MS-CF&RM Degree Program

The Master of Science in Computational Finance and Risk Management (MS-CFRM) addresses the demand in the financial services profession for advanced quantitative and computational finance skills, and next generation risk management competencies.

For students and current professionals with strong mathematical and quantitative skills, the MS-CFRM degree program provides exciting new opportunities for advancement in a new or current career pathway in the numerous fields in finance.


What the program covers

  • Rigorous mathematical and statistical foundations of quantitative finance
  • Extensive instruction in use of the open source R-programming environment and rapid growth of cutting edge R finance packages
  • Classical volatility and mean-variance methods of risk analysis and portfolio optimization, modern fat tails and tail risk methods of risk management, and portfolio optimization
  • Integration of theory, methods, and computation
  • Separate study options in computing and risk management as critical focal points in today’s markets

The MS-CFRM is a MS degree program offered by the Department of Applied Mathematics (AMATH) within the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Washington. It is offered with 3 options: a 42 credit General program option, a 54 credit Risk Management option with extended internship, and a 54 credit Computing option with extended internship. As with other MS and PhD degrees at the University of Washington, the MS-CFRM degree is awarded by the University of Washington Graduate School. 




Below are the courses scheduled to be offered during the 2015 - 2016 academic year.

Schedule is subject to change.

September    2015

Autumn 2015

Winter 2016

Spring 2016

CFRM 540 (2)

Investment Science I

CFRM 541 (4)

Investment Science II

CFRM 542 (4)

Financial Data Modeling/Analysis with R

CFRM 543 (4)

Portfolio Optimization & Asset Management

CFRM 463 (1 NC)

R Programming for Quantitative Finance

CFRM 544 (4)

Options & Derivatives

CFRM 558 (4)

Fixed Income Analytics & Portfolio Management

CFRM 546 (4)

Financial Risk Management II


CFRM 510 (4)

Financial Data Access with SQL, VBA, Excel

CFRM 557 (4)

Finance Software & Systems Integration with C++

CFRM 548 (4)

Monte Carlo Methods in Finance


CFRM 547 (4)

Credit Risk Management

CFRM 559 (4)

Stochastic Calculus for Derivatives

CFRM 551 (4)

Foundations of Electronic Trading


CFRM 555 (4)

Optimization Methods in Finance

AMATH 582 (5)

Computational Methods for Data Analysis

AMATH 583 (5)

High Performance Scientific Computing

*(#) indicates the number of credits.

*NC = no credit applied towards the MS-CFRM degree.

*Courses in bold are required for the MS-CFRM effective autumn 2014; other courses shown may be taken as electives.

*CFRM 463 and CFRM 510 exemptions require Professor Yollin approval.

CFRM offers a full-time Masters degree on the University of Washington-Seattle campus. Full-time students will be able to finish the basic general degree in 18 months on average, which includes a summer internship. All campus-based students attend courses on a full-time basis; local online students can attend courses in person with faculty permission. Classroom students who pursue a special emphasis focus in either the Computing option or the Risk Management option and who are also engaged in a 12 month internship or half-time work can expect to complete the degree in two academic years.

The platforms used in the classroom include the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), the Sonic Foundry’s MediaSite system for class capture, and Adobe Connect Meeting for interactive classroom meetings and TA discussions.

If you are considering visiting the University of Washington campus before applying or enrolling please visit us at Lewis Hall as well as stop by the UW Information & Visitors Center.


CFRM offers a part-time Masters degree online. The part-time option is an optimal solution for working professionals to pursue the MS-CFRM degree while maintaining their current job or other obligations. Part-time students will be able to finish the degree requirements in three years, on average, when taking one course each quarter.

The University of Washington utilizes a variety of platforms to support active, online learning and therefore we are able to offer our program fully online in addition to our campus program. The platforms used include the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), the Sonic Foundry’s MediaSite system for class capture, and Adobe Connect Meeting for live, interactive classroom meeting and TA discussions.

Online students utilize all of these platforms to support their learning experience either real-time or on-demand. Classroom students use the Canvas LMS and share the same assignments, resources, and discussion groups with their online peers. Classroom students may also use on-demand recordings of course lectures on the MediaSite class capture system to reinforce their classroom learning experience.

Online students are not required to come to campus; the coursework can be completed entirely at a distance. Online students living in the local Puget Sound area can sometimes attend lectures on campus, as long as there is room in the class and it works with the student's schedule. Local online students sometimes choose to take their course midterms and final exams on campus. Remote online students arrange a proctor each quarter for exams.

Typically, online students will attend on a part-time basis (less than 10 credits per quarter; usually one 4-credit course). With faculty approval, online students can attend on a full-time basis. This is provided there are no issues with prerequisites.


Required Courses

CFRM 463 (1 NC)

R Programming for Quantitative Finance

CFRM 543 (4)

Portfolio Optimization and Asset Management

CFRM 540 (2)

Investment Science I

CFRM 544 (4)

Options and Derivatives

CFRM 541 (4)

Investment Science II

CFRM 546 (4)

Risk Management II

CFRM 542 (4)

Financial Data Modeling and Analysis in R

CFRM 558 (4)
Fixed Income Analytics and Portfolio Management


Elective Courses

CFRM 510 (4)

Financial Data Access with SQL, Excel, and VBA

CFRM 555 (4)

Optimization Methods in Finance

CFRM 520 (2)

Energy Markets Analytics and Derivatives

CFRM 557 (4)
Financial Software Development and Integration with C++

CFRM 545 (4)

Risk Management I

CFRM 559 (4)
Stochastic Calculus for Derivatives

CFRM 547 (4)

Credit Risk Management

CFRM 560 (4)

Actuarial Models and Estimation

CFRM 548 (4)

Monte Carlo Simulation Methods in Finance

CFRM 561 (4)

Advanced Trading Systems

CFRM 551 (4)

Introduction to Trading Systems

CFRM 500 (4)

Models for Life Contingencies

CFRM 552 (4)

Portfolio Performance Analysis & Benchmarking

AMATH 582 (5)

Computational Methods for Data Analysis

CFRM 553 (4)

Financial Time Series Forecasting Methods

AMATH 583 (5)

High Performance Scientific Computing

CFRM 554 (4)

Endowment and Institutional Investment Management

CFRM 600 (variable credits) Independent Research or Study

CFRM 601 (variable credits) Internship

CFRM 700 (variable credits, minimum of 9 credits required) Master's Thesis



Class of 2013-14 Employment

As of April 2015, the 2013-14 classroom cohort employment results are as follows:

  • 22 students graduated in Autumn 2014 or Winter 2015.
  • 91% who graduated are employed or admitted to a PhD program (20 of 22).
  • 9% are currently reviewing employment opportunities (2 of 22).
Trainee Rotation Bank of Communications Shanghai
PAG Analyst BlackRock San Francisco
Options Associate China Financial Futures Exchange Shanghai
Data & Risk Analyst Commercial Bank of China Beijing
Associate Analyst DataLogix Denver
Algo Trader DV Trading Chicago
Investment Analyst Employees Retirement System of Texas Austin
Risk Model Validation Everbright Bank Beijing
Consultant Galaxy Consulting Seattle - area
Model Risk Analyst KeyBank Cleveland
Researcher KG Zeroin Seoul
Data Scientist Microsoft (Azure) Seattle - area
Actuarial Analyst Milliman Seattle
Analyst Monea Investments Seattle - area
Risk Analyst MSCI Beijing
Analyst PATH Seattle
Quant Risk Analyst Russell Investments Seattle
Portfolio Analyst Russell Investments Seattle
PhD Candidate - Math State University of New York (SUNY) Binghamton
Quant Analyst Verus Investments Seattle






















Class of 2012-13 Employment

As of March 30, 2014, the 2012-13 classroom cohort employment results are as follows:

  • 18 of 19 students from the 2012-13 classroom cohort have graduated.
  • 89% who graduated are in full-time roles (16 of 18). 
Analyst Intern CITIC Intl Financial Holdings Shanghai
Treasury Derivatives Analyst Federal Home Loan Bank Seattle
Analyst FEV Analytics Seattle - area
Mgmt Track Fin. Consultant ICBC-AXA Shanghai
Risk Analyst Franklin Templeton New York
Research Analyst China Fin. Futures Exchange Beijing
Actuarial Analyst Milliman Seattle
Actuarial Analyst Milliman Seattle
Research Analyst Parametric Portfolio Seattle
Associate Pricewaterhouse Coopers New York
Research Analyst Research Affiliates Newport Beach
Hedge Fund Risk Analyst Russell Investments New York
Power Analyst Seattle City Light Seattle
Risk Analyst Silver Creek Capital Seattle
Analyst TIAA-CREF Charlotte
Risk Analytics Consultant Northern Trust Chicago

Class of 2011-2012 Employment

As of April 2013, the 2011-12 classroom cohort employment results are as follows:

  • The first cohort of 15 full-time classroom students graduated in December 2012.
  • 93% of F1 Visa students were employed within 90 days of graduation (13 of 14).
Analyst Amazon Seattle
Analyst AT&T Seattle
Risk Management Analyst Business Online Bangkok
Risk Analyst Credit Suisse Singapore
Senior Treasury Quant Analyst Federal Home Loan Bank Seattle
Analyst Guosen Securities Beijing
Developer Deloitte Beijing
Associate Pricewaterhouse Coopers Bangkok
Associate Pricewaterhouse Coopers Washington DC
Model Validation Analyst Russell Investments Seattle
Risk Management Analyst Russell Investments Seattle
Quant Research Analyst Smart Portfolio Seattle
Strategic Research Analyst Texas Employees Retirement System Austin
PhD Candidate - Applied Math University of Washington Seattle
PhD Candidate-Oceanography University of Washington Seattle