Finance Ph.D. Program Overview
The finance track for the Ph.D. program in Business Administration is a full-time program designed to be completed in four years. The primary goal of the program is to prepare students to be successful researchers and effective teachers. Our expectation is that most of our students will seek academic positions upon completion of the program.
Key features of the program include:
- An intellectually challenging core curriculum emphasizing microeconomics, statistics, and quantitative methods.
- Four advanced finance seminars taught by active researchers in the respective field.
- Supervised teaching at the undergraduate level beginning in the summer between the first and second year.
- One-on-one mentoring relationships with successful research faculty.
During the first year of the program students take mathematical economics, microeconomic theory, and econometrics with doctoral students in economics, and begin advanced coursework in finance. During the first summer, students prepare for and take the microeconomic qualifying exam in the economics department, and begin work on the first required research paper. In the second year, students take seminars in the finance department, and present a research paper. During the second summer students prepare for and take the finance qualifying exam, and work on the second required research paper. In the third year of residence in the program, students complete the required seminars, present the second research paper, and begin their dissertation research. During the fourth year, students complete their dissertation research and engage in job market activities.
Because financial research is analytical, we look for a strong quantitative background in our applicants. Evidence for this is undergraduate training in economics, finance, mathematics, computer science, engineering, or other quantitative disciplines. We require the GMAT of all applicants. In addition, we require international applicants to submit scores from the TOEFL. Although there are no absolute cutoffs for admission, the successful applicant will typically have a GMAT score above the 90th percentile, at least a year of analytical geometry and calculus, coursework in mathematical statistics or econometrics, microeconomics through intermediate theory at the undergraduate level, and some previous coursework in finance. Previous research experience is also highly desirable.
Our finance department is large with strengths in empirical corporate finance, empirical investments, and market microstructure. Our faculty routinely publish in the top journals, with recent articles appearing in the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Business, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, and Journal of Econometrics. You can view a complete list of our faculty publications online.
Our program is relatively new but we have successfully placed all of our graduates in academic institutions including the University of Wisconsin/EauClaire, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Marshall University, the University of Baltimore, and Information and Communications University, Daejeon, South Korea.