Ohio University

MFE Courses & Resources

General Guidelines for MFE 6940

MFE students may choose to complete a research project in line with one of the common practical applications of Financial Economics. The objective is to expose students to working with large financial data sets and to further prepare them for their future roles in the financial sector. These research projects are closely supervised and evaluated by the MFE faculty. Students are strongly encouraged to work with commonly used data bases in financial research such as CRSP, COMPUSTAT, etc. In partnership with the College of Business at Ohio University, the MFE program provides students with access to such data bases through Ohio University's subscription to Wharton Research Data Service (WRDS). The MFE curriculum provides adequate theoretical and empirical training needed for completing the research project. In particular, students are expected to utilize their rigorous training in Econometrics and SAS programming to conduct these research projects.

Master's Paper Proposal Requirements

The Master's Paper Proposal (hereafter "proposal") is the first step toward the eventual completion of a master's paper (or thesis) that will fulfill the requirement for completion of the degree program. The Graduate Committee must first approve a proposal before a student starts to work on his or her master's paper (or thesis).

A proposal must include these three parts:

  1. Motivation. The motive of the paper, i.e. explain the significance of your work. Answer questions like: Why is the topic at hand worth studying? What would be the significance of the potential results?
  2. Methodology. Explain the approach that will be used tackle the problem at hand. For example, if a regression equation is to be used, then present your regression equation and discuss the expected signs for each parameter to create your testable hypotheses. (Note: This process helps you avoid modifying regression equations on an ad hoc basis; for instance, adding additional covariates until finding a specification that yields statistical significance.)
  3. Data. List the data sources available and why they are appropriate for your empirical methodology. If the paper is theoretical and not empirical, then discuss the basics of your model and why/how it is different from previous models.

There is not a required word count or length for the proposal. However, proposals sufficiently covering the requirements are usually no less than one page.

General Guidelines for MFE 6950 and MFE 6960

You have the choice of writing a thesis (MFE 6950) or a research paper (MFE 6960). MFE 6950 is a formal master's paper subject to additional guidelines.

In either case, submit a one-page proposal to the Graduate Chair. Next, with the assistance of the Graduate Chair, find one faculty member to work with you throughout. Once the paper is approved by your master's paper adviser, submit to the Graduate Chair a pdf copy of your approved paper, the data in Excel, and an approval form signed by your adviser before you receive a credit for the master?s paper.

The signed approval form must be submitted to the Graduate Director before or on the last day of the semester, otherwise the Graduation will be postponed to the following semester.

If you choose MFE 6950, you must follow the Arts & Sciences Thesis Guidelines and defend your paper in a meeting open to faculty and graduate students.

Sign up for MFE 6960 (or MFE 6950) in the semester the paper is expected to be finished.

The final paper is due on or before or on the last day of the semester, otherwise the Graduation will be postponed to the following semester.

An empirical paper should have at least six parts:

  1. Introduction: Motivate the paper and explain the importance of your topic.
  2. Literature Review: Present a summary of related recent works in the literature. This part should not be more than two pages. Make sure to cite the papers that you discuss in this section. The Reference section of your paper should provide complete information on the papers that you cite in the literature review.
  3. Empirical Model: If you are writing an empirical paper, an empirical model should be presented. Make sure to cite the papers whose model(s) you are using. Next, present your data. This should include the period of your study, the type of your data (annual, quarterly, etc), and the sources of your data.
  4. Empirical Results: Present and evaluate the empirical results.
  5. Conclusion: Answer the ?so what? question. Draw conclusions from your empirical results and their policy implications.
  6. References: All papers that you have cited in your paper must appear in this section.

Any deviation needs to be approved in advance by the adviser. Have your adviser sign an approval form (posted on the econ website). Submit a copy of this form [Word], a soft copy of your paper plus all data used to the Graduate Chair.

Plagiarism will result in expulsion from the program and possibly from the university.

Guidelines for the Internship Report

To fulfill the academic requirements of the internship, interns are required to submit an internship report following the specifications outlined in this guide.

  1. Title page: The title page should include (i) Your full name, (ii) full title of the company/agency/institution, (iii) Name of the supervisor, (iv) Internship starts and finish dates, (v) working hours per week, (vi) full mailing address and relevant web links. This page must be signed and stamped by the supervisor of the intern student.
  2. Introduction: Give the reader the full title of the agency, company or organization for which you did your internship. Inform the reader about the type of business, number of employees, geographic location, etc. Give a brief history of the company, Provide an organization chart of the company, along with information on the number of employees. Provide a list of functions performed by different departments/divisions in the internship organization. Tell the reader if it is a public or private company. What is the sector that the company/institution operates in? Specify the products and services produced and offered to its customers.
  3. Narrative of what you did and what you learned: This is the main body of your report. Describe in detail the main duties that you performed. You don?t need to report every single project that you were involved with. However, choose main duties and discussed them in depth. Describe what you have learned from this internship. In particular, what skills and qualifications you think that you have gained from the internship?
  4. Self-Evaluation: This is also an important part of your report. Evaluate yourself critically and constructively. Did you the internship help you learn something about your potential? What you are good at and what you should work on to improve? Be sure to bring some reflective thinking to this section.

Rules for Writing the Internship Report

  • Your report is a summary and analysis of your internship. Make sure it is neat, well organized, and focused. Proofread for typos and grammatical errors. It should look and read as professional as possible.
  • The report should be 5 to 10 pages in length, not including the appendix (if any).
  • This an applied project. Avoid taking theoretical excerpts from your class notes/textbooks. Describe what you exactly did as an intern student. Emphasize what experiences you gained throughout your internship and what you could do better.
  • You can include graphs, pictures, and data in your report. But they should not cover more that 25 percent of your report.
  • Use only font size 12, Times New Roman and your report must be double spaced.

Title Page Sample

Internship Report

Student's name: John Smith

MFE 6910

Department of Economics and College of Business

Ohio University

Internship Period: September 1 to December 1, 2016

Working Hours per Week: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


J. P Morgan, Risk Analysis Department

Disclosure by the Internship Supervisor: First LastName

This is to certify that I have read this internship report and confirm the Report and evaluations reflect the actual performance of the intern.

Supervisor's Signature_____________________________