The Ph.D. in finance is a four- to five-year program. During the first two years, students take courses that equip them to conduct impactful research. Around the summer following the second year, students must present a second-year research paper and pass comprehensive examinations. Students spend the remainder of the program completing a dissertation and developing their own research pipelines.
The Ph.D. in finance requires 48 credit hours of coursework, excluding dissertation hours.
Required Finance Courses
- FINC 601 – Database & Research Methods
A database and research methods bootcamp course taken by incoming students. Designed to introduce new students to common databases and statistical programs used in finance research. Examples of topics covered with these databases include stock returns, financial statement information, institutional ownership, boards of directors, analyst forecasts, corporate loans, and mergers and acquisitions. Data management and analyses are conducted using SAS and STATA. Examples of specific research applications covered include calculating abnormal portfolio returns, conducting event studies, and estimating determinants of firm value, optimal capital structure, and investment regressions.
- FINC 641 – Seminar in Finance
Foundation course in finance that introduces students broadly to theoretical and empirical research in finance, with an emphasis on corporate finance. Topics include capital structure choices, payout policy, securities offerings, executive compensation, corporate governance, and behavioral corporate finance.
- FINC 651 – Seminar in Corporate Finance
Course that goes deeper into the theories and empirical findings of corporate finance research. Topics include liquidity management, capital structure, financial constraints, mergers and acquisitions, takeover defenses, the role of boards of directors, and product market competition.
- FINC 652 – Seminar in Asset Pricing and Markets
Course that covers foundational theoretical models for asset pricing and market microstructure and introduces empirical asset pricing research. Topics include various versions of the Capital Asset Pricing Model, market efficiency, asymmetric information, stock market anomalies, and delegated portfolio management.
- FINC 654 – Seminar in Corporate Finance (Special Topics)
Course that is a collection of various topics related to corporate finance, with an emphasis on more recent research. Previously covered topics include innovation, hedge fund activism, machine learning, behavioral corporate finance, effects of uncertainty, household finance, the role of labor markets in finance, and climate finance.
- FINC 654 – Seminar in Asset Pricing and Markets (Special Topics)
Course that is a collection of various topics related to asset pricing and market microstructure, with an emphasis on more recent research. Previously covered topics include short selling, retail vs. institutional investors, algorithmic trading, information networks, and agency costs in mutual funds.
Primary Econometric Courses
- ECON 582 – Elements of Econometrics I
- ECON 583 – Elements of Econometrics II
- ECON 682 – Advanced Topics in Cross-Section Econometrics
- ECON 581 – Mathematical Methods in Economics
- ECON 511 – Microeconomic Theory
- BAUD 610 – Teaching Preparation Seminar