Jul 23, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Mathematical Finance (MS)

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The objective of this master of science program is to produce graduates with a rigorous foundation in the economic theory and mathematical modeling of financial markets. The program creates an integrated curriculum spanning four disciplines: economics, mathematics, econometrics/statistics and computational/numerical analysis. The program is designed for recent graduates in the fields of applied mathematics, physics and engineering — or for graduates in economics, business and finance with strong mathematical backgrounds — who wish to pursue high-tech finance careers in financial institutions, industry or government.

Admission Requirements

Refer to the Requirements for Graduation  section and the Graduate School  section of this catalogue for general regulations. All applicants must take the GRE General Test. Complete transcripts of undergraduate and any graduate level courses are required, as well as a statement of purpose and three recommendation letters. A substantial undergraduate background in mathematics is required, which should include one semester of real analysis or advanced calculus, one semester of linear algebra and one semester of advanced probability/statistics. Candidates with weaker backgrounds may be required to take mathematics classes prior to admission to the program. An undergraduate knowledge of microeconomics and of macroeconomics, and partial differential equations is helpful, although it is not required for admission. Some experience in Matlab and C/C++ programming is also useful.

Foreign Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement.

Course Requirements

Thirty units of course work are required, six core courses and four to five elective courses. Students are required to satisfy a summative experience for degree completion. This will be in the form of registration in 1 unit of MATH 590 Directed Research  with a summative report at the end of the term. Topics of research will be determined by the program director. The program consists of:

Required Core Courses (6 Courses, 18 Units)

Elective Courses (4 Courses, 12 Units)


Prerequisites for any of the above courses can be waived based on students’ knowledge of the subject area. Approval from the program director is required.

*The elective courses in statistics/numerical/optimization/other methods and computational and empirical finance have to be approved for each student by the program directors. Other electives, not on this list, may sometimes be approved after consultation with program directors.

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