There are a few different kinds of graduate programs in the field of financial mathematics at the master's and doctoral levels. These programs typically give students skills and knowledge in finance, economics and mathematics and may require a final project or dissertation, depending on the degree level. Here, we discuss a few of the degree options in detail and what separates them from other degree programs in the field.
Types of Graduate Programs in Financial Mathematics
Master of Science in Financial Mathematics
Students can pursue Master of Science in Financial Mathematics (MSFM) or Master of Science (MS) in Applied Financial Mathematics degree programs. Some of these programs may be available in full- or part-time formats and may require around 30 credits. Students may be required to complete a final project and be required or have the opportunity to take an internship experience for hands-on learning. Some of the core course topics for these programs may include interest, corporate finance, risk management, portfolio theory and stochastic math.
Master of Financial Mathematics
There are several Master of Financial Mathematics (MFM) degree programs available and some that offer evening classes for flexibility for working professionals. These programs may require around 33 credits and typically provide hands-on learning and/or research experience. This hands-on experience may be offered through modeling workshops where students work on real projects in teams or through a capstone research project. Students in these programs may take coursework that discusses topics in computation, financial principles, risk and analysis.
Doctor of Philosophy in Financial Mathematics
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs are available in financial mathematics or mathematical finance and typically require a dissertation. These programs may have a maximum time limit of 6 years, but most of the coursework can be completed in 2 to 3 years to allow students to apply for candidacy. Some programs also require students to complete the requirements for a master's degree, complete a publishable paper and/or pass qualifying and/or candidacy exams for candidacy. Coursework may vary and allow students to pursue research interests, but students in these programs may take courses in topics like economic theory, statistical methods, portfolio theory, corporate finance and fixed income securities.
Common Entrance Requirements
Entrance requirements to financial mathematics graduate programs vary, but most of these programs at both the master's and doctoral levels require students to have at least a bachelor's degree and some background in mathematics. Some programs may specifically wish to see coursework in areas like calculus, algebra, statistics and differential equations and although not usually required, some programs may prefer to see any computer programming and/or work experience a student may have. Some of these programs may also require students to meet a minimum GPA and/or have current GRE test scores. Common application materials for these programs include letters of recommendation, a personal statement and/or a resume. A few programs may also ask for a video statement.
There are several master's and doctoral degree programs available in financial mathematics that may offer flexible formats for working professionals. These programs usually provide students with hands-on research and/or learning experience and culminate in a final project.