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Questions About MSF Rankings

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Questions About MSF Rankings [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 21:36
I have a rather ODD background even by MSF standards, but I've applied to many of the programs at this point, and have studied them pretty exhaustively. I'll state up front I don't believe in rankings (of anything really... least of all universities).

1. But I'm still VERY shaky on the origins of the TFE (and I think there's another ranking list out there) ranking lists that float around. I'm wondering if anyone can illuminate what kind of resolution these have? i.e. I'm sure Princeton/MIT (both of which I didn't apply to b/c they seem to be FE/Quant type programs for Quant type jobs, and Bendheim is 2 years I believe; I don't even count them for this reason and they probably shouldn't be ranked alongside the others which are all more similar) get ranked highly just because... and I can sort of appreciate Vanderbilt's ranking based solely on their employment placement machinery. But I really can't figure out the rankings after those 3.

2. I know that TFE claims to rank based on a composite of GMAT, acceptance rate, start salary, etc., but when I tried to reconstruct the rankings I couldn't even FIND all of that data for most schools, so I'm wondering - do they have some inside data or are they just making things up?

3. Rochester - I know the MBA program is 'ranked' but I can't figure out why say Rochester (ranked TFE at 7) is all that much better than University of Utah (ranked 25) (which has a superb marketing effort) and seems organized and gets what look to me to be similar level placements, if anything Utah boasts, by their accounts, a lot higher avg salaries starting than Rochester. A delta of 18 ranks seems like a lot with a lot of schools in between for reasons I can't really justify.

4. the UT schools don't seem to have many placements outside of Texas from what I see, and I wasn't too impressed with placements, I'm not AT ALL saying bad things about them, I'm just not seeing how they're top 10 for this program. I suspect the truth is... there are basically 3 top programs, and everything else is sort of fungible/location based/personal preference. I have a feeling someone will post confirming that viewpoint, since to be fair that's how most 'university rankings' essentially work.

5. UVA MS Commerce - this seems like a really outstanding program not just viz their placement apparatus, but they just seem very organized and basically looks like a re-do on undergrad for people who want that. I was a bit concerned though that they probably don't do as much technical finance training as the MSF programs proper? Of course, they're not ranked since their program is apparently one-of-a-kind, though I suppose there are MS Management type programs that are similar enough: Duke, Ross, et al.

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Re: Questions About MSF Rankings [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2016, 18:46
TFE rankings are trash. MSF programs are looked at based on ability to place students in careers. Their ranking is rife with errors besides the fact that their methodology means nothing for students looking to get a job post graduation.

1) U Florida ranked 11 - U Florida is a closed program, open to only UF UG's. Shouldn't be on the list.

2 Notre Dame ranked 12 - ND has a PT MSF based in Chicago. It is relatively new. Their program on campus is a MS in Management. Shouldn't be on the list.

3) Claremont McKenna ranked 32 - total joke. a) the program is now closed to all but a handful of liberal arts schools. b) the program has some of the best placements of any MSF program. Top 5 easy. Their GMAT and GPA's are/were great. Zero way it is this low.

4) Georgetown isn't on here. Should be.

I could go on and on.


Rochester is fine, but it is expensive and all international. Their placements suffer because of this. Utah is actually very good in my opinion. I know their career officer and they are really building out their program. Obviously it is going to be very regional with placements, but Utah > Rochester, easy. Now Rochester has a NYC MSF for working professionals. This is pretty good and a program I would encourage people to look at.

UT Dallas > SMU? Total joke. SMU has very good placements and continues to build on this. The person who runs the program is great and has a good vision for the program. SMU all day.

ASU and Brandies > Villanova? Maybe in another universe. Villanova has been around for like 6-7 years and has over 200 MSF alumni. Tons of front office placements and people in private equity. Program is an hour and a half from NYC. On a pure placements perspective the program blows both away. On a diversity of students (i.e. not 100% international students), Villanova blows them away.


UT Austin is a great school, but it is very Texas focused. I love UVA and what they are doing. They started a new MS in Global Commerce that is very interesting as well. Great placements and really good program. More MS in Management than finance, but you can get banking placements from the program. You see a lot of consulting and F500 as well. Great program.

I love finance. UG in finance, MS in finance, work in about every area of finance since graduating UG. Reality is you don't need a graduate degree to understand the financial markets or do your job in finance. I enjoy understanding the nuances around the financial theory that is talked about and mentioned on a daily basis, but you don't NEED to know it to be successful in your career. A MMS or MS in Commerce will do the same thing.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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New post 29 Mar 2016, 21:09
I definitely think everything you've said makes sense.

1. I think Rochester is a confusing one to assess. Agree that the foreign national majority of the program just creates bad optics, but their location may not help either. I'm definitely a bit hedged about them at the moment.

2. What are your thoughts on BC? I didn't think their employment numbers/results were especially impressive given their location, name, age of program, etc. I know they used to be a PT/night thing but are now FT idk if I had old numbers maybe.

3. I'm interested in science/tech finance so I like Utah's emphasis on that. Looking at Vanderbilt (or UVA), it seems hard to say no to them though just given their employment machinery/connections, even if the curricula seem a bit sketchy in places at both of them; I take your point that it doesn't really matter too much which 15 classes you wind up taking...

4. StLouis Olin I can't figure out either viz their very good reputation, they seemed fine on employment, but they didn't seem to pop out at me like I thought they might, again that's all quite subjective. I assume it's the MBA program that's really the force behind their reputation.

5. OSU actually seemed to have really good employment placements (again this might just be from my perspective).

6. Villanova confused me a bit too - the program seems very strongly leaned towards sales/trading/middle-office iBank type work (lots of Bloomberg work in the curriculum); but that said it seems there ARE as you mentioned a diversity of placements, and they lean towards the greater NYC area so for many that's a huge plus.

7. I've also investigated the UK - Cambridge, Oxford, LBS, LSE, and Imperial were schools I examined; They seem to be well organized/functional. But I really don't want to end up living in the UK (Ive done that already), and they did NOT seem to have many people come to the US with EMEAA being much more likely.

8. Brandeis and JHU/Carey were 2 other schools, you mentioned the former, that I really had no idea what to make of. Brandeis seems as you said unbalanced foreign/domestic, and they seem similar to BC from my cursory look on placement, location, maturity of program. JHU I found almost no information about so I sort of wrote them off. I also am looking for full time ones so, that could be a factor too.


** Ultimately I'm not obsessed with rankings at ALL, but I realized these programs vary radically from each other in terms of all metrics, and it's not nearly as simple as just picking the school name that you recognize. So i.e. rankings have actually been very influential in shaping how I've been prioritizing applications, and just thinking about the process in general; unfortunately they're all wrong.

So while I never trusted the TFE rankings for all the above reasons outlined, it did have an unfortunate effect of coloring how I viewed the schools. So I'm definitely re-thinking everything a bit now. I suppose ultimately, when faced with a decision between 2 or more of these MSF type programs you really need to visit, talk to alumni, ask people, etc., since relying on rankings could be very problematic depending what you want to achieve with this.

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Re: Questions About MSF Rankings [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2016, 11:09
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Hi-
Looking at the TFE ranking of MSF programs, ASU seems to rank pretty high. Even though it is a new program, how realistic is this?

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Re: Questions About MSF Rankings [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2016, 17:13
BrookeAT wrote:
Hi-
Looking at the TFE ranking of MSF programs, ASU seems to rank pretty high. Even though it is a new program, how realistic is this?



I think ASU is a fine program and they seems to be putting a lot of effort into it. I wouldn't say it is at the same level as the main MSF's though (Vanderbilt, WUSTL, UTA, USC, Villanova, Boston College, etc). Definitely a regional play. If you want to work out west and are looking for a program that has a great college atmosphere and flexible studying tracks, it is worth looking into. Just realize you'll have to do most of the legwork when it comes to finding a job, etc.

Key with many of these programs is to go in with a realistic view of how the school is regarded in whatever industry you are going into, what your goals are and what tools you need from a program in order to achieve these goals.
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Re: Questions About MSF Rankings [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2016, 05:12
Probably a better question on quantnet

Didn't apply to MSF but I heard the top of the list are:

Financial Engineering: Princeton/MIT/Berkeley

Master of Finance: Vanderbilt/Washington

If you are willing to go oversea the Ox-Cam camp will be plenty enough to get you awesome gigs

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Re: Questions About MSF Rankings [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2017, 20:16
This may be late to discuss on the question, but definitely rochester does not rank as high as nova, vandy, bc, uta, etc. However, utah has people getting in with average gmat of 580. Seriously, know 5 people whi applied with gmat of 600,all got in. I also know 5 people whi applied to rochester with gmat 650,only one got in, that too because of a good profile. How can a b school which provides assured scholarships at 650 be better than Simon, definitely a top 10 program, although at 10th in the list?

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Re: Questions About MSF Rankings   [#permalink] 15 Feb 2017, 20:16
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