The interdisciplinary Bendheim Center for Finance offers a Master in Finance (M.Fin.) degree. The distinctive feature of Princeton’s M.Fin. program is its strong emphasis on financial economics in addition to financial engineering and computational methods. Graduates of this program will have a solid understanding of the fundamental quantitative tools from computer science, economic theory, optimization, probability, and statistics, all of which are becoming increasingly vital in the financial industry. To a greater degree than at any time in the past, there now exists a body of knowledge that is widely agreed to be essential for the proper analysis and management of financial securities, portfolios, and the financial decisions of the firms. A driving force behind these developments is a lively exchange of ideas between academia and the financial industry, a collaboration that is the closest parallel in the social sciences to the academic-private sector interactions routinely seen in engineering and the applied sciences.
The M.Fin. program is intended to prepare students for a wide range of careers both inside and outside the financial industry, including applied research, financial engineering and risk management, macroeconomic and financial forecasting, quantitative asset management and trading, financial technology and consulting, and investment banking and corporate finance. The program does not require prior work experience, although it can be a plus. The Bendheim Center provides extensive career assistance to students, including help with internships and job placement. The program has a small number of merit-based fellowships (in the form of a fraction of the full-year’s tuition cost) that may be granted to top applicants.
The curriculum is designed to be completed in four semesters. Admission letters will specify the expected program length. Individual meetings between students admitted to the program and the director of graduate studies will determine, on the basis of courses previously completed at Princeton or another institution, which courses need to be taken. The program is designed to be taken on a full-time basis. Classes are taught during the day, and full-time students take four or five courses per semester. All students are subject to an annual review of academic progress.
Princeton’s M.Fin. program draws upon the combined strength of a variety of departments, including the departments of computer science, economics, operations research and financial engineering, and others. The program has two major course components and a required summer internship between years one and two. First, required core courses will provide (1) the prerequisite skills in economics, finance, mathematics, and probability and statistics necessary for the study of finance at a sophisticated level; and (2) an integrated introduction to modern financial analysis. Second, a wide range of elective courses, drawn from many departments, will allow students to tailor the program to fit their own needs and interests. These courses will permit a range of opportunities for specialization and in-depth study along a number of coherent tracks of topics of interest to the student. Finally, the required summer internship is meant to provide additional practical experience in addressing real-world finance issues.
It is mandatory for incoming students to attend the Math Refresher course which is offered two weeks before classes start in the fall.
The program requirements consist of five core and 11 elective courses. At least five of the elective courses must be at the 500 level or above, and five must be from list 1 (a list maintained by the director of graduate studies and available on the Bendheim Center's website).
Students must maintain an overall grade average of B or better, as well as earn a passing grade in all core and elective courses. Note: Neither audited nor P/D/F courses will fulfill the program’s requirements.
While no master’s thesis is required, students interested in independent research may work with a Bendheim Center-affiliated faculty member on a topic relevant to finance, and by enrolling in the appropriate courses (FIN 560, 561), they can receive academic credit equivalent to one elective course (thereby reducing the number of required electives).
Second-year students may serve as Assistants in Instruction (A.I.s) in courses or work as tutors. Each year the Undergraduate Certificate Program is in need of senior thesis tutoring for any majors outside of the departments of economics and operations research and financial engineering. Occasionally there is also a need for tutors for incoming first-year M.Fin. students. Tutors are required to spend a minimum of one hour per week with each tutee. Undergraduate Certificate tutoring is done on a group basis, with approximately five students per group.
The director of graduate studies must approve individual second-year M.Fin. students to serve as tutors or as A.I.s. No student may serve in either role, for any course, without the permission of the director of graduate studies.
Internship or Research Project
All M.Fin. candidates are required to complete a summer internship by working at a financial institution or completing a summer research project under the direction of a Bendheim Center-affiliated faculty member. Students in the two-year degree program must complete this required internship during the summer between their first and second years. It is mandatory for incoming students to attend the Math Refresher course which is offered two weeks before classes start in the fall.
Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100.
After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department.
Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.