The Finance PhD is designed to prepare students for a career of research and university teaching in Finance. The program provides a strong foundation in financial and economic theory. Graduates must understand the fundamental concepts of finance, the workings of financial markets and financial intermediaries, as well as firm financial decision making. The graduate must also be able to use financial data in research and teaching.

Points of Pride

Research

The department is home to the Journal of Corporate Finance, a highly ranked finance journal.

Faculty

The impact of faculty research is reflected in the thousands of citations to their work by academic and professional financial writers. Faculty members are invited to present their research and serve as keynote speakers and organizers at leading national and international finance conferences.

Research

The Finance Department’s research publication record in the leading finance journals is in the top 20 of the hundreds of finance departments at public universities, according to separate rankings of business schools.

Research

Faculty perform research on topics such as corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, financial institutions, impact of asymmetric information on corporate finance, default risk, causes of major market movements, analyst performance, and firm investments in workers’ health.

Prerequisites

  • Applicants should have six (6) hours of calculus. Students not having sufficient background in integral and differential calculus must meet this requirement in the first semester of enrollment.
  • Demonstrate a mastery of MBA-level finance

Typical Course Sequence

  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1
  • ECON 8000 Mathematical Analysis for Economists
  • ECON 8010 Microeconomic Theory I
  • ACCT 9120 Capital Markets Research I
  • FINA 9200 Theory of Finance
  • Elective(s) (The graduate coordinator must approve all electives and/or course substitutions.)
  • ECON 8080 Intro to Econometrics
  • FINA 9110 Seminar in Investments (Some PhD seminars may not be offered every year. Thus, you will take some in your first year and some in your second year, not necessarily in the order listed in this sample plan of study.)
  • FINA 9120 Seminar in Corporate Finance (Some PhD seminars may not be offered every year. Thus, you will take some in your first year and some in your second year, not necessarily in the order listed in this sample plan of study.)
  • ECON 8020 Microeconomic Theory II
  • Elective(s) (The graduate coordinator must approve all electives and/or course substitutions.)
  • Written qualifying exams (All finance PhD students are required to pass two qualifying exams after their first year (typically offered in late May or early June). One is the Finance Qualifying exam, the content of which is determined by the graduate coordinator in consultation with the finance faculty - coverage includes all MBA-level finance as well as students’ first-year coursework. The other is the Microeconomics Preliminary exam, which is administered by the economics department. One re-take may be allowed, and will be offered approximately two months after student made the first attempt (typically August). Failure of either exam means dismissal from the program.)
  • FINA 9130 Financial Research Methodology
  • FINA 8990 Directed Study in Finance (Survey paper)
Year 2
  • ECON 8110/ECON 8120/ECON 8130 Econometrics (ECON 8110, 8120, and 8130 are offered in sequential semesters, but can be taken in any order once ECON 8080 is a completed.)
  • FINA 9100 Mathematical Finance (Some PhD seminars may not be offered every year. Thus, you will take some in your first year and some in your second year, not necessarily in the order listed in this sample plan of study.)
  • Elective(s) (The graduate coordinator must approve all electives and/or course substitutions.)
  • Curriculum paper
  • ECON 8110/ECON 8120/ECON 8130 Econometrics (ECON 8110, 8120, and 8130 are offered in sequential semesters, but can be taken in any order once ECON 8080 is a completed.)
  • FINA 9100 Mathematical Finance (Some PhD seminars may not be offered every year. Thus, you will take some in your first year and some in your second year, not necessarily in the order listed in this sample plan of study.)
  • ACCT 9120 Capital Markets Research in Accounting (Some PhD seminars may not be offered every year. Thus, you will take some in your first year and some in your second year, not necessarily in the order listed in this sample plan of study.)
  • Elective(s) (The graduate coordinator must approve all electives and/or course substitutions.)
  • Curriculum paper
  • Written preliminary comprehensive exams (Preliminary (comprehensive) exams broadly cover corporate finance and investments. One re-take may be permitted; failure means dismissal from the program. The graduate coordinator and the written examination committee, with consultation from most finance faculty members, as well as faculty from other departments, write and evaluate the preliminary examinations.)
  • Curriculum paper
Year 3 & 4
  • FINA 9300 Doctoral Dissertation
  • FINA/ECON/ACCT Electives (The graduate coordinator must approve all electives and/or course substitutions.)
   

Placements

Finance PhDs have taken positions at various institutions, including Wake Forest University, St. Louis University, St. Mary's University, the University of Delaware, the University of Georgia, the University of Kansas, the University of Memphis, the University of Miami, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of San Diego.