What does your program have to offer me?
The Computational Finance and Risk Management program of the Department of Applied Mathematics provides students with a rigorous mathematical and statistical foundation as well as extensive instruction in the use of open source R-programming. Grounded in both theory and practice, the program adapts to equip students with the skills and knowledge that will enable them for future success.
What programs are available?
The CFRM program offers a standard 42-credit degree, a 54-credit degree with a computing concentration, and a 54-credit degree with a risk management concentration. In addition, we offer certificates and single course enrollment. All of our classes are available both in the classroom and online format.
What will I be able to do with my MS degree in CFRM?
Many of our students go on to careers in the finance industry at such places as Russell Investments, Milliman, UW Medicine, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, TIAA CREF, and Franklin Templeton. Job titles vary depending on the degree path and interest of the student.
Are prerequisite courses required?
Yes. The prerequisites are:
- Calculus through partial differentation, matrix algebra, and one-dimensional optimization
- Probability and statistics at the level of an upper-level undergraduate course or entry-level graduate course
- A programming language such as Java or C++, or in a math or statistics programming language such as MATLAB or R/S-Plus.
Can I still apply even if I have not fulfilled all of the prerequisites?
Yes, although it is not recommended. A strong business background cannot substitute quantitative knowledge. The most competitive applicants will have earned strong grades in calculus, probability/statistics, and programming coursework.
For our campus and online applicants, the Admissions Review Committee will evaluate each applicant and may recommend one or more of several options to students who lack the required prerequisites. The options include:
- Taking preparatory CFRM courses (CFRM 460, 461, 462)
- Taking undergraduate level courses in these areas (either at UW or at a regionally accredited university or community college)
How do I apply to the MS program?
Fill out the online application on the UW Graduate School website. The application lists what documents need to be submitted, and you can save your progress prior to submitting your final application to the Department.
What things do I need to apply to the MS on-campus program?
This information can be found on the admissions page. Items to submit include: all post-secondary unofficial transcripts, self-reported GRE general test scores, two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, current resume or vitae, supplemental form, proof of English proficiency (if applicable).
What are the application deadlines?
These dates are for autumn 2015 enrollment. We offer autumn admission only for our MS degree (both campus and online) and Computational Finance Certificate.
- Classroom Program:
- Round 1: December 1, 2014
- Round 2: February 1, 2015
- Round 3: April 1, 2015
- Online Program: May 15, 2015
- Computational Finance Certificate: August 21, 2015
Can you update the [test scores, statement of purpose, resume, supplemental form, transcript, etc.] in my application?
If the application deadline for which you have applied has not yet passed, you can send us an email with the document(s) you want to update. Please note that there are some updates that you can make yourself on your application status page. If the application deadline has already passed, we will not be able to make any changes to your application. Our review process begins immediately after the deadline using the materials on file at the time of the deadline.
Where do I send my application materials [official transcripts, test scores, etc.]?
Please DO NOT MAIL application materials to the Department. This is also mentioned in the online application. We only require such steps if an offer of admission is made and accepted, and at that time directions are given. Utilize self-reporting of scores and submit unofficial transcripts in the application. Materials sent to the Department are not opened.
Can I obtain an informal assessment of my chances for admission based on my resume and transcript?
As a matter of policy, we do not comment on eligibility nor admissions chances until the application is completed and submitted to the Admissions Review Committee. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Can I submit more letters of recommendation, samples of my work, or papers I've written?
No. In the interest of keeping applications consistent and fair for all applicants, we cannot accept additional materials for review. There are no exceptions to this rule.
What is the status of my application?
You can check on the status of your application by logging back in to your online application. Decisions will be made after each admissions deadline. Due to the large number of applicants, we ask that candidates NOT contact us about their application status.
What GPA do you look for in potential MS students?
Like the GRE/GMAT, we also do not have a minimum or cut-off GPA. However, the UW Graduate School requires at least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits. The average prior GPA for the autumn 2014 cohort was 3.7.
How much can I expect to pay?
The current tuition rate is $900 per credit. Each quarter there are also registration fees, technology fees and other mandatory student service fees.
How many students do you accept in the MS program?
We do not have a minimum or maximum number of students we accept to our program. In fact, the number of students in each cohort has been varied.
- 2014: 27
- 2013: 35
- 2012: 24
- 2011: 18
I just found out about this program and I really want to join, but it is after the admissions deadline. Can I still apply?
No. In the interest of keeping the admissions process fair for applicants who were able to complete the application on time, we are unable to accept applications after the admissions deadline. You are welcome to apply to the program for the next intake [autumn of the following year].
GRE - GMAT - TOEFL
Do you accept the GRE or GMAT?
We will accept either the GRE or GMAT, although we prefer the GRE. If you have yet to take either exam, we recommend taking the GRE.
How do I submit my official GRE/GMAT scores?
Please follow the directions within the application regarding score reporting. As previously mentioned, official scores are only required if an official offer of admission is made. In addition, only the Institution Code is necessary to order scores from ETS.
What is the minimum score you consider for the GRE?
We do not have a minimum or cut-off score for the GRE/GMAT. To give you an idea of the types of scores we see, for students accepted as part of the autumn 2014 cohort the average GRE score was 159 (V) and 166 (Q).
What is the minimum score on the [TOEFL, IELTS, or other English proficiency exam] needed for admissions? Do I need to take an English proficiency test?
Please refer to Memo 8: Graduate School English Language Proficiency Requirements.
I have a degree from the US. Should I submit a TOEFL score?
If you fall within the Memo 8 guidelines to meet the English proficiency requirements, no. In your application, you can leave the English proficiency section blank. The admissions committee will see that you have a degree from a US institution. If accepted to the program, the Graduate School will verify your official transcript and confirm that it meets the English proficiency requirement.
I'm scheduled to take the [TOEFL / GRE / GMAT] after the application deadline. What should I do?
Since we only require self-reporting initially, it is acceptable to take the exam right before the deadline and utilize self-reporting of your scores (as long as you still submit your application prior to the deadline). After the deadline we cannot accept new or updated materials, so please ensure that all exams are completed prior to the admissions deadline.
The [TOEFL / GRE / GMAT] section of my application says 'not received.' What should I do?
If you have scores to report in your application, you should upload them. If you do not have test scores to provide [asking for a GRE waiver, don't have a GMAT or TOEFL score, etc.] then you can leave those sections of the application blank. As a result of leaving those sections blank, the application status page will show that those materials were 'not received.' This is acceptable unless you need to include scores in your application. Your application will still be reviewed and there is no need to contact us to ask us if there are problems with your application.
Becoming a Student
What is the Enrollment Confirmation Deposit (ECD)?
The Enrollment Confirmation Deposit is a payment a newly accepted student makes to confirm his or her intention to enroll in the CFRM program. For campus-based students, the deposit due is $1,800.00 USD. For online-based students, the deposit due is $250.00 USD. The deposit funds are applied toward tuition and fees assessed for the quarter in which the student is admitted. A student who pays the fee for the quarter but does not register in that quarter is not entitled to a refund.
When is the Enrollment Confirmation Deposit (ECD) due?
The due date for the deposit will depend on when you receive an offer of admission. The date will be made clear in your offer letter. Please note that requests to extend the ECD payment deadline will not be granted.
I received an offer of admission, which I accepted and paid the ECD. But now another opportunity has opened up for me. May I have a refund of my deposit?
All deposits are non-refundable. We congratulate you on your new opportunity.
If admitted, can I defer enrollment?
If you are not able to attend starting the year in which you received an offer of admission, we ask that you submit a new application if you choose to reapply in subsequent years. It is possible that documents such as letters of recommendation can be attached to your new application by emailing compfin [at] uw [.] edu. Your candidacy will be evaluated on the basis of the applicant pool at that time.
I'm an international student. Is this a STEM program that is eligible for the 17 month OPT extension?
Yes. The CFRM program is a STEM program, so eligible international students can be on OPT for up to 29 months. All of the CPT and OPT guidelines can be found on the UW International Student Services website.
Why was I not admitted to the CFRM program?
If you are not granted admission to the program, unfortunately your candidacy was not as strong as other applicants for a very limited number of openings. We ask that applicants NOT send us inquiries about denial decisions, or attempt to submit additional materials to be reconsidered.
Do I have to come to campus if I'm an online student?
No. The beauty of the online program is that everything is done virtually. Online students use proctors for exams, and attend class and office hours via online classrooms. Of course, you are more than welcome to visit campus and the Department. We also encourage participation in commencement once you are degree complete!
Once In the program, what GPA am I expected to maintain?
The Applied Mathematics Department minimum cumulative GPA requirement is 3.2.
How many courses should I take each quarter?
Full-time students must enroll in a minimum of 10 credits. Since each CFRM course is 4 credits, full-time students usually take 12 credits each quarter. Part-time students take less than 10 credits, on average - usually one 4 credit course.
What constitutes the Final Examination?
Beginning autumn 2013, the final examination is a written exam. This exam is given in autumn quarter, and students who do not successfully pass their first attempt will have the opportunity to retake the exam later in autumn quarter.