Finance - Master of Science (MSc)
The Master in Finance at Ulm University is a two-year program that blends finance and mathematics. It is quantitative yet practical. Not just according to rankings, Ulm is an excellent place for studying finance. The program, which is taught in English, includes courses from mathematics, applied mathematics, finance and insurance.
Master of Science (MSc)Type of study
- next winter semester: 01.10.2023
- no restriction
120Standard period of study (semester)
More about the course
Special attention will be given to foundations from various branches of applied mathematics (stochastics, statistics, applied and numerical analysis), which are necessary for modeling complex financial processes and products. With the help of such knowledge, students will be able to use advanced mathematical methods in order to solve practical problems. Example applications are portfolio optimization, the pricing and risk analysis of credit derivatives, asset-backed securities and insurance products, or bankruptcy prediction. Many of the offered courses focus on such applications. Students will also gain familiarity with the information system Thomson Reuters, which is available in the faculty’s trading room.
Ulm is a great place to live and to study. According to a ranking by Times Higher Education, which is based on research and teaching excellence, Ulm university is ranked 14 worldwide among all universities founded in the Golden Age of Higher Education, an era between 1945 and 1967 that is characterized by rapid university expansion. In a broader perspective, Ulm University is placed in the top ten percent worldwide and is now ranked 146 among all universities regardless of their age, according to another analysis by Times Higher Education.
Ulm - the feel-good city
Studying and researching is well and good. But Albert Einstein's birthplace also has a lot to offer to keep you entertained in your spare time. Ulm is a great place to 'paint the town red' and have a good time. There aren't many cities that offer such an abundance of cafés, pubs and restaurants. Events like the Ulmer Zelt (summer concert & comedy series), Nabada (carnival on the river) or the International Donaufest (food, craftworks & music) will get you on your feet and out and about in this medieval city with its quaint alleys and lush green parks.
Many more reasons for studying Finance in Ulm are described in this video.
The Master in Finance program provides a provides a quantitative and practical education to students from around the world. Students have the choice between three specializations:
- Actuarial Science,
- Financial Economics or
- Financial Mathematics
Through the program, students will gain a sound understanding of cutting-edge techniques used by financial institutions, consultants, regulators and many others. Graduates of the program are familiar with topcis such as
- valuation and hedging of derivatives
- portfolio and risk management
- regulatory aspects
- data science and machine learning
- ... and many more
The program includes courses from mathematics, statistics, data science, finance, financial economics and insurance.
Special attention will be given to foundations from various branches of applied mathematics, which are necessary for modeling complex financial processes and products and for setting up predictive models. Example applications are portfolio optimization, the pricing of derivatives and insurance products, measurement of risk as well as the prediction of stock returns, bankruptcies and other variables that are key to financial decision making. Many of the offered courses focus on such applications, and current issues such as climate risk will be covered. Students will also gain familiarity with Datastream and Eikon, which is available in the faculty’s trading room.
Other core courses include Practical Financial Engineering, which is designed to practice the implementation of modern financial techniques, and seminars, in which you will write and present papers and thereby prepare for the master’s thesis.
After the first term, students can choose one out of three specializations:
- Financial Mathematics
- Financial Economics
- Actuarial Science
Learn more about the study plan.
Learn more about the curriculum.
Through the program, students will gain a sound understanding of cutting-edge techniques used by financial institutions, consultants, regulators and many other economic institutions. Topics of the program also include valuation and hedging of derivatives, portfolio and risk management, regulatory aspects, and insurance.
Graduates with a sound training in these areas are sought after on the job market. The program is also an excellent preparation for doctoral studies leading to a PhD.
Employers from around the World
Among employers, Ulm University has an excellent reputation for well-trained finance students. Many of our graduates work for global financial players (e.g. Bank of America or Allianz). And many of them have found a job in Germany even though they had no knowledge of German when they arrived. Employers of former MSc Finance students include:
- Bank of America
- Deutsche Bank
- Goldman Sachs
- Uni Credit
- Bank of China
- Ernst & Young
- DZ Bank
- ... and many others
Jovana from Serbia
What I really like about the Master in Finance program is that it offers courses that cover a wide range of areas in finance and that students are completely free to choose their own study path. Since I come from a country in which the financial sector is not very developed, this helped me a lot to get an overview of many different topics and to choose my area of interest. Furthermore, the environment and the overall atmosphere at the University is very stimulating and besides high-quality theoretical and practical knowledge that students can gain, they have a chance to work together with their colleagues who are coming from all around the world and to learn more about different cultures and team-work in such an international environment.
In my opinion, the experience I gained during two years I spent in Ulm prepared me in the best possible way for my future career and enabled me to enter a leading-edge company in the area of the investment and risk.
Jovana, student from Serbia.
After graduating in 2013, Jovana got a position as an analyst at risklab GmbH, The Investment and Risk Advisory Experts of AllianzGI Global Solutions
Sirui from China
"Studying at Ulm University has always been one of the best experiences to me. In my view, this is a great place where excellent faculty and brilliant students meet. And I am very thankful that I have been able to build up my knowledge and skills in a practical way via the MSc Finance program. Moreover, it has also been a great pleasure for me to make so many good friends throughout my study here. I miss them so much and I hope one day we could reunite in all parts of the world!"
Sirui, student from China.
After his graduation in 2019, Sirui started to work on his PhD at Goethe University Frankfurt.
Ken from Japan
I see three strong advantages in studying the MSc Finance program at Ulm. First, I feel the course offers a perfect mixture between theoretical and practical knowledge. My first degree was in mathematics, where knowledge was passed on through a piece of chalk on the blackboard. As much as I enjoyed this experience, in Ulm many courses are real-life oriented, we are able to gain experience applying knowledge and handling data using software such as Bloomberg, DataStream, MATLAB, R, or C++. I personally found this extremely helpful during my internships. Second, the diversity of students in the program is just surprising. Colleagues literally come from around the globe (of course, Germany too!) and it is a great opportunity to be able to network with such a diverse range of colleagues. Third but not least, I find this program very flexible. You have an opportunity to become a teaching assistant in your third semester. You can write your master's thesis in collaboration with a renowned institution. You could perhaps do an exchange semester in the USA or take a semester off doing an internship. I have seen colleagues structure their own unique master's program here.
Finally, as a student studying finance, taught to make 'rational' decisions, I would like to end by saying that the cost and quality of education in Ulm leads me to believe that I was able to maximize utility doing my master's degree here.
Ken, student from Japan.
After graduating in 2013, Ken went to Tokyo, Japan, where he is working as an asset manager.
Fees & Living Expenses
Students who are not nationals of the European Union or member states of the European Economic Area (Island, Liechtenstein, Norway) and who come from abroad to study in Ulm need to pay a tuition fee of 1500 Euro per semester, i.e. 3000 Euro per year or 6000 for the entire Master program if you complete it within the envisaged two years. There are some exceptions. For example, students who completed schooling in Germany (Abitur) or who already have a permanent residential permit in Germany are not required to pay. For more information, please have a look here.
An administrative fee of presently 170.00 Euros (student union fee 87.00 Euro, administrative fee of 70 Euro, fee for constituted student body 13 Euro) will be charged per semester.
Students are responsible for their own living expenses which run, as a guide line, at 600 to 850 Euro per month. For a more detailed overview, please consult this page.
It is possible to work as a teaching or research assistant in your second year while studying in Ulm.
For information on scholarship programs consult the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). Make sure that you tick "postgraduate" in the status field when searching the DAAD database. Several of our students have DAAD scholarships, in particular Study Scholarships for Graduates of All Disciplines. Unfortunately, these scholarships are availabe only for specific countries. The DAAD database will inform you whether you can apply for such a scholarship. For many scholarships awarded by German institutions, application is usually only possible once you study in Germany. For others, e.g. DAAD sholarships, you need to apply early. A large scholarship database is maintained by Scholarshipportal. The University of Ulm also awards scholarships. For the Deutschlandstipendium, a national scholarship program, application is possible only once you study in Ulm.
Most international students live in one of the dorms. Information about student housing are available here.
How to apply
Applicants for this program must have completed a Bachelor’s degree (or an equivalent thereof) in mathematics or in another quantitative and mathematically-orientated discipline from a recognized university. Applicants with a degree in physics, engineering or computer science are usually eligible. A degree in economics can be sufficient provided that you have successfully taken a significant number of courses in mathematics and statistics. A degree in business, commerce or accounting is usually not sufficient for admission because typical programs in these fields do not contain the amount of training in mathematics and statistics that is required for the MSc Finance. Please note that mathematics courses outside university (e.g. secondary school) cannot be considered as a surrogate for missing qualifications at the Bachelor's level.
We expect an above-average performance in the completed degree.
Interest in Mathematics
Note that courses in financial mathematics and mathematics, which are an integral part of the MSc Finance, are on the level of mathematics programs. Applicants should therefore have a genuine interest in mathematics.
If you are in doubt whether you meet the requirements, beginning from October 1st each year, you can send us an email with only your transcript of records for a preliminary check. Please try not to send attachments larger than 2 MB.
English language test
Furthermore, good knowledge of the English language is required. You can use a TOEFL (score of at least 72 for the internet-based test) or an IELTS (score of 5.5 or better). A test is not needed by applicants whose mother tongue is English or who have completed a Bachelor taught in English.
No Background in Finance needed
You do not need prior knowledge in finance. The compulsory courses of the first semester are structured such that they can serve as an introduction to finance. Successful applicants will display the willingness to work in a challenging, multi-cultural environment, a strong mathematical ability and good communication skills.
Next intake is winter semester 2023/2024.
To submit your application, apply online via the application portal and upload all documents. Please make sure that you fulfill the formal requirements.
Application is open from February 1 to March 15.
We recommend you to apply as soon as possible.
The unversity currently revises its application process. More information on how to apply will follow in due time.
- Certificate of your Bachelor degree (or other degree qualifying you for the Master) including a transcript of records. If you have not yet completed the degree but expect it to complete before the program starts, it is also possible to apply with a preliminary transcript of records. You can get an admission based on the transcript of records, and hand in the final certificate later on.
- Grading system of your studies indicating the minimum grade required for passing the bachelor's degree as well as the highest grade possible. If this information is not given in the degree certificate/transcript, it must be provided separately in an official document or letter.
- Certified translations of documents that were not issued in German/English
- Proof of English language knowledge (Not needed by applicants who have completed a Bachelor taught in English or whose mother tongue is English). As with the degree certificate, you can hand in the test results later.
- A letter of motivation of approximately one page length and not more than two pages long in which you briefly describe your motivation and expectations for studying in our Master in Finance program.
- Curriculum vitate (CV) - maximum 2 pages long. Your CV should contain information about your academic education, prior work experience and a publication list, if applicable.
- Other information (e.g. letters of reference) can be added but they are not required.