Applied Quantitative Finance Concentration

Applied Quantitative Finance

The Applied Quantitative Finance concentration was developed in 2017 to better prepare students for the changing financial landscape. Quantitative Finance is an area where STEM meets finance and is a field that is heavily reliant on models and complex analysis. Students interested in this concentration should be quantitatively inclined as the curriculum will be challenging and incorporate higher-level courses in Math, Statistics, Analytics and Computer Science. When woven in with a major in Finance, a student will exit the program prepared to become not only a “quant”, but a quant who is well rounded and well versed in all areas of finance. After consulting with industry experts, the AQF curriculum was curated and enhanced to best serve the student and to meet not only the current needs of employers, but future needs as well. Unlike other majors and minors within VSB, this rigorous concentration will require specific admission following a students first year at Villanova and will require careful planning with an advisor to make sure the program can be completed in a normal course.


This concentration is available to all prospective Finance majors within the School of Business.

Selection Criteria and Admission

Students will apply to this program at the end of their freshman year where a large majority of the class will be selected by the AQF Admissions committee. A second application opportunity will occur for any remaining spots following the Fall semester of their sophomore year. Admission is selective and expected to be limited to 20 to 30 students per graduating class.

Applications must include a copy of the student’s transcript, resume and statement of interest letter and are due before August 1 for the first application period and prior to January 5 for the second period. Applicants are encouraged to meet with the program director prior to applying.

Course Requirements

In addition to the core liberal arts curriculum and business curriculum for Finance majors, each student must take courses specific to this concentration. The intention is to use the student’s free electives and allow for a completion of the concentration in four years with minimal overloading of one’s schedule. These requirements are listed below.

Required Concentration Courses - Class of 2020 and Beyond

Additional Required Math Courses -

In addition to core math class requirements:

MAT 1505 - Calculus II

(Note a student must substitute MAT 1500 – Calculus I for MAT 1400 – Business Calculus as a pre-requisite)

MAT 2705 – Linear Algebra & Differential Equations  

If a  studenthas been exempted from MAT 1505 due to AP credits then they must take an additional higher-level Math, Statistics or Computer Science course as approved by the Director of Applied Quantitative Finance. A suggested list of classes is available and may vary from year to year.

Additional Required Statistics Courses -

In addition to core statistics requirements:

MAT 4315 - Applied Statistical Models 

(Note a B- or greater in MAT 1430 - Business Statistics is required as a pre-requisite)

MAT 5700 - Math Statistics I

(Note a student may elect to take a challenge exam as administered by the Math department on double integrals instead of taking the pre-requisite of MAT 2500 - Calculus III)

Additional Required Computer Science / Analytics Courses –

In addition to core technology and analytics requirements:

CSC 1010 - Programming for Everyone or MIS 2020 - Programming for Adaptive Problem Solving

ECO 2130 - Intro to R Prog for Econ & Fin (one credit)

MGT 3170 - Data Mining

Additional Required Economics Courses

In addition to core economics requirements:

ECO 3137 - Introduction to Econometrics 

Required Finance Major Electives -

The Finance major requires three elective courses. The following requirements and choices are acceptable for this concentration:

Required elective selection:

FIN 2325 – Introduction to Derivatives 

A choice of one of the following elective courses:

FIN 2230 – Risk Management of Financial Institutions

FIN 2326 – Market Structure, Trading & Liquidity

FIN 2324 – Portfolio Management

FIN 2333 - Financial Modeling & Valuation

In the students fourth year a soon to be developed and engaging Capstone course will culminate the concentration and is required.

FIN XXX – Quantitative Finance Capstone

Type of Job Opportunities

The Finance major with Applied Quantitative Finance concentration is designed so that students may choose a more quantitative specialty within the finance industry as well as any of the career paths that a traditional Finance major would undertake. The high level of quantitative courses and programming skills afford the student the ability to increase the career opportunities to those that require a more advanced quantitative skill set.  

Quant Finance students pursue a wide variety of careers, including:

  • Fixed Income Sales and Trading
  • Equity Sales and Trading
  • Financial Analysis
  • Investment Banking
  • Consultanting and Advisory
  • Risk Management & Analysis
  • Data Science and Investment Research
  • Financial Information Technology (FinTech)
  • Advanced education, PhD path

Additional Information

Please contact Steve Padovano, Director of Applied Quantitative Finance and Executive in Residence at Villanova School of Business