Master of Finance
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In this time of uncertainty, you likely have questions related to how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may affect the 2021 admissions cycle. The Admissions and Financial Aid questions reflect updates related to the 2021 admissions cycle and include specifics on application procedures and requirements, interviews, and financial considerations. The MIT Sloan Master of Finance program questions cover general topics regarding curriculum, teaching style, student life, and career support. While most student activities listed here will not be offered in person, you will still find many ways to engage virtually with fellow students outside the classroom.
Following MIT-issued guidance, our staff is working virtually and are here to answer any questions you may have not already addressed below. We also encourage you to register for an upcoming virtual event to learn about MIT Sloan and interact with community members.
What is the MFin class size at MIT Sloan?
Each year, we look to seat a class of approximately 120 students.
Where can I view the class profile?
The Class Profile can be found online. This 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. We intentionally assemble teams of students who have a variety of skills and experience. Together, we benefit from the many perspectives our students from all over the world bring to the community.
How busy is the program’s schedule?
MIT’s Master of Finance 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.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The MFin program is delivered in 18 months. We also offer a 12-month format; however, most students prefer the longer format which includes an optional summer internship.
The degree requirements are the same for both formats.
Students in the 12 months spend the summer plus two academic terms (fall and spring) in residence, and graduate in June. 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. MIT undergraduates who have fulfilled specific Course 15 work may be able to complete the program requirements during the fall and spring terms.
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 between four and six each week. Each class is two lectures and a recitation.
What’s the MFin curriculum like? Is the curriculum more quantitative oriented?
The MFin curriculum is a comprehensive one that includes a deep dive into several required courses that are rigorous in quantitive skills – 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 you may choose what kind of courses you want to take. Take a look at the MFin Curriculum page for more information about our courses and electives.
What are the "hands-on" 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 optional Finance Lab (Fin-Lab) is offered during the month of January. The Finance Lab (Fin-Lab) is a key element of MIT Sloan’s Master of Finance Program. 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 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.
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.
Does the MFin program offer any concentrations?
Students are able to complete one of three available concentrations: Capital Markets, Corporate Finance or Financial Engineering. Completing a concentration is optional and is not a degree requirement. Students are only allowed to complete ONE concentration.
Can courses counted towards a concentration be taken as electives in the fall and spring as part of a normal course load? Since concentration requirements are in addition to the MFin requirements, does that imply a greater-than-normal course load or an extra term?
There is room within the unit limits to take concentration requirements in addition to degree requirements. Concentration requirements may be completed in either 12 or 18 months.
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. Dedicated MFin program advisors can help you navigate this process. Pursuing a Concentration is optional.
What are the course requirements for each concentration?
You can find a document detailing the concentration requirements on the MFin 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 IAP.
What advantage do you believe the MIT Sloan MFin program has over other top MFin programs?
The brand name of MIT Sloan is extremely strong, particularly around the world. Unlike other MFin programs, we have consciously designed the MFin to be a great foundation study for the pillars of modern finance—so you can take a wonderful breadth of finance courses, but also tour the whole MIT campus for depth in technical areas you may want. It’s essentially broader than a financial engineering degree, but gives you the capacity to go deep as you wish.
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.
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 Bootcamp.
When is the MFin Program start date?
The MFin program typically starts on July 1. After the summer term, all MFin students attend the MFin Integration Day in early September. This event is an important component of the MFin program and is focused on building a cohesive and inclusive cross-class community as we welcome back our returning 18-month MFins and introduce them to our new class. The activities include numerous community building exercises and networking opportunities.
Why not offer a degree in financial engineering?
Finance is broader than just financial engineering, which suggests “quants and traders only.” The MFin program addresses financial engineering as well as the broader area of finance. Students who are interested in a deeper dive into this area have the option of taking the Financial Engineering concentration offered in the program.
Can students complete the MFin program part-time?
No, the MFin program is full-time only.
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 in investment banking, corporate finance, finance-related consulting, risk management, financial technology, trading, central banking, and securities regulation, as well as investment management. 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 we encourage 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. Additionally, MFin students are able to use both MIT Sloan and MIT career resource centers, a huge bonus for MFin students.
Does the MIT MFin program accept transfer students from another MFin or MFE program?
The MIT Sloan MFin program does not accept any transfer credits and it is not possible to shorten our program based on work done elsewhere.
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.
I will be graduating in May of this year. What do people usually do to make good use of this 1-1.5-month period before matriculation at MIT Sloan?
Reaching out to your existing contacts to let them know your plans to attend graduate school can be beneficial. Depending on your background, you may also want to take a refresher course in mathematics.
Can I apply to the 12-month and 18-month program format? What if I am undecided?
Applicants are automatically considered for the 18-month format. If you are interested in the 12-month format only, you must select that on the application. Once students have matriculated, there is an option to accelerate the degree requirements and complete it in 12 months after the summer term with MFin program approval.
Are there any required courses students have to take in order to be admitted?
We do not have prerequisite courses, but many students have found it helpful to have background in calculus, statistics, linear algebra, probability and programming. Students have also found it helpful to take a course (online is acceptable) in computer programming such as R or Python. Check out our Suggested Background page for additional details on recommended coursework.
How will the MITx MicroMasters Program™ in Finance Credential relate to the MFin program?
Graduates of the Finance MicroMasters Credential will need to apply to the MFin program separately. Upon admission to the MFin program, the credits earned through the Finance MicroMasters will count towards their MFin degree requirements and will allow them to waive the Summer term in residence. Graduates of the Finance MicroMasters who are then admitted into the MFin program will start their MFin studies in the fall. Additional information about the Finance MicroMasters Credential and email contact is available here.
Is the GMAT/GRE required?
The GMAT and GRE are components of the application process and play an important role in our holistic evaluation process. However, in view of challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, we will allow candidates for the 2020-21 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.
Additionally, applicants are welcome to submit other pieces of evidence, such as expired test scores (GMAT, GRE, EA, etc.); MITx MicroMasters, CORe, edX, MBAMath, or any other non-degree coursework completed; or certifications earned such as CPA, ACCA, CFA, etc; all of which may assist the Admissions Committee in its evaluation process.
Is there a minimum GMAT or GRE?
There is no minimum score required. If you have a previous score, you may self-report your highest score for consideration.
I have a low test score. Should I still apply?
Our selection process is holistic and applications are reviewed based on each component of your application being as strong as possible to provide an entire picture of your background and experiences. Because of this, it is possible to offset a low GMAT, GPA, etc., by succeeding in some other area. Also, whom we select depends on the pool for the given year because we are looking to enroll the most qualified and diverse class.
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.
What if my transcript is not in English?
We require all transcripts to be submitted in the original language, accompanied by an 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?
While some applicants choose to have an outside credential service evaluate their transcript, it is not mandatory.
Is there a minimum GPA?
There is no minimum GPA and a low GPA can be offset by excellence in another area of the application. View our Class Profile to see the average GPA of our current MFin class.
How do I submit letters of recommendation?
You will provide the recommenders’ contact information on the online application, and then your recommenders will submit their recommendations online. We prefer that you provide a professional or academic email address for your recommenders and not a personal one.
Should recommendations be in a question-answer format, or should they be in letter format?
We prefer the question-answer format because we require that the recommender answer all of the questions that we ask. If the recommender thinks the recommendation would be better suited to a letter format, that is fine, as long as all questions are covered.
Are some parts of the application weighted more than others?
No single factor is more important than any other and we will consider your application in full when making an admission decision.
What is the application procedure for re-applicants?
Re-applicants must submit a new application every year. There is no difference in the application process for re-applicants as opposed to first-time applicants. For re-applicants, we look to see what has changed in your application and how you have grown as a person and a professional over the course of the year. These changes and improvements to your candidacy can be shown through writing a new essay and having updated recommendations supporting the changes and improvements you have made.
Can you provide feedback on my chances of being admitted?
Each year we receive more applications than seats in the class. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources within our staff to provide individual application feedback, even if the applicant expresses a desire in re-applying for a future year.
In your experience, what is the most important thing that a current applicant should be aware of?
In general, strong prior academics and understanding of how the MFin program will help achieve your career goals is valuable. You should have a strong motivation to build a career in the finance; some students are experienced in the industry through full-time work and/or internships and some show learning ability through university coursework, student clubs, competitions and extracurricular activities.
Who evaluates the applications?
The applications are evaluated by a professional 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 assessment process.
Is it best to have a recommendation letter from someone who knows you better even if he or she isn't your direct supervisor?
We request that one of the letters of recommendation will be from a direct supervisor. If this is not possible and you choose to get someone else at your current or former employer, then you will need to explain the absence of the supervisor’s recommendation in the optional/supplemental portion of the application.
One of my recommenders doesn’t speak or write in English. Is it okay if she composes the letter in a foreign language and I translate it into English?
The applicant should not translate the recommendation letter to English. If the recommender does not speak or write in 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, need to be submitted by the application deadline.
How do I submit letters of recommendation?
You will provide the recommenders’ contact information on the online application, then we will send them instructions and provide a link to submit their recommendation directly to the Admissions Office. Recommenders should not mail or email recommendation letters directly.
Does the MFin program prefer applicants with specific undergraduate majors?
We accept candidates from a diversity of academic disciplines and backgrounds, such as business and commerce, math, science, engineering, humanities, economics, etc.
Is an internship considered working experience?
Yes, an internship is professional work experience and will be considered in your application.
Do you think having a master’s degree in another area before applying to the MFin program is a plus?
We consider all aspects of your application when reviewing your candidacy. If you have already earned a master’s degree, we’d be interested to learn what type of study you pursued and what post-graduate goals you have planned.
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.
Who can apply to the MFin program?
Applicants will need to earn an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree before enrolling in the program. We accept applicants from three-year bachelor’s programs. MIT undergraduates who enroll in the MFin as a fifth-year student will be permitted to receive both the SB and the MFin degrees together if preferred, but all undergraduate requirements must be completed prior to enrolling formally in the MFin program.
Do I need work experience in order to apply?
While some applicants may have several years of experience, this is not a requirement for admission. On average, our students have 0–3 years of prior work experience. A significant population of our students come directly from undergraduate schools, but those students will typically have completed an internship during their undergraduate study.
Can I apply to the MFin and Master of Business Analytics programs concurrently?
Applicants may apply to both programs but will need to submit separate applications to each program. Each program makes admissions decisions independently and students can only attend one program at a time. If you apply to both MFin and MBAn, you should create both applications with the same email address.
Can I transfer credits to the MFin program from another university Master’s Program?
We do not accept transfer students.
Is an interview required?
Interviews are by invitation only. All students accepted into our program will be interviewed. An invitation to interview signals that your application has reached an advanced stage of consideration, but does not guarantee admission. Arrangements and detailed information will be provided if an interview invitation is extended to you.
What percentage of the pool gets an interview invitation?
There is no set number as it depends on the applicant pool in any given year. We interview approximately one-third of the applicant pool for each class.
Is it possible to waive the application fee?
We offer fee waivers to the following applicants:
- Active U.S. military personnel
- Current Teach for America members/alumni
- Current Peace Corps members
Applicants who qualify must submit the fee waiver form at least ONE week before the application deadline (an application fee waiver notification will be granted for attendees at special Identity + Inclusion events post-attendance. You do not need to submit the fee waiver form). Your request will be reviewed and you will receive an email with the results. If your fee is waived, you will be able to proceed to submit your application.
*Please note that we cannot grant retroactive fee waivers if the application fee has already been paid online.
What is the MFin tuition charge?
Visit here for information about MFin Tuition and Financial Aid.
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 TA positions available; however, our students are welcome to seek and apply for RA or TA opportunities that may exist in other programs or departments across MIT.
Are fellowships or scholarships available to MFin students?
The MFin program offers a limited number of merit-based fellowships. These fellowships are awarded to admitted candidates of all citizenships and academic backgrounds. All admitted candidates are considered for these fellowships. Fellowships are awarded to individuals with outstanding academic records, personal achievements, and professional promise. Further consideration will be given to candidates who enhance the geographic diversity of the MFin class. A list of available fellowships and scholarships can be viewed here.
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 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. Once 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 sessions to advance your career development and prepare you for recruiting. We run sessions on building and writing a strong résumé and cover letter, working on your career story, studying interview and networking techniques, and doing mock company presentations. In the fall, we ramp up our mock interviews and our individual 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 current MFin Employment Report can be found here.
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 as early as 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 fall term. 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 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
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?
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. 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.
What is the recruiting schedule and timeline for the MFin accelerated option?
Students in the 12-month program will interview for full-time positions 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 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.