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Frequently Asked Questions: Financial Mathematics

No, we admit students in Fall semester only.

The School of Mathematics does not offer Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, Scholarships or Fellowships for MFM or FQF students.

There are other sources of support for education outside of the department. For general information about financing graduate school, here are three sources:

https://diversity.umn.edu/gradeducation/financing

http://www.onestop.umn.edu/onestop/financialaid.html

http://onestop.umn.edu/finances/

No, it is not possible to audit MFM/FQF Courses.

We usually admit 50 students each year. We do not have targets for a specific number of international students or any specific nationality, race or gender.

No, if you are not a student in the MFM/FQF program you can not take any MFM or FQF courses.

There are two regular Mathematics courses for University of Minnesota students and cover some of the subject matter of the MFM program. They are:

  • MATH 5075 - Mathematics of Options, Futures, and Derivative Securities I
  • MATH 5076 - Mathematics of Options, Futures, and Derivative Securities II.

Three credit courses are targeted to require nine hours per week of work (including class time). Four credits are targeted to need 12 hours or more per week.

Yes. We have a "Master of Financial Mathematics with Emphasis in Management". The "with Emphasis in Management" is an unofficial title recognized by our department and CSOM, and requires an additional three courses (for 8 credits) on top of the regular Financial Mathematics coursework. These courses are recommended to those students in our program who wish to enhance their knowledge of business applications.

For more information about these three optional business courses, click here.

Yes, if you have not completed a full year of one-variable calculus, with grades of "B" or better in all freshman-level calculus courses then we recommend taking those courses before applying to the program, and before attempting any of the mathematics courses listed below.

The two math courses that are most closely related to MFM/FQF are:

MATH 5075 - Mathematics of Options, Futures, and Derivative Securities I
MATH 5076 - Mathematics of Options, Futures, and Derivative Securities II.

Taking these even may provide some credit toward the MFM program. Other relevant courses are:

MATH 2243 - Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
MATH 2263 - Multivariable Calculus
MATH 2373 - IT Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
MATH 2374 - IT Multivariable Calculus and Vector Analysis
MATH 4065 - Theory of Interest
MATH 4242 - Applied Linear Algebra
MATH 4457 - Methods of Applied Mathematics I
MATH 4458 - Methods of Applied Mathematics II
MATH 4512 - Differential Equations with Applications
MATH 4653 - Elementary Probability
MATH 5067 - Actuarial Mathematics I
MATH 5068 - Actuarial Mathematics II
MATH 5485 - Introduction to Numerical Methods I
MATH 5486 - Introduction To Numerical Methods II
MATH 5487 - Computational Methods for Differential and Integral Equations in Engineering and Science I
MATH 5488 - Computational Methods for Differential and Integral Equations in Engineering and Science II
MATH 5525 - Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations
MATH 5587 - Elementary Partial Differential Equations I
MATH 5588 - Elementary Partial Differential Equations II
MATH 5651 - Basic Theory of Probability and Statistics
MATH 5652 - Introduction to Stochastic Processes
MATH 5654 - Prediction and Filtering
MATH 5711 - Linear Programming and Combinatorial Optimization

This list is, of course, quite long, but don't worry: We don't have specific course requirements (except for a full year of calculus, with grades of "B" or better) to apply to our program. The more you know, the better your chances of acceptance into MFM/FQF (and, ultimately, of success in completing MFM/FQF). In terms of setting priorities, the most important courses you could take in preparation for MFM would be courses that cover multilinear algebra, differential equations and basic probability. You might therefore focus on one of these two:

MATH 2263 - Multivariable Calculus
MATH 2374 - IT Multivariable Calculus and Vector Analysis, combined with one of these two
MATH 2243 - Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
MATH 2373 - IT Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, combined with, say MATH 4653 - Elementary Probability

Keep in mind that this is only a recommendation; many people apply, and they have quite varying backgrounds. Also keep in mind that there is no suite of courses which you can take to guarantee you entry to MFM or FQF. (However FM 5001/5002 can be very useful.)

If you're not attending classes at Minnesota, but at another school, and you wish to find equivalent classes at your school, it may help you to see descriptions of all of these courses. For the collection of all math courses, with descriptions point to:

http://onestop2.umn.edu/courses/tc/designators.jsp
select "MATH - Mathematics" and
click on "Show the courses".

Official GRE and Official TOEFL scores are sent to The Graduate School by ETS and uploaded under the Credentials section of you online application..

Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application. Do not mail any paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review. Only if you are admitted, the University will request official copies of this material.

Click here for more information about transcripts

Some programs limit registration, but if you aren't prevented from registering for a course by the University's registration system (and if you're willing to pay the tuition), then you're certainly permitted to take that course. However, we do recommend that students in our program take care not to underestimate the challenges of keeping up with their Financial Mathematics coursework. As a general rule, we discourage our Financial Mathematics students from taking courses not listed on our courses page.

No. Your application will be processed and you will be considered for admission without any financial information. However, if you are recommended for admission, the Graduate School will request financial certification and will not process your I-20 (which is needed for a student visa) without it.

We recommend that you think carefully about expenses before applying.

No. This degree is coursework only, although some of the individual courses may be project oriented, particularly

FM 5031/5032 A Practitioner's Course in Finance
and
FM 5091/5092 Computation, Algorithms, and Coding in Finance.

Yes, we admit many students who did not major in mathematics into MFM and FQF. However, in evaluating your application and especially in evaluating whether you may need to go through the preparatory course, we will be looking at your background in undergraduate mathematics. A student who has less than a full year of calculus (with grades of "B" or better) in all freshman-level calculus courses should not attempt the program.

Also, applicants should be aware that this is a mathematics program, and that, in this program, one never "finishes up the math" to be able to move on to something, say, more interesting. This program is not advised for those who tend to think this way about mathematics requirements.

38 for students who require the preparatory course sequence (FM 5001/5002).
     32 for students who do not require the preparation course sequence.

The Graduate School will process your I-20, notify you when it is available, and will give you the option to pay for express mailing.

If you have accepted an offer to our graduate program and have not activated your Internate account, go to Student Internet Account Initation to initate (or activate) your Internet account.

Yes, if you were not previously accepted to any Graduate program at the University of Minnesota, you are required to submit a new application.

If you were previously registered in the Graduate School and want to be readmitted to your previous or new program, you need to apply using the Readmission process.

The University of Minnesota offers eligible faculty and staff the opporutnity to continue their education through the Regents Scholarship Program.

This program focuses on the mathematics of finance. It involves significantly more graduate-level mathematics than any of the options mentioned in the question.

If you have been registered in the Graduate School, and now wish to register to the MFM/FQF program, you need to submit the Graduate School Change of Status.

We prefer and strongly recommend that you do not pursue the MFM degree or FQF certificate while you are in another program at the University.

Yes, you may request to defer. After receiving your notice of admission, you should inform the program of your intention to defer and wait for their approval. Please be aware that, if approved, you may only defer to the next Fall term, no Spring deferrals are accepted. Also, a new/updated personal statement will be required.

It is important that you review the Graduate Schools Deferral website at: http://www.grad.umn.edu/admissions/longdeferrals

We do not order the waiting list. The decisions about additional admissions depend on how many acceptances our offer are received.

Review the Important MFM and FQF Deadlines information 

We understand if you cannot wait that long, but do review the "April 15 Resolution".

Because the MFM program is housed within the Minnesota Center for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics (MCFAM), MFM students receive a full set of career services focused on the quantitative finance sector. This includes workshops covering many helpful job and internship search strategies and tactics. In addition, we offer customized, on-going one-on-one career coaching for all MFM students. We sponsor a variety of career fairs, panel discussions with industry leaders, and Networking Receptions where you can begin building your network of contacts and peers in the quantitative financial industry. We get to know you over the course of your studies. We stay with you until you find the internships and jobs you are looking for. After you graduate we include you in our growing network of alumni who stay engaged in our events and coursework.

For more details on the full suite of career development and advancement services, as well as placement statistics, see MCFAM's Career and Placement Menu.

The College of Science and Engineering Career Center is another great resource that MFM students can take advantage of.

If you seek to be in both the Financial Mathematics (MFM and FQF) and another program at the same time, it is possible, but strongly discouraged. You must get permission from the directors of both programs before doing this.

In the rare instance where it may be allowed, the MFM or FQF program must be listed as your primary plan, and the director of the other program must be notified that MFM or FQF will be primary. This has significant effect on the amount you pay in tuition and on the allocation of those dollars within the university. This is very important. If you have a tuition benefit through your program then your tuition payments will not go in full to the right college.

The "with emphasis" designation is informal and does not appear in the diploma. On the other hand, many "with emphasis" options fulfill the requirements for a minor in another department. For any minor, advance consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in the minor department is advisable. The signature of the minor DGS is required before the minor is granted.

The date by which we request a decision will appear in the MFM/FQF offer letter, recommending admission. This is different from the offer of admission you will receive from the Graduate School, not from MFM or FQF. For offers made on or before April we set and follow the "April 15 resolution".

Review the Important MFM and FQF Deadlines information.

We do not count your acceptance until your signed offer letter, with "accept" checked, has been received.

If you respond by accepting after the date in your letter, we still hope to accommodate you, but there is no guarantee.

No, if you are an MFM/FQF student, most courses at the University of Minnesota are available for you to take. However, it is important that you know the tuition charge will be the same that you pay for MFM/FQF per credit tuition, for all courses.

A few programs do place restrictions that limit availability of their courses. For example, non-Carlson School students can only take three Carlson courses during their entire time at the University. (The Carlson School of Management is UMN's business school.)No, if you are an MFM/FQF student, most courses at the University of Minnesota are available for you to take. However, it is important that you know the tuition charge will be the same that you pay for MFM/FQF per credit tuition, for all courses.

A few programs do place restrictions that limit availability of their courses. For example, non-Carlson School students can only take three Carlson courses during their entire time at the University. (The Carlson School of Management is UMN's business school.)

No. If you accept an offer of admission to MFM, we will meet with you during Orientation week and produce a "completion plan" where you will have a chance to discuss "with emphasis" options.

FQF students to not usually take "with emphasis" courses, though it's not prohibited.