Bendheim Center for Finance
Director of Graduate Studies
René A. Carmona
Dilip J. Abreu, Economics
Alan B. Krueger, Woodrow Wilson SchoolPaul R. Krugman, Woodrow Wilson School, Economics
Atif R. Mian, Woodrow Wilson School, Economics
Stephen E. Morris, Economics
Ulrich K. Mueller, Economics
John M. Mulvey, Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Birgit Rudloff, Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Yuliy V. Sannikov, Economics
José A. Scheinkman, Economics
Hyun S. Shin, Economics
Christopher A. Sims, Economics
K. Ronnie Sircar, Operations Research and Financial Engineering
David Sraer, Economics
Robert J. Vanderbei, Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Erik H. VanMarcke, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mark W. Watson, Economics, Woodrow Wilson School
Wei Xiong, Economics
The interdisciplinary Bendheim Center for Finance offers a Master in Finance (M.Fin.) degree. The distinctive feature of Princeton’s M.Fin. program is its strong emphasis on financial economics in addition to financial engineering and computational methods. Graduates of this program will have a solid understanding of the fundamental quantitative tools from computer science, economic theory, optimization, probability, and statistics, all of which are becoming increasingly vital in the financial industry. To a greater degree than at any time in the past, there now exists a body of knowledge that is widely agreed to be essential for the proper analysis and management of financial securities, portfolios, and the financial decisions of the firms. A driving force behind these developments is a lively exchange of ideas between academia and the financial industry, a collaboration that is the closest parallel in the social sciences to the academic-private sector interactions routinely seen in engineering and the applied sciences.
The M.Fin. program is intended to prepare students for a wide range of careers both inside and outside the financial industry, including applied research, financial engineering and risk management, macroeconomic and financial forecasting, quantitative asset management and quantitative trading. The program does not require prior work experience, although it can be a plus. The Bendheim Center provides extensive career assistance to students, including help with internships and job placement. The program has a small number of merit-based fellowships (in the form of a fraction of the full-year’s tuition cost) that are granted to top applicants.
The curriculum is designed to be completed in four terms. Admission letters will specify the expected program length. Individual meetings between students admitted to the program and the director of graduate studies will determine, on the basis of courses previously completed at Princeton or another institution, which courses need to be taken. This flexible format allows exceptionally well-prepared students to complete the program in as little as one academic year. The program is designed to be taken on a full-time basis. Classes are taught during the day, and full-time students take four or five courses per term. Given the logistics, the only possibility for part-time enrollment would be for students who already work in the Princeton area and who would be able to attend class during the day. Part-time students are expected to take a minimum of two classes per term, and a maximum of four years (eight terms) to finish the program. All students are subject to an annual review of academic progress.
Princeton’s master’s program draws upon the combined strength of a variety of departments, including the departments of computer science, economics, operations research and financial engineering, and others. The program has two major course components and a required summer internship between years one and two. First, required core courses will provide (1) the prerequisite skills in economics, finance, mathematics, and probability and statistics necessary for the study of finance at a sophisticated level; and (2) an integrated introduction to modern financial analysis. Second, a wide range of elective courses, drawn from many departments, will allow students to tailor the program to fit their own needs and interests. These courses will permit a range of opportunities for specialization and in-depth study along a number of coherent tracks of topics of interest to the student. Finally, the required summer internship is meant to provide additional practical experience in addressing real-world finance issues.
The master’s program is designed both for students with mathematical (or physics and engineering) training, who want to make finance their main field of application, and for students with an economics (or business or social science) background, who want to acquire the quantitative skills essential for well-rounded training in finance. In either case, students must have an interest in, and be able to handle, the combination of economic analysis, mathematics, econometrics, and computer science that are pervasive in modern finance. If appropriate for the student, an intensive two-week review course covering probability and topics in mathematics, as required for the core courses, is offered prior to the beginning of classes in the fall. In addition, the center organizes in September for every incoming class a four-day “boot camp” with industry professionals, where various career issues are reviewed and help is provided (including résumé writing, one-on-one videotaped interview sessions, etc.
Applicants must take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Non-native speakers of English who have not earned their undergraduate degree at a U.S. college or university must take either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).
The program requirements consist of six core and 10 elective courses (see the list below), with the following provisions: (1) at least five of the elective courses must be at the 500 level or above; (2) at least five of the elective courses must be taken from List 1 below.
Students must maintain an overall grade average of B or better, as well as earn a passing grade in all core and elective courses. Audited courses cannot be used to fulfill the program’s requirements.
While no master’s thesis is required, students interested in independent research may work with a Bendheim Center-affiliated faculty member on a topic relevant to finance, and by enrolling in the appropriate courses (FIN 560, 561), they can receive academic credit equivalent to one or two elective courses (thereby reducing the number of required electives).
All M.Fin. candidates are required to complete a summer internship by working at a financial institution or completing a summer research project under the direction of a Bendheim-affiliated faculty member. Students in the two-year degree program must complete this required internship during the summer between their first and second years. Students in the one-year program whose records demonstrate substantial prior professional work experience in the finance industry may be exempted from this requirement after review by program faculty. All other one-year students must complete the internship requirement the summer before they begin formal coursework in the fall term. For these students, the M.Fin. program will formally begin July 1.
FIN 501/ORF 514 Asset Pricing I: Pricing Models and Derivatives
FIN 503/ORF 515 Asset Pricing II: Stochastic Calculus and Advanced Derivatives
FIN 504/ORF 504 Financial Econometrics
FIN 505/ORF 505 Modern Regression and Time Series
René A. Carmona
FIN 515 Portfolio Theory and Asset Management
Yacine Aït-Sahalia, Sebastien Pouget
FIN 516 Topics in Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance and Banking
John G. Quigley
FIN 517 Venture Capital and Private Equity Investing
John G. Quigley
FIN 519 Corporate Restructuring, Mergers and Acquisitions
O. Griffith Sexton
FIN 521 Fixed Income: Models and Applications
Jakub W. Jurek
FIN 523 Forecasting and Time Series Analysis
FIN 525/ECO 525 Asset Pricing
FIN 527/ECO 527 Financial Modelling
Markus K. Brunnermeier, Wei Xiong
FIN 531/ORF 531 Computational Finance in C++
FIN 534/ORF 534 Investment Science
John M. Mulvey
FIN 555/ORF 555 Fixed Income Models
FIN 560 Master's Project I
FIN 561 Master's Project II
FIN 567 Institutional Finance,Trading and Markets
Jakub W. Jurek
FIN 568 Behavioral Finance
FIN 575/ECO 575 Topics in Financial Economics
Markus K. Brunnermeier
FIN 596/ECO 526 Financial Economics II
Yuliy V. Sannikov, Wei Xiong