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When is the application deadline?

You may access our application deadlines and decision release dates online.

What is the background of admitted students?

Our class profile is an excellent resource to review the background of our most recently admitted classes.

Class profile

How much math and statistics will I need?

The MSCF program is highly quantitative. While the background of our students varies, most have taken engineering-level math courses beyond Calculus such as Differential Equations and Linear Algebra. A calculus-based probability course is also required.

The MSCF Program includes a detailed treatment of the mathematical models of quantitative finance, and this involves stochastic calculus and its applications. Undergraduate courses that cover both probability and statistics rather than just probability often devote insufficient time to the probability content needed to sufficiently prepare students for the level of probability encountered in MSCF. If you have not previously taken a calculus-based probability course, you should look for a course covering advanced topics in probability including the law of large numbers, the central limit theorem, moment-generating functions, multivariate probability distributions, conditional distributions, and independence, covariance and correlation of random variable.

Students lacking one or more advanced mathematics courses may still be considered provided they are able to take steps to acquire the necessary skills before entering the program and satisfy the admissions committee requirements.

How much programming experience will I need?

Proficiency in a programming language is required. Applicants lacking this knowledge may be requested to take a C++ course prior to enrolling in the program.

How much work experience do I need?

Relevant professional experience is preferred but is not required. Our Fall 2013 entering students had an average of 1.8 years of experience and a range from those whose experience was limited to relevant internships to those with 10+ years of experience. Interest in finance, quantitative aptitude, educational background, character, language skills and work experience are all important determinants in the admissions decision.

Review full class profile

Will units transfer from the certificate program?

Yes, units from the certificate program can be transferred for units in the degree program.  You will need to reapply for the degree program in order to be considered for admission.  Certificate candidates who reapply for the degree program will need to provide 3 letters of recommendation and complete the essays as is required of degree candidates.

Certificate program

Reapplication process

What is the difference between the NYC and Pittsburgh campuses?

Other than location, there are no differences between the New York and Pittsburgh programs. Courses are broadcast from Pittsburgh to New York via live, interactive video, giving students and professor full ability to see and hear one another. Faculty teach live from New York twice during each seven-week mini-semester. While a number of the New York students have full-time jobs and study part-time and most Pittsburgh students study full-time, one can study part-time, full-time or for a certificate at either site. Tuition costs are the same in Pittsburgh and New York. The significant advantage of the New York program is its proximity to global financial institutions and the networking possibilities of having so many MSCF alums and fellow students employed at these institutions. The significant advantage of the Pittsburgh program is the vibrant campus community at Carnegie Mellon University and the ability to directly network with faculty and other masters students at the Tepper School of Business.

New York campus

Pittsburgh campus

Are there restrictions for applying to the online MSCF Program?

Residents of Certain States are Ineligible to Apply for Enrollment in Courses and Programs Delivered via Distance Education: For Carnegie Mellon courses and programs delivered via distance education only: Carnegie Mellon is not able to accept students who are residents of Alabama, Arkansas and Minnesota for enrollment in courses and programs delivered via distance education because it has not applied for or received authorization from these states to deliver courses and programs via distance education to residents of these states. Carnegie Mellon has not currently applied for or received authorization from these states because Carnegie Mellon has determined that the administrative and other requirements to obtain and maintain authorization for its distance education courses and programs that would otherwise be delivered to residents of these states, including the fees charged by these states and the additional administrative costs associated with doing so, are disproportionately burdensome, excessive and/or prohibitive, at least at the present time.

ATTN Residents of AL, AR and MN: If you are a resident of Alabama, Arkansas or Minnesota, you are not eligible to apply for enrollment in Carnegie Mellon courses and programs delivered via distance education. Note, however that residents of Alabama, Arkansas and Minnesota are eligible to apply for enrollment in all other Carnegie Mellon courses and programs, including those offered at any of its various campus locations.

Inquiries regarding the above may be directed to: Director of Enrollment Services, Carnegie Mellon University, Warner Hall A19, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, Telephone: 412.268.5399, Email:

What is the cost of the MSCF program?

You may access our tuition and financial aid information online.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Is financial aid available?

Yes, financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, loans and a tuition payment plan. For additional questions on financing your MSCF education, please contact the Financial Aid Office by email or by phone at 412.268.1242.

Financial Aid

Email Financial Aid

All full-time students admitted to the program are considered for an MSCF Merit Scholarship. No additional application to qualify for this award is required. Criteria is based on the strength of the student’s candidacy relative to the overall applicant pool for the year. Scholarship decisions are made at the time of the admissions decision. All merit scholarships are partial.

MSCF Merit Scholarship

Qualified U.S. citizens and permanent residents may be eligible for subsidized and/or unsubsidized Stafford loans. Perkins loans may also be available. Private educational loans are available to credit-worthy U.S. citizens or non-U.S. citizens able to obtain a credit-worthy U.S. co-signor.

Payment Plans
All Carnegie Mellon students are eligible for a tuition payment plan which allows monthly payments with no accrued interest charge.

Tuition payment plan

When does the MSCF program begin?

The MSCF program begins in late August. Since the courses are sequential, August is the only time a student can enter the program.

Do I need to schedule an admissions interview?

Applicants may be contacted by email to arrange an on-campus or virtual face-to-face interview via webcam using video calling software before a final decision is made on your candidacy. Interviews are granted at the discretion of the MSCF Admissions Committee after an initial review of your application. Requests for interviews will not be granted. Interviews can take place at any time in the application process.

Do you accept the GMAT or GRE?

While the MSCF program accepts either the GMAT or the GRE, if you have yet to take either, we recommend taking the GRE. Original copies of the test scores are required.

Do all candidates have to submit test scores?

You are required to submit an official copy of either your GMAT directly from Pearson VUE or GRE scores directly from ETS. You must have taken the test within five years of submitting your application.

For GRE scores, use institution code 4883 (Carnegie Mellon Tepper Sch Bus.) to have your GRE sent to us. For GMAT, select Carnegie Mellon University and the Tepper School of Business to have your GMAT sent to us. If you do not use these codes, there may be delays in getting your tests scores to us.

If you hold a PhD from a U.S. institution in a related discipline at the time of application AND are able to submit a photocopy of the GMAT/GRE that was part of your original PhD application, you may not be required to submit a new, valid copy of the GMAT/GRE test results. Additionally, we will extend this for candidates who are expected to complete their PhD studies at a U.S. institution by July 31st, 2013 for students applying to the program for the Fall 2013 entering class. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the MSCF Admissions Committee. If you meet BOTH of these criteria, you can request an exemption of the new test score policy by submitting a completed application including a statement requesting a waiver in the optional essay D and mail a photocopy of your previous test score to the MSCF Admissions Office. We will notify you only if you have not been granted the waiver.

Do I need to submit the TOEFL or IELTS?

International students who have previously obtained a degree in the United States need not submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Additionally, we will waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for international applicants who have earned a degree at a university where the language of instruction was English, but do require that you submit document directly from the institution of such. If you are required to submit a TOEFL score, use institution code 2074 and department code 02. For IELTS, select Carnegie Mellon University and the Tepper School of Business.

What are the average test scores of admitted students?

How successful are MSCF students in the career search?

The MSCF program is well-known and highly respected, drawing many corporate recruiters to campus. The MSCF program is administered by the Tepper School of Business which makes available to the Computational Finance students the enormous job recruitment resources of its Career Opportunities Center. Check out the career opportunities site for more information on employment statistics and companies recruiting MSCF students.

Career Opportunities site

What is the average starting salary?

The average base starting salary for the Class of 2012 (graduated in December 2011) was $96,451. In addition, 64% of graduates received a signing bonus averaging $29,174. These figures do not include other guaranteed compensation or year-end bonuses based on individual, group and firm performance.

MSCF Careers

If admitted, am I able to defer enrollment?

We do not defer enrollments but we will keep your admissions materials on file for one year. Should you choose to seek admission the following year, your candidacy will be evaluated on the basis of the applicant pool at that time. We do offer a streamlined reapplication process for candidates reapplying within one year.

Reapplication process

Why was I not admitted to the MSCF program?

If you are not granted admission into the program it simply means your candidacy was not as strong as others for a very limited number of openings. We will hold all application materials for 1 year at which you can reapply using our streamlined reapplication process.

Reapplication Process

What other schools are considered by those seeking MSCF admission?

Increased competition has not only kept us striving to continually improve the program but has also significantly increased the awareness of the "quantitative finance" category within the financial services industry. While we believe our program to be the best of its kind, other schools often on the "radar screen" include Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, NYU, Princeton, Stanford, and UC Berkeley.

International Association of Financial Engineers Academic Programs

Are transfer credits accepted?

No, the MSCF program does not accept transfer credits.


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