In summer of 2015, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen (CUHKSZ) launched, in partnership with The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the Master of Science Programme in Financial Engineering. This programme is one of the first such master degree programmes offered by CUHKSZ. Upon fulfilling graduation requirements, students of this programme receive degrees from CUHK.
Financial engineering has played a vital role in contributing to financial innovation over the last three decades, and in energizing the economy with an active financial industry in many developed countries. As China is shifting from a primarily manufacturing-centric economy to one with increasing weight of financial industry, the demand for market practitioners with advanced quantitative skills has skyrocketed. At the same time, a volatile financial sector in the economy forces decision makers at all levels, from individuals to the government, to confront challenges in managing financial risks, as evidenced from several financial crisis in the past 20 years. In particular, China is well positioned for the next great transition from its past economic miracle to the coming financial revolution. Domestically, its regulatory framework is going to be more effective; its central bank operation will be more independent; institutional financing will see a deeper debt market induced by interest rate liberalization, and retail investors are going to enjoy diversified investment products on top of more efficient equity markets. With carefully-watched capital account opening, we start to witness the global effects of RMB internationalization gradually. All major international financial institutions and individual players are now actively seeking to participate in opportunities presented by the future of China. The principles of financial engineering enhance our fundamental understanding of market randomness, and their successful practices allow investors to harness the right risk for a better return.
Hosting a world-class research team in both CUHK and CUHKSZ, financial engineering has been designated as our strategic area of development. Benchmarking with similar master programmes in financial engineering in leading universities around the world, our programme is the first of its kind in the Pearl River Delta region. With a clear goal of nurturing talents in financial engineering, we are determined to serve and benefit the region, China as a whole, and far beyond.
While faculty members from both CUHK and CUHKSZ will join force to teach this programme, renowned scholars from other leading institutions and experienced practitioners from the financial industry will also be involved in teaching. Moreover, the Programme will leverage on its excellent location in Shenzhen, one of the two financial centers in Mainland China, where its fast-growing financial industry offers ample opportunities for our students.
Financial engineering is multidisciplinary, blending knowledge and skills from financial theory, advanced mathematics, modeling, analysis and optimization, programming and implementation, and product development. This Programme provides training across a wide spectrum of financial knowledge and applications of quantitative methods to finance. It is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in securities, banking, and financial management and management/strategic consulting, or as quantitative analysts in corporate treasury and finance departments of manufacturing and service firms. Our graduates, equipped with skill sets that span finance, quantitative methods, and computer programming, will be highly sought after to meet new challenges in the dynamically changing and rapidly growing Chinese and international financial markets.
Students in this Programme can obtain their master degrees by completing 30 credit units within two year (with three terms: Fall, Spring, and Summer). The set of required courses is devoted to the basic analytical toolkits and their uses in modeling and analyzing financial markets and instruments. The required curriculum includes courses in optimization, stochastic processes, portfolio theory, derivatives valuation, and an introduction to Chinese financial markets. The set of elective courses exposes students further to a wider spectrum of financial engineering, ranging from advanced methodologies (including financial data analysis and computational methods in financial engineering) to specialized topics (including models of the term structure of interest rates, commodity markets, credit risk modeling and algorithm trading). In addition to taking courses taught by faculty members, students can also gain practical knowledge of financial engineering from lectures by leading experts from the financial industry. Last but not least, interested students may also pursue research under the supervision of faculty members. On the other hand, the maximum duration of study is three years, which offers great flexibility for students to join internship and other project-based research during their study period, if they prefer.
I am confident that our high-quality master programme will provide you with a stimulating learning environment and an eye-opening learning experience. I look forward to you joining our programme in the coming year and bring your unique perspective to enrich the experience of the class of 2016!
Duan LI, Director
Center of Financial Engineering and Master of Science Programme in Financial Engineering
Patrick Huen Wing Ming Professor of Systems Engineering & Engineering Management
Department of Systems Engineering & Engineering Management
The Chinese University of Hong Kong