Quant Guide 2022: Boston University (Questrom School of Business)

Boston, Massachusetts, US

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Boston University’s MS in Mathematical Finance & Financial Technology has had a shake-up of teaching staff. Eric Jacquier has taken over from Anton Theunissen as programme director. And the school has added new lecturers, including Hongshu Chen, of Fidelity Investments, and Jun Fan, of State Street, who together teach a module in Advanced Machine Learning Applications for Finance. Visiting speakers include guests from Citi, BlackRock and Refinitiv.

In line with many of its US peers, the university received considerably fewer applications for its current programme, going from 1,270 last year to 874. The gender imbalance among the student body has also widened, from 59% male and 41% female, reported in last year’s guide, to 65% and 35% respectively.

All students on the programme are required to complete the Mathematical Finance Career Management module, which involves careers workshops and lectures from industry speakers. For other modules, students have shown particular interest in “applications-oriented courses” involving data analysis, machine learning, computational methods, portfolio and risk management, says Jacquier. Class sizes for advanced theory courses, including derivatives and portfolio theory, “declined slightly in the past year”, he adds.

The programme has also experienced an increase in homework hours, from 24 per week last year to 32 currently.

Jacquier notes that summer 2020 was a challenging period for internship placements, but the cohort “fared better than expected” with full-time employment, however. Summer 2021 internship placements returned to near-normal levels.

As of January 2022, all classes will be in person, providing students show proof of both vaccination and weekly testing. In the meantime, classes for the remainder of 2021 will be delivered in the same hybrid teaching format as the previous year, with 16 out of 109 students continuing to study fully online for this first term.

Jacquier says online learning has had “no discernible impact on grades and academic performance” – although the course has experienced an uptick in withdrawals since the beginning of the pandemic.

View this institution’s entry in the 2021 guide

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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