2020-21 Catalog

Financial Engineering

The Master of Science in Financial Engineering (MSFE) program provides students with a strong education in advanced finance and quantitative financial analysis tools to develop graduates who can create innovative solutions for real financial problems, using state of the art analytical techniques and computing technology. Students with undergraduate degrees in computer science, economics, engineering, finance, mathematics and the hard sciences should have the quantitative background needed for success in this field.

This program equips students with the necessary skill set to prepare for the Financial Risk Manager® examination offered by The Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP).


Applicants must show basic competency in the following areas:  corporate finance, investments, financial accounting, statistics, linear algebra, and calculus. These courses will not count toward the master degree.

Entrance Prerequisites

(Examples given from Lehigh courses)

Must show basic competency in the following areas: (Does not count towards the 30 credit minimum degree requirement)

Corporate Finance
FIN 328Corporate Financial Policy (OR)3
GBUS 419Financial Management3
Equivalent course
FIN 323Investments (OR)3
GBUS 420Investments3
Equivalent course
Financial Accounting
ACCT 151Introduction to Financial Accounting (OR)3
ACCT 108Fundamentals of Accounting (OR)3
GBUS 401Financial Reporting for Managers and Investors3
Equivalent accounting course
Statistics and Probability
MATH 231Probability and Statistics (OR)3
ISE 328Engineering Statistics3
Equivalent introductory calculus based statistics and probability course
Calculus Series
MATH 021Calculus I (AND)4
MATH 022Calculus II (AND)4
MATH 023Calculus III4
Equivalent calculus series
Linear Algebra
MATH 205Linear Methods (OR)3
MATH 242Linear Algebra3-4
Equivalent course

Note:  Accepted applicants at Lehigh typically have several prerequisites that must be fulfilled.

Note: Prerequisites do not have to be taken at Lehigh University.

Note: ECO 045 or an equivalent introductory statistics course including simple regression analysis is not rigorous enough preparation for MATH 467 and therefore is not adequate for the Statistics and Probability prerequisite.

Required Courses

CORE: 6 courses (18 credits)
MATH 467Stochastic Calculus3
MATH 312Statistical Computing and Applications (OR)3,4
Random Processes and Applications
GBUS 421Advanced Investments ((Fixed Income))3
GBUS 422Derivatives and Risk Management3
ISE 426Optimization Models and Applications3
ISE 447Financial Optimization3
ELECTIVES: Choose 2 courses (6 credits) from one of the following 3 tracks
Quantitative Risk Track
MATH 468Financial Stochastic Analysis3
STAT 439Time Series and Forecasting3
GBUS 424Advanced Topics in Financial Management (Risk Management)3
Data Science & Financial Analytics Track
ISE 465Applied Data Mining3
ISE 467Mining of Large Datasets3
ISE 444Optimization Methods in Machine Learning3
STAT 438Linear Models In Statistics with Applications3
CSB 442Blockchain: Mathematical Foundations and Financial Applications3
Financial Operations Track
GBUS 426Financial Markets and Institutions3
GBUS 421 Advanced Topics: Security Analysis (3 credits)
GBUS 424 Advanced Topics: Valuation (3 credits)
ISE 413Asset Valuation3
Machine Learning Requirement: Choose 1 course (3 credits)
CSE 326Fundamentals of Machine Learning (OR)3
Fundamentals of Machine Learning
ISE 364Introduction to Machine Learning3
STAT 465Statistical Machine Learning3
Capstone: 1 course (3 credits)
GBUS 485Financial Engineering Practicum Capstone3

financial engineering Certificate Programs

The M.S. in Financial Engineering Program offers three certificate programs to candidates in the MSFE program. Certificates are available in Data Science & Financial Analytics, Quantitative Risk Management, or Financial Operations Research and may be earned by completing an additional two courses for a total of 36 credit hours.  Candidates for the MSFE degree do not need to apply initially for certificate programs.  Students meet with any Program Director to select their certificate choice (if any) once they are enrolled in the program.

Certificate programs enhance skills and development by allowing additional exploration in three main functional areas.  

For the three (3) proposed Certificate Programs, the description for the Catalog of the Certificate Programs are the following:

1. Data Science & Financial Analytics (DSFA)  Certificate

The objective is to provide students with a unique skill set preparing them for careers in the interdisciplinary field of Data Science and Financial Analytics, with particular application to the financial services industry. Skills developed include working with massive data sets, data-driven analytical methodologies, SAS and R programming, Data Mining, and Machine Learning.

Curriculum: 12 Credits
ISE 465Applied Data Mining (REQUIRED)3
One of the two courses below:3
Mining of Large Datasets (OR)
Optimization Methods in Machine Learning
MATH 312Statistical Computing and Applications (REQUIRED)3
One of two data-intensive finance courses below:3
Derivatives and Risk Management (OR)
Advanced Topics in Financial Management ( Risk Management)

2. Quantitative Risk Management (QRM) Certificate

The objective is to train students in the quantitative methodologies and regulatory practices that are essential for risk management functions within a financial institution.  Prepares students for and reinforces material from the FRM examination.  The Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designation is the premier certification for professionals in financial risk management.  The two-part exam contains the following topics, many of which overlap the curriculum of the MSFE program: Financial Markets and Products, Valuation and Risk Models, Quantitative Analysis, Foundations of Risk Management, Market Risk, Credit Risk, Operational Risk, Risk Management and Investment Management, and Current Regulatory Issues.  Furthermore, Lehigh’s MSFE program is an Academic Partner of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) who administers the FRM certification.

Curriculum: 12 credits
GBUS 422Derivatives and Risk Management3
GBUS 424Advanced Topics in Financial Management (Risk Management)3
GBUS 426Financial Markets and Institutions3
ONE of the following MATH/STAT courses:
STAT 434/MATH 334Mathematical Statistics3
MATH/STAT 461Topics In Mathematical Statistcs3
STAT 438/MATH 338Linear Models In Statistics with Applications3

3. Financial Operations Research

The objective is to provide the student with an understanding of the fundamental techniques underlying Operations Research Techniques that are of ubiquitous use in all areas of business today like Linear Programming, Game Theory, Dynamic Programming, Integer Programming, Nonlinear Programming, and Machine Learning.

Curriculum: 12 Credits
ISE 426Optimization Models and Applications (REQUIRED)3
ISE 447Financial Optimization (REQUIRED)3
Two (2) electives from the following courses:
ISE 458Topics in Game Theory ( OR)3
Topics in Game Theory
ISE 455Optimization Algorithms and Software3
ISE 407Computational Methods in Optimization3
ISE 416Dynamic Programming3
ISE 444Optimization Methods in Machine Learning3
ISE 467Mining of Large Datasets


Applications are accepted through the graduate online application system at https://www.applyweb.com/lehighg/index.ftl.   Applicants must take either the GRE or GMAT. International students must have 16 years of schooling with four years at the university level to be considered for admission. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.  The deadline for international applicants to apply is April 15. U.S. Citizens may apply until July 15.

Further information about the M.S. in Financial Engineering Program may be obtained by visiting https://business.lehigh.edu/academics/graduate/masters-programs/ms-financial-engineering, contacting the Graduate Programs Office of the College of Business  or one of the following Co-Directors:

Dr. Richard Kish, Perella Department of Finance, College of Business, Lehigh University, 621 Taylor Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015, phone (610) 758-4205, email: rjk7@lehigh.edu

Dr. Daniel Conus, Department of Mathematics, Lehigh University,  17 Memorial Drive E.,  Bethlehem, PA 18015, phone (610) 758-3749, email: dac311@lehigh.edu

Dr. Luis Zuluaga, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Lehigh University, 200 W. Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015, phone (610) 758-5182, email: luis.zuluaga@lehigh.edu

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