Quantitative Finance Fellows

The Quantitative Finance Fellows program is for students interested in investments and in particular the software, hardware and quantitative tools used in the financial services industry. Today, many careers in asset management (hedge funds, mutual funds, or financial advisors) require an extensive use of mathematics and statistics to analyze portfolios of stocks and bonds, beyond the traditional security analysis methods. Having such advanced statistical and modeling skills can greatly increase your marketability for high-paying jobs. 

The featured course in this Fellows Program is BMGT 442 Advanced Portfolio Management, which students will take in their Spring semester. This course will focus on quantitative methods of portfolio selection and is NOT a course on traditional security analysis. This course is very different from Bmgt 443 Applied Equity Analysis and Portfolio Management, and Bmgt 443 is not a prerequisite for this course. BMGT 443 is "Fundamental Analysis" (classical ratios, such as the price to earnings ratio) and BMGT442 is "Quantitative Analyis," which uses purely statistical methods (regressions, portfolio theory, etc.) rather than analyzing the accounting statements of companies. In BMGT442, students will use advanced econometric methods to form portfolios and backtest them to attempt to build a winning strategy. In addition to BMGT442, students will complete both BMGT343 Investments and BMGT430 Linear Statistical Models in preparation for BMGT442.  Fellows will also enroll in a non-credit section of Reuters 3000XTRA in both the Fall and Spring semesters (credit option, BMGT398Q available in the Spring semester).  The Reuters 3000XTRA will meet on Fridays from 2-5pm in the Finance lab each semester.

The Faculty Champions are Chuck LaHaie and Dr. Russ Wermers.

Curriculum - 1 year program

  • Fall Semester - BMGT 343 Investments is required if not completed in a previous semester and BMGT 313 Financial Statement Analysis is recommended but not required
  • Fall or Spring - BMGT430 Linear Statistical Models if not completed prior to entering program (Students with a 2nd major in ECON can substitute ECON422 for BMGT430).
  • Fall and Spring - Reuters 3000XTRA non-credit class (credit option offered in Spring semester under BMGT398Q)
  • Spring Semester - BMGT442 (previously BMGT448C) Advanced Portfolio Management

*Program is open to Juniors and Seniors who are on track to complete the program within one year of being admitted.

NOTE: To be eligible for the Quantitative Finance Fellows program, students must complete BMGT340 Business Finance before the Fall semester that they enter the program because it is the prerequisite to BMGT343, and BMGT343 must be completed by the end of the Fall semester in which they enter the program.

Preferred course sequence for finance majors:

  • BMGT 340 completed before the Fall semester that student enters the program.
  • Complete BMGT343 in 1st semester in the program (Fall semster) if not completed in a previous semester.
  • Complete BMGT430 in 1st semester in the program (Fall semster) if not completed in a previous semester.
  • BMGT 313 (Financial Statement Analysis) is recommended for all Finance Fellows. Quantitative Finance fellows may enroll on a space available basis in either of the two sections of BMGT 313 dedicated to Finance Fellows, if space is not available in these two sections, may enroll in any open section.
  • Complete BMGT 448C Advanced Portfolio Management in the 2nd semester in the program.

Co-curricular activities/events

  • Mentoring program with professionals in field
  • Finance Fellows Speaker Series (3 speakers offered each semester)
  • Reuters instruction and certification

NOTE: Fellows are required to attend 4 out of 6 events. The speaker series also require writing a 1-page reflection paper following each event.

Fellows Application Eligibility

  • Must be a Finance Major. (You may apply if you are applying to Smith for 2014-2015.)
  • Minimum Junior Standing.
  • Grade of B- or better in BMGT340 (may complete either in current spring semester and admission is provisional contingent upon satisfactory completion of BMGT340)

Application & Selection Process

The priority application deadline for Quant Fellows was February 10. There are a few remaining spots intended for transfer students. Applications are due at 11:59pm on May 4.

Access the application here. Note: You cannot save and go back to your application, so have your resume and cover letter explaining your interest in Quant Fellows ready to upload.

Questions? Contact Emily Doane (edoane@rhsmith.umd.edu).