The Brandeis University Master in Finance Program is another great option in Boston for students looking at a graduate degree program. I’ve been lucky enough to receive a student review from a recently graduated individual. Hope it helps!
1. Why a Masters in Finance? Why Brandeis?
I started plateauing in my previous professional path, and thought that getting a graduate degree would help me jump-start my career, and also give me a shot to switch into something investment research related. Brandeis University in particular was attractive to me due to its international flavor (80% of students are international), and broad course selection.
- Strong networking opportunities due to Boston location
- Excellent instructors with a nice mix of theory-oriented PhDs and successful industry professionals. Lots of former senior executives and partners.
- Flexible program structure (program can be completed in 9 months, 12 months, or 15 months).
- Very broad course selection and many specializations. Asset Management, Risk, and Real Estate specializations are popular.
- Global student body. I am not sure what the specific MSF stats are, but across the whole business school, there are about 500 students from ~80 different countries.
- Placement gets better every year. Definitely a rising program.
- Strong professional clubs: The investment club makes it to the local CFA stock pitch final round every year, and won it last year
- OCR is mostly limited to the local investment managers and banks … you really have to network.
- Strong local brand name, but not well known outside of the North East.
- The work load can be insane at times. Maybe more a word of warning than a con, but don’t expect to sleep very much if you plan to have a social life.
- Flip-side of international student body means that native English speakers find themselves doing a lot of proof-reading on group projects.
3. Who would you recommend an MSF for?
Somebody who knows what they want, and is trying to learn the tools to get there. A 1 year program means you start recruiting the second you get on campus, so you really need to be prepared. For those still trying to figure out what they want, a 1 year program is too short, and an MBA (or for example the Brandeis 2 Year Masters in Finance and Economics) would be a better option.
- Geographically it is mostly in Boston & NYC.
- State Street is the #1 employer of grads
- Some placements at Investment Research and Asset Management shops around the area
- Big 4 Valuations and Bulge Bracket Risk Management are very popular
- Very strong Commercial Real Estate placements
- F500 CorpFin
- Not much Bulge Bracket front office (2 per year on average I’d guess)…but a steady stream of JPM/GS MO roles every year
- Little to no PE