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Columbia University Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :12 May
International :12 May

MA Mathematics with a Specialization in the Mathematics of Finance (Part-Time)

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Part Time

2 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

36048 USD
36048 USD

Application fee

International 105 USD
National 105 USD
Department of Mathematics
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
GRE (avg)315

World University Ranking

About this course

The Department of Mathematics at Columbia University offers a Master of Arts program in Mathematics with specialization in the Mathematics of Finance (MAFN). It is co-sponsored by the Department of Statistics, and it draws on the diverse strengths of the university in mathematics, statistics, stochastic processes, numerical methods, and financial applications.


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Eligibility Criteria


Applicants should have a very good working knowledge of calculus, linear algebra, elementary differential equations, probability, and statistics, and a programming language.

Exposure to advanced calculus and mathematical analysis, including measure theory, is desirable but not required.

Texts recommended for self-study

  • Ross: “A First Course in Probability”
  • Mood, Graybill & Boes: “Introduction to the Theory of Statistics”
  • Rudin: “Principles of Mathematical Analysis”

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Course Modules

Mandatory MAFN Courses

MATH GR 5010 (formerly W4071) Introduction to the Mathematics of Finance

The mathematics of finance, principally the problem of pricing of derivative securities, developed using only calculus and basic probability. Topics include mathematical models for financial instruments, Brownian motion, normal and lognormal distributions, the Black-Scholes formula, and binomial models.

STAT GR 5263 (formerly G6503) Statistical Inference / Time-Series Modeling

Modeling and inference for random processes, from natural sciences to finance and economics. ARMA, ARCH, GARCH and nonlinear models, parameter estimation, prediction and filtering.

STAT GR 5264 (formerly G6501) Stochastic Processes – Applications

Basics of continuous-time stochastic processes. Wiener processes. Stochastic integrals. Ito’s formula, stochastic calculus. Stochastic exponentials and Girsanov’s theorem. Gaussian processes. Stochastic differential equations. Additional topics as time permits.

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How to Apply

Statement of Academic Purpose

Please use your statement of academic purpose to address the following:

  • Why do you want to study the mathematics of finance, and why do you want to do it in Columbia University’s Mathematics of Finance program?
  • How have your activities since finishing high school prepared you to study the mathematics of finance?
  • How have you satisfied the mathematics, statistics, and programming prerequisites listed above? We often spend an inordinate amount of time sifting through the application to figure this out. List mathematics, statistics, computer science, and programming courses you have taken, and list projects and activities where you have used these skills. If you have acquired some of this knowledge by self-study, then you may ask one or more of the people who write reference letters for you to comment on it.

Letters of Recommendation

Depending on your work experience and the length of time since graduation, we will accept letters of recommendation from employers or colleagues as substitutes for one or more of your three academic letters of recommendation.

Work Experience

If you have previous work experience related to finance, then please make sure to mention it on your resume. It is a valuable part of your background for purposes of admission to the MAFN program.

Test Scores

The MAFN Program requires GRE (general) scores or GMAT scores. GRE scores are preferred. GRE subject test scores are not required.

Potential applicants often ask what level of GRE or GMAT scores is expected. Please understand that test scores is not the only thing that counts. All aspects of an application are important, including recommendation letters, work experience, relevant knowledge, skills and accomplishments, courses taken, grades, evidence of diligence, motivation, and creativity, and evidence of the ability to succeed at Columbia University and in the global world of finance.


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