Computational Finance Master of science degree

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Quantitative analysts are in high demand. A master’s in computational finance makes you an asset to any company as you learn computational strategies to generate profit and reduce risk.


83%

Outcome Rate of RIT Graduates

$63.1K

Average First-Year Salary of RIT Graduates


Overview

RIT’s master’s in computational finance produces quantitative analysts who design and implement financial models used by banks and investment companies to generate profits and reduce risk. Computational analytics experts also support other industries and business functions that reach beyond banking and finance. The master’s in computational finance will expand your skills, enabling you to apply your expertise to a variety of fields, all of which have great demand for professionals with a background in computational finance. The program is designed for students interested in computational or quantitative finance careers in banking, finance, and a growing number of industries. Professionals in these fields use their strengths in business, modeling, and data analysis to understand and use complex financial models.

Computational Finance Courses

The master’s in computational finance features a curriculum steeped in the integration of finance, mathematics, and computing. The required mathematics courses have substantial financial content and the experiential computational finance course, which students take during the summer, makes use of skills learned previously in the program’s mathematics, analytics, and finance courses. The master’s in computational finance is a full-time, 12- to 17-month curriculum beginning in the fall or spring. The program ends with a required non-credit comprehensive exam based on the courses completed by the student.

Computational Finance Jobs

Computational finance is an excellent career option for technically-oriented professionals in the fields of business, math, engineering, economics, statistics, and computer science.

The master’s in computational finance addresses a vital and growing career field, reaching beyond banking and finance. Typical job titles include risk analyst, research associate, quantitative analyst, quantitative structured credit analyst, credit risk analyst, quantitative investment analyst, quantitative strategist, data analyst, senior data analyst, fixed income quantitative analyst, and financial engineer.

Typical Job Titles

Business Analyst Data Analyst
Data Scientist

Curriculum for Computational Finance MS

Computational Finance, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ACCT-603
Accounting for Decision Makers
A graduate-level introduction to the use of accounting information by decision makers. The focus of the course is on two subject areas: (1) financial reporting concepts/issues and the use of general-purpose financial statements by internal and external decision makers and (2) the development and use of special-purpose financial information intended to assist managers in planning and controlling an organization's activities. Generally accepted accounting principles and issues related to International Financial Reporting Standards are considered while studying the first subject area and ethical issues impacting accounting are considered throughout. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
FINC-671
Survey of Finance
This course introduces students to the field of finance and prepares them to undertake a study of advanced topics in other courses. Students learn about financial markets, regulation, and the fundamentals of corporate finance in areas such as investment and financing decisions. A brief overview of financial reporting allowing students to understand firm performance is also provided. (Prerequisites: ACCT-603 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
FINC-772
Equity Analysis
Students learn about various equity markets, trading, and valuation. The focus of this course is on valuing equities using widely used methods and in forming and analyzing equity portfolios. Students also learn portfolio optimization methods. (Prerequisites: FINC-671 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
FINC-773
Debt Analysis
Students learn about various debt markets, trading, and valuation. The focus of this course is on valuing debt instruments using widely used methods and in forming and analyzing debt portfolios. (Co-requisites: FINC-671 and FINC-721 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
FINC-774
Advanced Derivatives
Students learn about derivatives contracts, their pricing, and uses. The course will cover advanced financial engineering topics such as the engineering of fixed-income contracts, volatility positions, credit default swaps, and structured products. (Co-requisites: FINC-671 and MATH-736 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
FINC-791
Computational Finance Exam Preparatory
Computational finance students take a field exam at the end of their program. This course provides basic help to students taking this exam. (all required finance courses in the computational finance program) Comp Exam (Fall, Spring, Summer).
0
FINC-795
Computational Finance Experience
Students apply their mathematical, data analytic, and integrative finance skills in a complex project involving real or simulated data. Under the supervision of an advisor, students work in teams to perform a stipulated task/project and write a comprehensive report at the end of the experience. Subject to approval by the program director, an individual student internship/co-op followed by an in-depth report may obtain equivalent credit. (This course is restricted to CMPFINC-MS Major students.) Lecture 3 (Summer).
3
MATH-735
Mathematics of Finance I
This is the first course in a sequence that examines mathematical and statistical models in finance. By taking a mathematical viewpoint the course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the assumptions and limitations of the quantitative models used in finance. Topics include probability rules and distributions, the binomial and Black-Scholes models of derivative pricing, interest and present value, and ARCH and GARCH time series techniques. The course is mathematical in nature and assumes a background in calculus (including Taylor series), linear algebra and basic probability. Other mathematical concepts and numerical methods are introduced as needed. (Prerequisites: ((MATH-241 or MATH-241H) and MATH-251) or equivalent courses or graduate standing in the ACMTH-MS or MATHML-PHD or CMPFINC-MS programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MATH-736
Mathematics of Finance II
This is the second course in a sequence that examines mathematical and statistical models in finance. By taking a mathematical viewpoint the course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the assumptions and limitations of the quantitative models used in finance. Topics include delta hedging, introduction to Ito calculus, interest rate models and Monte Carlo simulations. The course is mathematical in nature and assumes a background in calculus (including Taylor series), linear algebra and basic probability. Other mathematical concepts and numerical methods are introduced as needed. (Prerequisites: MATH-735 or equivalent course or students in ACMTH-MS or MATHML-PHD or CMPFINC-MS programs.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
 
Analytics Electives
6
 
University Graduate Electives
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
36

Analytics electives*

ACCT-745
Accounting Information and Analytics
The objective for this course is helping students develop a data mindset which prepare them to interact with data scientists from an accountant perspective. This course enables students to develop analytics skills to conduct descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analysis for accounting information. This course focuses on such topics as data modeling, relational databases, blockchain, visualization, unstructured data, web scraping, and data extraction. (Prerequisites: ACCT-110 or ACCT-603 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Summer).
BANA-680
Data Management for Business Analytics
This course introduces students to data management and analytics in a business setting. Students learn how to formulate hypotheses, collect and manage relevant data, and use standard tools such as Python and R in their analyses. The course exposes students to structured data as well as semi-structured and unstructured data. There are no pre or co-requisites; however, instructor permission is required for students not belonging to the MS-Business Analytics or other quantitative programs such as the MS-Computational Finance which have program-level pre-requisites in the areas of calculus, linear algebra, and programming. Lecture 3 (Fall).
BANA-780
Advanced Business Analytics
This course provides foundational, advanced knowledge in the realm of business analytics. Advanced topics such as machine learning, analysis of structured data, text mining, and network analysis are covered. Industry standard tools such as R and Python are extensively used in completing student projects. (Prerequisite: BANA-680 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
FINC-780
Financial Analytics
This course provides a survey of financial analytics applications in contexts such as investment analysis, portfolio construction, risk management, and security valuation. Students are introduced to financial models used in these applications and their implementation using popular languages such as R, Matlab, and Python, and packages such as Quantlib. A variety of data sources are used: financial websites such as www.finance.yahoo.com, government sites such as www.sec.gov, finance research databases such as WRDS, and especially Bloomberg terminals. Students will complete projects using real-world data and make effective use of visualization methods in reporting results. There are no pre or co-requisites; however, instructor permission is required – student aptitude for quantitative work will be assessed; waived for students enrolled in quantitative programs such as the MS-Computational Finance which have pre-requisites in the areas of calculus, linear algebra, and programming. Lecture 3 (Fall).
MGIS-650
Introduction to Data Analytics and Business Intelligence
This course serves as an introduction to data analysis including both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. Contemporary data analytics and business intelligence tools will be explored through realistic problem assignments. Lecture 3 (Fall).
MGIS-725
Data Management and Analytics
This course discusses issues associated with data capture, organization, storage, extraction, and modeling for planned and ad hoc reporting. Enables student to model data by developing conceptual and semantic data models. Techniques taught for managing the design and development of large database systems including logical data models, concurrent processing, data distributions, database administration, data warehousing, data cleansing, and data mining. Lecture 3 (Spring).
MGIS-760
Integrated Business Systems
This course focuses on the concepts and technologies associated with Integrated Business Information Systems and the managerial decisions related to the implementation and ongoing application of these systems. Topics include business integration and common patterns of systems integration technology including enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise application integration (EAI) and data integration. The key managerial and organizational issues in selecting the appropriate technology and successful implementation are discussed. Hands-on experience with the SAP R/3 system is utilized to enable students to demonstrate concepts related to integrated business systems. (familiarity with MS Office suite and Internet browsers) Lecture 3 (Spring).
MKTG-768
Marketing Analytics
This course provides an overview of marketing analytics in the context of marketing research, product portfolios, social media monitoring, sentiment analysis, customer retention, clustering techniques, and customer lifetime value calculation. Students will be introduced to, mathematical and statistical models used in these applications and their implementation using statistical tools and programming languages such as SAS, SPSS, Python and R. Multiple data sources will be used ranging from structured data from company databases, scanner data, social media data, text data in the form of customer reviews, and research databases. Students will complete guided projects using real time data and make effective use of visualization to add impact to their reports. There are no listed pre or co-requisites; however, instructor permission is required – student aptitude for quantitative work will be assessed; waived for students enrolled in quantitative programs such as the MS-Computational Finance which have pre-requisites in the areas of calculus, linear algebra, and programming. Lecture 3 (Spring).
STAT-611
Statistical Software - R
This course is an introduction to the statistical-software package R, which is often used in professional practice. Some comparisons with other statistical-software packages will also be made. Topics include: data structures; reading and writing data; data manipulation, subsetting, reshaping, sorting, and merging; conditional execution and looping; built-in functions; creation of new functions; graphics; matrices and arrays; simulations and app development with Shiny. (This course is restricted to students in APPSTAT-MS or SMPPI-ACT.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
STAT-747
Principles of Statistical Data Mining
This course covers topics such as clustering, classification and regression trees, multiple linear regression under various conditions, logistic regression, PCA and kernel PCA, model-based clustering via mixture of gaussians, spectral clustering, text mining, neural networks, support vector machines, multidimensional scaling, variable selection, model selection, k-means clustering, k-nearest neighbors classifiers, statistical tools for modern machine learning and data mining, naïve Bayes classifiers, variance reduction methods (bagging) and ensemble methods for predictive optimality. (Prerequisites: This class is restricted to students in APPSTAT-MS or SMPPI-ACT who have successfully completed STAT-611, STAT-731 and STAT-741 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
STAT-773
Time Series Analysis and Forecasting
This course is designed to provide the student with a solid practical hands-on introduction to the fundamentals of time series analysis and forecasting. Topics include stationarity, filtering, differencing, time series decomposition, time series regression, exponential smoothing, and Box-Jenkins techniques. Within each of these we will discuss seasonal and nonseasonal models. (Prerequisites: This class is restricted to students in APPSTAT-MS or SMPPI-ACT who have successfully completed STAT-741 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
STAT-784
Categorical Data Analysis
The course develops statistical methods for modeling and analysis of data for which the response variable is categorical. Topics include: contingency tables, matched pair analysis, Fisher's exact test, logistic regression, analysis of odds ratios, log linear models, multi-categorical logit models, ordinal and paired response analysis. (Prerequisites: This class is restricted to students in APPSTAT-MS or SMPPI-ACT who have successfully completed STAT-741 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).

* Additional electives are available with approval.

University electives*

ACCT-7##
Any 700-level ACCT course
BANA-6##
Any 600-level BANA course
BANA-7##
Any 700-level BANA course
DECS-7##
Any 700-level DECS course
MATH-6##
Any 600-level MATH course
MATH-7##
Any 700-level MATH course
MGIS-6##
Any 600-level MGIS course
MGIS-7##
Any 700-level MGIS course
STAT-7##
Any 700-level STAT course

* Any course under Analytics electives may be used if the Analytics electives are already fulfilled.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in computational finance, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete an online graduate application. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for information on application deadlines, entry terms, and more.
  • Submit copies of official transcript(s) (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work, including any transfer credit earned.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or US equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Recommended minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent).
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Letters of recommendation are optional.
  • Students are required to complete online preparatory coursework in R and Python prior to joining the MS in computational finance program. The coursework does not need to be completed prior to applying, and will take roughly 3-4 weeks to complete.
  • Not all programs require the submission of scores from entrance exams (GMAT or GRE). Please refer to the Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements page for more information.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives. Refer to Application Instructions and Requirements for additional information.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit official test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. Students below the minimum requirement may be considered for conditional admission. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for additional information on English requirements. International applicants may be considered for an English test requirement waiver. Refer to Additional Requirements for International Applicants to review waiver eligibility.

For further information about tips on personal statements and additional guidance on how to submit a successful application, please visit Saunders College of Business Admissions Requirements.

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