Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

Admitted Students

Current Students

Alumni

General Admissions

When can I apply for admissions?
We begin accepting applications on December 1st.

What is the application deadline?
The application deadline is April 15 11:00 PM CST

What is needed to apply?

  • Bachelor's Degree or Bachelor Equivalent - Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Economics, Finance
  • 1 Year of Calculus
  • 1 Semester of Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
  • 1 Semester of Probability and Statistics
  • 1 Semester of Programming (preferably in C/C++)
  • GRE or GMAT
  • TOEFL or IELTS for all applicants whose native language is not English (exemptions see here) - 103 (iBT), 257 (CBT), or 613 (PBT))
  • Knowledge of basic Finance
  • GPA of 3.25 (A=4.0) for the last 60 hours of study

If lacking certain prerequisite course(s) - can I be admitted?
If you have not completed a prerequisite course at the time of your application, you should explain in your purpose statement that you intend to take the remaining courses(s) during the summer prior to enrollment. If admitted, it will be conditional upon passing the course(s).

Do you require an undergraduate degree in finance or engineering?
No, it is not required, but it is strongly recommended. Our current student's undergraduate backgrounds are in fields such as engineering, mathematics, physics, computer science, economics and finance.

What is the application fee?
The application fee is $75 for citizens and permanent residents of the United States and the fee is $90 for international student.  The application fee can be paid by credit card during the online application process. If you prefer not to pay online, you may send a check payable to the University of Illinois directly to the MSFE office at

MSFE Office - University of Illinois, 3252 Digital Computer Lab, 1304 West Springfield Ave., Urbana, IL 61801

The MSFE Office cannot process your application until the application fee is received

What is the Tuition and Fee schedule for the MSFE program?
The tuition and program fee for the MSFE program for 2016-2017 totals $64,500, which includes all three semesters of instruction: fall, spring, and fall term. This amount does not include University fees which cover such things as health insurance, health services, facilities fees, etc. More information about University fees can be found at the Office of Registrar's website

$57,000 tuition

$7,500 program fees

$64,500 + University Fees

  • You can think of this as $21,500/semester compared to other programs
  • University fees are approximately $1,850/semester

The University provides electronic billing and notified the student of a pending bill by email. Information about student accounts and billing can be found at the Office of Student Accounts and Cashiers.

Can I get Financial Aid?
The MS Financial Engineering Program is a self-supported program; therefore, assistantships, scholarships, tuition waivers and fellowship funding are not available. However, you can apply for Federal Student loans if you are a US citizen or permanent resident through the Financial Aid Office on the UI campus. Office of Student Financial Aid

Are there any interviews for admission?
Interviews are conducted on an invitation-only basis. Please refrain from calling or emailing the MSFE Office to request an interview. You will be contacted by the MSFE Office if an interview is necessary to make a decision on you application.

When will you start to check my application after I submit my online application?
We will begin looking at applications regardless of what you have submitted. However, if we notice something is missing we will send you an email asking you to upload those documents. All documents must be in before we can make a final decision.

How do I make changes to my application once it has been submitted?
You may amend your application by sending your revised and/or additional documents to

msfe-apply@illinois.edu

How long before I'm notified of my admissions?
Admissions decisions are being granted on a rolling basis. Depending on the number of applicants, some will receive their decision before May, but every completed application will receive a decision by May 15th.

Where do I mail my admissions material?
Please do not mail any documents to us. You will be allowed to upload scanned copies of your documents on Apply Yourself during the application process.

Can I send unofficial copies of transcripts, etc.?
Yes, you can upload unofficial transcripts on Apply Yourself during the application process.  However, if you are admitted, you will need to provide official documentation. Please note that the documents must be provided in a sealed envelope directly from the issuing institution. Transcripts

What is the difference between the MSF and MSFE programs?
The principal difference between the MSF and MSFE programs is the greater emphasis on quantitative techniques and programming required in the MSFE program.  The MSFE prepares students for quantitatively- oriented finance careers, including careers in derivatives valuation, hedging, risk management, trading and portfolio management. The curriculum includes applied mathematics and statistics, computer programming, and finance. Half of the courses are taught by engineering faculty and the other are taught by finance faculty.

Can I apply to more than one degree program at the University of Illinois?
Yes, you may apply to multiple programs at the University of Illinois (such as MSFE and MSF).  You must provide separate applications and supporting documents to each program including - application fees, letters, etc. for each. You do NOT need to order two sets of official scores (GMAT/GRE, TOEFL/IELTS). However, you may only be formally admitted to one University of Illinois program at a time. Therefore, if you currently hold an admission from one program on campus, you must decline that offer before you may receive admission from another. Please send an email to msfe-apply@illinois.edu if you apply to more than one program at UIUC.

I am in the final year of my undergraduate degree - can I apply to the MSFE Program?
Yes, be sure to note all work experience, internships, and other certificates and activities in your application. In addition, you must have completed all requirements of your degree by the start of classes in August so that you can arrive on the University of Illinois campus in time to join Orientation, which is held in August.

I am currently a graduate student at the U of I - How can I transfer to your program?
Since you are a current UIUC graduate student, you do not need to fill out the standard application on ApplyYourself. Instead, you will need to fill out a petition form. It waives the application fee and allows the documents you already submitted for admission to your current program to be forwarded to the Financial Engineering Program. 

You will need to write a new personal statement that is no more than 300 words, describing your area of interest and what your goals are upon completion of the MSFE program. We also require one additional letter of recommendation from a recent professor or employer, along with the letters of recommendation that you submitted to your previous/current program. You may send your new personal statement and letter of recommendation to us at msfe@illinois.edu as a PDF attachment.

Once your advisor has signed the petition form, he/she can send all the documents from your file, (transcript, previous letters of recommendation, GRE/GMAT scores (as long as they are less than 5 years old)) along with the completed petition to our office. We will then have the Director of the MSFE program sign the form and the Admissions Committee will begin to review your file. This process does not guarantee admission to the program; it just allows you to apply as a current UIUC graduate student.

I am a previous graduate student from the U of I - How can I apply to your program? (Completed a Masters and has since left)
Since you were a graduate student in the past you will not have to re-apply. However, you will need to fill out two forms.

You will also be required to provide us with your transcripts, a new personal statement (no more than 300 words), and one additional letter of recommendation from a recent professor or employer.  These should accompany any previous letter of recommendation that you submitted to your last program of study at the U of I.

Who should write recommendation letters?
Your recommendation letters should come from academic and business sources. These recommendations should emphasize your strengths in the following areas: quantitative and analytical analysis, written and oral communication, spreadsheet analysis, and relevant work experience.

Is work experience required?
The Illinois' MSFE program does NOT require applicants/students to have prior work experience; however, it is looked upon favorably by the Admissions Committee.

I am concerned about my GPA-
As far as the GPA requirement goes, keep in mind that we only count the last 60 hours of study. Most undergraduate degrees require you to have 120 credit hours to graduate. As such, the Graduate College here at UIUC will only look at the last 60 hours - meaning your Junior and Senior years. This is because most of your core courses are taken during these hours. Thus, it is a better assessment of your abilities. If your GPA is still less than 3.25 you can still be considered for admission as long as you meet the other requirements. If there were any specific circumstances that affect your academic record, you may want to include an explanation in your personal statement.

Can I write more than 300 words in my personal statement?
We encourage you to keep your personal statement under 300 words. You may write more but any more than 600 may indicate an unclear understanding of directions. Also, due to the high volume of applications the admissions committee may not be able to read an extensive essay as thoroughly as a shorter one.

Is a thesis required?
No. The program is solely based on coursework. Students interested in working on research projects can make arrangements with individual faculty.

The online application form is asking for specializations. What are the available specializations for MSFE?
In that section of your application, please list any specializations you have had previously, such as a minor or concentration. The MSFE Program at the University of Illinois does not have any specializations.

How many students will be admitted this year?
Last year we received over 500 applications, as a result, admission to the MSFE program is highly competitive. Therefore, we plan to keep the class size consistent.

Can the program be extended from 3 semesters?
The MSFE program is intended to be 18 months/3 semesters. Exceptions to this rule are made for qualified students who have successfully completed their first semester. Approval must be granted by the Director immediately following the first semester and prior to starting in the spring (2nd) semester.

May I transfer credits to fulfill MSFE requirements?
No, we do not allow the transfer of other credits in to replace core MSFE courses. We realize that some of our students have taken similar courses but not as in-depth or in line with the MSFE curriculum here at UIUC.

Can I waive any courses?
Students who have taken an equivalent course may be allowed to substitute a course with a more advanced course, subject to approval from the faculty and director.

Can I apply for spring admission?
No, due to the sequential design of the curriculum, we do not offer admission into the spring semester. All students must start the program in the fall.

Will I receive Health Care Services?
Yes. As a student at the University of Illinois, you pay two fees at registration which cover services that should meet most of your health care needs. Please visit McKinley Health Center for details on these fees and what they cover.

 

Test Scores

Is the GRE/GMAT required?
Either one will be sufficient. The GRE or GMAT scores will be used by the Admissions Committee as additional evaluative measures.

What is the minimum GRE/GMAT requirements?
The MSFE program seeks students with strong quantitative skills. While we don't set a minimum standard for admissions, the average quantitative score of our students is in the 90th percentile.

Can I waive the GRE/GMAT?
No. The GRE/GMAT test scores are a strong indication of the quantitative and verbal skills of an applicant. While the committee considers the composite applications of each applicant, an official GRE or GMAT score must be included.

You can sign up to take the GRE or the GMAT

Please request the test score to be sent to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Is the TOEFL/IELTS required?
Yes, for applicants whose degree is not from an institution or country where English is the official language.  You must provide the following...

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of at least 103 (iBT), 257 (CBT), or 613 (PBT)
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) overall score of at least 7.0 with at least a 6.0 in all subsections.

What is the minimum requirements for TOEFL/IELTS?
Strong English skills are essential for success in the MSFE program. The minimum score for TOEFL is 103 and IELTS is 7.0.

Can I waive the TOEFL/IELTS?
Applicants may qualify for a TOEFL waiver if they have completed at least two years of post-secondary full-time study, as defined by the home institution, in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or if they have completed a graduate degree in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment

Can I still apply with a TOEFL score below 103?
Yes, The MS Financial Engineering program has been designed to be exceptionally challenging and mastery of the English language is extremely important. If your TOEFL score is more than 5 points below the minimum of 103 iBT, you are encouraged to re-take the TOEFL. If you are within 5 points of the minimum, and your other scores are excellent plus you meet all prerequisites, you may still apply.  You may of course apply with a score more than 5 points below the minimum, but unless your qualifications are quite stellar, there may be little the Admissions Committee can do.

Do I need to take the EPT?
EPT will be required for those who are admitted with TOFEL scores lower than 103.

If I score higher than 103 on my TOEFL, do I need to take the EPT?
The MSFE Director would like all international students who have not completed a degree in the United States to take the English Placement Test (EPT). If you scored higher than a 103 on the TOEFL, you most likely will pass the test, but you will benefit from English as a Second Language (ESL) courses if you do not pass.

My TOEFL score is about to expire, can I still apply?
Yes. However, it is required by the Graduate College here at Illinois, that test dates be within 2 years of the date you plan to start your studies. Our program starts in August; therefore, we would need your TOEFL score to be dated no earlier than August 2015. However, if accepted into the program, this will delay the Graduate College making a final decision until they receive the updated score. This in turn will delay the mailing of your I-20.

Can I send unofficial copies of test scores?
No. Official test score reports are required for the Admissions Committee to review your application.

Is it possible to submit my test scores at a later day?
You may start applying for our program without submitting your official test scores; however, all official scores must be submitted to be officially reviewed by the Admissions Committee. 

What is the institution codes?
You can request your official test scores from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Applicants to MSFE program should request their scores be sent to Institution Code #1836.  Department codes are not necessary for our school; you can fill in any number or leave it blank (if that is an option). As long as the institution code is correct, all scores received from ETS go into a database where each department can access the scores.

Where can I send my GMAT scores?
Reporting Option: University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign/College of Business - Masters in Finance Urbana IL, USA

 

International Student Concerns

What is the minimum requirements for TOEFL/IELTS?
Strong English skills are essential for success in the MSFE program. The minimum score for TOEFL is 103 and IELTS is 7.0.

Can I waive the TOEFL/IELTS?
Applicants may qualify for a TOEFL waiver if they have completed at least two years of post-secondary full-time study, as defined by the home institution, in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or if they have completed a graduate degree in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment

Can I still apply with a TOEFL score below 103?
Yes, The MS Financial Engineering program has been designed to be exceptionally challenging and mastery of the English language is extremely important. If your TOEFL score is more than 5 points below the minimum of 103 iBT, you are encouraged to re-take the TOEFL. If you are within 5 points of the minimum, your other scores are excellent and you meet all prerequisites, you should apply if re-taking the TOEFL is not an option.  You may of course apply with a score more than 5 points below the minimum, but unless your qualifications are quite stellar, there may be little the Admissions Committee can do.

What is EPT?
The MSFE Director would like all international students who have not completed a degree in the United States to take the English Placement Test (EPT). If you scored higher than a 103 on the TOEFL, you most likely will pass the test, but you will benefit from English as a Second Language (ESL) courses if you do not pass. Please note that ESL courses cost $500/course and will be charged to your student account.

My TOEFL score is about to expire, can I still apply?
Yes. However, it is required by the Graduate College here at Illinois, that test dates be within 2 years of the date you plan to start your studies. Our program starts in August; therefore, we would need your TOEFL score to be dated no earlier than August 2015. However, if accepted into the program, this will delay the Graduate College making a final decision until they receive the updated score. This in turn will delay the mailing of your I-20.

Am I eligible to apply with a bachelor's degree from a non US institution?
Any international student may visit the University of Illinois Graduate College Admission Requirements by Country to view country specific requirements.

Do I need to upload financial documetns at the time of application?
Since you are an international student (not a US citizen or permanent resident) you must provide evidence that you have enough money to pay for the program AND support yourself and any dependents you have for the duration of the program. The University of Illinois is required to document this proof with bank statements showing you have adequate funds BEFORE they can provide your I-20 or DS2019. Please see the Graduate College regulations regarding Evidence of Financial Resources for additional information. These documents do not need to be submitted at the time of application but will need to be sent in quickly upon any offer of admissions.

 

General Admitted

How do I accept the admission offer?
It is important that you accept or decline your admission offer by the deadline provided in your offer letter. After the deadline, the admission offer is no longer valid.  If you choose to accept the offer you must also pay the deposit. The deposit is a partial prepayment of your second semester tuition and can be paid online with a major credit card.

When will I get my official admissions letter from the Graduate College?
It may take a few weeks for the Graduate College to approve admissions. They will email you with their official decision as soon as one has been made.

What does limited status mean?
You may be admitted on limited status for a variety of reasons. The admissions letter will clearly indicate the admission terms and the steps that need to be completed before full-admission status can be obtained. Some of the possible reasons for limited-status are:

  1. Course deficiencies, as determined by the department that must be remedied,
  2. Low GPA (Grade Point Average is below 3.0 on a 4.0 scale),
  3. No comparable bachelor's degree - http://www.grad.illinois.edu/comparable-bachelors-degree
  4. A lack of demonstrated English language proficiency. Non-native English speakers admitted with English scores below 103 on the iBT are required to complete an English Placement Test (EPT) prior to their first semester of classes. Based on your performance on this test, you may be required to take English as a Second Language (ESL) course(s) as part of a degree requirement.

If you are admitted on limited status you will be allowed to enroll for the first semester. However, you must satisfy whatever restriction is indicated in your admissions letter to continue in the program.

Why is there a deposit?
The deposit holds your seat in the program and is pre-payment of tuition. It will be posted to your student account when the spring semester bill is available. It is non-refundable and non-transferable.

When can I pay the deposit?
Admissions to the Illinois MSFE program is very competitive; to ensure your seat in the program we encourage you to pay the deposit as soon as possible.  If, for some reason you are not approved for admissions by the Graduate College, your deposit will be refunded.

How do I pay the deposit?
A link will be provided in your admissions letter. You will be able to pay using any major credit card. If necessary, you can pay by check.

What if I missed the deposit deadline?
The MSFE program has a limited number of seats available. If you do not accept your offer by the deadline, your seat may be allocated to another applicant.  An acceptance is official upon the receipt of a deposit (by the deadline).

Can I have a refund on my deposit?
No. Having forfeited your admission, you have surrendered your seat as well as your deposit. You will find that most graduate programs do not allow refunds of deposits.

Are official paper documents needed after admittance?
Yes. Official paper documents are needed in a sealed envelope from the prior institution. Please mail these to:

University of Illinois - MS Financial Engineering Program, 3252 Digital Computer Lab, 1304 West Springfield Ave; Urbana, IL 61801

Will I receive Health Care Services?
Yes. As a student at the University of Illinois, you pay two fees at registration which cover services that should meet most of your health care needs. Please visit McKinley Health Center for details on these fees and what they cover.

 

Admitted International Student Concerns

How do I get a student visa?
We will provide you with an I-20 or DS2019 form so that you can request a student visa from a US embassy or consulate in your country. We will mail these forms to you by express mail along with your formal admission letter. Included with this mailing will be helpful information about the program and your arrival on campus (housing information, etc.).

I am transferring from another US institution. What do I do?
The University of Illinois does not have a transfer-in form. Therefore, you will need to take your admission letter to your current university's international student's office and request a SEVIS transfer. Please note that this can only be done while you are in the US. Our SEVIS school code is CHI214F01070000 for F-1 visa holders and P-1-00209 for J-1 visa holders.

Once your SEVIS record is transferred, you will need to contact the Graduate College to find out when your new I-20 or DS-2019 will be ready. You will then need to check-in at ISSS once you arrive on campus.

What financial support documents are needed?
All international applicants requesting visa eligibility documents (I-20 or DS-2019) are required to demonstrate that they have adequate financial resources to cover the cost of their education while in the United States. International applicants should upload the following documentation directly to the online application. These documents do not need to be submitted at the time of application – but it is highly recommended to speed up the process. There are three ways to show support

  1. If the student will provide funding from personal funds, a Bank Statement with sufficient funding for at least one year’s total cost is required. Please refer to the PDF of the Declaration and Certification of Finances form for specific expense amounts.
  2. If a family or other personal sponsor will provide funding, a Bank Statement with sufficient funding for at least one year’s total cost is required. One of the following additional documents is also required: Declaration and Certification of Finances form verifying sponsorship for full length and cost of the program OR signed Letter of Sponsorship detailing amounts and length of sponsorship. 
  3. If an employer, government or organization will provide funding, a signed Letter of Sponsorship detailing amounts and length of sponsorship is required.

Why do I need to evidence of financial support?
All international students must provide evidence that they have enough money to pay for the program and support themselves along with any dependents for the duration of the program. The University of Illinois is required to document this proof with bank statements showing you have adequate funds before they can provide your I-20 or DS2019. Please see the Graduate College regulations regarding Evidence of Financial Resources for additional information.

When do I need to provide financial support documents?
We suggest that you provide these documents at the time of your application. This will not affect your admission decision; however, it will speed up the process of receiving your I-20 and admissions packet once admitted.

When will I get my admissions from the Graduate College and my I-20?
It may take a few weeks for the Graduate College to approve admissions.  They will email you with their official decision as soon as one has been made. Once the decision has been made, they will do a SEVIS check to make sure you have the following….

1. Declaration and Certification of Finances Form
2. Bank Statement
3. Passport

These items can be uploaded to Apply Yourself  under a new page titled “Post-Submission Credential Uploads”.  Once that is complete, your I-20 will be made and we will mail it to you along with additional admissions materials.  This usually takes 5-7 days, once mailed, to be received.

I am transferring from another UIUC grad program do I need a new I-20?
Yes, you will need to get a new I-20. However, since you are a current UIUC student, you will need to go to ISSS after the petition to change programs has been approved (take proof of the approval with you); an advisor in ISSS will update your I-20 to our program.

I am a new student coming from a US college, when will I get my I-20?
The SEVIS department at your current university should transfer the paperwork to our SEVIS department at your request.  This will take about a week.  Once the paperwork is received, UIUC will issue you a new I-20.  Once this document has been modified, we (MSFE) will mail it to you along with additional admissions material.

How do I transfer my I-20 (SEVIS) from a previous US institution?
You must wait for your current semester to end before your SEVIS record is transferred, but it could be transferred the day after the semester ends (the international students office at your university can tell you the earliest they can transfer your record).

As soon as you have completed your degree, the SEVIS department there will transfer the paperwork to our SEVIS department.  This will take about a week.  Once the paperwork is received, UIUC will issue you a new I-20.  Once this document has been modified, we (MSFE) will mail it to you along with additional admissions material.

I have submitted all of my documentation, when will I receive my I-20?
It usually takes the SEVIS department a couple weeks to process I-20s. Once this document has been created, we (MSFE) will mail it to you along with additional admissions material. It usually takes 5-7 days to arrive once it has been mailed.

Why does my I-20 say operations research for the major?
Please do not worry about the description of major on your I-20. For the most part the University’s official name of majors and SEVIS’ official name of majors match, but for our program it is slightly different.

What types of loans can I take out as an international student?
The MS in Financial Engineering program is a self-supported program; therefore assistantships and fellowship funding are not available. However, here is the website for financial aid: http://www.osfa.illinois.edu/aid/international/. Unfortunately, financial aid is very limited for international students but there are opportunities available and they are listed on that website. On the website, there are links to scholarships, international student loans, and employment opportunities. You may also want to look at loans from your home country, as most banks in the US will not give loans to students who are not US citizens or permanent residents.

 

Housing

What choices do I have for housing?
There are many housing options to choose from in Champaign-Urbana. These include University Housing, Certified Private Housing, and Private Apartments (most popular among MSFE students). You can visit the following websites to view the many housing options available.

University Graduate Student Housing
University Students with Families Housing
Private Certified Housing
Tenant Union
Daily Illini Classified Ads
Craigslist
News-Gazette Classified Ads
ApartmentList.com
Zumper
rentlingo

Trulia

Where are the MSFE classes going to be?
Two of your classes will take place on the Business Quad and two will take place on the Engineering Quad, map. For the first semester you will have classes in the Business Instructional Facility (D4), Wohlers Hall (D4), and the Transportation Building (B5). The MSFE office is in the Digital Computer Lab (B4).

What can I expect to pay for housing?
You will find that housing in the Urbana-Champaign community is inexpensive compared to larger metropolitan areas. In fact, the cost of living in Urbana-Champaign is anywhere from ¼ to ½ the cost of living in places such as Boston, London, New York, or Southern California. Compare costs of living for yourself. Comparison of Cost of Living.

 

Orientation

Can I take a tour of the U of I campus?
Visiting the MSFE program and both the College of Engineering and College of Business is a great way to confirm the program is right for you. A campus visit offers you an insider’s view and is the best way to gain a realistic impression of life as an MSFE student at ILLINOIS.

The College of Engineering conducts daily tours, M-F at 2:00pm, and the information can be found here.  In addition, either the Director of the MSFE Program or one of the members of the MSFE Admissions Committee will be able to meet with you to give more in-depth information about the program and answer any questions you may have. If you would like a general campus tour, you can register at this website.

When should I arrive on the U of I campus?
Orientation is typically held the week prior to the start of classes. During orientation students have an opportunity to get to know the other students in the program, learn more specifics about their course of study, faculty, and the campus. Details regarding registration, university computer systems, and an explanation of the many opportunities and services available to students on the UI campus are also provided.

What are Preparatory Courses and should I attend?
The MSFE Program offers two types of Preparatory Courses. One is Computer Programming and the other is Finance. The purpose of these courses are to serve as a refresher before beginning the MSFE curriculum. Each course will be taught Monday through Friday with varying time schedules. Please refer back to your original admission letter to determine if the MSFE Admissions Committee recommends you to take a Preparatory course. If you did not receive a recommendation from the Committee, then it will be assumed that you know and understand the content covered in the course. Descriptions of each course are available on our website.

 

General Current Student

When can I register?
To find your registration time ticket, access the UI-Integrate Self-Service system and follow these steps:

  • Select “Registration and Records."
  • Select "Registration."
  • Select "Registration Eligibility."
  • From the drop-down, select the appropriate term.

Your time ticket represents the earliest time you can register. You will have from that time until the start of the semester to make changes and updates to your schedule.

How do I register?
You do not need to meet with an academic advisor to register for classes. This should be done on your own using UI-Integrate Self-Service. If you are unsure of how to use this system, follow these instructions.

How will I receive my tuition bill?
The University provides electronic billing and notifies students of a pending bill by email. Information about student accounts and billing can be found at Office of Student Accounts and Cashiers.

My netID and/or password do not work. Who can help?
If you have your netID and password and they are not working, you need to go the CITES Help Desk to have them reset. This is in 1211 Digital Computing Lab, 1304 W. Springfield, Urbana. Ph: 244-7000 or email consult@illinois.edu

I am encumbered. What does that mean and what should I do?
The University places an "Encumbrance" on a student as a reminder that some issue must be taken care of if they wish to continue enrollment at the University. If a student is encumbered they will not be allowed to register for classes the following semester unless the encumbrance is lifted. Students can be encumbered for a variety of reasons. Some examples: (1) McKinley Health Center may place an encumbrance if a student has failed to provide proof of immunizations; (2) Student Accounts may place an encumbrance for a delinquent account; (3) Graduate College may place a hold for missing official documentation such as transcripts.

I want to enroll in summer courses. The minimum shown is 6 credit hours, can I take less?
Please do not worry about the minimum hours shown. Since the summer semester is not a required semester for the MSFE program you are not required to have the minimum number of credit hours.

I wish to apply for a TA/RA position at another department, am I allowed to do that
You are welcome to look for TA/RA positions in other departments on your own (the MSFE department does not have any available). In most circumstances the home department would be able to offer a full tuition waiver; however, the MSFE department cannot offer any tuition waivers.

Why can’t I register for FIN electives right now?
You are not able to register for FIN electives at this time. Please email Emily Ziegler the course you are interested in and she will add you to an override list which the FIN department will use to register you. However, this won’t occur until early summer as MSF students do not register until then and have precedence.  

Why do we have three courses with FIN 580 name?
In Finance, several courses are listed using the 580 number to indicate a Special Topics. Some courses will eventually be developed to receive their own number in the future. Some courses may only be taught infrequently and thus, do not get their own number. Please do not worry about having FIN 580 multiple times on your transcripts as the FIN department is aware of this and makes the appropriate indications.

I have a transcript hold on my account; what do I need to do?
If you have a transcript hold it means we are still missing final academic credentials needed to complete the conditions of your admission. You will need to log back into your online application to re-review your admission letter. This letter contains the list of credentials we are still missing. These documents can either be sent to us or to or the Graduate College to satisfy this requirement.

Is MSFE on the STEM list of majors to be granted a longer OPT?
Yes. Degree code 14.3701 (Operations Research) is on the designated list for STEM.

Can I do an Early Practicum Project?
The Practicum Projects are part of your MSFE requirement. Many of these projects are done in your final (third) semester. However, Dr. Lane tries to arrange 1 or 2 projects in the spring (second) semester which will continue into the fall (third) semester. These projects are considered Early Practicum Projects. Early Practicum Projects require students to meet every other week in the spring and following fall semester. Regular practicum projects meet every week in the fall. Thus, the time commitment is essentially the same.

Dr. Lane will announce any offerings of Early Practicums in January during the first week of classes.

Student Life

What student clubs and organizations are available?
There are 900 registered student organizations on campus. One or more of them is likely to suit your individual interest. Registered Student Organizations

Are there leadership opportunities available?
Participation in clubs and organizations offer students ample opportunities to develop their leadership potential. Additionally, team work is an integral part of the program, which also affords students an opportunity to develop leadership skills.

What sports and recreational opportunities are available?
As a UI MSFE student you will have plenty of recreational opportunities. Sports are a very popular pastime on campus.

UI Campus Recreation offers students access to any sports recreation facilities they may need. The campus houses an enormous facility called ARC which boasts 4 indoor gyms, an indoor track, indoor/outdoor swimming pools, weight training facilities, and numerous courts for tennis, squash, and racquetball. Students also have access to an ice skating rink and a number of gyms, swimming pools, and tennis courts located across campus, as well as the University golf courses.

Illinois presents a rich variety of cultural programs for education and entertainment. Performance centers and theatres present the world’s finest operas, ballets, and plays, and auditoriums host popular performers of music and shows. Great museums, lectures, and presentations by the world’s top scholars enrich both the campus and the community.

Are there social opportunities interact with faculty?
MSFE faculty are invited to participate in all MSFE activities. This allows more opportunity for interaction between you and your instructors.

 

Career Services

What Career Service options do I have?
You have twice as many options! Because MSFE is a joint program of the College of Engineering and the College of Business, MSFE students have the opportunity to participate in both Colleges' Career Service programs! Primary career services will be provided by the College of Engineering Career Services (ECS), however you will be eligible to register with the College of Business Career Services (BCS) and participate in College of Business Career fairs.   

How do I register with Career Services?
There are two steps to register to use ECS services. Complete the on-line registration form and visit the ECS office in Suite 3270 DCL to sign a Registration Agreement and the Rights and Policies statement. A one-time $40 Technology and Resource fee is also required for all new registrations and for students who have not registered to use ECS services in the past or completed the degree program for which they previously registered. (Fee may be applied directly to your UIUC student account).

What is I-Link?
 
I-Link is the online job system, which includes job postings, company information, and interview scheduling. 

Which employers come to campus to recruit?
Many reputable firms come to the U of I campus to recruit MSFE students. These recruiters attend job fairs, hold company presentations, and schedule interviews. Please visit the College of Engineering Career Services website or the College of Business Career Services website for a complete list of such companies.

Does MSFE help students find internships?
Securing an internship is the student’s responsibility. Although, with our guest speaker series and field trips to the Chicago and/or New York financial districts, a student has the opportunity to gain important business contacts for future employment and/or internships. Being a part of the MSFE Program allows our students to have access to both the College of Engineering’s Career Services Department and the College of Business’ Career Service Department. This provides them with double the resources to execute a strategy for finalizing internships and job placements. 

How do MSFE graduates find their jobs?
MSFE graduates find their jobs through a variety of tools including networking, on-campus recruitment, jobs postings, headhunters, and individual contacts.

What is the placement rate?
For the class of 2011, placement is 100%. For the class of 2012, placement is 98% (currently waiting on responses from the remaining 2%). For the class of 2013, placement is 68% (expecting at least 90% placement 180 days post-graduation).

Please refer to our placement information for additional information

What companies hire MSFEs from UIUC?
A full list can be viewed under the careers section of our website

Aon
Bank of America
Chopper Trading
DV Trading
Ernst & Young
Epic Health Services
Federal Reserve
Goldman Sachs
Investment Technology Group
Morgan Stanley        
Peak6 Investments
SEC
Siam Commercial Bank

What are some of the jobs that MSFE graduates are doing today?
Students join our MSFE program to further their current financial engineering career or to change to a career in financial engineering. Our graduates have found great career opportunities in the job market. To view a list of job titles click here

What is the average starting salary for MSFE graduates?
Salaries for positions vary greatly based on the industry, country of employment, and work experiences of the individual prior to admission to the program. These factors make it difficult to report a fair salary figure.

 

Alumni

How can I stay in touch and find out information about what is going on in the MSFE Program?
We want to keep in touch with you! Our alumni contacts are very important to the success of our program. Please email the MSFE program at msfe@illinois.edu  or submit this form to provide us with your email and address information, inform us of employment changes, and relay any good news you would like to share.

How long will it take to get my diploma?
The University of Illinois diplomas are 8.5 x 11 inches and sent by first-class mail to a student's “Diploma Address” approximately nine weeks after the date of award. Please check and update this address before leaving the University.

May I make special arrangement for receiving my diploma?
You may call 333-6383 or email graduation@illinois.edu to hold your diploma for pick-up by you or a designee or mail your diploma to an alternative address.

Will I receive my diploma if I have a hold on my record?
No, you will not receive your diploma if you have a past-due account balance. Contact the University Student Finance and Cashier Operations with questions about your account balance.

What will happen to my @illinois.edu email upon graduation?
Since December 2012, CITES has made it possible for graduating students/alumni to have continued access to their netid@illinois.edu addresses. Please see here for details

Will I have health insurance after I graduate?
As a graduating student, you can keep your insurance for up to 90 days beyond graduation. You will need to talk to United Healthcare Student Resources on how and when you can do this. For assistance, please call (888) 224-4883

How can I help the program as an alumnus?
Our alumni are a great source of help to the MSFE program. As an alumnus working within the Financial Engineering industry, you can refer potential job opportunities within your organization as well as potential applicants. Please use the MSFE email to refer any job opportunities or program candidates.

To provide a financial gift, you will need to visit this site. Please indicate that the gift should go to the UIUC MSFE program.

How do I get a copy of my transcript?
Alumni transcripts can be obtained through the UIUC Office of Registrar.

How do I update my contact information?
Please send your contact information to msfe@illinois.edu

Where do I purchase Illini merchandise?
You can buy Illini merchandise at the Illini Union Bookstore.

How can I receive publications from the College of Engineering, College of Business and the University?
Please keep your address information updated with the College of Engineering Alumni and the College of Business Alumni.

Where do I find parking around campus when I return?
View the UIUC campus visitor and parking map

For parking near the Alumni Center call 217-333-1471 or 800-355-2586

How do I contact a professor?
Search the Faculty Directory

Where do I post an internship or job postings for current students or alumni of the MSFE program?
Please send any job posting to msfe@illinois.edu and we will distribute them to our current and alumni base.

If you have a project that could use the work of a graduate intern, contact Morton Lane at 217-333-3284.

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