Villanova Masters of Finance

I’m from PA and now live in NJ, and have never worked/ attended school outside those regions and was wondering what kind of reputation if any Villanova has outside PA / NJ? Should I be looking elsewhere, or are they pretty legit?

I went to Villanova for a semester in my junior year because of Hurricane Katrina. The school I graduated from was a top 50 US News school, while Villanova either was ranked very low or didn’t get a ranking because it wasn’t a national university. Compared to my school, I felt Villanova was comparable with some business and economics departments with their Econ dept. being real good, while some of there core business classes weren’t as rigorous. At the time I went there during Katrina, a friend of mine was enrolled in the Master of Finance program from my university, but he lived in PA and Nova let him take MFin classes, and he told me a few things about it, although nothing is conclusive. Generally he felt is was a little less rigourous in the sense that is wasn’t as quantitative, which is generally what you want; however, they did dump a lot of money in the program over the past few years which could mean they are constantly improving it. I’m from Long Island and while I hope I could handle a rigorous MFin program at a top 15 school, if I decide to go for an MFin program I would definitely consider a program like Nova or Hofstra. Just keep in mind that most Mfin programs are comparable, except that the school is either quantitatively based and requires a lot of upper-level math, or more qualitative. So, most people won’t disrespect the program but they may disrespect the rigorousness. If you have taken upper level math courses and want to pursue a quantitative study of finance then find a more quantitative program; even at a state school is respectable.

What about versus the Penn State Masters of Finance?

Does anyone know where they have a ranking of finance programs?

If you google it, they will give you a list of the finance programs. Pitt is really coming around as far as this is concerned (I just graduated from there). They are actually above Penn State as far as program rankings are concerned. They are putting floods of money into their MBA program (just built a mock trading room) and their research finance programs too. I have a buddy working on his Ph. D in math, and he says they are recruiting (and have landed) some pretty big profesors in finance research. The only downside to Pitt would be the lack of bulge bracket recruiting. PSU brings in all the usual suspects (Goldman, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, etc.), where PITT really doesn’t. There are, as of lately, quite a few PITT alumi on Wall Street (Cohen, Lehman, JP Morgan) so they are really trying to get some of the bigger banks to recruit there. Just throwing that out there cause t seems like you’re looking to stay in PA. Hope this helps…

So here’s the curriculum: Probability and Stochastic Processes Time Series and Applied Business Forecasting Survey of Financial Theory Financial Markets, Institutions, and the Trading Environment Student Managed Funds I and II Derivatives Applied Corporate Finance Financial Modeling Corporate Risk Management Contemporary Topics in Finance: Valuation and it’s a year + $27,000. Forgetting for a second why they think that “valuation” is a contemporary topic… #3,4, 6, 7 are covered by the CFA curriculum. #5 is BS and it’s two classes (learning from people who don’t know anything usually doesn’t work). I’m not sure what corporate risk managment is exactly but it might be a cool class as might financial modeling. I don’t know what to think about a probability and stochastic processes class for people who don’t even have an undergraduate math degree except that you just can’t get too far. Ditto for the time series class. Bottom line - Save your money. Study for and pass the CFA exams and you’ll know more and have something worth more. This is a program for people who want to avoid the real world and have parental money.

I’m already a LII candidate, I was just looking at going back for a short stint to augment my experience. What I do like is that it’s a 12 month concentrated program, but you did point out some excellent things when you went through the curriculum that I have to agree with. Thanks for the guidance so far, I need all the input I can get on this decision.