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Quick Profile Evalution [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2014, 05:47
Hi all, I was wondering if you guys could help me out with my (Msc, MFin, MS, etc.) in Finance search. From what I can tell, there are three types of MS Finance programs under the 'comprehensive' category. (i) very applied, CFA curriculum, large part-time student base (ii) decent amount of math; modeling, econometrics, thesis (iii) Phd preparation.

I am personally most interested in the second category since I am already studying the CFA curriculum and I do not intend to pursue a Phd. I feel like the second category provides a decent balance between application and theory. My profile looks something like this:

Undergrad: 3.4/4 GPA, Bcomm Finance with a minor in econ (highest grades in finance and econ)
CFA program enrollment
GMAT: Should be able to safely manage a 650+ (would be aiming for around a 700)
Math: Pretty basic, Calc I, a math econ class I did terribly in, did well in stats

However, I ended up transferring from another University after second year due to relatively poor grades and lack of interest (Econ degree with roughly a 70% average). I made up for many of these grades in my minor, but the GPA I gave only includes the courses I took at the school I transferred to.

What range of schools would I be looking at? (10-15 examples from the US, UK would give me the general idea). I'm from Canada, so I am pretty familiar with the schools here. I am a bit worried about the school transfer since I will have to submit both transcripts. In know that Canadian Schools specifically state that they only consider your last two years, however, I do not know if this applies elsewhere.
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Re: Quick Profile Evalution [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2014, 06:29
I would say you would be eligible for most universities except MIT, Princeton in US (highly quantitative + you need better gpa/gmat than that) and everything except Warwick/LSE/LBS/Oxford/Cambridge/Imperial in UK as they are looking for 2nd class (upper) minimum which translates to a 3.5 GPA.

Most schools consider your cumulative GPA over the whole undergrad course.

No harm in trying I guess - all the best!
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Re: Quick Profile Evalution [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2014, 07:00
mirri wrote:
I would say you would be eligible for most universities except MIT, Princeton in US (highly quantitative + you need better gpa/gmat than that) and everything except Warwick/LSE/LBS/Oxford/Cambridge/Imperial in UK as they are looking for 2nd class (upper) minimum which translates to a 3.5 GPA.

Most schools consider your cumulative GPA over the whole undergrad course.

No harm in trying I guess - all the best!


Hi mirri, thanks for the reply. Are you from the UK? I was looking at schools like Edinburgh, Manchester, and Bristol, but I was told that there is really no point in going as an international student unless you get into one of the top schools you just mentioned. I guess the logic here is that you are less likely to get a job in the UK as an international student, and the degree back home will most likely be discounted.
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Re: Quick Profile Evalution [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2014, 07:05
That would be about right, the entire English speaking world applies for jobs in London - thus the competition is really strong.
Ultimately, you would know your own capabilities - if you think you can compete and succeed, go ahead and try for the tier 2 schools :)

Or alternatively, try for top continental schools if you don't mind learning the native language.
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Re: Quick Profile Evalution [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2014, 06:52
Would like to hear others opinions if it possible, and MSFHQ if he is listening.
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Re: Quick Profile Evalution [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2014, 21:22
A few comments:
- That your best grades are in finance and econ is good. If your next-best grades were in maths would be even better.
- For the second type of program, you'll need more linear algebra and calculus. It won't do to be evaluating an expectation of default, say, and you don't know how to integrate by parts; or, the discussion gets to principle components analysis and you don't understand how that relates to eigenvectors.
- 650 is so-so to good. Go to school's websites and look at the MBA stats. In general, the MSF programs I know get better applicants. (Maybe because if you know you want to do finance you've probably already been hard-charging in your career.)

Finally, a dirty little secret from at least a few schools I know of: being from Canada will help you. I have heard at least two admissions officers say they don't trust the TOEFL but they know US/UK/CA/AU/NZ/ZA students will be fluent in English. (I didn't mention Quebecois.) They also said they think American and Canadian students spend less time on test prep and so their scores tend to understate their ability. What they didn't say: I got the impression they are trying to balance the domestic/North American population in their applicant pool. None would admit to it directly, but they were clear that "cultural" factors also affected their decision.
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Re: Quick Profile Evalution [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2014, 23:17
SizeTrader wrote:
A few comments:
- That your best grades are in finance and econ is good. If your next-best grades were in maths would be even better.
- For the second type of program, you'll need more linear algebra and calculus. It won't do to be evaluating an expectation of default, say, and you don't know how to integrate by parts; or, the discussion gets to principle components analysis and you don't understand how that relates to eigenvectors.
- 650 is so-so to good. Go to school's websites and look at the MBA stats. In general, the MSF programs I know get better applicants. (Maybe because if you know you want to do finance you've probably already been hard-charging in your career.)

Finally, a dirty little secret from at least a few schools I know of: being from Canada will help you. I have heard at least two admissions officers say they don't trust the TOEFL but they know US/UK/CA/AU/NZ/ZA students will be fluent in English. (I didn't mention Quebecois.) They also said they think American and Canadian students spend less time on test prep and so their scores tend to understate their ability. What they didn't say: I got the impression they are trying to balance the domestic/North American population in their applicant pool. None would admit to it directly, but they were clear that "cultural" factors also affected their decision.


Thanks you definitely provided some good insight here. In terms of the courses, I agree. I'm not sure if I mentioned this in the original post, but I was thinking about taking integral and multivariate calculus, as well as linear algebra locally (maybe retaking differential calculus since it has been a while). How I am going to fit this around the CFA, I am not sure yet.

I was also under the impression that applying from Canada to the US could be seen as an advantage over other international students. They are technically admitting an international student (check box), but for all intensive purposes this is not entirely the case. On the other hand though, one Canadian school I was looking at had a graduating class that was 90% Asian (mainland) - i'm not exactly sure what to make of this. It's a decent school by Canadian standards, around a 650-670 avg. GMAT I think, and an interesting program to boot, but the lack of diversification really makes me not want to go there. Maybe they were just accepting the most qualified candidates, which is fair enough. Not sure if you get similar distributions in the states?

Lastly, lol at the Quebecer reference. They do have bad English :P
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Re: Quick Profile Evalution [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2014, 22:30
So here is my opinion.

The schools you are interested in are largely in Europe (econometric, thesis, non-PhD, but not exactly applied/CFA). Assuming you get the GMAT you are aiming for (a big if as I have seen people estimate many times before) and assuming the schools only take your Canadian GPA, I could see you being competitive at 2nd tier UK MSF's and some other continental European programs. I think you'd struggle at LSE, but they have a variety of MSc in Finance programs, some easier to get into than others.

Many of the European programs are in English so don't let that dissuade you.


As for the Canadian benefit. There is none in the US that I know of. International students have issues in the US because of sponsorship, nothing else. Regretfully, our neighbor to the north has as difficult a time getting sponsorship as someone from much further away. English fluency will help you though, but this is less of an issue for non-asian students or those who are interviewed by programs.

US programs you would most likely do well in? Johns Hopkins, UIUC, Villanova (have accepted Canadian students before that I know), UT Austin/Vanderbilt (assuming you score more towards 700 than 650.

UK schools, I am thinking Imperial, Cass, UCL, stuff like that. Imperial is a really good program also. LSE with one of their "easier" to get into MSc sections.

It really all depends on how your GMAT turns out and what the adcoms consider for your GPA. 3.4 with a 650 GMAT is good enough for a lot of schools so don't fret too much. Make sure your resume, essays and recommendations are in order and you should be good to go. Let me know if you want me to elaborate on anything.
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Re: Quick Profile Evalution [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2014, 09:10
SizeTrader wrote:
A few comments:
- That your best grades are in finance and econ is good. If your next-best grades were in maths would be even better.
- For the second type of program, you'll need more linear algebra and calculus. It won't do to be evaluating an expectation of default, say, and you don't know how to integrate by parts; or, the discussion gets to principle components analysis and you don't understand how that relates to eigenvectors.
- 650 is so-so to good. Go to school's websites and look at the MBA stats. In general, the MSF programs I know get better applicants. (Maybe because if you know you want to do finance you've probably already been hard-charging in your career.)

Finally, a dirty little secret from at least a few schools I know of: being from Canada will help you. I have heard at least two admissions officers say they don't trust the TOEFL but they know US/UK/CA/AU/NZ/ZA students will be fluent in English. (I didn't mention Quebecois.) They also said they think American and Canadian students spend less time on test prep and so their scores tend to understate their ability. What they didn't say: I got the impression they are trying to balance the domestic/North American population in their applicant pool. None would admit to it directly, but they were clear that "cultural" factors also affected their decision.


Agree with your assessment. However would like to comment on Admissions Officers judgement that internationals spend more time on test prep. What about the advantage in verbal section that native speakers have over international applicants ? What about the better educational , test prep and admission consulting opportunities that developed countries have ? BTW you seem knowledgeable in Finance :).
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Re: Quick Profile Evalution [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2014, 18:34
MSFHQ wrote:
So here is my opinion.

The schools you are interested in are largely in Europe (econometric, thesis, non-PhD, but not exactly applied/CFA). Assuming you get the GMAT you are aiming for (a big if as I have seen people estimate many times before) and assuming the schools only take your Canadian GPA, I could see you being competitive at 2nd tier UK MSF's and some other continental European programs. I think you'd struggle at LSE, but they have a variety of MSc in Finance programs, some easier to get into than others.

Many of the European programs are in English so don't let that dissuade you.


As for the Canadian benefit. There is none in the US that I know of. International students have issues in the US because of sponsorship, nothing else. Regretfully, our neighbor to the north has as difficult a time getting sponsorship as someone from much further away. English fluency will help you though, but this is less of an issue for non-asian students or those who are interviewed by programs.

US programs you would most likely do well in? Johns Hopkins, UIUC, Villanova (have accepted Canadian students before that I know), UT Austin/Vanderbilt (assuming you score more towards 700 than 650.

UK schools, I am thinking Imperial, Cass, UCL, stuff like that. Imperial is a really good program also. LSE with one of their "easier" to get into MSc sections.

It really all depends on how your GMAT turns out and what the adcoms consider for your GPA. 3.4 with a 650 GMAT is good enough for a lot of schools so don't fret too much. Make sure your resume, essays and recommendations are in order and you should be good to go. Let me know if you want me to elaborate on anything.


Thanks MSFHQ, just one more thing. Does this assessment include the aforementioned math classes or do you think i'm good without them?
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Re: Quick Profile Evalution [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2014, 11:12
Calc and stats are all you need for an MSF program. I did business calc and stats before Nova and I was fine.
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Re: Quick Profile Evalution   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2014, 11:12
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