Information for MFE students

General information

The Master Project is a research-oriented project in Financial Engineering that is carried out as part of 25 weeks internship in the financial industry, and which allows students to put into practice the academic knowledge acquired during their coursework. The host institution can be located in Switzerland or abroad, and might for example be a bank, a hedge fund, an insurance company, a consulting firm, or the finance department of a non financial firm.

Prerequisites for doing a Master Project

To be admitted to the Master Project, MFE students must have successfully completed the 90 ECTS of the MFE program coursework. For detailed information on pass conditions please visit the website of the Academic Services 

Length and official dates of the MFE Master Project. The MFE Master Project is carried out as part of 25 weeks internship that takes place in the fourth semester of the program. The official dates for the current year can be found in the EPFL academic calendar under PDM – 25 weeks – Spring Semester.

Finding a Master Project. MFE students are responsible for finding an internship, and for bridging their internship activities into an academic topic that is suitable for a master thesis. The Financial Engineering section supports students in their search for an internship by offering seminars on the application and recruiting process, by generating internship proposals from partner financial institutions, and by managing the EPFL internship portal on which companies post internship proposals.

The 6 steps after finding a Master Project

  1. Approval. When a student has received an internship offer from a company, he/she must send the description of the internship and associated project to the internship advisor of the Financial Engineering section for approval before accepting the offer.
  1. Supervision. Once the Master Project has been approved by the section, the student needs to find an EPFL faculty member who agrees to supervise it.
  1. Description. The topic of the master project must be described in a document that will be signed by all parties (MFE supervisor – company supervisor – student). This document must be returned to it once signed.
  1. Registration. The student must register his/her master project in is-academia prior to the deadline for course registration. To do so, the student needs to specify whether his/her thesis will be confidential, and the MFE supervisor will have to confirm it (in is-academia). If needed, the FE section can provide a tripartite confidentiality agreement. Once the is-academia registration is completed, students must inform the Financial Engineering section.                    
    Students doing their internship abroad must announce it to the EPFL security website  in order to benefit from EPFL’s assistance program. The student must however keep his health insurance, including coverage for professional and non professional accidents, and check that he/she is covered for medical expenses abroad.
  1. Master thesis. The completed Master Project has to be submitted in the form of a written thesis. Please consult the document How to write a master thesis written by Professor Fahlenbrach for general guidelines regarding the contents of the thesis. 
  1. Oral presentation. The thesis has to be defended orally in front of the MFE supervisor and an external expert who is usually the company supervisor. The defense lasts approximately one hour, and can take place either on the EPFL campus or at the company where the internship was carried out. The date of the defense must be fixed according to the official dates. Students must contact their MFE and company supervisors early enough to schedule it.