Thank you for your interest in applying for Princeton’s Master in Finance program. The application for AY2020-2021 will be available in September 2019. The application deadline was December 31, 2018.
The application fee is $90; the cost of tuition and the required health plan fee for 2018-2019 is $49,450. More details about tuition are available online.
Applicants for Fall 2019 will be notified about the status of their application in early March; admitted candidates must reply by April 15, the common deadline for members of the Council of Graduate Schools.
The Graduate School at Princeton University is a member of the Council and abides by its resolution on admissions – all member schools have agreed to an April 15 decision deadline.
Application materials due by December 31 include transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation and test scores. We may need to contact applicants if information is missing, so please include a working e-mail address. Please remember that it is your responsibility to make sure that your own application is complete and on time.
Please register your recommenders as early as possible to give them time to submit their letters. While letters of recommendation are also due by the strict deadline of December 31, do not wait for your recommenders to submit their recommendations before submitting your completed application as recommendations are matched by the system when you submit your application.
Applicants should receive a response from us by March 31. Due to the large number of candidates, it is not possible for us to inform applicants if their applications are incomplete, or give other information during the review process. If you have already submitted your application, you can find out how to check the status of your application by checking the graduate school site.
All information and questions regarding your electronic application should be directed to the Graduate Admission Office. For technical application issues you should contact ApplyWeb. The ApplyWeb Help Desk is available from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time. If you are having difficulty applying online email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Please allow 24 hours for a response. When contacting the Help Desk, please include your user name or order ID number, full name, email address and phone number. If you suspect a problem with your GRE/TOEFL test scores, please contact Educational Testing Services directly.
Admitted students will need to respond by April 15. On-campus housing will be guaranteed only to students whose completed housing application has been received by the University by the reply deadline of April 15.
Application forms (online only). The application fee is $90. Please include a curriculum vitae, personal statement and undergraduate/graduate transcripts as part of your application.
The GRE or GMAT is required. GRE or GMAT scores must be less than five years old, TOEFL or IELTS scores less than two years old as of December 31. All test scores MUST be sent from the test center to Princeton University (2672). Please refer to the following linked pages for specific information on GMAT, GRE, IELTS, and TOEFL. Allow extra time for test scores to be received and updated on your checklist.
If your native language is not English and you have not completed your undergraduate studies in an English-speaking country, you are also required to take either the TOEFL or IELTS exam. Please plan to take the tests early enough for the official scores to be received in time by the admissions office. December 31 is the deadline, November 30 is preferred. When you register for the tests, you must specify that your scores be sent to the Princeton University Office of Graduate Admission (2672 for the GRE, WC1-L5-59 for the GMAT).
Note: The application process is all-electronic, no materials should be mailed to either this office or the Graduate Admission Office. Take the tests early enough to ensure your test scores are received at Princeton by mid-December and not after the deadline as that will be too late.
Please keep checking the application status website. If you suspect a problem with receipt of your test scores, please contact Educational Testing Services directly: http://www.ets.org/gre/contact Additionally, you can contact the Graduate Admission Office if you think it may be a name spelling or date of birth issue.
Due to turnaround time, scores from tests taken after December 1 are not guaranteed to arrive in time to be considered with your application.
We suggest you take the test no later than November 1 to ensure the scores are received in time to be considered with your application.
Please remind your recommendation writers that the deadline is December 31 and letters should be submitted electronically by then to help your application be reviewed as a complete one.
The strongest candidates for admission to the Master in Finance program have a breadth of strengths. At the minimum, their test scores and grades are exceptional, their personal statements and recommendations are excellent, and their language skills topnotch. But what sets apart the strongest candidates from the rest is a passion for finance, strong communication skills, and in many cases work experience in the finance industry. Other helpful experiences might include internships in finance and/or previous work experience in areas such as engineering and technology. We have also found that candidates with a PhD in the areas of engineering, mathematics and the sciences have been well-prepared for our program.
To maintain the integrity of the process, the work of the Admissions Committee is confidential and its members remain anonymous. You can rest assured that the committee carefully reviews each application individually. Contacting individual faculty or staff members in an attempt to bring attention to one’s application never helps. No one on the admissions committee will be able to meet with an applicant before he or she is offered admission.
We contact applicants individually if and when we schedule an interview. Please refrain from contacting the office to request an interview. Such requests are never granted. We interview a subset of applicants based on their test scores, grades, any work experience and/or relevant degrees, coursework taken, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.
Due to the high volume of applications, we cannot pre-evaluate an applicant’s chances of admission, or pre-interview them before the applications are received. Until you apply and we have your complete file, we are unable to assess informally how competitive your application will be.
Majors, Prerequisites & Coursework
A solid math background is required, see the prerequisite knowledge listed below. While we are often asked to recommend specific courses for a potential applicant to take in order to fortify an admission application, we cannot make specific course recommendations, as the curriculum varies widely from one undergraduate institution to the next. Typical undergraduate degrees include applied mathematics, economics, finance, engineering, physics, and computer science, but we have in the past admitted strong candidates with any undergraduate major. A graduate degree in any of these areas can be a plus, but is not necessary.
At a minimum, we expect applicants to be familiar in mathematics with linear algebra, multivariable calculus, differential equations and with probability and statistics at the level of an intermediate undergraduate course. In addition, we offer incoming MFin students a two-week refresher course in mathematics and probability prior to the beginning of classes in the Fall semester. This course is required.
While the program does not require formal work experience as a requirement for admission, prior work experience provides an edge in this very competitive job market and more context for studies while in our program. At a minimum, we expect applicants to have completed one or more internships (for instance over the summer while in college).
Prerequisite Testing – GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS
No, except for the English language tests. This said, it is obvious that, ceteris paribus, the higher your standardized test scores, the better your chances of being admitted. Our entering classes have had a median GRE score of 167 on the quantitative part (you may take the exam more than once, in which case we consider your highest score). The average quantitative GMAT scores are 49.5 or 95%. More generally, we pay particular attention to your mathematics background (courses taken in college, grades, scores on the quantitative parts of the tests, etc.). One common reason applicants are not admitted is that their mathematical background is not strong enough to allow them to benefit from our program.
You can submit your GMAT scores instead of GRE scores. When you register for the test, you must specify that your scores be sent to the Princeton University Office of Graduate Admission (Princeton’s code for the GRE is 2672, and WC1-L5-59 for the GMAT; we do not use department codes). It takes four to six weeks for scores to be released to the Office of Graduate Admission following your request. MBA programs tend to favor the GMAT, but if you are focused on our Master in Finance or similar programs, the GRE is less expensive, more frequently offered, and is our preferred test. The two tests differ in a number of ways:http://www.bellcurves.com/gmat-vs-gre. It’s important to be aware that the GRE general test changed in August 2011 – here is information from ETS on the GRE test changes: http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/know . Here are free sample tests to take —http://www.ets.org/gre/general/prepare. There are a number of reputable test preparation programs online. In the US, Kaplan and Princeton Review have the longest track record. Princeton Review and many other firms have offices throughout the world. There are many books also available for self-study.
All applicants whose native language is not English and who have not received their entire undergraduate education in an English-speaking country must submit scores from one of two internationally recognized assessments of English language proficiency. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Please review the Graduate Admission policy in full.
Master in Finance Degree and Other Degrees
Unlike mathematical or computational finance Master programs, we cover all of finance.This means that, in addition to stochastic calculus, derivatives pricing, and financial engineering, we teach, for instance, behavioral finance, accounting, corporate finance, institutional finance, macro and monetary economics, Asian markets, among others, as well as courses in Machine Learning, FinTech, Data Science and Entrepreneurship.
Yes, the MFin is classified as a STEM Degree program.
In the Risk.net 2019 global ranking of Quant Finance programs, Princeton’s MFIN was ranked #1 for its small size and selectivity, world-class faculty, 100% career placement, and supportive alumni network. In Dec. 2018, Quantnet ranked Princeton as the top financial engineering program in terms of career placement, selectivity, and peer assessment.
Coursework, Placement, and Logistics of the Program
The MFin program has a dedicated corporate relations director and administrative support to provide extensive career advice, help identify job opportunities and networking opportunities, connect students with alumni mentors, help prepare students for interviews and negotiate job offers. The program also works very closely with Princeton University’s Career Services office, which offers tailored services and workshops for graduate students. Once a student graduates from the program, that support continues through regular networking opportunities and sharing of job postings.
Students completing the program in two years are required to complete a summer internship at the end of their first year, unless they are returning to a previous employer such as a central bank or ministry of finance. In that case, there is the flexibility to do research or work on a project for their employer. The internship requirement will be satisfied in most cases by being an intern at a financial institution or, in very limited cases, by being a research assistant for a research project supervised by a faculty member. The MFin program provides extensive assistance to help identify a broad range of internship opportunities both in the U.S. and around the world.
Generally, no. The program is designed to be completed on a full time basis. Our classes are taught during the day and full-time students take four or five courses per semester. Given the logistics, the only possibility for part time enrollment would be for students who already work in the Princeton area and would be able to attend courses during the day. Part-time students are expected to take a minimum of two classes per semester, and a maximum of four years (eight semesters) to complete the program. Full-time employment off-campus is not allowed while you are an enrolled student of the Graduate School.
As tuition increases a little each year, please visit the tuition section of Graduate School website. Tuition is due for first semester October 15 and second semester March 15.
Many applicants, most of whom are well-qualified, want an explanation if they are turned down for admission. If an application is denied, it is not possible for us to go back and review applications to justify the denial or offer advice on improving a future application. All materials are returned to the Graduate School by the department once the admission decisions are made, and are not available for further review. In many cases, the only answer is that we are unable to offer admission to many qualified applicants given the desired size of our program. We encourage you to apply again if you were not successful the first time although, please understand this does not mean you are automatically offered admission.
We intentionally keep the program small and selective to make sure that we can devote individual attention, both academically and when the time comes for job placement, to each one of our students. Statistics from the past five years show we offer admission to about 5% of applicants and of those offers made about 85% enroll.
2018 – 690 Applications, 31 Offers – 26 Enrolled – View Infographic
2017 – 565 Applications, 37 Offers – 29 Enrolled
2016 – 579 Applications, 36 Offers – 32 Enrolled
2015 – 586 Applications, 29 Offers – 26 Enrolled
2014 – 603 Applications, 30 Offers – 26 Enrolled
2013 – 694 Applications, 32 Offers – 26 Enrolled
2012 – 815 Applications, 48 Offers – 43 Enrolled
2011 – 729 Applications, 36 Offers – 29 Enrolled
You can also refer to the Graduate School website.