Getting a quantitative finance degree takes many years of study and preparation. In many institutions, this degree is an advanced degree, meaning that a person will need to have completed a degree in a related field, usually mathematics or economics. Admission to quantitative finance degree programs can be quite competitive, so students need to make sure that they have scored well in other classes and tests in order to secure a spot. Once a student is in the degree program, a variety of classes must be taken and passed, including one class in which the student completes an individualized research project. It takes many years to get a quantitative finance degree and a student needs to be prepared to take rigorous coursework before receiving this degree.
A student who wants to pursue a quantitative finance degree program should prepare early. A strong background in math and science at the secondary school level will help a student with university level mathematics classes. At the university level, courses that teach some of the skills or concepts that are used in the field of quantitative finance will better prepare a student to take more difficult classes later on. An interest in math and good problem solving abilities are essential to successfully complete a degree in quantitative finance.
Getting into a quantitative finance degree program is difficult because many of these programs are quite selective. The specifics of the application process vary between countries and universities, but in general, a student will need to show competence in prerequisite knowledge and have some experience in a related field. Universities may require letters of recommendation, high scores on college entry exams, and a competitive grade point average from undergraduate and secondary school level course work.
Once a student has been accepted into a quantitative finance degree program, all the necessary classes must be passed in order for a degree to be issued. These classes often include work with predictive analysis and modeling, statistical analysis and modeling, risk assessment, and computer programing. Most universities require that a student take a number of core classes as well as a number of units selected from approved elective courses that deal with related topics. In many cases, the final course a student takes involves a research project that the student designs with the aid of professors.