Students are required to complete a minimum  of thirty (30) units of course work (6 core courses and 4 elective courses). For course descriptions, please use the “Courses of Instruction” search tool on the Catalogue. Students are required to satisfy a summative experience for degree completion. This will be in the form of registration in one unit of Math 590 Directed Research with a final summative report at the end of the term. Topics of research will be determined by the Program Director. For students who obtain an internship, Math 590 can be replaced with Math 596. The program consists of:

Required Core Courses (6 courses, 18 units)
Mathematics and Mathematical Finance
COURSE COURSE TITLE UNITS
MATH530a Stochastic Calculus and Mathematical Finance
3
MATH530b Stochastic Calculus and Mathematical Finance
3
MATH 512* Financial Informatics and Simulation
3
MATH 590 Directed Research
1
*MATH 512 should be taken after MATH 530a as it requires knowledge from this course
Financial Economics and Econometrics:
ECON 515 Time Series Analysis
4
ECON 577 Economics of Financial Markets
4

Elective Courses (4 courses, 12 units)

Select one elective from each category. The 4th elective can be chosen from any of the three categories, or can be another course in the FBE, ECON, or MATH department, subject to the approval of the program directors.

COURSE COURSE TITLE UNITS
Computational and Empirical Finance (must take 1 course from this category)*:
FBE 551 Quantitative Investing
3
FBE 555* Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management
3
FBE 559 Managements of Financial Risk
3
* FBE 555 Highly Recommended
Statistics or Numerical/Optimization/Other Methods (Must take at least 1 course from either topic)
Statistics
MATH541a Introduction to Mathematical Statistics
3
MATH541b Introduction to Mathematical Statistics
3
MATH 547 Mathematical Foundations of Statistical Learning Theory
3
MATH 550 Statistical Consulting & Data Analysis
3
PM 511a Data Analysis
4
PM 511b Data Analysis
4
Numerical/Optimization/Other Methods
MATH 501 Numerical Analysis and Computation
3
MATH502a Numerical Analysis
3
MATH 502b Numerical Analysis
MATH 5xx Machine Learning in Quantitive Finance (new course in development)
3
MATH 585 Mathematical Theory of Optimal Control
3
Financial Economics (Must take at least 1 course)
ECON 504 Game Theory with Economic and Financial Applications
4
ECON 508 Neurofinance
4
ECON 514 Empirical Finance
4
ECON 555 Topics in Asset Pricing Theory
4
ECON 570 Big Data Econometrics
4
ECON 652 Economics of Financial Markets II
4
ECON 659 Economics of Financial Markets I
4

Pre-requisites for any of the above courses can be waived based on students’ knowledge of the subject area. Approval from the course’s department is required.

Other electives, not on this list, may sometimes be approved after consultation with program directors.

Effective August 2024,  ECON 659 will no longer be a required course for the degree and ECON 577 will take its place as a required course. ECON 659 can count as an elective from the “Financial Economics” category.

All graduating students will also be required to complete an exit survey to fully complete the MSMF program. You will typically receive this survey when you complete your degree check in your last semester of studies.  Please see your advisor for additional information.

Sample Course Plans

  • Fall: First Semester

    Math 530a (FA) – 3 units
    Math 512 – 3 units
    FBE Elective*- 3 units

    Total Units: 9

    Spring: Second Semester

    Math 530b (SP) – 3 units
    Econ 577 – 4 units
    Econ Elective* – 4 units
    Total Units: 11

    Fall: Third Semester

    Econ 515  – 4 units
    Math Elective* – 3 units
    ECON, FBE, or Math Elective* – 3 units
    Math 590 – 1 unit
    Total Units: 11

    Important Information, please read:

    This is a SAMPLE course plan. Students’ individual course plans may be different based on the student’s circumstances or preference.

    FA = only offered in the fall semesters
    SP = only offered in the spring semesters

    *See list of approved MATH, ECON, and FBE electives on the Math Finance Program website. If you wish to take a course not on the list, send a copy of the course syllabus to Jin Ma (jinma@usc.edu) and Steve Sapra (ssapra@usc.edu) and cc Susan Sath Vaswani (sath@usc.edu) in the email. Jin Ma and Steve Sapra will review the course content and decide if the course can count as an elective.

    *You can view the Schedule of Classes Archive to determine whether an elective you’re interested in is only offered in the fall term or spring term.

  • Spring: First Semester

    Math Elective* – 3 units
    FBE Elective* – 3 units
    Econ 577 – 4 units
    Total Units: 10

    Fall: Second Semester

    Math 530a (FA) – 3 units
    Math 512 – 3 units
    ECON, FBE, or Math Elective* – 3 units
    Total Units: 9

    Spring: Third Semester

    Math 530b (SP) – 3 units
    Econ 515 – 4 units
    Econ Elective* – 4 units
    Math 590 – 1 unit
    Total Units: 12

    Important Information, please read:

    This is a SAMPLE course plan. Students’ individual course plans may be different based on the student’s circumstances or preference.

    FA = only offered in the fall semesters
    SP = only offered in the spring semesters

    *See list of approved MATH, ECON, and FBE electives on the Math Finance Program website. If you wish to take a course not on the list, send a copy of the course syllabus to Jin Ma (jinma@usc.edu) and Steve Sapra (ssapra@usc.edu) and cc Susan Sath Vaswani (sath@usc.edu) in the email. Jin Ma and Steve Sapra will review the course content and decide if the course can count as an elective.

    *You can view the Schedule of Classes Archive to determine whether an elective you’re interested in is only offered in the fall term or spring term.

  • Fall: First Semester

    Math 530a (FA) – 3 units
    Math 512 – 3 units
    FBE Elective*- 3 units
    Total Units: 9

    Spring: Second Semester

    Math 530b (SP) – 3 units
    Econ 577 – 4 units
    ECON, FBE, or Math Elective* – 3 units
    Total Units: 10

    Fall: Third Semester

    Econ 515  – 4 units
    Econ Elective* – 4 units
    Math 590 – 1 unit
    Total Units: 9

    Spring: Fourth Semester

    Math Elective* – 3 units
    Total Units: 3

    Note: Full-time enrollment is 8 units or more. International students can apply for a Reduced Course Load in their final semester if they choose to enroll in fewer than 8 units.

    Important Information, please read:

    This is a SAMPLE course plan. Students’ individual course plans may be different based on the student’s circumstances or preference.

    FA = only offered in the fall semesters
    SP = only offered in the spring semesters

    *See list of approved MATH, ECON, and FBE electives on the Math Finance Program website. If you wish to take a course not on the list, send a copy of the course syllabus to Jin Ma (jinma@usc.edu) and Steve Sapra (ssapra@usc.edu) and cc Susan Sath Vaswani (sath@usc.edu) in the email. Jin Ma and Steve Sapra will review the course content and decide if the course can count as an elective.

    *You can view the Schedule of Classes Archive to determine whether an elective you’re interested in is only offered in the fall term or spring term.