Our program has no comprehensive exam or thesis requirements, but the Graduate School-New Brunswick requires candidates to complete a master's degree essay. In order to graduate, a candidate's essay must be approved by a committee of three (3) faculty members appointed by Mathematical Finance Program Director.

Archive of Master's Degree Essays

For a list of master's degree essays completed by students in our program.

Essay Motivation

The market for job-seekers in the financial industry is competitive. A well-crafted essay, based on a carefully designed project, can be listed in the student's résumé and serves to distinguish the applicant. A good project integrates (a) mathematical finance theory, (b) computer programming with C++, Excel/VBA, MATLAB, Python or other approved programming languages, and (c) analysis and processing of empirical financial market data. Most industry careers involve extensive report and presentation writing for both technical and non-technical audiences. A facility for rapid preparation of good reports or presentations is a requirement in most industry careers.

Essay Sources

The essay can originate from one of the following source:

A final project assigned by the instructor of:

The final project report will normally be accepted as a master's degree essay provided the final course grade is at least B; borderline cases will be reviewed and decided by the Mathematical Finance Program Director.

Essay Topic Pre-Approval

Please consult the master's essay guidelines before writing the essay.

Essay Project Supervision

Essay projects are supervised by the instructor.

Essay Guidelines

Please consult the essay guidelines for examples of suitable topics and essay formats. A full-time student taking 3 or 4 courses, with no other commitments (such as off-campus part-time employment), should allow two (2) months to complete the essay. Most essays will be approximately 20-30 pages in length (excluding any computer code), contain a literature review with references, and focus on one topic in mathematical finance. A typical essay would discuss the mathematical theory of a derivative pricing model, describe and document its implementation and calibration with C++, Excel/VBA, MATLAB, or Python, make use of empirical financial market data, and include a comparison of model and market prices and hedge ratios. Essays must be typed using LaTeX (preferred) or Word and the final electronic PDF copy must include all figures. See this page for one Rutgers guide to LaTeX document preparation.

Essay Submission and Deadlines

The essay must be submitted by the final exam date.

Essay Review and Approval

Essay projects are reviewed by a committee comprising the Mathematical Finance Program Director and two faculty members affiliated with the Mathematical Finance Program.

Essay approval is recorded on the Application for the Degree of Master of Science form.

Master's Degree Essay Guidelines

Comprehensive essay guidelines will be added to this page to ensure that master's degree essays meet a common standard. For now, please consult your professor.