The Financial Mathematics program leads to a graduate degree in mathematics and requires an undergraduate background in mathematics courses equivalent to those included in a mathematics major. Applicants should have experience with proof-based mathematics courses at the advanced undergraduate level, and with using computers to solve mathematical problems.
|Admission checklist: Required Background|
- The following specific math courses are required prerequisites:
- Calculus I, II, and III (multivariate calculus)
- Differential equations
- Linear algebra
- Probability and Statistics
- For PhD applicants: Real Analysis or Advanced Calculus
An upper division undergraduate course in proof-based Real Analysis or Advanced Calculus provides the needed background for further coursework in financial mathematics. Representative texts for this material include:
- W. Rudin, Principles of Mathematical Analysis, 3rd edition; or
- S. Abbott, Understanding Analysis, Springer.
- You should have experience with proof-based mathematics courses at the upper-division level.
- You should have some experience programming in a compiled computer language like C++ before the start of the first semester.
Our graduates applying for jobs as "Quants" in the financial sector need to show a good knowledge of programming, usually C++. Our course in Scientific Programming in the first Fall semester helps to provide this.
Prerequisite for this course is some experience with C++ prior to entry. Students are encouraged to take programming as part of their undergraduate coursework. Admitted students unsure of their background are encouraged to consult Resources for C++ Programming for guidance and self-study, if needed.
|Admission checklist: Recommended Background|
- The following is recommended background for preparation for the MS coursework:
- Real Analysis or Advanced Calculus.
See above note.
- Numerical Analysis.
Some prior exposure to numerical methods of mathematics is recommended to prepare for MAD 5403-04 Foundations of Computational Mathematics in the first year of the program.
- Finance and Economics.
Some prior coursework in economics and/or finance is recommended.
- Real Analysis or Advanced Calculus.
- For admission to the PhD program, it is recommended that students have taken, in addition to the courses listed above:
- A two-semester sequence in Advanced Calculus; and
- Several other upper division mathematics courses, to prepare for the required graduate analysis course in the first year.
|Should I apply for the MS or PhD?||The MS degree is a two-year coursework degree aimed at professional preparation for the quant world. Students considering the PhD degree need a stronger mathematical background and a greater degree of independence. The PhD usually takes 5 or 6 years to complete, and PhD students earn the MS degree along the way.|
|When can I begin the program?||All MS and PhD students are admitted for Fall term only. The Fall term normally begins the last week of August. (New graduate students arrive a week earlier for orientation and advising.)|
|What is the application deadline?||
PhD degree applications completed by the prior December 15 will receive full consideration for Fall admission and financial aid.
MS degree applications completed before April 30 will receive full consideration for Fall admission, and may in certain cases be considered for limited financial support if available. Early application is encouraged.
|How much does it cost to study at FSU? Do you give any financial aid?||Visit General Information and Guidelines to learn about financial aid and cost of tuition.
Currently, PhD students making timely progess toward the degree are supported with a Departmental Teaching Assistantship or University Fellowship that includes a stipend and most tuition. MS students are normally self-funded, but in some years the Department has a few tuition waivers it can offer to incoming MS students.
|If I am admitted for the MS degree only, can I switch to the PhD?||If you were admitted as an MS student, but wish to pursue the PhD, you may elect the first year PhD qualifier courses, and if successful apply to transfer to the PhD program. Transfers to the PhD program are competitive and not guaranteed. A successful application requires passing the qualifying exams and obtaining a tentative major professor, and is subject to space available.|