Welcome to Risk.net’s updated guide to the world’s leading quantitative finance master’s programmes – featuring, for the first time, a ranking of the top 15 courses, the first global ranking of its kind.
Risk.net considered metrics including graduate salaries, programme selectivity, student-lecturer contact hours and faculty research scores to run the rule over more than 40 leading quantitative finance-focused master’s programmes worldwide. Particular weight was given to average graduate salaries and a strong employment rate – scroll down for further details.
Several programmes – including the Illinois Institute of Technology, St Gallen and UCLA’s Anderson School of Management – are featured for the first time this year; their entries include profiles based on interviews with course directors and alumni. Programmes featured in the 2017 edition of the guide have had their statistics updated for the 2017–18 academic year; their profiles from the previous edition of the guide are linked to at the foot of each article. Programmes which failed to provide updated statistics were not included in the 2019 edition.
This guide covers only master’s programmes in which the teaching of quantitative finance is central. Programmes whose focus is on other subjects (eg, corporate finance, management or statistics), though featuring quantitative finance courses, have not been considered here.
As previously, collecting data has been facilitated by the helpfulness of faculty administrators and programme directors, for which we are grateful. The list of programmes may be non-exhaustive. Risk.net bears no responsibility for exceptions, oversights or omissions. We will gladly consider all and any feedback in this regard.
The guide should not be relied on for advice – but as before, we hope it proves helpful to would-be master’s students, their teachers, and their future employers.
Click on universities in the table below for full course details. If the table is not displaying properly, click here for a pop-out version
Research and profiles: Jamie Ryder. Ranking methodology: Mauro Cesa. Editing by Alex Krohn and Tom Osborn.
To compile the ranking of the top 15 programmes, we considered eight metrics. These have been standardised with respect to the total pool of entries, and a weight has been assigned to each to reflect their contribution to the final score. The total score is the sum of the eight standardised metrics. The institution with the highest score takes the top position in the ranking.
Some weights, such as a programme’s acceptance rate – an indicator the selectivity of a programme – contribute negatively to the final score (ie, the lower the metric, the more selective the school).
The eight variables and the respective weights are:
5% – Number of students;
10% – Acceptance rate;
15% – Percentage of students accepting their offer;
5% – Ratio between number of students and number of lecturers;
5% – Number of industry-affiliated lecturers;
25% – Employment rate in finance sector six months after graduation;
10% – Number of citations of the five most cited lecturers in academic journals in the past four years
25% – Average salary six months after graduation, adjusted for the purchasing power parity conversion factor provided by the World Bank.
In order for an institution to be considered for this ranking, it needed to provide sufficient data for the calculation of the final score. Institutions who submitted insufficient data have not been considered.
Not all institutions provided the number of citations of their lecturers. We filled those gaps using the figures available on Google Scholar. Where that was not possible, we considered the number of citations as zero.
The ranking, as well as the guide, rely on the figures provided by the institutions to be accurate. Risk.net bears no responsibility for any inaccurate metrics, or their impact on a university’s position in the guide.
Baruch College, City University of New York
University of California, Berkeley (Haas School of Business)
University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson School of Management)
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Chicago
Fordham University (Gabelli School of Business)
Illinois Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
New York University (Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences)
New York University (Tandon School of Engineering)
North Carolina State University
Stony Brook University
University of Washington
University of Toronto
University of Waterloo
City, University of London (Cass Business School)
Imperial College London
Imperial College Business School
King’s College London
University College London
University of Oxford
University of Warwick
University of York
ETH Zurich/University of Zurich
University of St Gallen
Paris Diderot University
University of Bologna
University of Florence
University of Amsterdam
Erasmus University Rotterdam
WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
University of Leuven