MQF Program Requirements

MQF Homepage | Program requirements

When you apply online you will be asked to select thesis or non-thesis; however all students have the first term to decide which option they will pursue.

Thesis option

This option is appropriate for students who are interested in research and/or pursuing a PhD. In addition to the thesis, this option requires a minimum of four courses including Finance 1 and 2 and two other courses selected in consultation with their faculty advisor. Students elect to do the thesis option during their first term in the program, when they also must choose an advisor. 

Students will be required to submit a thesis proposal by the end of their second term of study. Eligibility for the thesis option is subject to approval of the thesis proposal by the Graduate Chair of the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science.

Here is a brief description of selected past theses as well as links to the complete documents in UW Space.

Research paper option

In this option students take eight required courses and one elective course chosen in consultation with an academic advisor. They also submit a master's research paper.

First term

  • ACC 770/ACTSC 970: Finance 1 – Foundations of Finance (no-arbitrage theory in
    discrete time, risk management, portfolio selection.)
  • ACTSC 969: Stochastic Calculus for Quantitative Finance
  • STAT 850: Estimation and Hypothesis Testing

Second term

  • ACC 771/ACTSC 971: Finance 2 – Asset Pricing, Financial Applications of Machine Learning, Theory and Practice (continuous-time finance, interest rate models)
  • Two elective courses

Third term

  • Mandatory internship, possibly in the financial industry

Fourth term

  • ACC 772/ACTSC 972: Finance 3 – Current Topics in Finance
  • STAT/ACTSC 974: Financial Econometrics
  • STAT 906: Computer Intensive Methods for Stochastic Models in Finance

Additional information regarding the MQF degree requirements are noted in the Graduate Studies Calendar. More detailed course descriptions can be found at:


The internship is a degree requirement for students in the Research Paper option. It provides students with practical experience in a real-world setting. We provide assistance to students in networking with companies in the financial industry. Our students may be hired by companies in the financial industry including major banks, pension funds, asset managers, insurance companies, and other financial institutions. Many students are offered full-time positions by their internship employers.

The program is well respected by top firms in the financial industry and we have an excellent track record in developing internship placements and career opportunities for graduates.