Quant Guide 2021: Paris-Saclay University

Evry, France



Paris-Saclay University’s Master of Quantitative Finance programme appears for the first time in this year’s Risk.net Quant Guide, belying the university’s powerhouse reputation for mathematics. The programme is led by academic directors Stéphane Menozzi and Vathana Ly Vath, both professors of mathematics.

At the start of this year, Paris-Saclay superseded the University of Paris-Sud (Paris XI in the old University of Paris system). Thanks to low tuition fees throughout France, Paris-Saclay’s is also one of the cheapest course represented in the guide, with an approximate cost of $300.

There are currently 32 students on the one-year programme, 17 of whom are international. The master’s is both fairly selective and popular among offer holders, with 55 out of 300 applicants receiving offers, 32 of whom accepted.

Structurally, the course is split into two semesters, both of which contain a range of mandatory and elective modules. The second and final semester requires students to tackle an industry internship, which awards a large amount of course credits, as well as an English proficiency exam, the standardised TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication).

Modules in the first semester include classes in programming, deep learning, stochastic calculus, and financial econometrics. The second semester features more specialised classes, in topics such as: machine learning techniques for options pricing; advanced asset management; and corporate finance and insurance modelling.

Course director Menozzi says a range of measures have been introduced in response to the coronavirus. Prior to the second government-mandated lockdown, which took place on October 30, some classes were taking place on campus. After the lockdown was announced, instruction was conducted 100% remotely. Because of Paris-Saclay’s policies, Menozzi adds, students have not been tackling take-home or remote exams – assessments are being delayed instead.

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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