Best Financial Engineering Programs In Europe

Best Schools for Finance in Europe - University Rankings 2021 -

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A multidisciplinary field, Financial Engineering uses computational and mathematical finance knowledge to determine the potential and risks of a financial investment instrument.

FinanceWalk presents a detailed Financial Engineering career guide to finance aspirants.

What is Financial Engineering?
The Norman and Adele Barron Professor of Management at Boston University, Zvi Bodie, defined Financial Engineering as:

“the application of science-based mathematical models to decisions about saving, investing, borrowing, lending, and managing risk” (Source).

The field of Financial Engineering is regulated by the International Association of Financial Engineers established in 1992 and the first approved curriculum was at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

Financial engineering is applicable to derivatives pricing, financial regulation, execution, corporate finance, portfolio management, risk management, trading, and structured products.

Financial Engineering Career Overview
The financial engineers are specialists making use of mathematical formulas, programming and engineering methods in financial theories, and analyses market trends to build data-backed financial models.

Companies often employ people with an advanced degree in Financial Engineering and these specialists work as investment managers, bankers or traders using their financial engineering background to improve the quality of existing investment products.

The primary responsibility of a financial engineer is to have a thorough knowledge of financial markets, its volatility, and knowledge of financial theories.

This knowledge is used by engineers to develop simulations and predict market behavior.

Of course, the predictions aren’t always accurate, any unexpected issue may happen in the financial market but the risk potential reduces.

Since a financial engineer knows about market trends and previous market performances, the knowledge is used to make future investment predictions.

Apart from knowledge in finance, the engineer needs to possess sufficient computer programming skills.

Programming skills are needed to build simulating financial models to learn about market behavior.

Through these simulations, the financial engineer is expected to generate results, as much as accurately possible.

Most of the financial engineers work in the field of financial risk management and as a financial analyst.

With the knowledge of computer simulations and market trends, the engineer helps to develop profitable investment plans for individuals and companies.

Often, these investment plans have high-risk factors, which might seem counter-productive to the goal of hiring financial engineers, but that’s a strategy used by risk management firms to yield higher returns than comparatively stable investments.

Companies and high net-worth individuals often take help from financial engineers to design a portfolio that places the complete investment capital at risk.

As a financial analyst, the financial engineer creates real-time financial simulations to predict the future behavior of the market.

In the last decade, governments and financial institutions have started to actively hire financial engineers for advising or consulting governments (local, state or central) with market economies.

As a financial engineer, you can associate yourself as an employee of any reputed financial institution or set up your own consultancy, or do both.

Financial engineers are popularly known as “quants”.

Preparing for Financial Engineering Career: Education and Skills
If you really want to establish a career in financial engineering, you need to know various things to become a preferred job candidate.

In qualifications, a Bachelor’s in Science, a Master’s in Science or a Masters in Financial Engineering (MFE) will gear you towards quantitative roles such as delivering risk models and trading directly, library control, model validation, risk management, and programming.

Many of the financial engineers don’t hold a Ph.D. as some employers feel the degree will have a detrimental impact.

A master’s degree in computer engineering and electrical engineering with strong programming skills and data handling ease is recommended.

Mathematical geniuses can go for Ph.D. Knowledge in programming like SAS, MATLAB, S+ or RAD or other statistical packages will place you at a disadvantage as higher advanced languages like Java and Scala are used.

The financial engineering coursework generally consists of Applied Mathematics, Operations Research, Theoretical Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.

There is a high need for qualified quants in the market. The demand for new quants is particularly high in structured finance establishments.

Over time, as the market gains higher traction, the demand for quants will increase. Emphasis will be on credit and risk ventures.

Moreover, the world of systematic, quantitative, algorithmic and automated trading offers various openings for quants.

The level of competition is high for entry-level quants as they need to display programming skills, knowledge of artificial intelligence methods and statistical theories.

Good experience with languages like Python, Java, C++, and Scala is essential for financial engineering.

If you’re looking for financial engineering jobs currently, search with hedge funds, asset management firms, banks, and proprietary trading companies.

Hedge funds and asset management firms are favorably positioned in the investment market in the next decade.

Banks are grappling with regulations and proprietary trading companies also suffer from regulatory issues, in countries like the UK and the USA.

Apart from qualifications, you need to possess skills for competitive advantage, it doesn’t matter which country you choose to work in.

Talent alone will not help in establishing financial engineering career.

To start with, we enlist some things which will get you through during job interviews and ensure a smooth career ahead.

1) Communication Skills
You’re not unique. Anyone working as a financial engineer is ‘smart’ and the only reason why some people move ahead in the career ladder is because of their articulate communicative nature.

A financial engineer should be thoughtful, inquisitive, outgoing and articulate.

You don’t need to be a refined public speaker but have the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas clearly.

The universal language of finance in English. If you aren’t a native English speaker, take some crash courses to help with speaking and writing abilities.

2) Programming
Every role of quant finance requires good programming skills. Join programming courses and concentrate on .NET, Hadoop, Java, C++, Perl, Python, C#, MATLAB, and other programming languages.

Your programming knowledge and expertise will work in your favor during job interviews.

3) Mathematics
Financial engineers need to be learned in linear algebra, stochastic calculus, spatial geometry and familiar with differential equations.

Mathematics is a part of the financial engineering curriculum and you need to gain expertise in these concepts as they will be frequently used in simulating financial models.

4) Finance and Economics
Finance and economics aren’t that important in quantitative trading, other than giving the professional a well-developed approach towards the finance markets.

Hedge funds and banks frequently seek financial engineers with a math background.

However, there are asset managers who choose to appoint trained economists, especially those with Ph.D., if it’s from premier institutes like Ivy League schools.

5) Crunching Information
A financial engineer needs to remain abreast of the latest market trends.

The engineer should have a habit of frequent reading, crunching information and applying them for developing predictive financial models.

Subscribe to magazines like Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Fierce Finance.

A well-trained and expert quant can easily separate him/her from the competition and rise higher in a financial engineering career.

Getting an Internship
The moment you become a college freshman, get an internship position with financial institutions. A lot of advantages are in store for you.

You get a glimpse of how it is going to work in a full-time atmosphere and learn from senior financial engineers.

Moreover, interns are rotated in departments so you get an idea of how departments work.

With a good working record, you can be retained by the investment banking company once the college years are over.

You meet and network with various professionals.

Engage with them even after they move to other companies because “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

Getting an internship is highly recommended than getting a full-time financial engineering job.

Financial Engineering Courses
Here is a list of top universities offering financial engineering courses.

Note that no Indian university is listed because Indian courses are mostly Certificate courses and therefore if you’re from India, go for CFA, CQF, and FRM courses.

Globally top-ranked universities for financial engineering courses are as follows. Most of them are based in the USA and UK.

American University, USA
Bar-Ilan University, Israel
Baruch College, New York University, USA
Bogazici University, Turkey
Boston University School of Management, USA
Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Case Western Reserve University, USA
Claremont Graduate University, USA
Clark University, USA
Columbia University, USA
Cornell University, USA
DePaul University, USA
Dublin City University, Ireland
Florida State University, USA
Fordham University, USA
George Washington University, USA
Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Georgia State University, USA
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China
Imperial College Business School, UK
Kent State University, USA
Lehigh University, USA
McMaster University, Canada
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
North Carolina State University, USA
NYU Polytechnic Institute, USA
Oklahoma State University, USA
Princeton University, USA
Queens College, USA
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
Stanford University, USA
Stevens Institute of Technology, USA
Technical University, Austria
University of Alabama, USA
University of Arizona, USA
University of Birmingham, UK
University of California (Berkeley, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara), USA
University of Connecticut Storrs, USA
University of Dayton, USA
University of Florida, USA
University of Illinois, USA
University of Limerick, USA
University of Minnesota, USA
University of Neuchatel, Switzerland
University of Oxford, UK
University of Southern California, USA
University of Technology, Australia
University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
University of Tulsa, USA
University of Twente Enschede, The Netherlands
University of Waterloo, Canada
University of Western Ontario, Canada
University of Wisconsin, USA
Washington University, USA
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA
York University, Canada
IIT Kharagpur, India
Long list!

Financial Engineering Salary Scales
A comparison between two countries – USA and India – is presented here to show the financial engineering salary scales and other factors like job satisfaction, gender ratio, and other benefits.

All data is sourced from

Financial Engineering in the USA
The average salary of financial engineers in the USA is 79,327 USD.

Average Financial Engineer Salary US
Financial Engineer Salary, Bonus, Total Pay
The minimum and maximum salary ranges are 68,000 USD and 136,000 USD with a bonus amount between 4000 USD and 31,000 USD.

The individual experience level and location impact the salary range, with experience years wielding the highest influence.

The data below shows how experience impacts the salary scale of financial engineers.

Salary by Experience level Financial Engineers
Salary as per Experience Financial Engineers
In gender ratio, 32% and 68% are the figures of female and male financial engineers.

Gender Breakdown
Also, common health benefits offered to financial engineers in the USA are mentioned below.

Common Health Benefits
Financial Engineering in India
Coming to India, doesn’t give us much data as financial engineering is a relatively new field.

However, going by Glassdoor India website, average base pay is INR 17,09000.

Financial Engineer salaries in India

Best Schools for Finance in Europe – University Rankings 2021

Europe remains one of the top destinations among international students. Whether we talk about Business Management or Engineering, European universities are always ranked in the top 10 lists. The same thing is true for many other disciplines, including Finance.

But if you want to study a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Finance, which are the best schools in Europe?

  1. Best schools for Finance in Europe – QS Rankings 2021
    London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the UK
    University of Oxford, the UK
    University of Cambridge, the UK
    London Business School, the UK
    Bocconi University, Italy
    University of Manchester, the UK
    HEC Paris, France
    INSEAD, France
    Imperial College London, the UK
    Tilburg University, the Netherlands
    See other top-ranked finance schools on
  2. Best schools for Finance in Europe – World University Rankings 2021
    University of Oxford, the UK
    London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the UK
    ETH Zurich, Switzerland
    University of Warwick, the UK
    Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
    University of Manchester, the UK
    Tilburg University, the Netherlands
    University of Mannheim, Germany
    University of Edinburgh, UK
    Check out the full ranking on the official Times Higher Education website.
  3. Best schools for Finance in Europe – Shanghai Rankings 2020
    London Business School, the UK
    London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the UK
    Tilburg University, the Netherlands
    University of Oxford, the UK
    Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
    City, University of London, the UK
    HEC Paris, France
    Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
    Bocconi University, Italy
    Check out the full list on the Shanghai Rankings.

Find Finance Masters in Europe
Student reviews of the best schools for Finance in Europe
To give you a better idea about what it’s like to study at these universities, we’ve listed a few reviews from past (or current) students. You can find many other reviews on the university pages available on our portals.

Student reviews of universities on Studyportals’ websites

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
“I had a great study experience. I enjoy studying, and learning and LSE was perfect for that. Great infrastructure and facilities that helped me throughout the whole year. Also, student services were very good and diligent and helping with any issues or problems that might have arisen.”

Bocconi University
“This university offers tailored Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in business management and studies; they really care about the welfare of each student, so they offer both physical and mental help, great campus facilities and tons of associations. I was part of Radio Bocconi for three years, the best experience I could ever have!”

“INSEAD is one of the premier business schools in the world. It has a global outreach and a pedigree that is matched only by Harvard. The diversity at INSEAD allows people to mature into great leaders of tomorrow, and you experience the true meaning of globalization at the university.”

Copenhagen Business School
“CBS is widely regarded as one of the best business schools in Northern Europe, but that just covers the educational aspects. In addition to this, I can personally recommend CBS as a place to study, since it has great modern facilities and also offers a great variety of social clubs with activities for all kinds of tastes.

Virtually everyone here speaks English and people are generally very friendly and relaxed – both students at campus and the locals in Copenhagen. CBS is localized two stops with the modernized underground metro from the heart of Copenhagen, which is a fantastic city with tons of transportation possibilities at reasonable prices (bike rental is recommended!).

To sum it up, it is truly a fantastic place to study – especially during the summer months, where everything comes to life!”

Pompeu Fabra University
“I spent the best year of my life while living in Barcelona! I met people from all over the world and had the opportunity to improve Spanish and learn Catalan. UPF, the university where I studied was great, I loved taking courses there because they were held differently from my home university, so I learned a new method, and this was very stimulating!”

Masters In Finance Degrees: US Vs Europe

Included in the QS World University Rankings: Business Masters Rankings is the Masters in Finance Rankings 2019, which features 158 of the world’s top business schools for this degree, based on a methodology in which each institution was considered using five indicators: employability, value for money, alumni outcomes, thought leadership and diversity.

55 of the top business schools in the ranking are based in the US, while 79 are based in Europe. If you’re thinking of studying a master’s in finance degree in the US or Europe, how can you decide which suits you the best? Read on as we compare and contrast important pieces of information to help you decide.

United States

Looking firstly at the top business schools in the US for master’s in finance degrees, and its top three entrants are all ranked within the global top 10: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Sloan School of Management is the country’s top entrant at third in the world, while UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business is eighth and UCLA’s Anderson School of Management is 10th.

Sloan achieved a perfect score for the thought leadership category, demonstrating its excellent reputation and strong history of ground-breaking ideas in management and finance, such as the Black–Scholes model. The school’s next highest scores are for alumni outcomes and employability, with 92 percent of its Master of Finance students in employment three months after graduation, earning an average starting salary of US$80,000. Tuition fees for this course are over double the global average of $33,073, currently standing at $78,000.

Of course, Sloan is by no means the only top business school in the US charging high tuition fees, but for many students, the high price tag will be worth every penny when you consider the huge probable return on their investment. Graduates of US master’s in finance courses typically earn a starting salary of $67,890. When you narrow the results down by the value for money indicator, the highest-ranked US institution is UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business – its Master of Financial Engineering costs $68,725, but students have a starting salary of an incredible $160,083 – double that of MIT’s Sloan.

If you place importance on your master’s in finance classmates and faculty members being diverse, Florida International University, appropriately enough given its name, is the leading US institution in the diversity indicator, with 63 percent of students and 60 percent of faculty members coming from outside the US. Overall, around 68 percent of students in US master’s in finance classes are international, with eight nationalities represented – this is slightly below the global average of 71 percent of students being international, made up of 10 nationalities. And in terms of gender, US business schools have the same percentage (41 percent) of female students enrolled in master’s in finance courses as the global average.


Across the Atlantic, Europe is home to 79 of the world’s top business schools for master’s in finance degrees, including 25 in the UK. Of the UK entries, four are in the global top 10, with London Business School (LBS) taking the top spot for the second time this year for its MSc in Finance degree, which earned its strongest scores in the employability and alumni outcomes indicators. 92 percent of LBS’ Class of 2017 graduates accepted job offers three months after graduation, with an average starting salary of a whopping $91,522. Tuition fees for this course currently stand at £45,250, equivalent to around US$51,500.

While this is undoubtably a lot of money, this fee is still lower than global average, $56,798. Master’s in finance courses are on the whole about $4,400 lower than the global average, and $15,500 lower than the US. However, average starting salaries are also lower, standing at $52,376, while the global average is $56,798.

Elsewhere in Europe, other strong business schools for this program include France’s HEC Paris (ranked second in the world for its Master in International Finance degree) which earns the highest score in the ranking for the alumni outcomes indicator, with 99 percent of graduates finding employment within three months. Also featured in the top 10 is Spain’s ESADE, ranked seventh for its MSc in Finance program, again with a very high score for alumni outcomes.

If you’re interested in choosing a highly diverse place to study, LBS is again ranked number one for the diversity indicator, with 95 percent of students and 83 percent of faculty members coming from outside the UK. Overall, 80 percent of students at ranked master’s in finance degree classes are from outside their host country, higher than the global average of 71 percent. 16 nationalities are represented in a typical class, which is twice as many as the US. 

Alternatively, if you want to study at a business school which offers an excellent value for money and return on your investment, the strongest European school for the value for money indicator is Spain’s ESIC Business & Marketing School (ranked 101+ overall for its Master in Financial Management) ranked second in the world for this indicator. The tuition fee is only $16,200, and 2017 graduates earned an average starting salary of an impressive $87,500, far higher than the global average.  

At a glance: Master’s in Finance Degrees in the US and Europe

Below you can see how the top 10 US and European business schools compare for factors such as average starting salary and tuition fees.

United States

Institution2019 rankCourseLocationTuition feesAverage starting salaryPercentage of international studentsPercentage of women
MIT Sloan3rdMaster of FinanceCambridge, MA$78,000$80,00088%37%
UC Berkeley (Haas)8th Master of Financial EngineeringBerkeley, CA$68,725$160,083No data16%
UCLA (Anderson)10thMaster of Financial EngineeringLos Angeles, CA$75,816$90,00091%9%
USC (Marshall)27thMaster of Science in FinanceLos Angeles, CA$68,000$76,78661%38%
Texas (McCombs)33rdMS in FinanceAustin, TX$48,000$69,59325%33%
Illinois (Gies)35thMaster of Science in FinanceChampaign, IL$60,315No data97%59%
Georgia Tech (Scheller)36thMSc in Quantitative and Computational FinanceAtlanta, GA$56,067No data70%30%
Georgetown (McDonough)=39thMaster of Science in FinanceWashington DC$75,360No data12%30%
Boston (Questrom)=43rd   Master of Science in Mathematical FinanceBoston, MA$55,052$74,51397%42%
Babson (Olin)48th  MS in FinanceBabson Park, MA$53,040No data76%41%
Facts & figures - Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University


Institution2019 rankCourseLocationTuition feesAverage starting salaryPercentage of international studentsPercentage of women
London Business School1stMSc in FinanceLondon, United Kingdom$51,500$91,52295%28%
HEC Paris2nd  Master in International FinanceJouy-en-Josas, France$54,599$84,09190%  28%
London School of Economics=4thMSc FinanceLondon, UK$46,218$63,51690%40%
Oxford (Saïd)=4th   MSc Financial EconomicsOxford, UK$55,734$59,38191%42%
Cambridge (Judge)6th  Master of FinanceCambridge, UK$59,455$63,516No data33%
ESADE7hMSc in FinanceBarcelona, Spain$33,036$59,29097%27%
ESSEC9thMaster in FinanceParis and Singapore$26,429$83,37048%23%
Bocconi11thMaster of Science in FinanceMilan, Italy$32,017No data28%30%
ESCP Europe12thAdvanced Master in FinanceBerlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Turin, Warsaw$26,669$85,29231%25%
EMLyon13thMSc FinanceLyon, France$23,100$69,300No data18%

Imperial College London – MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering

Admission to the MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering program is very competitive. The selection committee is looking for candidates that have an undergraduate degree in a highly mathematical discipline. Students are expected to be proficient in calculus, probability, matrix algebra and real analysis. A score of 750 (old test) or 159 (new test) in the quantitative section of the GRE will look good on your application. It is also encouraged to have a working knowledge of programming languages like C++, Matlab, and GAUSS. The total fees for the program come to 29,000 pounds. There is some funding in the form of Imperial College Business School scholarships.

University of Oxford – MSc in Mathematical and Computational Finance

This University of Oxford program is for candidates with proven and potential academic excellence. A first-class or upper second-class undergraduate degree in Mathematics or a related discipline is a minimum requirement. Applicants are expected to have taken calculus, linear algebra, probability and partial differential equations toward their degree. A basic knowledge of programming and algorithms is also expected. The GRE or GMAT is not required for admission. The Mathematical Finance program is world-renowned.

Technical University of Denmark

DTU has excellent MSc program in “Mathematical Modelling and Computation”. The program focuses on scientific computing, operational research, image analysis, machine learning, financial engineering etc. The program is taught in English. The duration of program is two years. To qualify you need a BS degree in Engineering or natural science (your degree must be less than ten years old).

KU Leuven, Belgium

KU Luven, One of the top universities of the world offers MSc in Actuarial and Financial Engineering (focus is on actuarial science and quantitative risk). It is a two year program taught in English. Non English speakers are required to submit TOEFL/IELTS score. You also need to submit GRE or GMAT score.
Tuition Fees (EU): € 910/yr
Tuition Fees (Non-EU): € 1750/yr

University of Manchester – Quantitative Finance: Financial Engineering MSc

This is a 12 months full-time program. A U.K. bachelor’s degree with first or upper second class honors is necessary for admission. The overseas equivalent of these qualifications is also fine, and the admission committee will look closely at the grade average, standing at the institution, position in class and references. Furthermore, excellent results in quantitative subjects such as econometrics, mathematical statistics, and differential equations will set your application apart.

The tuition fees for UK/EU students and international students are the same at 22,000 pounds. There are some Manchester Business School scholarships available for students. International students might want to check out the Chevening Scholarships. Citizens of a developed Commonwealth country should look into the Commonwealth Scholarships. This course is perfect for those looking for a career in finance and banking and who wish to make a lot of money. You will gain the ability to identify the risks associated with various financial instruments and market trading strategies.

Malardalen University – M. Sc. Financial Engineering

This is a two-year program offered at the Malardalen University in Vasteras in central Sweden. Advanced financial software and programming will be extensively used. A bachelor’s degree is required for entry into the program, and the candidate would have preferably taken a lot of math including probability theory and statistics. Some of the courses that candidates can expect to take are applied matrix analysis, Java and analytical finance, portfolio theory, actuarial mathematics, and operations research among others. The tuition fee is 16,000 Euro for a year for non-EEA students. For EEA candidates, there is no tuition fee. There are scholarships available even for international students. The selection committee is looking for top academic results.

University of Warsaw – M.A. Quantitative Finance

The requirements for entry into this program are many. Applicants are expected to have taken mathematical calculus, probability calculus, econometrics and mathematical statistics towards their bachelor’s degree. Students will be equipped with how to use C++ programming in the world of finance upon completion of the M.A. Quantitative Finance degree. Students are encouraged to use economic analysis in an array of finance-related problems. The program ensures that students can handle complicated derivatives pricing models. Alumni have entered successful careers in risk management, quantitative trading, financial forecasting and quantitative asset management among others.

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