme’s group of partner organisations. These include UBS, Swiss Re and Fintegral, a risk management consultancy. Farkas says such industry partnerships are invaluable in shaping the curriculum. Along with input from the steering committee and a formal advisory board, regular dialogue with those partner companies helps decide the programme’s areas of focus.

Farkas says he hasn’t seen “significant changes” in the career paths of the programme’s graduates, but notes that a relatively large proportion do pursue a PhD. Last year, 15% of graduates went into further study – above average among the programmes represented in this year’s guide.

View this institution’s entry in the 2019 guide

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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