Holders of a Bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline such as Mathematics, Physics, Computer science, Engineering or Economics are eligible to apply for admission in the Master in Financial Engineering.
Applicants should all have demonstrated a high level of intellectual ability and exceptional analytical skills as well as a strong interest in finance. They should also have a solid background in mathematical analysis, statistics and probability theory. At a minimum, their knowledge upon entering the MFE should be at the following level:
- Analysis: Rudin, Principles of Modern Analysis, McGraw-Hill.
- Probability theory: Ross, A First Course in Probability, Prentice Hall.
- Statistics: Casella and Berger, Statistical Inference, Duxbury Press.
Knowledge of calculus and linear algebra is obviously a pre-requisite for admission. Prior training in finance and/or economics increases one’s chances of being admitted to the MFE, as would additional courses in mathematics and statistics like numerical analysis or stochastic processes, though these are not mandatory.
In addition to prior knowledge in mathematics, statistics and probability theory, MFE applicants should be fully at ease with computers. In particular, they should command either one programming language such as C, C++ or Java, or an interpreted language such as Matlab (Octave, SciLab) or Mathematica.
The curriculum of the MFE program is entirely in English. Consequently, applicants must be able to understand rapidly spoken English, read English with ease and be able to express themselves in English both orally and in writing. Success in an international examination of English such as the TOEFL is a plus but not mandatory for admission in the MFE.
Specific requirements for EPFL students
To be admitted in the Financial engineering master, EPFL students will need to have a minimum average grade of 4.5 (average grade over the entire Bachelor’s). This criteria is however not a guarantee of admission as the quality of application, the relevance of the followed Bachelor’s compared to the Master’s of interest, and the motivation of the candidate will also be assessed by the admission committee
Current EPFL bachelor students who have applied for the MFE and who have not been admitted to the program will nonetheless be accepted in the master program of their original field of study.
Applications can be filled online from the beginning of November to the 15th of January, or from the 16th of January to the 15th of April.
Applicants who, if accepted, would need a visa to study in Switzerland are strongly advised to apply for the January deadline in order to allow for the completion of the visa procedure, which can take up to 3 months.
Admission decisions are made jointly by the Financial Engineering section and EPFL’s admissions committee on the basis of quantitative standards, including grade-point average, letters of recommendation, and the candidate’s background and motivation letter.
Decisions are sent early April for applications registered by the 15th of January and early June for the applications registered by the 15th of April.
Regardless of which deadline you choose to meet, MFE studies begin in mid-September following acceptance. Only one application per student and per year will be processed. An intensive language course is offered to all accepted candidates. It starts 4 weeks before the beginning of the semester.
To graduate from the MFE, students need to obtain 120 credits divided into 90 credits for coursework and 30 credits for the master’s thesis.
Financial aid: see the Student affairs department
Online application The application process is entirely online, in either French or English. Documents sent by email or fax will not be considered.