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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.

NOTICE FOR 2020/2021

  • Due to the COVID crisis, the QFE program will NOT be offered during the 2020/2021 academic year.
  • We plan to restart the program in the 2021/2022 academic year.
  • In the meantime, students interested in Quantitative Finance / Financial Economics are welcome to explore TarHeel Alpha.
  • Moreover, Prof. Aguilar remains available for career guidance.

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.


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)

“…my QFE training has been invaluable…..I feel that the QFE program taught me how to interact professionally with my peers and economists. It was by no means easy, but it really was worth it (putting my head down and pushing through the difficulties was another skill that the QFE helped me hone) – Zach Edwards (QFE`20)

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For all inquiries, please contact Prof. Mike Aguilar (Director of QFE Credential)