COLLEGE PARK, Md. (July 10, 2017) — Finance students looking for “jobs of the future” will have a new degree option at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Starting in fall 2017, the school will launch the first STEM-certified Master of Quantitative Finance program in the Washington, D.C., region.
“Having a quantitative finance degree will give you statistical and programming tools, but also an understanding of financial products and markets,” says finance professor Michael Faulkender, associate dean of masters programs at the Smith School. “The integration of those two things will prepare people for the finance jobs of the future.”
Faulkender says the new degree will complement the school’s Master of Finance program, ranked No. 4 in the United States by the Financial Times in 2017. “There are so many different career paths in finance,” Faulkender says. “It makes sense to split up the course sets so students can drill down on what they really need.”
He says the new degree will cater to students who aspire to enter mathematically complex fields such as risk management, market regulation, institutional asset management and hedge fund management. They will delve into programming languages such as Python and R, used for statistical computing and graphics.
“We have a faculty well regarded in the academic realm for its strength in quantitative finance, and we’re now offering a degree aligned with that faculty strength,” Faulkender says.
The existing Master of Finance program, which uses the same world-class faculty, caters to students who aspire to work in corporate finance, investment banking and financial planning. “We’ve already been recognized as No. 4 in the United States,” Faulkender says. “We’re now able to differentiate within finance to better serve students looking for more quantitative roles and those looking for more client-facing roles.”
The Master of Quantitative Finance will be a 36-credit program that students can complete in nine, 16 or 20 months. Incoming and returning Master of Finance students can convert to the Master of Quantitative Finance program if they choose.
STEM certification will allow international students to apply for an additional two years of optional practical training, which will give them more time to live and work in the United States.