USC Viterbi - School of Engineering

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Master of Science in Financial Engineering

Program Description: 

The objective of the M.S. in Financial Engineering program is the training of graduate students with engineering, applied mathematics or physics backgrounds in the application of mathematical and engineering tools to finance.

This multidisciplinary education program involves the Viterbi School of Engineering, the Marshall School of Business and the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences (Department of Economics). Financial engineering uses tools from finance and economics, engineering, applied mathematics and statistics to address problems such as derivative securities valuation, strategic planning and dynamic investment strategies, risk management etc. Graduates with these skills are of interest to investment and commercial banks, trading companies, hedge funds, insurance companies, corporate risk managers and regulatory agencies etc.

Application Info: 

Application Criteria

An undergraduate degree in engineering, math or hard science from a regionally-accredited university.
Applicants with undergraduate degrees in finance, accounting and similar are eligible to apply for this program. Applicants with a bachelor of science in economics are also eligible to apply.
Background in probability and linear algebra at the upper division level preferred.
Satisfactory cumulative undergraduate GPA (grade point average)
Satisfactory GRE test scores. All scores must be officially reported to the university directly by ETS.  GMAT scores are not accepted.

Application Materials for All Applicants

DEN@Viterbi Summer 2016 and DEN@Viterbi Fall 2016 Applicants: All applicants must complete and submit the USC Online Application. 

Spring 2017 and Fall 2017 Applicants: USC Online Application will be available July 1, 2016. Visit our Application Deadlines page for more information. 


Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
GRE General Test: Satisfactory and valid test scores. Valid GRE scores must be dated within five years of the start of the intended application semester. The fall semester starts in August, and the spring semester starts in January. Official scores must be reported from ETS directly to USC using ETS school code 4852. A department code is not required.
Letters of Recommendation (Optional): Letters of recommendation should be from faculty or others (supervisors, professional colleagues, etc.) qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study. 
Statement of Purpose (Optional): The statement of purpose should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program at the Viterbi School of Engineering, your preparation for this field of study, study interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.

Additional Application Materials for International Applicants

English Language Proficiency: In addition to the general admission criteria listed above, international students whose first language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS examination to be considered a candidate for admission.  There is no minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required for admission to the Viterbi School. For possible exemption from additional language requirements, you must achieve an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90, with no less than 20 on each section or an IELTS score of 6.5, with no less than 6 on each band score. For more details on English Proficiency Criteria for the University of Southern California, please visit USC Graduate Admission - Proficiency in English.
Program Details: 
Please Note: Requirements for graduation, course offerings, course availability, track offerings and any other degree requirements are subject to change. Students should consult with an academic advisor prior to registering for any classes.
  • A minimum of 30 units is required for the M.S. in Financial Engineering degree
  • Every plan of study requires prior written approval by the contact faculty of the program
  • Required courses: 17 units
  • 2 advisor-approved electives in the areas of finance, business, and economics: 6-7 units
  • 2 advisor-approved electives in the areas of optimization, simulations, and stochastic systems: 6-7 units
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required for graduation
        Curriculum               Schedule of Classes       
Available Online: 

This program is also available online to professional engineers through the Distance Education Network (DEN@Viterbi). Because the DEN@Viterbi program provides a fully equivalent academic experience, the degree a USC engineering student earns is the same whether they are on-campus or online.

If you are interested in beginning classes as a DEN@Viterbi student next semester, explore the requirements and steps to enrolling as a Limited Status Student

More information about DEN@Viterbi

DEN@Viterbi Online Course Offerings

All course options available for on-campus students can be found in the USC Catalogue here:

The following courses and program requirements serve as program planning for DEN@Viterbi students. Course offerings and availability are subject to change. Please consult with advisor if you have any questions.

Required Courses
All Courses Required - 17 units total.
GSBA 548 | Corporate Finance
ISE 563 | Financial Engineering
EE 503 | Probability for Electrical and Computer Engineers
EE 512 | Stochastic Processes
EE 518 | Mathematics and Tools for Financial Engineers
Elective Courses
Two Courses from each area - 6-7 units from each area total.
Finance, Business, and Economics Area
ECON 500 | Microeconomic Analysis and Policy
ECON 501 | Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy
FBE 555 | Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management
ISE 566 | Financial Accounting Analysis for Engineering
Optimization, Simulations, and Stochastic Systems Area
CSCI 455 | Introduction to Programming Systems Design
CSCI 570 | Analysis of Algorithms
EE 562a | Random Processes in Engineering
ISE 520 | Optimization: Theory and Algorithms
ISE 536 | Linear Programming and Extensions
ISE 538 | Elements of Stochastic Processes
ISE 539 | Stochastic Elements of Simulation