Financial Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Berkeley Master of Financial Engineering (MFE) degree offers two options of study: one-year graduate degree option and our part-time degree option (completed over two-years). Both are offered by the Haas School of Business and cover the same curriculum. Students enrolled in the MFE Program learn to combine finance, mathematics, data science and machine learning, and computer programming skills to optimize decision making. They enter careers in areas like portfolio management, trading, data science, quantitative research, and development, as well as strats and modeling among many others.

Graduates of the MFE Program find positions in hedge funds, fintech firms, commercial and investment banking, insurance and reinsurance, corporate treasuries, private equity and asset management. Specializations include asset/liability modeling/optimization, security structuring, derivative valuation, sales and trading, consulting, asset management, research, option-based securities valuation, special hedging, real-option investment analysis, and risk management.

Visit School Website


Admission to the Program

Please visit the departmental website at for more information.

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, 230 on the computer-based test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Any applicant who was previously registered at Berkeley as a graduate student, no matter how briefly, must apply for readmission, not admission, even if the new application is to a different program.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts:  Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Admitted applicants must request a current transcript from every post-secondary school attended, including community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. 
    If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement: 1) courses in English as a Second Language, 2) courses conducted in a language other than English, 3) courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and 4) courses of a non-academic nature. If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests.
  4. GRE or GMAT: The GRE/GMAT is optional for prospective students who meet the following criteria:

Have earned or will earn a Ph.D. degree before starting the program.


Have earned a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. with a GPA of 3.70 or higher. Please note that an undergraduate degree from an institution outside of the U.S. is not eligible.

Degrees from undergraduate institutions that do not grade on a 4.0 scale are not eligible. (GPAs cannot be rounded up to meet the minimum 3.70).

Applicants who are applying prior to the completion of their undergraduate degree must have earned the required GPA at the time of application to be eligible. Applicants must maintain the required minimum GPA through the completion of their undergraduate degree.

If you meet the above criteria but would still like to submit a GRE or GMAT score, you may do so and the admissions committee will consider it along with the rest of your application materials. Additionally, while a test score is not required to submit an application, the admissions committee reserves the right to ask for a valid GMAT or GRE score to further assess an applicant's candidacy for admission. 

Where to Apply

Please visit the departmental website at for application information.

Master's Degree Requirements

Unit Requirements: 28 Units


Required courses:
MFE 230AInvestments and Derivatives2,3
MFE 230DDerivatives: Quantitative Methods2
MFE 230EEmpirical Methods in Finance2,3
MFE 230HFinancial Risk Measurement and Management2
MFE 230IFixed Income Markets2,3
MFE 230OApplied Finance Project (1 or 3 units.)1-3
MFE 230PFinancial Data Science2
MFE 230QStochastic Calculus with Asset Pricing Applications2
Select electives from the following (not all courses are offered every year):
MFE 230GEquity and Currency Markets2
MFE 230GAEquity Markets1
MFE 230GBCurrency Markets1
MFE 230JFinancial Innovation with Data Science Applications1-2
MFE 230KDynamic Asset Management2
MFE 230MAsset-Backed Security Markets2
MFE 230SBehavioral Finance1,2
MFE 230TTopics in Financial Engineering1-5
MFE 230VCredit Risk Modeling2
MFE 230WAccounting and Taxation of Derivatives1
MFE 230XHigh Frequency Finance1,2
MFE 230YEthics and Regulation in Financial Markets1
MFE 230ZADeep Learning and Applications I1
MFE 230ZBDeep Learning and Applications II1
MFE 293Individually Supervised Study for Graduate Students1-5

Research Resources

MFE Data Lab

Dedicated lab that includes the following resources:  Bloomberg terminals (4), Access to FactSet, DataStream, Thompson Reuters, High Frequency trading server with NYSE TAQ, NASDAQ TotalView-ITCH, and ICAP EBS currency data; Software: SPSS, Mathematica, SAS, Visual Studio, EViews, RStudio, Anaconda, R, OneTick, kdb+, Rotman Interactive Trader, Numerix Bloomberg Edition, ETNA Trader, Kensho, and WRDS.  Access to high-performance research cluster is available for individuals and for group scenarios. 

Research Lab Manager

Dedicated staff member assists students with lab and technical needs.  Depending on project needs, the lab manager provides appropriate resources for high-performance computing.

Business and Economics Library at the Haas School of Business

Access to Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and all library resources.

Professional Development Activities

1. Extensive assistance with placement in internship and full-time positions.

2. Workshops on job search skills, e.g., cover letter/resume writing and interviewing.

3. Financial Practice Seminars with professionals who discuss career paths available and industry needs. Workshops on relevant skills, e.g., programming languages.

For more information, visit the departmental website at


Financial Engineering

Note: Not all courses are offered every year.

Contact Information

Haas School of Business

Haas School of Business

Phone: 510-642-4417

Visit School Website

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Sonia Moctezuma

Berkeley-Haas MFE

Back to Top