2013-2014 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog (without addenda) 
    Oct 27, 2020  
2013-2014 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog (without addenda) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Engineering, Risk Finance Track, M.S.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: List of Academic Programs and Curricula

The Master of Science Program

The Master of Science in Financial Engineering (FE) is a 33-credit program designed to provide the skills required to operate at the cutting-edge of financial engineering in today’s financial services industry. Separate tracks make it possible to pursue careers in financial markets and corporate finance, in financial technology, in computational finance or in actuarial science. The program is rigorous, demanding and selective.

Graduates of the Financial Markets and Corporate Finance Track are expected to seek positions in financial management groups, on trading and arbitrage desks, in product structuring groups, in derivatives groups, in investment banking departments and in the information-technology firms that support the trading operations of financial institutions.

Graduates of the Technology and Algorithmic Finance Track are actively involved in the development and implementation of the entire spectrum of algorithmic trading strategies, software applications, databases and networks used in modern financial services firms. The techniques it applies bridge computer science and finance to prepare graduate to participate in large-scale and mission-critical projects. Applications include high frequency finance, behavioral finance, agent-based modeling, and algorithmic trading and portfolio management.
The Computational Finance Track emphasizes both financial quantitative theory and practice, bridging the two and using both the fundamental concepts of finance and the stochastic and optimization methods and software in finance. This track is meant for those individuals with a strong desire to become quantitative financial managers or to pursue applied finance research interests in cutting-edge investment science, trading and in financial risk management. Techniques such as quantitative finance, financial econometrics, stochastic modeling, simulation and optimization are part of a set of financial tools applied to the many problems of derivatives and options finance, arbitrage trading algorithms, asset pricing, credit risk and credit derivatives, developing new derivative products and the many areas where quant finance has a contribution to make. Graduates of the Computational Finance Track will be qualified to work in pricing financial risk and their management, in credit risk and their derivatives, in cutting-edge institutions, in quant hedge funds and in research and advanced product development departments of financial and consulting firms.

Graduates of the Risk Finance Track will have the qualification and abilities to become responsible specialists for positions in finance, credit granting firms, banks and insurance companies, as well as obtain the knowledge needed to face the upcoming complex problems arising by the increased use and centrality of financial insurance products (contributing to the development of complex financial products and a convergence) of finance and insurance. The complementary actuarial profession is a discipline that uses tools from statistics, probability theory and finance to analyze and solve practical problems in insurance and financial risk management. Actuaries assemble and analyze data to estimate the probability and likely cost of an event such as death, sickness, injury, disability or loss of property. Courses in risk finance provide the background for the first four actuarial examinations supervised by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society and cover additional educational experience requirements. The department both supports and encourages students in their preparation for and the acquisition of such certificates as these are important elements in job-seeking in the insurance-quant sector.

NYU-Poly’s Master of Science in Financial Engineering brings together four key areas: finance and related business disciplines, quantitative analysis (mathematics and statistics), information technology (telecommunications and computer science) and management. In addition, it provides an opportunity to attend to the many areas of business and management where finance is an essential element.

The financial and practical component of the educational program has been further strengthened by developing a large and versatile body of adjunct faculty consisting of leading financial market practitioners from major Wall Street firms and international professors’ affiliates. These adjunct faculty members work closely with NYU-Poly’s full-time faculty emphasizing both applied and theoretical research in bringing to financial engineering students a greater sensitivity to the needs and the demands of financial markets and the management of financial services and institutions.


The Master of Science in Financial Engineering at NYU-Poly is very highly selective. All applicants must present transcripts from all colleges and universities they have attended as well as GRE (Graduate Record Exam) test scores; there are no exceptions to this rule. Applicants who have undergraduate average above 3.0 or a master’s degree and also have a GRE quantitative score that is superior and a verbal score that shows competence in English are considered for admission. Completed applications must be received by NYU-Poly by April 1 for consideration for the fall semester or by October 15 for consideration for the spring semester.

For the GRE, the institution code is 2668; a department code is not necessary. Additionally, the applicant must have sufficient proficiency and aptitude in mathematics. This may be demonstrated by grades earned in relevant course work and/or standardized examinations. This criterion is not entirely objective and will be established by the Academic Director. Applicants who meet the above criteria are by no means guaranteed admission, which is also based on a competitive performance of applicants.

Two letters of recommendation are also required for admission. The student must demonstrate a proficiency in the English language as measured by verbal scores on the GRE or successfully complete a series of ESL courses in order to commence formal study. The Graduate Certificates associated with the Financial Engineering Program have the same application requirements and prerequisites as the Master of Science degree.

Applicants requesting admission for study only in a particular course or group of courses are given Special or Visiting Student Status, which permits registration, generally for a limited duration, in those courses indicated by the approval of admission. Registration is limited to 6 credits per semester. If additional courses are desired after the end of the specified period, a new admission request must be filed through the admissions office. Special Status students who later apply for and are accepted to the master’s or certificate program may transfer up to 9 credits taken while on Special Status. Special Status students are expected to complete the GRE exam before applying for admission to MS FE or any associated Graduate Certificate. The GPA earned as a Special Status student will be used as part of the admissions decision in place of the undergraduate GPA.

Individuals interested in applying for admissions to either the Master of Science in Financial Engineering or the Graduate Certificate Program please visit the Graduate Admissions. The site has a downloadable application and information on tuition and financial aid.

Requirements for the Master of Science

A Bachelor’s degree is required for admission to this program. It is expected that students will have superior mathematical talent. Before beginning graduate studies, conditionally approved students must demonstrate proficiency in basic statistics, probability and mathematics. The Department makes available refresher courses for this purpose and to serve the population of students who have been out of academia prior to matriculating into this program. Prerequisites: GRE exam scores, Calculus (MA 1124  or equivalent) Probability and Statistics (MA 2212  and MA 2222  or equivalent), and Linear Algebra (MA 2012  or equivalent). Computer programming skills are increasinly useful.

Master’s in Financial Engineering: 33 Credits

All tracks include in their program:

  • 5 core courses, each 3 Credits
  • Track required courses totaling 7.5 Credits
  • 1 required applied lab, worth 1.5 Credits
  • 4 elective courses, each 1.5 Credits
  • 1 Capstone Experience of 3 Credits

All MS Financial Engineering students must also complete the Bloomberg Essentials Online Training Program to be qualified for graduation. The Department of Finance and Risk Engineering supports students’ efforts in this area by providing many Bloomberg terminals and laboratory assistants to answer student questions. This is a zero-credit requirement that is listed here as FRE 5500 .

All tracks: Core courses = 15 Credits.

Incoming MS students of Financial Engineering have four track options. Each track has required courses totaling 7.5 credits.

  • Financial Markets and Corporate Finance
  • Computational Finance
  • Technology and Algorithmic Finance
  • Risk Finance (Credit Risk, Financial Management and Insurance)

Required Labs per Track: 1.5 Credits

Students from all tracks must choose one of the following labs for 1.5 credits:

Required Certification: 0 Credits

All students must complete the following certification:

Capstone Options: 3 Credits

Risk Finance Track

Note: this track has 10.5 credits of required course work, no lab requirement and fewer elective credits. Further, for this track only, the 6 credits of core courses FRE 6003  and FRE 6083  are replaced by FRE 6021 FRE 6051  and FRE 6223 .


Recommended Labs (1.5 credits)*

* - Students may, of course, choose elective courses from the entire portfolio of FRE graduate courses and with their adviser’s permission may choose courses from other departments of NYU-Poly or schools of NYU. Those courses listed here are suggestions.

Recommended Electives* (6 Credits)

 * - Students may, of course, choose elective courses from the entire portfolio of FRE graduate courses and with their adviser’s permission may choose courses from other departments of NYU-Poly or schools of NYU. Those courses listed here are suggestions.

Credit Allocation for Risk Finance track:

Core Courses: 15  
Track Required Courses: 7.5  
Laboratory Required: 1.5  
Elective Credits: 6  
Capstone: 3  
Total Credits: 33  

All these options require a review by faculty advisers and certification of satisfactory work.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: List of Academic Programs and Curricula