In stochastics we study phenomena in which ‘chance’ plays a role, such as the price of a stock in a financial market, interactions of molecules in a living cell, the evolution of a physical system, etcetera. The mathematical level of the probability theory and statistics that is relevant in realistic applications is typically quite high, especially in financial mathematics.

## What is Stochastics and Financial Mathematics about?

In stochastics we study phenomena in which ‘chance’ plays a role, such as the price of a stock in a financial market, interactions of molecules in a living cell, the evolution of a physical system, etcetera. The mathematical level of the probability theory and statistics that is relevant in realistic applications is typically quite high, especially in financial mathematics.

### What background do I need?

The two-year Master of Science (MSc) programme in Stochastics and Financial Mathematics (SFM) appeals to bachelors in Mathematics, or closely related areas such as Statistics and Econometrics. The programme has a very strong mathematical flavour. Candidates should have a basic knowledge of measure and integration theory, probability theory, and mathematical statistics. If you have questions, please contact one of the SFM coordinators.

What are the three universities like?

The MSc programme SFM is rooted in the research groups at the VU Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University located in the cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht, The Netherlands. These groups harbor a wide variety of specialists in the relevant areas of probability theory, stochastic processes, mathematical statistics, industrial statistics, stochastic operations research, dynamical systems, biostatistics and mathematical finance.

#### What does the programme look like?

The Mathematics departments of the three universities offer a large number of courses and seminars, from which a MSc student in SFM will make a balanced choice. All course work will be done in the first three semesters.

The last semester is devoted completely to writing a master’s thesis, supervised by a staff member active in research or an associate in industry. It is also possible to do the thesis work in a practical environment, such as a financial institution or a research lab.

##### What are my possibilities after finishing this programme?

The aim of the MSc programme in SFM is to produce experts that can play a role on the highest level, both from the practical as from the theoretical point of view. Throughout the programme the emphasis is on the development of the necessary mathematical theory, which forms the universal background for the variety of applications. Students that complete the programme successfully will be well prepared for research leading to a PhD in their field of specialization. Their strong quantitative abilities will also be in demand in industry.