Updated with correction.
Wannabe financial engineers take note: You can earn a master's degree in the field absolutely free at WorldQuant University.
The two-year program is taught entirely online and can be accessed by students around the world.
The university was founded in 2016 by Igor Tulchinsky, founder, chairman and CEO of WorldQuant LLC, a quantitative hedge fund manager. Mr. Tulchinsky was a statistical arbitrage trader at Millennium Management LLC for 12 years before founding WorldQuant in 2007. Both firms are based in New York.
Mr. Tuchinsky stressed that neither location nor cost “have to be a barrier to education,” noting that master's degree programs in financial engineering might cost more than $100,000, “a show-stopper for most otherwise qualified individuals to pursue education and expand their expertise,” in an inspirational message on the university's website.
Since its launch in January 2016, the New Orleans-based virtual university has attracted 700 students from 40 countries.
The university is seeking accreditation in the U.S. and is is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, said Daphne Kis, the university's CEO, in an email.
The university's first graduates are just entering into the job market and are in demand.
“We've heard that many students have received offers to work as quants, data analysts and data scientists,” Ms. Kis said. “It's clear there's an appetite for quants across a wide cross section of careers in both developed and developing nations. We plan to support student placement as we grow by developing new employment opportunities with great brands and institutional partners.”
This article originally appeared in the June 12, 2017 print issue as, "WorldQuant University offering free master's".