Master of Finance
Find Answers Here
Our goal is to make the Master of Finance admissions process straightforward. To help you along the way, we’ve answered some of the most common questions we hear from applicants. If you don’t see the answer to your specific question below, feel free to send us an email!
About the Program
What is the MFin class size at MIT Sloan?
Each year, we look to seat a class of approximately 141 students.
Where can I learn more about the demographics of the MFin class?
Our MFin Class Profile contains all of the statistics we have for our current class. It is a snapshot of the students’ academic and demographic backgrounds. The diversity of our students both shapes and drives the opportunities for collaboration and learning. Together, we benefit from the many perspectives our students from all over the world bring to the community.
Can students complete the MFin program part-time?
No. The MFin program is a full-time, residential program completed in 18 months. Applicants have an option to accelerate the program and complete the degree in 12 months.
How busy is the program’s schedule?
MIT Sloan’s MFin program features a rigorous STEM curriculum, emphasizing a foundation in how markets work and engineered around the most advanced financial theories, quantitative models, and industry practices. You will have flexibility with your schedule, but you can expect to take between four to six classes each week. Each class is two lectures and a recitation.
What’s the difference between the Chartered Financial Analyst and the MFin program?
There are a number of differences between the CFA program and the MIT Sloan MFin program. First, the CFA program is focused on investment management, whereas the MFin program is broader and prepares students for careers across a variety of finance functions including investment banking, investment management, quant research, quant trading, risk management, private equity, venture capital, finance-related consulting, portfolio management, sales and trading, impact finance and fintech.
Second, the CFA program, while focused on investment management, is a generalist program. That is, the level of depth at which it treats any given topic is determined by the question, “What does an investment professional who is not an expert on this topic need to know about the topic?” The MFin program, while providing this generalist perspective, also goes into considerable depth.
Third, the CFA program is a distance learning program, whereas the MFin program is residential. This allows for a more intensive, total immersion experience, including significant peer learning. Finally, the CFA is a professional designation that involves becoming a member of a professional society, including subscribing to a code of ethics. The MFin program is a degree program that ends when you graduate; while there are opportunities for alumni to stay connected to the school and to one another, this is not the same as being a member of a professional society.
What is the difference between the MFin program and a finance-focused MBA from MIT Sloan?
The MFin program is geared towards early professionals who are looking for a finance-specific program that includes a deep dive into quantitative courses using modeling and computer programming skills. While MBA students can pursue a finance track at MIT Sloan, the program also equips graduates with a broader general management skill set and knowledge base. The applicant's career goals will largely determine which type of program to choose.
What career services are provided to MFin students?
All incoming MFin students participate in Career Core during summer term. MFin students are able to use both MIT Sloan and MIT career resource centers, a huge bonus for MFin students. MIT Sloan offers dedicated MFin career advisors who offer 1:1 sessions for individual students in their search for summer internships and full-time opportunities upon graduation.
How long does it take to complete the program? Is there an option to accelerate the degree requirements?
The MFin program is delivered in 18 months with the option to accelerate the degree requirements and complete it in 12 months. If you are interested in the 12-month format only, you must select that in the “Additional Questions” section of the application.
What’s the difference in timeline for the 18-month format versus the 12-month format? Are the degree requirements the same?
The degree requirements are the same for each format, the only difference is timing. The 18-month format consists of four academic terms (summer, fall, spring, fall) and the opportunity to complete a summer internship and graduate in February. Students who choose to accelerate in 12 months spend the summer, plus two academic terms (fall and spring) in residence, and graduate in June. MIT undergraduates who have fulfilled specific Course 15 work may be able to complete the program requirements during the fall and spring terms.
When is the MFin program start date?
The MFin program typically starts on July 1. The summer term is required and an integral part of the core degree requirements. MIT undergrads who have taken specific Course 15 credits, or MFin applicants who have completed the MITx MicroMasters in Finance full credential by December of the year prior to MFin enrollment, may be eligible to waive the summer term.
Would the summer session occupy the full summer term?
The summer term is an intensive program that begins the first week in July and ends in late August. Over the summer term, all students take intensive courses in finance theory and financial mathematics. Students will also participate in the MFin Career Core.
If you’ve earned the MIT MicroMasters in Finance credential and are interested in the MFin degree program, you must apply to the MFin degree program separately. Upon admission to the MFin program, you must have completed the MicroMasters in Finance credential by December of the year prior to enrolling in MFin. The credential credits earned through the MicroMasters will count towards your MFin degree requirements, and will allow you to waive the summer term in residence. Credential holders of the Finance MicroMasters who are admitted into the MFin program start their MFin studies in the fall. Additional information about the MicroMasters in Finance credential and email contact is available here. If you have completed the MicroMasters in Finance, please be sure to include details in the Additional Questions section of your application.
What are the classes like? Are they individually driven or team-based?
The curriculum is team driven in homework, projects, and case studies. The midterms and exams, however, are individual. You can typically customize the number of classes you attend between four and six each week. Each class is two lectures and a recitation.
What’s the MFin curriculum like? Are courses quantitative?
The MFin curriculum is comprehensive and rigorous in quantitative disciplines – think stochastic calculus, financial economics, and simulation, as well as, foundations of finance theory and methodologies. The MFin program also offers students flexibility in the curriculum and allows you to tailor the program to your specific interests. Take a look at the MFin Curriculum page for more information.
Are there any limitations on how many courses I can take?
Yes, there are unit limits per term, which is consistent with our practice today, and with all MIT Sloan degree programs. The maximum number of units per term is 66, of which MIT Sloan units cannot exceed 60.
Is it possible to write a thesis while enrolled in the MFin program?
Yes, the thesis is optional and fulfills two of the three required general electives. The degree is the same (Master of Finance) for all graduates, whether they choose to write a thesis or not.
What are the Action Learning opportunities available for MFin students?
Students have opportunities throughout their time in the MFin program to apply the knowledge and theory learned in the classroom in practical terms.
Action Learning is an integral component of the MFin experience and the Finance Lab (Fin-Lab) is offered during the month of January. In this graduate-level finance course, students work in teams on substantive projects proposed by external sponsors. Our goal is to provide students with a meaningful opportunity to partner with leading industry practitioners on important topical finance problems while helping them to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and introducing them to the broader financial community.
Additionally, the Finance Proseminars either in Corporate Finance or Capital Markets are one-semester Action Learning courses that offer students experience in the complex task of developing and communicating solutions to the challenging financial problems facing businesses today. Students work in teams to tackle issues posed by company sponsors and present findings to the company sponsor and their fellow classmates.
Is it possible to do an internship during the program?
Practical training is an important component of a student’s preparation. MFin students are expected, when possible, to take advantage of the many practical learning opportunities offered at MIT Sloan. During the summer between the spring and second fall terms, students have the option to obtain a summer internship.
Does the MFin program offer any concentrations?
Students are able to complete one of four available concentrations: financial engineering, impact finance, capital markets, or corporate finance. Completing a concentration is optional and is not a degree requirement. Students are only allowed to complete ONE concentration.
If I choose to pursue a concentration, can those credits be applied towards completing the MFin program?
The concentration requirements are in addition to the MFin degree requirements. Courses counted toward your MFin degree requirements may not be counted toward your concentration. Some exceptions apply, visit the Optional Concentrations page for more information.
When should I decide whether or not to choose a concentration?
We will ask if you have an interest in pursuing a concentration in the MFin application, which is not binding at that time. However, if you are considering a concentration, you should plan your courses accordingly before the first fall term bidding process. But don’t worry, dedicated MFin program advisors can help you navigate this process! Remember, pursuing a concentration is optional.
What are the course requirements for each concentration?
You can find a document detailing the concentration requirements on the Optional Concentrations website.
Are 18-month program students eligible to participate in Action Learning opportunities in their last semester?
Students are not eligible to take Action Learning Labs that extend into the Independent Activities Period (IAP.)
Can MFin students enroll in any of the MIT Sloan Certificates?
Yes, students are able to enroll and earn a certificate in one of the following three options while pursuing the MFin degree: Business Analytics, Healthcare or Sustainability.
How is the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the current admissions cycle and standardized tests?
We understand that the pandemic continues to cause some uncertainty for applicants around the world. We have made a few changes to our application process this year. While standardized tests are an important component of the evaluation process, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we will allow applicants to apply without a test. If admitted, candidates will not be required to take the test.
Applicants who wish to submit test scores, please note we will accept self-reported test scores by the application deadline, and welcome either the traditional or online version of exams.
What are your admissions criteria and what do you look for in a candidate?
Our Admissions Committee looks for applicants with demonstrated academic excellence, proven personal achievement, excellent communication skills, and strong commitment to pursue the field of finance and make an impact. We believe high academic potential and personal achievement are typically reflected in academic records, relevant experience and recommendations that go beyond a polite endorsement.
Who evaluates the applications?
The applications are evaluated by the Admissions Committee, composed of staff on the admissions, career, and program teams, along with members of the finance faculty. Students and alumni are not part of the evaluation process.
Are some parts of the application weighted more than others?
Our Admissions Committee will carefully consider all application materials you submit. No single component is more or less important than another.
Is there a minimum GPA?
There is no minimum GPA. We understand this is one component of your application and will review it alongside any other relevant coursework you’ve completed. View our Class Profile to see the average GPA of our current MFin class.
Is there a rolling admission for the MFin program?
The MFin program does not have rolling admissions. Applications will be reviewed after the deadline.
Will the Admissions Committee expedite my application if it is submitted before the application deadline?
The Admissions Committee will begin reviewing all applications immediately after the application deadline. Unfortunately, we are not able to conduct any application reviews prior to the application deadline.
Can you provide feedback on my chances of being admitted?
Each year we receive a high volume of applications, making it difficult to provide individual feedback on every application submitted.
Is it possible to waive the application fee?
We offer fee waivers to the following applicants:
- Veteran and active-duty U.S. military personnel
- Current Teach for America members and alumni
- Current Peace Corps members
Applicants who qualify must submit the fee waiver form and required documentation at least ONE week before the application deadline. Once you start the application, you can find the form under the Payment section of the application.
Please note that we cannot grant retroactive fee waivers if the application fee has already been paid online.
Is the GRE/GMAT and TOEFL/IELTS required?
Standardized tests, such as GRE, GMAT, Toefl, IELTS are a component of the application process and play an important role in our evaluation process. The admissions committee will continue to accept the remote/at-home version of these exams. Because of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MFin program will allow for candidates for the 2022-23 admission cycle to submit their application without the test and review their submitted material as is and without negative inferences. If admitted, candidates will not be required to take a test.
We will accept self-reported test scores by the application deadline, and welcome either the traditional or online version of exams.
Do you require a minimum acceptable GRE/GMAT score?
My test score is below the average range for the MFin class, Should I still apply?
We will consider all parts of your application and we welcome you to apply. If you did not score high on the GRE or GMAT, we will look for evidence of academic success, as demonstrated on your transcripts and quantitative coursework as well as significant internships or full-time professional experiences.
Can I submit my application even though I have not yet received the Analytical Writing Assessment score for my GMAT?
Yes, you may submit the application without an AWA score.
If my transcript is not in English, should I get it translated?
Yes! We require all transcripts to be submitted in the original language, accompanied by a certified English translation. We accept translations issued by an institution or professional translating service, such as World Education Services (WES). If you are currently earning a degree, please submit your most up-to-date transcript.
If I have an international transcript, do I need to have an outside credential service evaluate it and provide you with a report?
We don’t have a preference! While some applicants choose to have an outside credential service evaluate their transcript, it is not mandatory.
If I studied abroad, do I need to submit that transcript as well?
Yes! We want to see all of the grades you received during your undergraduate degree. If you have a second transcript from a study abroad institution, please upload that transcript as well.
Who should I ask to write my recommendation letters?
We have some guidelines, but it’s ultimately up to you who you ask. One letter must come from someone who can speak to your quantitative abilities, like a math professor. If you are a current student, you should submit two academic letters of recommendation and one professional letter, preferably from a recent internship. If you are working full-time, one letter of recommendation should come from your recent employer and another letter of recommendation from an academic source, preferably a previous professor.
What if I can’t get a letter of recommendation from a direct supervisor?
We want to learn more about the impact you have made in a professional setting. If your direct supervisor is not able to submit a letter on your behalf, consider asking another manager or supervisor (not a peer) who can speak to the contributions you have made and share substantive examples of your strengths.
One of my recommenders doesn’t speak or write in English. Should I translate their recommendation letter to English myself?
You should not translate the recommendation letter to English yourself. If your recommender writes a letter in a language other than English, the letter should be translated by a third-party service.
Can my recommenders submit their letters of recommendation after the application deadline?
Your complete application, including letters of recommendation, should be submitted by the application deadline.
How do I submit letters of recommendation?
Your letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through our online application. We do not accept recommendation letters via email or mail. For more information, please visit the How to Apply website.
Does the MFin program prefer applicants with specific undergraduate majors?
We don’t have a preference! We accept candidates from various academic disciplines and diverse backgrounds. Take a look at the MFin Class Profile to learn more about our MFin students’ backgrounds and experiences.
Are there any required courses students have to take in order to be admitted?
We do not require that you’ve taken certain courses, but many admitted students have found it helpful to come into the program with a background in calculus, statistics, linear algebra, probability, and programming. Admitted students have also found it helpful to take a course (online is acceptable) in computer programming, such as R or Python, before starting our classes. Check out our Suggested Background page for additional details on recommended coursework.
If I already have an advanced degree (MBA, PhD, etc.) may I still apply?
Of course! If you hold a previous advanced degree, you are eligible to apply. You should, however, detail on your application why you are pursuing an MFin degree at this time. We consider those with advanced degrees the same as other applicants. Advanced degrees are additional evidence toward academic success, but we do not consider them over undergraduate transcripts.
Do I need to complete my bachelor’s degree before I apply to the MFin program?
All applicants to the program must hold a four-year undergraduate degree or three-year equivalent undergraduate degree from outside of the U.S, by time of matriculation. This means that you’re welcome to apply as a graduating college senior but you must have completed all of your degree requirements prior to matriculation in the MFin Program.
Is an internship considered work experience?
Yes, an internship is professional work experience and will be considered in your application. Your internship may either be paid or unpaid, as long as you were hired directly from the Human Resources department at that company. Internships that are offered by employees of a company but not officially through an HR department should be listed on resumes only and not in the Employment section of the application.
Do I need work experience in order to apply?
The short answer is no. While some MFin applicants have up to three years of experience, this is not a requirement for admission. A significant number of our students are recent university graduates who have completed an internship before enrolling in the MFin program. We do recommend you complete at least one finance-related internship before matriculation.
May I apply to the MFin and Master of Business Analytics programs concurrently?
You are welcome to apply to both programs at the same time, but you must submit separate applications to each program. Students may attend only one program at a time. If you apply to both MFin and MBAn, please create both applications with the same email address.
Can I apply credits I earned in another university’s master’s program towards the MFin program?
No. We do not accept credits from another program. Upon enrolling in the program, you are required to complete the MFin degree requirements.
Is an interview required and what are you looking for when interviewing candidates?
Yes! The interview is an important and required component of the admissions process. Our goal with the interview is to get to know you better and understand the strengths you will bring to the MIT Sloan community. During the interview, we also look for professional presence and communication, as well as English language proficiency.
What is the format of the interview?
The MFin interview has two parts: a quantitative assessment and a behavioral interview. The assessment does not require preparation, and we will share more details in the interview invitation email. During the behavioral interview, you will meet one-on-one with a member of the Admissions Committee and answer questions that help us to learn more about how you work with a team, make decisions, and solve problems. Each part of the interview will last about 30 minutes. All interviews will be conducted virtually.
What constitutes a reapplicant?
Any applicant who has applied to our MFin program before.
When I reapply, will the Admissions Committee review both my current and past applications?
Yes. If you reapply, the Admissions Committee will review both your current and prior applications in full. Carefully consider the content of your new application. Make sure you update us with what has changed since you last applied, but please don’t repeat everything included in your past application. Give us the new highlights.
What is the most common mistake reapplicants make?
The most common mistake reapplicants make is submitting the same application materials they submitted the last time. If you are reapplying, make sure you examine your past application to see how you could do a better job of presenting your strengths this time.
Do you recommend reapplicants use the optional question to explain how their candidacy has evolved since they last applied?
Ideally, you should use every part of your application to highlight how your candidacy has changed from your prior application. You are encouraged to use the optional question to give us a summary or highlight what’s new. We’re ready to learn about what you’ve been up to!
Do you evaluate a reapplicant’s submission differently than a first-time application?
Not really. In a reapplication, we look for all of the same characteristics we do in a first-time applicant. This includes examples of your professional and academic accomplishments, your ability to lead and influence others, and your ability to collaborate as part of a community. But keep in mind, as a reapplicant, you will give us twice as much information to draw on (your previous application and this year’s application) as we consider you.
Should I highlight my strongest experiences in my reapplication, even if it means retelling a story?
The most important thing you can do is be clear on what you’ve been doing since the last time you applied, so be sure to highlight your new accomplishments and experiences.
Do you have any advice for a reapplicant who was invited to interview the prior year and was rejected? Is it fair to assume that I did not do well in the interview?
We have to make many difficult decisions after interviewing candidates. If you were rejected after interviewing, do not assume it was necessarily due to your interview performance. We recommend reflecting on how you can strengthen any of the materials you submitted in your application in addition to the responses you shared during your interview.
Tuition & Financial Aid
What is the MFin tuition charge?
How do MFin students finance their education?
The majority of MFin students use loans to finance their education. These come from two government programs, from MIT directly, or through an alternative lending source. Some students supplement their tuition expenses with fellowships and research assistantships. You can find more information here.
Are Research Assistantships (RA) or Teaching Assistantships (TA) available to MFin students?
Students enrolled in the MFin program are expected to be self-funded. There are a small number of MFin TA positions available, and you are welcome to seek and apply for RA or TA opportunities in other programs or departments across MIT.
Are fellowships or scholarships available to Master of Finance students?
The MFin program offers a limited number of merit-based fellowships. All admitted students are automatically considered for a fellowship and no additional application components are required.
How are applicants evaluated for fellowships?
The Admissions Committee reviews admits and awards merit-based fellowships to exceptional students who have shown academic excellence, professional achievements and potential to enhance the MIT Sloan community.
When are applicants notified if they have been awarded a fellowship?
We notify fellowship recipients of their awards at the time of admission. There are times when additional funds do become available after decisions have been released and we are able to notify recipients at that time.
What are the first steps in the financial aid application process for U.S. applicants?
The first step is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is required of all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who wish to apply for federal student loans. To expedite the processing of your federal loan applications, we recommend that you complete the FAFSA as early as possible. The FAFSA School Code for MIT is 002178. Please visit the U.S. Department of Education homepage for more information on the FAFSA, write to:
FAFSA Information Center P.O. Box 84, Washington, DC, 20044
Or call FAFSA at: 1-800-433-3243
All other aspects of the financial aid application process do not begin until students have been formally admitted into the program.
What support systems exist for admits who need financial aid?
The MIT Sloan Student Funding Office will share additional information about financial aid options and timelines if you are admitted. As an admit, you will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a member of the Student Funding Team to discuss your specific situation and learn more about options that are available to you.
What is the Career Development Office?
The CDO offers career advising and coaching, curated resources, and a calendar of career events. As an enrolled student, you benefit from the guidance of dedicated career advisors and coaches who know their programs and can assist in all stages of career management, from deciding what’s next, to developing a plan, making connections, preparing for interviews, and negotiating offers. Your career advisor will help you discover the many resources that are part of the MIT and MIT Sloan ecosystem, including alumni, clubs, tracks and certificates, and centers and initiatives. Learn more about the CDO via the career portal Your CDO.
What career management activities are offered at MIT Sloan?
We have a deep offering of career programs to support you. After you enroll in the MFin program, you’ll receive access to career resources to help you hit the ground running. When classes begin, we kick off Career Core, a series of tailored career education classes to advance your career development and prepare you for recruiting. You’ll learn about building a strong résumé and cover letter, crafting your career story, networking techniques, interview preparation, offers and negotiations. Complementary to Career Core, you’ll have access to individual and small group career advising sessions.
Are there networking events available during the fall term? Are these exclusive to MFin students, or do they cater to MIT Sloan as a whole?
Yes, the majority of networking events are in the fall — our recruiting partners typically select which programs are invited to attend each event. MFin Networking Night is an event that takes place each fall where employers are seeking to connect exclusively with MFin students. There are also networking events that are open to students across programs.
How many career fairs do you have each year? Are they for MFin students only, or are they for all MIT Sloan students?
MIT offers several career fairs, including a large event for all MIT students in the fall semester. The largest event attracts up to 300 companies, and is an opportunity for students to learn about potential opportunities at companies and to interact with company representatives. Main campus also leads specialized career fairs (e.g., European Career Fair, Non-Technology Career Fair).
In the Spring, the CDO organizes the MIT Sloan Career Fair for companies seeking to hire students for summer internships or full-time roles, and features only employers with specific roles they are seeking to fill. Students may have an opportunity to interview with the company later that day or at another time organized with the company representative.
Does MIT Sloan encourage alumni mentors to help students in finding jobs? How does career services encourage communication between alumni and current MFin students?
We certainly do urge our students to connect with both MIT and MIT Sloan alumni. We provide a database by which students can research alumni and connect themselves. This aligns with our broader career philosophy around teaching students how to get a job—both now and for the rest of their careers. The expanded CDO community includes alumni: through the MIT Sloan Industry Advisors program, students seeking roles in emerging industries can connect with a select group of alumni. Students can also engage in the MIT Advisors Hub to receive advice, insight, and prep directly from alumni from both MIT and MIT Sloan.
What are the employment outcomes and statistics for the MFin Class?
The 2021 MFin Employment Report can be found here. The February 2022 MFin Employment Report, will be available by fall 2022.
When does the recruiting process start for MFin students?
The start of the recruiting season varies based on your career interests. Some industries begin recruiting in early summer, but the majority of recruiting activity starts in September and continues throughout the academic year. A couple of points to consider: The Career Development Office has thoughtfully designed a summer term career curriculum, called Career Core, which provides students with the career tools and resources to prepare for a successful job search. In addition, the CDO shares career development and research resources online even before classes begin. Still, it is a very intensive process combining job search and study—one that requires a strong work ethic and good time management skills to be successful.
What is the recruiting schedule and timeline?
Students will recruit for internship opportunities during their first year in the program. Students may choose to look for full-time positions in their second fall term (after returning from their summer internships), while some may secure and accept returning full-time offers from their internship employers.
Note: Students in the accelerated 12-month option will interview for full-time positions, typically starting in the fall semester.
A large amount of recruiting is done early in the year. How can the MFin program prepare me for recruiting if I haven't had enough professional experience at that time?
The Career Development Office provides you with the necessary resources to prepare you for recruiting (i.e., networking, cover letter, résumé, interview workshops, etc.). Networking and alumni connections here are simply the best. You can connect with students across all graduate degree programs, including MBAs and PhDs. Also, you will have access to the MIT Sloan alumni network, and many alumni are very involved in the recruiting process.
Many international students seek employment in the U.S. through CPT, OPT and additional long-term working visas such as the H1B visa. Landing long term permanent employment in the US is a challenge due to government visa quotas, but many of the top companies that recruit at Sloan are interested in the best and brightest candidates they can find, regardless of their country of origin. It's also worth remembering that while the majority of our students are from outside the U.S., the majority of them are successful in finding jobs here.
International students often times require work authorization. Does this make recruiting difficult?
Since the MFin program is STEM-approved, MFin graduates are eligible for an OPT extension, allowing up to 3 years of work authorization in the U.S. post-graduation. While the majority of MFin students are international, the majority of our students secure jobs in the U.S. post-graduation. That said, there are some recruiting challenges for international students. It can be hard for international students to secure employment in the U.S., and some companies from outside the U.S. find it difficult to travel here just to recruit.
What tools and resources are available to help students secure summer internships?
MFins are in a unique position to access both MIT Sloan and MIT main campus career resources and job postings. MFins also have dedicated career advisors to help them navigate their career exploration process.
Will the same career advisors provide full-time and internship job search support?
As an MFin student, you will work with a dedicated CDO career advisor throughout the program. Your career advisor will work closely with you to provide a truly personalized advising experience.
Is an internship guaranteed, and will it be paid?
Students conduct a summer internship search with the support of the CDO and its employer partners. Internships are typically paid, but the remuneration of an internship will depend on the opportunity. Nearly all students secure internships, but they are not guaranteed.
Will MFin students compete with MBA students who are also looking for summer internships?
Typically, no. The profile for MFin students differs from that of MBAs in terms of work experience and background. It is up to the hiring company to select which MIT Sloan population(s) it is targeting through internship postings.
What impact does completing an internship have on securing a full-time position after the program concludes?
The opportunity to conduct an internship gives students additional practical experience, which in turn helps with the full-time job search. Some industries and companies focus on internships as a feeder pool for their full-time hiring requirements. For example, the majority of investment banking full-time hiring needs are typically filled from their internship class. If you are considering the accelerated option, we strongly encourage you to research your target industry to understand how important having an internship is to that industry.
Is there an internship option in January?
In January, you have an option to take the Finance Lab. It is somewhat similar to an internship where teams of four students fulfill an academic project while working hand in hand with companies (many times on-site), solving real and rigorous problems agreed upon by the professors.
Do employers that come to campus look to recruit for analyst-level jobs or associate-equivalent level jobs?
Both! The level for which MFins apply depends upon their previous work experience. As an MFin student, you have access to Campus Recruiting at both the main MIT campus and the business school at MIT Sloan.
Do MFin students get job offers in the spring or in the fall? Is the spring career fair only looking for a small number of people since most have already found jobs?
Typically 50 percent of MFin students accept their offer in the fall, and 50 percent in the spring. In fairness, the career fair is not a major source of jobs. Most students secure their jobs through networking which includes making connections with contacts in a target sector, and demonstrating persistence while building relationships with hiring managers. Campus recruiting certainly yields jobs, but students are encouraged to be prepared for months of networking to generate opportunities in the job market.
How do students from outside the U.S. find jobs? Is recruiting difficult for them?
Students from outside the U.S. find jobs the same way students who are U.S. citizens do – by taking advantage of the many resources the Career Development Office has to offer, taking a proactive approach to networking, and staying on top of job opportunities posted on various MIT-affiliated and external job sites. While the majority of MFin students are international, the majority of our students secure jobs in the U.S. post-graduation. That said, there are some recruiting challenges for international students. It can be hard for international students to secure employment in the U.S., and some companies from outside the U.S. find it difficult to travel here just to recruit.
If a student receives a full-time offer to start before February graduation, is he or she allowed to work before the program ends?
MFin students may not begin full-time employment before the program ends. You will be eligible to start work in January or February of the year of graduation, pending work authorization in the country of your employment.
Do any of your MFin students seek employment outside of the pure-play finance fields?
Yes. While the majority of MFin students pursue careers within the financial services industry, some students seek and secure roles outside of pure-play finance. MFin graduates have accepted data science roles at tech companies, corporate finance and strategy roles at non-financial companies, management consulting roles, and opportunities within the public policy, non-profit, and business development fields.
If I am interested in a highly quantitative job, would MIT Sloan’s MFin program be appropriate for me?
Yes! Many MFin students land in quantitative roles after graduation, and there are plenty of courses available to meet their needs. In addition to the classes offered specifically by MIT Sloan, students are also able to enroll in any class at MIT, including the other graduate departments, such as engineering, computing, mathematics, statistics, etc., as well as PhD level courses. Many MFins also complete the Financial Engineering concentration. Employers recognize the strong technical and quantitative skillset of our MFin students.
If I were to concentrate in financial engineering, what level of expertise would I be able to achieve?
The financial engineering concentration curriculum provides MFins with a deep level of expertise and positions them to be successful in highly quantitative careers. Students interested in quantitative finance have always found more than enough hard-core courses at MIT Sloan and at the broader MIT campus and have been successful in finding competitive quant roles upon graduation.
My research experience is mostly mathematical. I do not have work experience, but I really enjoy analyzing complex datasets. What do you suggest?
We do have students coming into the program with primarily research backgrounds (and limited professional experience), and we feel the program can be a very good fit for someone with your credentials. In the end, it really depends on what you want to get out of the program and the kind of position you are looking to get at the end of the program. Many companies value strong researchers.
Students in the 12-month program will interview for full-time positions, typically starting in the fall semester.
Does the lack of an internship period in the 12-month accelerated option make it difficult to find jobs?
It is beneficial to have a financial internship on your resume, so it is advisable to seek one before enrolling in the MFin program. However, even though a formal internship is not part of the program, typically students are able to find a suitable job through a combination of displaying a real passion for finance, having a clear explanation of how they can contribute to their employer, and a diligent approach to their job search throughout the year.
I am an international student. Will choosing the accelerated format make my job search more challenging, especially when it comes to a job search in the United States?
Each student comes with a different background and career goals so there isn't a standard answer to this question. Students who are not in the accelerated option will have an opportunity to gain additional practical training during the summer, but whether or not this is the right path for you depends on your current level of experience and career goals. You should also consider whether the typical career path into your chosen industry usually starts with a summer internship.
Are full-time career opportunities comparable for all MFin graduates, given that the general recruiting cycle targets a summer start?
This really depends on the employer industry, job function and geography. Some of the larger employers with structured training programs may have two intakes to accommodate different academic schedules (mostly in Asia). Many MFin students also go into the asset management industry, which tends to recruit in the spring. Students completing a summer internship are well positioned to join an industry where a summer internship would be beneficial to secure a full-time offer.
What distinguishes the MFin from an MBA career-wise?
From a career perspective, employers will have a greater expectation of your depth of technical expertise with respect to the concepts of modern finance, since MFin students typically take twice as many finance courses as compared to their MBA peers. MFin students are perhaps showing a greater commitment to learning about the tools of finance, as opposed to learning about the tools of management in an MBA. The difference in degrees is important, but the level of work experience of each individual candidate is a huge factor, too.
What are the career prospects for MFin graduates as opposed to MBA graduates?
Generally speaking, MFin students accept roles within the finance industry, while MBAs secure roles across industries. Additionally, MFins have on average less than 18 months of work experience, including internships, while MBAs typically start the program with 4 or more years of full-time work experience.
If I am planning for a complete career change, which degree program would you recommend?
Your MFin degree is an effective way to kick-start or accelerate your career in the finance industry. For applicants with more than four years of full-time work experience who are looking to enhance their management skills and advance their career, the MBA program may be more suitable.