YSU Master’s in Financial Economics Reaches Top Ten

By Dom Fonce

The Financial Engineer Times ranked Youngstown State University’s master’s program in financial economics eighth in the nation for their 2016 rankings released this fall.

YSU moved from 13th place in 2015 to the top ten, and will receive a TFE Times Top 10 badge for its accomplishments.

Ou Hu, associate professor of economics at YSU, said that TFE Times used six criteria to produce their rankings. In order of importance, they were: average scores on the Graduate Management Assessment Test, average starting salary and bonuses of graduates, average undergraduate GPA, acceptance rate, full-time graduates employed at graduation and full-time graduates employed three months after graduation.

“A score for each program is the weighted average of each of the components respective score, where the weights sum to 100 percent. The final scores are normalized and are not rounded,” TFE Times said upon the release of their data.

While Hu said there are not many U.S. master’s’ programs in financial economics, he said YSU’s program consistently offers great opportunities for students from northeast Ohio and brings in many international students as well.

“Given that all the other rankings such as master of economics, or finance, or MBA seem to be consistent with ranking systems from other sources, I am very glad to see that our MFE is ranked #8 at TFE Times,” Hu said.

YSU’s master’s program in financial economics was also recently recognized by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, which was consistent with TFE Times’ rankings.

Sal Sanders, dean of Graduate Studies, said the factors TFE Times considers when ranking programs are very important to students, employers and the College of Graduate Studies.

“Starting salaries and bonuses, employment at graduation and three months after graduation I think are important to many students as they consider what program to enroll in,” Sanders said.

Sanders said the TFE Times rankings, and other similar rankings, suggest that YSU’s MFE is a quality program.

“The results of this ranking by The Financial Engineer Times suggests that the financial economics program at YSU is of high quality, and [is] meeting goals of helping students earn their degree and preparing them with skills that make them employable,” Sanders said. “This program was also recently evaluated as part of our ongoing review of graduate programs at YSU. Our review also finds that the program meets evaluation criteria.”

Sanders said the criteria used suggest YSU’s MFE Program is doing a good job of choosing students.

“The GMAT Scores are about how well students do on the standardized tests to get into the program, but the salary and employment criteria shows that students are going to be successful after graduation — unless they want to go after their Ph.D.,” Sanders said. “I think that TFE Times’ rankings show that MFE graduates will get what they want in the world — to get a job, keep a job and to make money.”