Quant Guide 2022: University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson School of Management)

Los Angeles, US

University of California, Los Angeles


The University of California, Los Angeles, Master of Financial Engineering (MFE) caps a strong year for west coast US programmes, breaking into the top 10 of Risk.net’s rankings for the first time.

It has expanded its student intake significantly over the past 12 months, admitting 81 students, versus last year’s 48. The programme has also improved its graduate employment rate, and salary outcomes: it now reports a six-month employment rate of 99%, and a strong $100,477 starting compensation figure. Graduates of the 15-month programme tend to find positions in consulting, asset management and banking.

The MFE, directed by professor of finance Mikhail Chernov, has also picked up a number of new teaching staff over the last year. They are: Patrick Augustin, a visiting professor of finance who researches macroeconomics and sovereign credit risk; finance lecturer Ben Tsai, co-founder and president of Wave Financial, a blockchain-focused investment adviser; assistant professor of finance Jinyuan Zhang, who researches financial intermediation; and visiting professor Christian Dorion.

New modules have been incorporated, says the Anderson School’s Alysa Turkowitz, including a new core course entitled ‘Trading, market friction and fintech’, which “examines financial market infrastructure, the mechanism of price formation and discovery”, along with “critical phenomena such as bubbles, crashes, short squeezes and mutual fund runs”. Case studies of fintech unicorns, she adds, help students to understand how some firms profit from resolving market friction.

An introduction to the finance of blockchain and cryptocurrency, the new elective, focuses on the fundamentals of crypto, with students exploring topics such as currency performance, valuation, regulatory concerns, and market infrastructure.

“[The course] then moves to derivatives, centralised and decentralised financing, and staking,” adds Turkowitz. “Finally, the course discusses asset and wealth management in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, including asset tokenisation.”

View this institution’s entry in the 2021 guide

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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