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Coursework that challenges and research that makes a difference

The program and curriculum focus on the core areas of finance: investments, asset pricing, corporate finance, and financial intermediation. In addition, students may concentrate in the specialty areas of insurance or real estate. To enable research, the Finance Department provides access to a wide range of databases and computing facilities, as well as online and library resources.

Regardless of a student’s area of interest, the program consists of four principal parts:

 

PhD
Coursework

The coursework typically requires up to two years, consisting of economics, econometrics, and finance. Students interested in insurance or real estate also take courses in these areas. Depending upon their interests, some students take courses in other fields (e.g., mathematics). Students with excellent preparation may be able to complete the course requirements in less than two years.

Qualifying
Exam

Most students take the qualifying examination in June following their second year, but students with excellent preparation who complete the course requirements in one year may take the qualifying examination in June following their first year. The examination covers the core areas of investments, asset pricing, corporate finance, and financial intermediation.

Second-year Paper

Beginning research early is a crucial step in the timely completion of a dissertation. Thus students are expected to begin research during their second year, and are encouraged to begin research even earlier. Students are expected to complete their initial research paper (the “second-year paper”) by October 15 of the third year, and present their work in a seminar during the fall of the third year.

Dissertation Research

The purpose of the Finance PhD program is to train students to become productive researchersthus preparing them for successful academic careers. This is facilitated through close interaction between the faculty and students, which often leads to joint research and publication. Finance faculty work intensively with students, offering their time, expertise, and guidance.