Program Overview

The Master of Science in Financial Economics requires four semesters of full-time study (fall and spring) at Columbia Business School.

Students complete a minimum of 16 full graduate-level courses including a research seminar, in which they conduct a project on an industry-focused research question. Students are also required to complete a summer internship for at least six weeks, which involves working as an intern in a company or doing research assistance work for a faculty member. The internship will ideally be tied closely to a student's research seminar project.

Each semester, students will take a rigorous set of PhD-level courses, supplemented with MBA and other graduate level courses. In students 2nd, 3rd, and 4th terms, they will have at least one or two electives, either at the PhD or MBA level. MSFE students must take 10 PhD or PhD equivalent courses and may take no more than 6 MBA level courses.

One of the following two PhD-level course tracks are required, unless permission is obtained from the Finance and Economics Director of the MSFE Program:

First Year (Fall)

Students will choose between Track A (academically oriented curriculum) or Track B (a more industry focused applied curriculum)

Track A

Track B

First Year (Spring)

Track A

Track B

Second Year

In the second year, students must fulfill requirement of 10 PhD or PhD equivalent level courses. As there are no required courses, student schedules will be highly variable due to course offerings and interests.

PhD course level requirements need not be Finance Division courses, and it is common for students to take PhD or PhD equivalent level courses in other divisions of the Business School (e.g, Operations Research or Accounting), or in other departments/schools around the university (e.g., Computer Science, Statistics, Law, etc.). Most students also take advanced MBA level courses.

Commonly selected electives