BU adds finance degree

A master of science in quantitative finance degree is coming to Bradley.
The interdisciplinary degree, which will be offered at the Foster College of Business and Administration, is a 30-credit hour curriculum with strong emphasis on computer sciences, mathematics and financial models.
Bradley will join the ranks with such schools as Stanford and Oklahoma University as just one of the schools in the country to offer the new degree.
Philip Horvath, the department chairman at Foster College of Business Administration and the new program director, said the decision to bring the MSQF degree to Bradley was based on “meeting the employment demand for people who are able to understand complex financial and analytical models and translate them into something that [you] can make a decision on.”
Junior finance and economics major Curtis Starkey said he is interested in the program and hopes to add it to his curriculum.
“Basically, it is a finance major with a math minor and a few upper-level computer science classes,” he said. “The faculty believes this is a more relevant course load to better prepare finance majors for graduate school or the fast-paced business environment.”
Classes offered in the curriculum will cover topics such as numerical methods, advanced derivatives and advanced income.
“The world of finance has become increasingly intricate,” Horvath said. “This program will place a large importance on strong mathematical concepts to prepare graduates for opportunities in many industries such as investment banking, financial institutions, as well as in companies outside the financial industry.”
One unique aspect of the new degree is its role as a parallel 3-2 program, which allows students who were admitted into Bradley as freshmen to complete both their undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years. Also, students who have already completed their undergraduate degrees and are looking to enroll in MSQF would need only one extra year to obtain their graduate degrees.
Starkey said he thinks the program will be extremely helpful to his future career.
“I expect to learn useful mathematical tools and techniques that are becoming necessary in financial markets,” he said. “Our Finance / Quantitative Methods Department has been criticized for being pretty lackluster, but this is a step in the right direction.  Hopefully this will bring more students to the finance program and improve the experience.”
Sophomore photography major Ben Berg, who intends to receive a minor in business, said the program seems like a good endeavor.
“It should greatly benefit any student who enrolls in it,” he said.
Horvath said he agrees. He said he would not have brought the program to Bradley had he felt the students were not capable, and he expects great success for the program in the future.