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.
Do you offer an online program?
Yes. Online students are not required to come to campus; the coursework can be completed entirely at a distance. Lectures can be watched live or on-demand, and students obtain proctors for midterms and final exams. Online students earn the same degree as their classroom peers.
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.
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
Since there are three application deadlines for the campus program, if I'm not accepted in the first round will I be considered for the second or third round?
No. Applications will only be considered once so that the process is fair for all applicants. All applicants will receive the same amount of consideration for admission.
What if I want to submit my application by December 1 but I am going to take the [GRE, TOEFL, etc.] after the deadline?
If your application will not be complete, please wait until a later deadline to submit it to ensure your application is competitive. We cannot guarantee that all materials will be reviewed if you submit scores or other documents late.
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.
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.
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
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 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)
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.
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.
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.