Computational Finance Certificate

Learn the key mathematical, statistical and econometric foundations needed for quantitative management of financial investments. Study classical methods of portfolio construction based on volatility as a risk measure. Learn modern theory of portfolio optimization, examine how to minimize risk, discover how to balance alpha generation versus downside risk and study the latest risk budgeting techniques. Complement your foundational knowledge with training in open source R programming language for quantitative finance modeling and analysis.

What the Certificate covers:

  • Mathematics of fixed income, interest rates and terms structure
  • Introduction to forwards, futures and options pricing and hedging use
  • Linear regression factor models and their uses in finance
  • Introduction to statistical analysis of financial data with R
  • Advanced R modeling tools for financial time series and portfolios
  • Classic mean-variance risk portfolio optimization and risk management 
  • Post-modern tail-risk based portfolio optimization and risk management


A Computational Finance Certificate will be awarded to individuals who successfully complete the following four online courses from the MS-CF&RM curriculum for a total of 14 credits:

  • September 8 - 29: CFRM 540, Investment Science I  (2 credits) 
  • Autumn: CFRM 541 Investment Science II   (4 credits) 
  • Winter: CFRM 542 Financial Data Modeling and Analysis in R    (4 credits) 
  • Spring: CFRM 543 Portfolio Optimization and Asset Management     (4 credits)

To Apply for the online Computational Finance Certificate click here


Other Certificate Information

The UW Department of Applied Mathematics, Computational Finance & Risk Management Program, in collaboration with UW Professional & Continuing Education, offers certificates for working professionals seeking advanced knowledge and modern skills to advance their career in Computational Finance. Courses in the Computational Finance certificate are a subset of the MS-CF&RM degree and are offered online using the latest distance learning technologies.

  • The Computational Finance Certificate program is 3 quarters in duration and starts in autumn and ends in the spring with a student load of one 4 credit course each quarter.
  • The Quantitative Fundamentals of Computational Finance Certificate program is an intense 3 course, summer-only, undergraduate certificate program (classroom and online format) that is designed for students who wish to prepare for a graduate degree in Computational Finance & Risk Management, Financial Engineering, Mathematical Finance, and/or Quantiative Finance OR who might already be employed in the financial sector but are seeking to refresh or update their skills.

Credits are awarded by the University of Washington. Students seeking to apply credits for further graduate degree study are encouraged to register for Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) status. Up to 12 UW credits earned in these certificate programs may be applied to future Graduate degree programs at the UW. The certificates are administered and awarded by Professional & Continuing Education (PCE) at the University of Washington.

More details on each of these programs can be found in the following sections.

This certificate program provides a comprehensive set of tools to support advanced studies in the area of quantitative finance, or to prepare for employment in the financial or investment industries. Students will master the mathematical, statistical and economics fundamentals necessary for advancement in financial professions today, and will develop a fundamental understanding of R programming via course utilization. 


You can augment skills and knowledge gained from your degree study or professional experience with an additional area of focus. For undergraduate students, you can take care of some of your general education credits to earn a companion credential that complements your degree. Set yourself apart in the job market with this marker of professional readiness.

This 11 credit program runs from Winter through Summer Quarter with late afternoon/early evening classes held Mondays through Fridays.

The Quantitative Fundamentals of Computational Finance Certificate is administered and awarded by Professional & Continuing Education (PCE) at the University of Washington. For matriculated UW students: once you have successfully completed all the certificate courses, they will appear on your transcript just like your other UW courses and count as regular credits. You will also receive a certificate in the mail from PCE recognizing your successful completion of the program. You may list this certificate on your resume. The certificate itself will not appear on your transcript.

Watch a 2 minute program overview video featuring Professor Konis



A Quantitative Fundamentals of Computational Finance Certificate will be awarded to individuals who successfully complete the following three online courses during an intensive Summer Quarter from the MS-CFRM curriculum for a total of 11 credits:

  • CFRM 460 Mathematical Fundamentals for Quantitative Finance (3 credits)
  • CFRM 461 Probability and Statistics for Computational Finance (3 credits)
  • CFRM 462 Introduction to Computational Finance and Financial Econometrics (5 credits)



The application can be found here.


Additional Curriculum Information


Kjell Konis and Eric Zivot



Students should have completed entry-level college calculus courses that include an introduction to multivariable differential calculus (the UW Mathematics Department courses MATH 124, 125 and 126  are good examples: see course descriptions); additional introductory mathematics and statistics coursework is desirable.


Credits:  11

NOTE:  The above courses also serve as preparatory courses to prepare students needing them as background study for the UW Applied Mathematics MS-CFRM.


Single Course Enrollment Applicants:

Each of the above courses can be taken on a single course enrollment (SCE) basis.

Pursue a MS-CFRM degree with graduate credit from the Computational Finance certificate. Upon successful completion of the certificate program courses and acceptance into the MS-CFRM program, students will be able to transfer up to 12 certificate credits toward the MS degree.

If you are considering this option, you must apply for UW Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) status at the same time you apply to the certificate program. Details are provided in the Graduate Non-Matriculated Application.

Finance industry professionals and other students taking a course in one of the Certificate programs, possibly on a single course enrollment (SCE) basis, may wish to take the course on a pass or fail basis. Such students may elect to have a course graded S/NS by paying a $20 fee at the time of registering for the course or until approximately the 8th week of the course. For option details please see Nontraditional Grading Options.

NOTE: This option is not recommended for students with GNM status who intend to pursue the MS-CFRM degree. Numeric grades are required for courses whose credit is to be applied toward the MS degree.