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First Ever MSF Rankings

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First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2010, 18:11
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Disclaimer: I am yet to choose a MSF/MMS program, but after going through the interview process at a number of schools and deeply researching many, I feel like I can make a fairly accurate list.

This is for individuals looking to get into Investment Banking advisory, Equity Research, Corporate Finance, or some other non-quantitative field after graduation (in the United States), both MMS and MSF degrees.

Tier 1
1. London Business School Masters in Management
2. London School of Economics MSc Finance
3. Vanderbilt Masters in Finance (Owen)
4. London School of Economics MSc Accounting & Finance
5. Duke Masters in Management Studies (Fuqua)

Tier 2
5. Boston College Masters in Finance (Carroll)
6. University of Virginia Masters in Management (McIntire/Darden)
7. Purdue Masters in Finance (Krannert)
8. Warwick Masters in Finance
9. Washington St. Louis Masters in Finance (Olin)
10. University of Illinois U-C Masters in Finance
11. Villanova Masters in Finance
12. University of Florida Masters in Finance
13. American University Masters in Finance (Kogod)

Tier 3
14. Tulane University Masters in Finance (Freeman)
15. John Hopkins University Masters in Finance
16. University of Texas at Dallas
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2010, 19:09
1, Why so high on Vandy?

2. Didnt MIT just start one?

I dont know much about ms finance, so those might be dumb questions
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2010, 19:18
This is a bold attempt to go where no one has gone before. However, I have to wonder the following:

1) Where is Princeton (which should be #1 on this list) in your ranking? Also, where is MIT?

2) How can you rate programs with better class profiles and better job placement (both in terms of percentage of students placed 3-months after graduation and quality of companies hiring these students) below schools with weaker profiles in these categories?

3) Where did you apply and where have you been accepted or interviewed?

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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2010, 19:59
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Cyan wrote:
1, Why so high on Vandy?

2. Didnt MIT just start one?

I dont know much about ms finance, so those might be dumb questions



1. Vandy is very solid. Has OCR for a number of bulge bracket banks and for just about every middle market bank in the southeast. Curriculum leaves options for classes (from a list >30) as opposed to setting you up with a mandatory schedule, this allows you to tailor your degree to your interests.

2. MIT's MFin is very quantitative. Not really a good match for IBD, Corp Fin, etc.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2010, 20:05
nbd52 wrote:
This is a bold attempt to go where no one has gone before. However, I have to wonder the following:

1) Where is Princeton (which should be #1 on this list) in your ranking? Also, where is MIT?

2) How can you rate programs with better class profiles and better job placement (both in terms of percentage of students placed 3-months after graduation and quality of companies hiring these students) below schools with weaker profiles in these categories?

3) Where did you apply and where have you been accepted or interviewed?

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1. Answered in previous post. Princeton is even more quantitative than MIT

2. Examples please. Also, the job placement is what you make of it. Some stats that a career center puts out is not indicative of what a career focused student can make of it. Vandy, Duke, BC, and UVA may not have spectacular job placement stats, but look at the facts: strong alumni network, OCR is strong, good brand name. Sure, some of my lower ranked schools may have higher job placement stats, but these are misleading. The 4 schools that I used as an example will give you a much better chance of making it to a top group in a bulge bracket bank than some state school in the midwest.

3. MIT interview this week, too expensive, too quant, not really interested. Waiting to hear back from LSE. Interview at Oxford later this month. Interviewed already at Vanderbilt. Waiting on LBS.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2010, 07:51
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If you place Vanderbilt so high I would think Washington U has to be much higher as well. I know you didn't apply to this school, however, the class profile for 2010 was 3.57 gpa and 729 GMAT. The job placements are stellar. All I could get from Vanderbilt after speaking with them is that certain banks recruit their students. WashU has PLACED it's 2009 graduating class at many top tier companies (i.e. For IB: Goldman, JP Morgan, Citi, Barclays, BofA. For consulting: McKinsey, Monitor Group, etc.). In addition, WashU places it's students at a higher rate (87% 3-months after grad compared to 72%). I don't doubt that recruiting is strong at Vandy (after all I did apply there) but recruiting is one thing, actual placement is another. So far I haven't seen anything after researching and speaking to both schools that indicates that Vandy is better than WashU.

As a side note. The fact that MIT and Princeton are highly quantitative programs doesn't mean they are bad for Corp finance and IB. The name value of each school far outweighs ant concern I would have about that. In addition, Princeton has an amazing career services department. I'm sure the combo of name value + career services could land you in whatever job you want. The jury is still out on MIT job placements and I don't entirely disagree that 100k is kinda ridiculous.

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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2010, 19:57
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HEC Paris, SDA Bocconi, IE, St. Gallen, RSM (probably in that order) are all schools with merit in Europe.

The MSF at HEC Paris is certainly top tier.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2010, 14:02
If LSE's MSc Finance and MSc Accounting and Finance are so high on the list, where is LSE's MSc Finance and Economics? It is by far their most established and prestigious finance program, and it places extraordinarily well in investment banking and corporate finance. I would place that right below LBS on your list and definitely above LSE's newer, less prestigious MSc Finance.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 16:18
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nbd52 wrote:
If you place Vanderbilt so high I would think Washington U has to be much higher as well. I know you didn't apply to this school, however, the class profile for 2010 was 3.57 gpa and 729 GMAT. The job placements are stellar. All I could get from Vanderbilt after speaking with them is that certain banks recruit their students. WashU has PLACED it's 2009 graduating class at many top tier companies (i.e. For IB: Goldman, JP Morgan, Citi, Barclays, BofA. For consulting: McKinsey, Monitor Group, etc.). In addition, WashU places it's students at a higher rate (87% 3-months after grad compared to 72%). I don't doubt that recruiting is strong at Vandy (after all I did apply there) but recruiting is one thing, actual placement is another. So far I haven't seen anything after researching and speaking to both schools that indicates that Vandy is better than WashU.

As a side note. The fact that MIT and Princeton are highly quantitative programs doesn't mean they are bad for Corp finance and IB. The name value of each school far outweighs ant concern I would have about that. In addition, Princeton has an amazing career services department. I'm sure the combo of name value + career services could land you in whatever job you want. The jury is still out on MIT job placements and I don't entirely disagree that 100k is kinda ridiculous.

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You are missing the big picture.

A common theme in these rankings is the descent in "brand" prestige as you go down the list. Owen>Olin. Hands down, especially in IB.

Also, if you are coming out of WashU you will probably place into a quant role. Just look at their brochure online, they arn't event willing to call the job "Investment Banking Analyst," they decide to spin it to "Investment Banking Quantitative Analyst," even though everyone know that the math need for IB is pretty basic.

As to your point the Princeton and MIT will place well, of course they will. I would never dispute that. But why would you go knock yourself out at some quant bonanza for a year, when you could go to a program where the coursework is focused on what you are interested in as opposed to these schools. It makes no sense whatsoever. Also, very very few people go from the Princeton MSF to IB, i do not know about MIT, but I would imagine that the same is true.

You are focusing on some arbitrary numbers too much. 70% placement as opposed to 85% placement is not a big deal at all. At Vandy you are given the tools (OCR, Alumni Network, Coursework, Career Center) to land an IBD job at a bulge bracket bank. I am not convinced that you could do the same at Wash U.

*I have talked to at least one student/alumnus all of these schools, with a few exceptions.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 16:19
evanstripp wrote:
HEC Paris, SDA Bocconi, IE, St. Gallen, RSM (probably in that order) are all schools with merit in Europe.

The MSF at HEC Paris is certainly top tier.


I completely agree. However, I made this list for the US and stated that in my original post. Either way:

HEC's program requires French

St. Gallen and RSM have no recognition in the US

IE has very little recognition in the US
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 16:22
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blopez0487 wrote:
If LSE's MSc Finance and MSc Accounting and Finance are so high on the list, where is LSE's MSc Finance and Economics? It is by far their most established and prestigious finance program, and it places extraordinarily well in investment banking and corporate finance. I would place that right below LBS on your list and definitely above LSE's newer, less prestigious MSc Finance.


I did not include Finance and Econ because of its quant nature. Most people are interested in trading. However, it is the best program out of the 3 at LSE and does place very well into Corp Fin and IB. My thinking is that if you are set on IB/CorpFin, you should apply for A&F or Finance over Fin & Econ.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 16:41
MFINDreamer wrote:

I completely agree. However, I made this list for the US and stated that in my original post. Either way:

HEC's program requires French

St. Gallen and RSM have no recognition in the US

IE has very little recognition in the US


I see that now. With that being said, while LBS and LSE are both recognized names, most likely it would be hard to land a job in IB at a BB in the U.S. after graduation. The network and resources in the City are part of what makes these programs great.

HEC's program doesn't require french. http://www.hec.edu/MSc/Programs/MSc-in-Finance/FAQ

In my opinion, Princeton and MIT should be in tier 1. Graduating from either of these programs would land you IB interviews, if that is what you wanted to do.

Vandy and Duke both belong in tier 2. The tier 1 schools are simply on a different level.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 18:21
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nbd52 wrote:
If you place Vanderbilt so high I would think Washington U has to be much higher as well. I know you didn't apply to this school, however, the class profile for 2010 was 3.57 gpa and 729 GMAT. The job placements are stellar. All I could get from Vanderbilt after speaking with them is that certain banks recruit their students. WashU has PLACED it's 2009 graduating class at many top tier companies (i.e. For IB: Goldman, JP Morgan, Citi, Barclays, BofA. For consulting: McKinsey, Monitor Group, etc.). In addition, WashU places it's students at a higher rate (87% 3-months after grad compared to 72%). I don't doubt that recruiting is strong at Vandy (after all I did apply there) but recruiting is one thing, actual placement is another. So far I haven't seen anything after researching and speaking to both schools that indicates that Vandy is better than WashU.

As a side note. The fact that MIT and Princeton are highly quantitative programs doesn't mean they are bad for Corp finance and IB. The name value of each school far outweighs ant concern I would have about that. In addition, Princeton has an amazing career services department. I'm sure the combo of name value + career services could land you in whatever job you want. The jury is still out on MIT job placements and I don't entirely disagree that 100k is kinda ridiculous.

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You are missing the big picture.

A common theme in these rankings is the descent in "brand" prestige as you go down the list. Owen>Olin. Hands down, especially in IB.

Also, if you are coming out of WashU you will probably place into a quant role. Just look at their brochure online, they arn't event willing to call the job "Investment Banking Analyst," they decide to spin it to "Investment Banking Quantitative Analyst," even though everyone know that the math need for IB is pretty basic.

As to your point the Princeton and MIT will place well, of course they will. I would never dispute that. But why would you go knock yourself out at some quant bonanza for a year, when you could go to a program where the coursework is focused on what you are interested in as opposed to these schools. It makes no sense whatsoever. Also, very very few people go from the Princeton MSF to IB, i do not know about MIT, but I would imagine that the same is true.

You are focusing on some arbitrary numbers too much. 70% placement as opposed to 85% placement is not a big deal at all. At Vandy you are given the tools (OCR, Alumni Network, Coursework, Career Center) to land an IBD job at a bulge bracket bank. I am not convinced that you could do the same at Wash U.

*I have talked to at least one student/alumnus all of these schools, with a few exceptions.


Looking at the brochure, it is clear that Olin places well in IB. For instance, you mention the fact that they call a position "Investment Banking Quant Analyst", however, you ignored the other job titles. "Equity Capital Markets Analyst" and "Debt Capital Markets Analyst", both of these titles indicate working in the Investment Banking arm of a BB firm (check out JPMorgan's career webpage, it breaks down these divisions pretty clearly). In addition, the list of companies that have hired Olin students is pretty amazing (and the job placement titles indicate a variety of positions are filled, i.e. trading, IB, consulting, research, etc.).

I'm just not sure why you think SO highly of Vandy. I definitely respect the institution as a whole, however, the recent placements of Vanderbilt MSF students is not good enough to warrant such a high ranking. I understand that you believe all the necessary resources are available to land a great job, but the recent placement doesn't reflect that. However, I guess this is just your personal opinion - there really wasn't any specific metric or formula that you used for this ranking. In that sense, I respect your opinion and your attempt at ranking these programs.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2010, 13:55
evanstripp wrote:
MFINDreamer wrote:

I completely agree. However, I made this list for the US and stated that in my original post. Either way:

HEC's program requires French

St. Gallen and RSM have no recognition in the US

IE has very little recognition in the US


I see that now. With that being said, while LBS and LSE are both recognized names, most likely it would be hard to land a job in IB at a BB in the U.S. after graduation. The network and resources in the City are part of what makes these programs great.

HEC's program doesn't require french. http://www.hec.edu/MSc/Programs/MSc-in-Finance/FAQ

In my opinion, Princeton and MIT should be in tier 1. Graduating from either of these programs would land you IB interviews, if that is what you wanted to do.

Vandy and Duke both belong in tier 2. The tier 1 schools are simply on a different level.


Wow, for some reason I missed that, I could have sworn HEC was 1/2 English 1/2 French. HEC is a great school and I am sure it would place well in London and has a great brand name in the US.

Princeton and MIT don't belong here. They do not want people that want to go into IB. The only way that you end up in IB is if you show up, figure out quant stuff is not for you, do a 180, and apply for IB positions. I cannot remember where I saw this/who I heard this from; but 2 Princeton MSF grads have gone into traditional IBD.

Maybe Vandy and Duke do belong in tier 2. You have a right to an opinion, as do I. I have done significant research on the subject and this is what I think. Have you talked to multiple students from both programs, talked to the Admin and admissions people from both schools, and visited each campus?
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2010, 13:59
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MFINDreamer wrote:
nbd52 wrote:
If you place Vanderbilt so high I would think Washington U has to be much higher as well. I know you didn't apply to this school, however, the class profile for 2010 was 3.57 gpa and 729 GMAT. The job placements are stellar. All I could get from Vanderbilt after speaking with them is that certain banks recruit their students. WashU has PLACED it's 2009 graduating class at many top tier companies (i.e. For IB: Goldman, JP Morgan, Citi, Barclays, BofA. For consulting: McKinsey, Monitor Group, etc.). In addition, WashU places it's students at a higher rate (87% 3-months after grad compared to 72%). I don't doubt that recruiting is strong at Vandy (after all I did apply there) but recruiting is one thing, actual placement is another. So far I haven't seen anything after researching and speaking to both schools that indicates that Vandy is better than WashU.

As a side note. The fact that MIT and Princeton are highly quantitative programs doesn't mean they are bad for Corp finance and IB. The name value of each school far outweighs ant concern I would have about that. In addition, Princeton has an amazing career services department. I'm sure the combo of name value + career services could land you in whatever job you want. The jury is still out on MIT job placements and I don't entirely disagree that 100k is kinda ridiculous.

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You are missing the big picture.

A common theme in these rankings is the descent in "brand" prestige as you go down the list. Owen>Olin. Hands down, especially in IB.

Also, if you are coming out of WashU you will probably place into a quant role. Just look at their brochure online, they arn't event willing to call the job "Investment Banking Analyst," they decide to spin it to "Investment Banking Quantitative Analyst," even though everyone know that the math need for IB is pretty basic.

As to your point the Princeton and MIT will place well, of course they will. I would never dispute that. But why would you go knock yourself out at some quant bonanza for a year, when you could go to a program where the coursework is focused on what you are interested in as opposed to these schools. It makes no sense whatsoever. Also, very very few people go from the Princeton MSF to IB, i do not know about MIT, but I would imagine that the same is true.

You are focusing on some arbitrary numbers too much. 70% placement as opposed to 85% placement is not a big deal at all. At Vandy you are given the tools (OCR, Alumni Network, Coursework, Career Center) to land an IBD job at a bulge bracket bank. I am not convinced that you could do the same at Wash U.

*I have talked to at least one student/alumnus all of these schools, with a few exceptions.


Looking at the brochure, it is clear that Olin places well in IB. For instance, you mention the fact that they call a position "Investment Banking Quant Analyst", however, you ignored the other job titles. "Equity Capital Markets Analyst" and "Debt Capital Markets Analyst", both of these titles indicate working in the Investment Banking arm of a BB firm (check out JPMorgan's career webpage, it breaks down these divisions pretty clearly). In addition, the list of companies that have hired Olin students is pretty amazing (and the job placement titles indicate a variety of positions are filled, i.e. trading, IB, consulting, research, etc.).

I'm just not sure why you think SO highly of Vandy. I definitely respect the institution as a whole, however, the recent placements of Vanderbilt MSF students is not good enough to warrant such a high ranking. I understand that you believe all the necessary resources are available to land a great job, but the recent placement doesn't reflect that. However, I guess this is just your personal opinion - there really wasn't any specific metric or formula that you used for this ranking. In that sense, I respect your opinion and your attempt at ranking these programs.



ECM and DCM are both corp fin stuff, you are right. I was just using the brochure as an example. Talk to some people in the program and you will see exactly what I mean

Its not that I respect Vandy SO much. The way I see it most MSF programs have a problem. Whether it be poor curriculum, poor brand name, poor recruiting, summer classes before the program starts (ruining internship chances beforehand). Vandy doesn't have any of these flaws and actually does pretty well in every category.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 10:25
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Wow, for some reason I missed that, I could have sworn HEC was 1/2 English 1/2 French. HEC is a great school and I am sure it would place well in London and has a great brand name in the US.

Princeton and MIT don't belong here. They do not want people that want to go into IB. The only way that you end up in IB is if you show up, figure out quant stuff is not for you, do a 180, and apply for IB positions. I cannot remember where I saw this/who I heard this from; but 2 Princeton MSF grads have gone into traditional IBD.

Maybe Vandy and Duke do belong in tier 2. You have a right to an opinion, as do I. I have done significant research on the subject and this is what I think. Have you talked to multiple students from both programs, talked to the Admin and admissions people from both schools, and visited each campus?


MFINDreamer, its seems to me what you have created is a list of schools in an order that fits your goals/objectives best. If you are talking about purely ranking schools on a number of factors such as exit opps, alumni strengthen, prestige, program rigor, competitiveness, etc. etc. then Princeton and MIT belong as two of the top programs in the United States. While these programs might not be a perfect match for you, they provide people with the most to enhance their own opportunities after the program.

For example, the Duke MMS program might be higher up on the list for someone who comes from a "non-target" in a non-business related major and is looking to break into the field of finance.

Likewise, the MSF program at Boston College might be higher up on a list of rankings for someone with a couple years of experience and is looking into buy-side opportunities in Boston.

Tulane might climb up the list for someone looking to get into the field of energy finance.

In short, to each his own. Find the school that best fits you and make the most of your opportunities. While some schools will help land that interview, at the end of the day its up to you to network and nail the interview.

Edit: I just wanted to add that University of Rochester (Simon) should be added to the list. It is very well respected in the field of finance, and is one of the top finance phd programs. Recruiting looks pretty good as well. http://www.simon.rochester.edu/recruiters/recruiting-companies/index.aspx

And why is Owen>Olin? Olin has a higher rank in a lot of business school ranking lists. Owen, Olin, and Simon are all considered near elites.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2010, 13:52
Hey MFINDreamer,

Just wondering why you ranked Vandy's MSF higher than LSE's Msc Acc&Fin? I am currently trying to decide between the two...
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2010, 14:35
He specified this list was for people looking for jobs in the United States. That means Vandy > LSE. If you are looking for jobs in London obviously LSE is better.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2010, 18:12
Very bold move, MFINDreamer!

Are the U.Va and Duke programs really MFin degrees? What types of jobs do they prepare students for?
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2010, 13:45
I believe you are referring to the Masters in Finance (MiF) course at LBS :
http://www.london.edu/programmes/mastersinfinance.html

The Masters in Management (MiM) has very different objectives to the MiF and is not very finance focused at all but more aimed at undergraduates with little work expereince. Some did manage to land IB / Finance jobs, but that was not the focus of the course.
http://www.london.edu/programmes/master ... ement.html

Both are great programmes.
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Re: First Ever MSF Rankings   [#permalink] 20 Jul 2010, 13:45
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