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Columbia Business School - MS in Financial Economics

Columbia Business School MS in Financial Economics Program Structure

The Master of Science in Financial Economics is a two-year STEM eligible master’s degree program offered by the Finance Division of Columbia Business School.  The MS in Financial Economics is also eligible for the STEM OPT extension. Students complete a minimum of 16 full graduate-level courses including a research seminar, in which they conduct a project on an industry-focused research question. Students are also required to complete a summer internship for at least six weeks, which involves working as an intern in a company or doing research assistance work for a faculty member. Each semester, students will take a rigorous set of PhD-level courses, supplemented with MBA and other graduate-level courses. In students 2nd, 3rd, and 4th terms, they will have at least one or two electives, either at the Ph.D. or MBA level. MSFE students must take 10 Ph.D. or Ph.D. equivalent courses and may take no more than 6 MBA level courses.

Curriculum

Fall first year: Students will choose between Track A (academically oriented curriculum) or Track B (a more industry-focused applied curriculum)

 Track A:

– Microeconomics sequence (fall first year): B9206 Microeconomic Analysis I (1/2 course), B9208 Microeconomic Analysis II (1/2 course).
– B9323 Introduction to Econometrics and Statistical Inference
– B9122 Computing  for Business Research (not required but highly recommended)
– B9302 Finance Theory I

Track B: 

– Continuous-Time Sequence  (fall first year): B9336 Introduction to Continuous Time Finance (1/2 course), B9337 Advanced Derivatives (1/2 course)
– B9323 Introduction to Econometrics and Statistical Inference
– B9122 Computing for Business Research (not required but highly recommended)
– B9302 Finance Theory I

Spring first year:

Track A:

– Microeconomics (fall first year): B9209 Microeconomic Analysis III (1/2 course), B9211 Microeconomic Analysis IV (1/2 course)
– Financial Econometrics: B9325 Financial Econometrics: Time Series (1/2 course), B9326: Financial Econometrics: Panel Data (1/2 course)
– Finance Theory  II: B9330 Microstructure Theory (1/2 course)
– Big Data: B9334 Big Data in Finance
– Elective (1/2 course)

Track B:

– Financial Econometrics: B9325 Financial Econometrics: Time Series (1/2 course), B9326: Financial Econometrics: Panel Data (1/2 course)
– Finance Theory  II: B9330 Microstructure Theory (1/2 course)
– Big Data: B9334 Big Data in Finance

Electives  (1 1/2 courses): Common electives include B8331 Real Estate Finance, B8308 Debt Markets, B8323 Asset Management, B9010 Valuation and Financial Statement Analysis, B9029 Research on Investing with Fundamental Analysis.

Second Year: no required courses, students must fulfill the requirement of 10 Ph.D. or PhD equivalent level courses. Common PhD electives

– B9311 Empirical Asset Pricing II
– B9319 Asset Pricing I
– B9310 Behavioral Finance
– B9317 Corporate Finance Theory
– B9333 Financial Intermediation (1/2 course)
– B9335 Information in Financial Markets (1/2 course)
– B9312 Thesis Seminar and MS Thesis (Spring, second year)

In the second year, student schedules will be highly variable due to course offerings and interests. Students need to complete their PhD course level requirements, but these courses need not be Finance Division courses, and it is common for students to take PhD or PhD equivalent level courses in other divisions of the Business School (e.g, Operations Research or Accounting), or in other departments/schools around the university (e.g., Computer Science, Statistics, the Law School, etc.). Most students also take advanced MBA level courses. ​​​​​​​

Class Profile

The 2020 Columbia MS in Financial Economics class featured 5o admitted students out of 606 total applicants, which is an 8% acceptance rate. The class had a total of 23 total students, with the average age being 24 years old.  The average GRE score was 328 and, the average GPA was 3.85, and students had an average of 1.2 years of work experience. Student internship and full-time employment opportunities have included: Asset management companies, Central banks, Economic consulting firm, Investment/commercial banks, Private equity firms, Policy organizations, Research Assistants, Asset management companies, Economic and financial consulting firms, Hedge funds, Investment/commercial banks, PhD programs, Private equity firms , and Real-estate development companies.

Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid for the Columbia School of Business MS in Financial Economics

The estimated 2019-2020 student tuition for the Columbia MS in Financial Economics for the Fall and Spring is $2,538 per credit or total tuition of $60,912.  There are additional fees included in the full cost of attendance including $1,065 in mandatory fees, $4,378 in health insurance, $900 for books and supplies, $21,375 for room and board, $6,066 for personal expenses totaling $94696

Columbia Business School offers a limited number of partial-tuition fellowships to exceptional students based on a variety of criteria, including academic excellence, personal background, and professional experience. In addition, federal or private loans may be available to qualified candidates.  Teaching and research assistantships are offered directly through faculty members, although these appointments are generally awarded to doctoral students.

Admissions

Prior to commencing the program, all admitted students would be required to complete the following courses at an advanced undergraduate level: Probability, Statistics, Microeconomics, Two semesters of Calculus, Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory, and Computer programming.

In addition, the following are required for admissions to the Columbia MS in Financial Economics

• Official transcripts
• GMAT/GRE scores
• Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores; if needed)
• A current resume
• Two letters of recommendation (max of five)
• Two essays (250-500 words)
• $100 application fee

FAQ for the Columbia Business School MS in Financial Economics

Does the Columbia Business School MS in Financial Economics program prefer the GMAT or GRE?

The GRE or the GMAT will be accepted for application to both the MS in Marketing and the MS in Financial Economics. There is not a specific preference to which exam you take.

Does the Columbia Business School MS in Financial Economics offer a distance-learning or part-time program?

The Columbia Business School’s MS programs do not offer a distance-learning or part-time study program. Our program requires a full-time, in-residence commitment.

Does the Columbia Business School MS in Financial Economics require work experience/internship experience?

While it is not required for application or admission, we do find that some work or internship experience has proven valuable for past students in the program.

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