Online FinTech Master’s Program Pivots to Early Launch

4/8/20 Pratt School of Engineering

New Duke Engineering master’s program will offer flexibility to busy professionals

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Online FinTech Master’s Program Pivots to Early Launch

The Duke Master of Engineering in Financial Technology (FinTech) Online program announced today that it will immediately begin accepting applications for admission into its first class, slated to begin on June 29, 2020—more than a full year earlier than initially anticipated. 

Before launching Duke Engineering’s new Master of Engineering in Financial Technology on-campus program, its academic leadership team performed extensive market research to craft an offering that would best serve its technically-oriented students. The faculty recruited to the program have extensive industry experience. It is one of only two programs in the country headquartered in an engineering school, and focuses on developing confident creators, giving them a background in finance while emphasizing the concepts of design thinking and innovation that are the backbone of a Duke Engineering education. 

Keen interest in the program—more than 300 people applied for the 30 seats available in its first class—reassured the team that they had gotten the new offering right. 

In doing the reconnaissance that informed how the program took shape, however, Program Director Jimmie Lenz noted that one segment of potential students expressed a significant unmet need. 

“I spoke with many prospective students,” said Jimmie Lenz, “and I heard from quite a few that a campus-based program wasn’t an option because of existing career and family responsibilities.” 

“I spoke with many prospective students, and I heard from quite a few that a campus-based program wasn’t an option because of existing career and family responsibilities.” 


Soon, the program’s administrators began taking steps toward establishing an online FinTech program that would give more aspiring FinTech professionals the flexibility to earn an advanced degree and move into the FinTech sector from areas like IT and risk management. 

But the threat posed by the spread of coronavirus in recent weeks gave the administration a good reason to launch the online format early. 

“In order to address the new reality of physical distancing while simultaneously addressing the need for professionals to keep working and enhancing their skills, we are launching the FinTech Online MEng degree this summer,” said Senior Associate Dean for Education and Learning Innovation Jeffrey Glass. 

Until the Duke University campus is re-opened, students in the residential program will also complete their coursework remotely, beginning on the same day as the online program. Students in both programs will be able to leverage the program’s many benefits: partnerships with major FinTech and financial services firms, memberships in the Ripple University Blockchain Research Initiative and the Baseline Protocol Technical Steering Committee, and collaborations with the Duke Financial Economics Center (DFE) and the Duke Master’s in Interdisciplinary Data Sciences (MIDS). 

“And, the same level of rigor will be applied in determining who gains admission to the online program,” added Lenz.  

The application period will be open from now until May 15, and candidates can expect to be notified with decisions by June 1. 

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