Quant Guide 2022: Columbia University (Columbia Engineering)

New York City, US

Columbia Engineering


One of two Columbia University programmes represented in this year’s Risk.net Quant Guide, the MS in Financial Engineering takes 10th place in the ranking, slipping down from last year’s sixth. The programme has swelled in size since last year’s outing, reporting both a larger intake and greater number of applicants.

In the previous guide, the degree – led by Ali Hirsa and Emanuel Derman, professors in the industrial engineering and operations research department – received 1,114 applications, making it one of the most sought-after programmes represented. This year, it received 1,346, solidifying its place among the biggest of the US heavy-hitters by applicant interest.

More applicants were accepted, too, although the programme remains quite selective. Of the 1,346 hopefuls, 162 received an offer for the latest cohort – 12% of applicants – and 139 of those accepted their offer. Last year, the master’s had the highest offer-holder acceptance rate in the guide, at 98%. This year, the figure falls to 86%.

Potential applicants will be pleased to see substantial growth in the average salaries of graduates. The programme now reports average starting compensation of $112,500, up nearly $5,700 from last year’s figure, with a majority of grads landing positions in investment banking, financial services and asset management. Fees have risen, however: the degree, which can last a maximum of 16 months, will now set you back $81,792, versus last year’s cost of $79,056.

Instructors on the course this year include: computer science specialist Clifford Stein, formerly of Dartmouth College; financial engineering professor Xunyu Zhou, who specialises in behavioural finance and asset management; and mathematician Donald Goldfarb.

View this institution’s entry in the 2021 guide

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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