Quantitative Finance

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 1.75 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 31, 2025
73 place StudyQA ranking:2193 Duration:2 years

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This study program offers a specialization both in the basic economic principles of finance as well as in the application of probability theory, stochastic theory and numerical analysis in finance. The course generally takes three semesters and comprises 90 ECTS credits. 
The subject matter of each lecture is based on either economic theory for finance or mathematical methods for finance. The study program prescribes 33 credits from the compulsory modules and 27 credits from the core elective modules. In addition, students submit a written Master’s dissertation worth 30 credits (cooperation with businesses is desired.) 
The admission requirement is a bachelor's degree or equivalent university degree. Applicants must show evidence of a good basic grounding in finance and mathematics. This should be a bachelor's degree in an appropriate field of study, such as economics, mathematics, physics or engineering science. They should also possess a good command of English (level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). 

The program comprises 10 core courses and (a list of) elective courses. Any course of the program is either from the field "Economic Theory for Finance" (EF) or from the field "Mathematical Methods for Finance" (MF). Each student needs to acquire at least 90 ECTS points as follows:

  • 33 ECTS credit points from the core courses, of which
    • at least 9 ECTS should be from the field EF and
    • at least 9 ECTS should be from the field MF
    If a student has acquired more than 33 ECTS points from the core courses, his additional points can only be credited to the elective courses (only complete modules).
  • 27 ECTS credit points from the elective courses, of which
    • at least 9 ECTS should be from the field EF and
    • at least 9 ECTS should be from the field MF
  • 30 ECTS credit points from the Master thesis.

Core Courses

All 10 core courses are offered once in each academic year as follows: 


Economic Theory for Finance (EF)

Mathematical Methods for Finance (MF)

Fall

Advanced Corporate Finance I (EF)

 

Economic Foundations for Finance (EF)

Mathematical Foundations for Finance (MF)

Financial Markets and Institutions (EF)

Financial Engineering (MF)

Spring

Advanced Financial Economics (EF)

Continuous Time Quantitative Finance (MF)

Asset Management (EF)

Quantitative Risk Management (MF)

 

Computational PDE Methods for Finance (MF)

The list of elective courses

  • might change from year to year; and
  • is verified annually by the Steering Committee of the program.

Examination

Course Examination

  • In principle, there will be examinations following each mandatory, specialized or optional course.
  • Each responsible faculty member can decide to attribute the final grade for his/her course based only on project assessments, on class participation as well as on graded interim homework.
  • The ECTS credits will be given to those participants whose final grade indicates that they passed the course.

Repeating Examination

  • Every examination can be repeated while the number of total failures of exams is not allowed to exceed 6 (six).
  • If an enrolled student fails 7 (seven) exams then he/she will be excluded from the program.

Master Thesis

  • The program will encourage links with the professional community through the Master thesis projects.
  • Some of these projects could be initiated by firms who submit research proposals. Participants may spend the summer working as interns in those firms while writing their Master thesis.
  • More detailed guidelines for the Master thesis are available.
  • The final presentation consists of a colloquium, where participants present their Master thesis.

Final Grade and Diploma

  • The final grade will be a weighted average (based on the corresponding ECTS credit points) of the grades obtained from the courses and from the Master thesis.
  • The diploma will be a joined diploma awarded by the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich.
  • Admission to the MSc UZH ETH in Quantitative Finance strictly requires a state-recognized university Bachelor's degree. Students who are not enrolled in a Bachelor or Master program at their university, and who will not graduate before 30 September, should not apply. They are not eligible for admission to the Master's program. In case of unclear aspects regarding this point, please contact us well in advance before applying.
  • For additional information on the selection process, please consult the selection schedule.
  • Good knowledge of English is required since the whole program is held in English. However, no knowledge of the German language is needed.
  • The proof of English knowledge has to be sent to the Admission Office of the University of Zurich (see Step 5 below) only after the candidate was accepted by the Steering Committee. The English language certificate according to this link has to be submitted at the latest at the personal matriculation at the University of Zurich. Level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is required. In order to check how you can prove the required minimum C1 level please take a look at the UZH Recognized English Certificates.
  • The full application has to be in English.
  • The certificates and the letters of recommendation can be in English, German or French. If the certificates are in another language, please include an official translation and explain the grading system.
  • We do not accept applications submitted in paper form.
  • We will also neither add documents sent to us after you have submitted your online application, nor replace documents of your online application - even within the deadline. So please send your application only when it is fully complete. The only exceptions are the recommendation letters sent to us directly.
  • We do not offer any scholarships which cover your living expenses in Zurich. Please note that a quantitative finance student UZH ETH will not be eligible for the Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme / Master Scholarship Programme of ETH. However, depending where you come from, there are several organizations which offer scholarships, for example the Swiss Government, the Institute of International Education, the Fulbright Program, the German DAAD and so on. Please ask your foreign student adviser and search the Internet.

Phase 1 (scientific)

Step 1. Pay the application fee of CHF 200 
The applicants have to make sure that they cover the transfer fees that might occur and that the University of Zurich will receive the entire amount of CHF 200. Please note that the application fee will not be refunded and that a payment by credit card is not possible. Payment details:  

  • Bank: PostFinance AG, Mingerstrasse 20, 3030 Bern, Switzerland
  • IBAN: CH20 0900 0000 3066 9409 5
  • BIC/Swift-Code: POFICHBEXXX
  • Beneficiary: Rechnungswesen Universitaet Zurich, Raemistr. 71, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland
  • Reason for payment: Application Fee MScQF 2017; Surname, Given Name(s)

We will not have any correspondence about the receipt of the amount with any student, except we have received the application and no payment. Then we will contact you about the irregularity. As long as you are not contacted, we have received the amount due. 
Step 2. Make sure two individuals are ready to support your application by providing a letter of recommendation 

  • Two letters of recommendation - written by former employers, current employers or lecturers - are required.
  • The recommendation letter needs to be signed and written using an official letterhead showing the affiliation of the writer.
  • Recommendation letters written by fellow students, friends, family members etc. will not be accepted.
  • Please make sure that recommendation letters are named "SurnameGivenname_Recommendation1.pdf" or "SurnameGivenname_Recommendation2.pdf".

Step 3. Prepare your application documents 
Please note that all documents are mandatory, only complete applications will be considered. All documents and information listed below are mandatory and need to be sent via application form in pdf format. Please make sure that all pdf documents you send us will allow consolidation (properties of file, security level, please no password protection). All your documents will be consolidated into one file after the deadline for the evaluation of your application by the Steering Committee.

  • A proof that you have paid the application fee named "SurnameGivenname_ApplFee.pdf".
  • A letter of motivation named "SurnameGivenname_LetterMotiv.pdf".
  • A curriculum vitae (including the email address, postal address and a telephone number where you can be reached) named "SurnameGivenname_CV.pdf".
  • Copies of your academic degree(s).
    • "SurnameGivenname_Bachelor.pdf" (if you will submit a copy of your Bachelor degree)
    • or "SurnameGivenname_Master.pdf" (if you will submit a copy of your Master degree)
    • or "SurnameGivenname_PhD.pdf" (if you will submit a copy of your PhD degree).
    If you expect to receive your Bachelor degree only after the deadline but before 30 September 2017, please state this explicitly in your application.
  • Copies of your official grades on Bachelor and/or on Master level if applicable named
    • "SurnameGivenname_GradesBachelor.pdf" (if you will submit a copy of your grades in the Bachelor study)
    • or "SurnameGivenname_GradesMaster.pdf" (if you will submit a copy of your grades in the Master study).
    If you expect to receive your Bachelor degree only after the deadline but before 30 September 2017, a copy of the up-to-now grades named "SurnameGivenname_GradesBachelor_temp.pdf" need to be submitted.
  • 2 recommendation letters in pdf format named "SurnameGivenname_Recommendation1.pdf" and "SurnameGivenname_Recommendation2.pdf". 
    If the person writing the recommendation letter wants it to be sent directly to us, instead of the PDF being loaded in the application form, please make sure that the recommendation letter is
    • named as mentioned above;
    • sent to msfinance[at]bf.uzh.ch to the attention of the program director Prof. Dr. Erich Walter Farkas; and
    • sent within the deadline.

On a voluntary basis, you can submit up to three additional documents to support your application. For example you can submit the result of the GRE Test or the GMAT, or letters from previous employers, etc. 

Step 4. Apply formally 

Online Application. Formally apply online.

For any further information related to the application process, Step 1 to Step 4 (phase 1), please contact msfinance[at]bf.uzh.ch. 

Phase 2 (administrative)

Only for candidates accepted by the Steering Committee. 

Step 5. Submission of authorized copies to the Admission Office
The Admission Office of the University of Zurich will contact you asking for

  • authorized copies of the documents submitted in Step 3; and
  • a proof of knowledge of the English language (minimum level C1).

All documents will have to be sent to the Admission Office of the University of Zurich. For any information related to the application process Step 5 (phase 2), please contact t.uzh.ch/admission. 

Scholarships

We do not offer any scholarships which cover your living expenses in Zurich. However, depending where you come from, there are several organizations which offer scholarships, for example the Swiss Government, the Institute of International Education, the Fulbright Program, the German DAAD and so on. Please ask your foreign student adviser and search the Internet. 

Expenses

Living expenses depend very much on the individual student. These figures should therefore be regarded as a guideline only (in CHF): 
 

Rent incl. heating 550
Additional expenses (telephone, internet) 200
Meals 400
Insurance 250
Travel 80
Clothing, laundry, personal items 70
Leisure, spending money 150
Teaching materials 50
Total 1,750


The expected minimum cost of living for students therefore comes to a total of CHF 1,750 per month. Course fees come to around CHF 770 per semester.

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