The mission of the Credential in Quantitative Financial Economics (QFE) is to train students as financial economists, providing all the quantitative tools necessary to bring theory into practice.  The Credential is graciously sponsored by, and developed in conjunction with, the NASDAQ Educational Foundation.

Upcoming Events

  • Bootcamp: Introduction to Financial Data
    • Saturday 09/14/19 | Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm | Location: Gardner 308
    • Register here.
    • Topics covered: Macro Data (with a U.S. focus), Macro & Market Analysis, News, Financial Data Terminals, Financial Data API/Web, and Portfolio Optimization & Visualization Tools.
  • QFE Alumni Speaker Series
    • Tentatively scheduled for Friday 09/27/19 | Time: TBA | Location: TBA
  • QFE Alumni Speaker Series
    • Tentatively scheduled for Friday 10/18/19 | Time: TBA | Location: TBA
  • QFE Applications
    • Application posted here soon.
    • Applications due Thursday 11/07/19 @5pm
    • QFE candidates announced via email on Tuesday 11/12/19
  • QFE Alumni Speaker Series
    • Tentatively scheduled for Friday 11/08/19 | Time: TBA | Location: TBA
  • QFE Induction
    • We welcome the new QFE candidates, and discuss plans for the spring.
    • Tentatively scheduled for Thursday 11/14/19 | Time: TBA | Location: TBA
  • VC Roadshow
    • Monday 12/02/19 | Time: TBA | Location: GA211
    • Teams of students in Econ 425 pitch their investment funds to investment professionals.

Requirements & Description

  • Detailed description of QFE Credential requirements
  • Econ 425 – Financial Economics (Fall; 3 credits)
  • Econ 493 – Practicum in Quantitative Financial Economics (Spring; 1 credit)
  • Econ 525 – Advanced Financial Economics (Spring; 3 credits)
  • QFE Bootcamps in computational tools. Details forthcoming.

Professional Research Partners

(In the final semester of the Credential, students conduct original empirical research in the field of financial economics.  Students are matched with one of our Professional Research Partners (PRP), who help frame the research question and provide guidance throughout the project.  PRP’s also have the opportunity to serve as guest speakers, club advisors, and engage with our students in myriad ways. )

  • Nancy Andrews – CEO @ Launchpad Trading
  • Gonzalo Asis – Analyst @ BAML
  • Aditya Badve – CEO @ Nanovest
  • Darpan Biswass – Vice President @ Morgan Creek Capital
  • Elliott Brennan – Associate @ Citizens Capital Markets
  • Jay Bryson – Global Economist @ Wells Fargo
  • Claude Courbois – Managing Economist @ NASDAQ
  • Bert Davis – President @ 95 Impact Capital
  • John Dalena – Former Chief Strategy Officer @ Hatteras Financial
  • Ryan Delgado – Data Production Engineer @ Citadel
  • Justin Ferguson – Sales & Marketing @ Crabel Capital Management
  • Sam Grote – Senior Analyst @ Old Well Partners
  • Peter Harbilas – Senior Associate @ CornerStone Partners
  • Todd Hart – Corporate Director @ GuideOne Insurance
  • Sean Hickey – Vice President @ White Oak Healthcare Finance
  • Ben Horlick – Analyst @ Fidus
  • Hailey Jacob – Investment Banking Analyst @ Barclays
  • Robert Kiesel – Managing Director @ Eli Global
  • Pete Knerr – Senior Associate @ CornerStone Partners
  • Paul Kushner – Analyst @ Bregal Partners
  • Lawrence Laughlin – Chief Investment Officer @ Drobny
  • Yundong (Allen) Liu, M.S. in Computational Finance (MSCF) Student @ Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Liam McIntyre – Investment Associate @ Drobny
  • Kevin McGowan – Private Investment Analyst @ UNC Management Company
  • Alex Moehring – Research Assistant @ Microsoft Research
  • Jason Oury – Director of Global Markets Intelligence @ Ipreo
  • Aakash Patel – US Distillate Analyst @ BP
  • Kyle Peterson – Research Analyst @ WisdomTree
  • Ron Rimkus – Director @ CFA Institute
  • Andrew Schultz – Analyst @ Ipreo
  • Divya Shah – Investment Banking Analyst @ BAML
  • Josh Shapiro – VP & Managing Director @ UNC Management Company
  • Shane Sutera – Analyst @ Fortress Group
  • Jonathan Tepper – Founder @ Variant Perception
  • Andrew Tyler – Private Equity Investor @ RidgeCrest
  • Tyler Thrower – Analyst @ Dimensional Fund Advisors
  • Sangeeta Upadhyay – Group Manager @ Evalueserve
  • Mel Williams – General Partner @ TrueBridge Capital Partners
  • Ryan Wydra – Corporate Debt Finance Analysts @ Wells Fargo
  • Tian Yang – Head of Research @ Variant Perception
  • Tripp Zimmerman – Associate Director of Research @ WisdomTree

QFE Network

Alumni and friends of the QFE program volunteer their time to mentor our students as they navigate the job market.  Each volunteer offers virtual “office hours”, which are 20mt phone calls, scheduled at their convenience, to speak with one of our students.  We match the students with each volunteer based upon experience and interest.  A 20mt call can make a big difference.  Interested in helping our students? Contact us at maguilar@email.unc.edu.   

Application Process

  • Econ 425 is open enrollment.
  • The Excel Bootcamp is open to anyone who is taking Econ 425.
  • All other Bootcamps are restricted to students who are in the QFE program.
  • Entry into Econ 493/525 is controlled by an application process.
  • Applications for the Spring semester are posted on this site mid-fall each year.

What are people saying?

The QFE Program was one of the best intellectual experiences I had at Carolina. The depth, rigor, and reward of the program are on par with the Honors Thesis Program. This program challenged me in unique ways not replicated elsewhere in the Economics Department curriculum and equips all its graduates with vital skills necessary to succeed in quantitative finance not available elsewhere at UNC. – Paul Kushner (QFE `17)

The QFE Credential was the most impactful academic experience I took part in over the course of my career. The content is difficult and demanding, but exciting and rewarding unlike any other courses I have ever taken. I highly recommend the QFE Credential program to any student looking to advance their understanding of capital markets and desires a more hands-on, applicable experience. – Andrew Schultz (QFE `17)

The impact that the QFE program has had on my studies is second to none. After completing undergrad, I made the decision to pursue a Master’s degree in accounting. While different in several capacities, the critical thinking skills that you develop and fine tune during the QFE program will most definitely help to solve complex problems in whatever academic or professional setting one may settle in to. – Ben Myers (QFE `17)

The QFE was, by a significant margin, the most valuable curriculum I had the opportunity to pursue while enrolled at UNC. It does an exceptional job at preparing you to solve exceedingly challenging problems, particularly ones that you are likely to face early on in a career. Without a doubt, I can attribute a good deal of the success I’ve had at my internships to the skills I learned (in the QFE). – Nick McHenry (QFE `17)

No other program that I have seen creates a more elite opportunity for it’s students, and no other program receives the level of effort and passion from it’s leaders or students than does the QFE. The QFE program goes beyond academics and provides it’s students with a much needed focus on invaluable practical experiences and project-based work. – Divya Shah (QFE`17)

I am completing my Masters in Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Prof. Fama teaches a PhD asset pricing class.  Masters students aren’t permitted to register, but when I told Prof. Fama about the QFE program, he made a special exception for me.  Without the QFE program I would not have this opportunity. – Jiaxi Li (QFE`18)

“The QFE program was truly one of the most influential and beneficial experiences I had in college. The program has a significant computational aspect, and I use the coding skills I developed in QFE daily at work. It also allowed exposure to theoretical and empirical topics that are not found anywhere else in the Econ department.” – Tyler Gwinn (QFE`18)

“The students I worked with on their personal research projects gave me a lot of confidence that the Economics Department is attracting & training very bright thinkers…and I really enjoyed the time.”  – Todd Hart (PRP `18)

“The QFE program prepared me for my job as an analyst in a way no one class could. I enjoyed the daily discussions about the markets and the macroeconomy – they allowed me to form a fundamental understanding of the financial world.” -Hunter Hammond (QFE`17)

Join our listserv by sending a message to qfe.unc.edu@gmail.com.  Put “Listserv” in the subject line and leave the body of the text blank.


For all inquiries, please contact Prof. Mike Aguilar (Director of QFE Credential) maguilar@email.unc.edu