Starting next year, MBA students at the Wharton School can now choose quantitative finance as a major. The offering comes thanks to a newly announced $8 million gift from alumnus Bruce Jacobs. The school will also use the award to add an endowed professorship. In addition, it will provide $25,000 tuition scholarships for qualified second-year MBA students.
A new chapter in Quantitative Finance
Together, these students will form an elite group of Jacobs Scholars. Their focus will be on applying financial economics to security pricing and asset management. This new MBA major in quantitative finance will include considerable cross-disciplinary content. These include content from accounting; statistics; and operations, information, and decisions.
The quantitative finance major will appeal to students with strong quant backgrounds in a variety of subjects. In particular, it will attract engineers and computer science majors aspiring to develop skills for quantitative applications in finance. At the same time, students in the major will hone their technical expertise and leadership skills.
They will emerge well-prepared for a wide range of careers in the financial industry, Wharton School says. Such careers include quantitative asset management and trading, financial engineering, risk management, and applied research.
Jacobs, the co-founder of Jacobs Levy Equity Management, holds a master’s degree in applied economics and a doctorate in finance from Wharton, where he spent five years teaching prior to entering the private sector.
“Bruce is a pioneer and innovator in connecting academic research with investment management, and we are honored that he is making this bold new step in his immense ongoing support of the School,” said Wharton Dean Geoff Garrett in a statement.
“My aspiration in giving to Wharton is to build a community of people interested and invested in quantitative finance and to spark a ripple effect on a global scale,” Jacobs explained. “I can think of no better time for this initiative as we face new economic, health, and markets issues that will shape the world economy for decades.”