Ph.D. Program Requirements:


Formally, students need ninety credit hours to graduate. Much of those credits come from FIN 7994: Research and Dissertation. In general, students should register for 7994 in most semesters so that they always have at least 12 credits per semester.

Typical Course Schedule

First Year




ECON 5005
(Prices and Markets I)

ECON 5006
(Prices and Markets II)

ECON 5124
(Mathematical Economics)

ECON 5126
(Empirical Economics II)

ECON 5125
(Empirical Economics I)

FIN 6116/6126 (Corporate/Investments)

FIN 6115/6125 (Corporate/Investments)

FIN 7994
(Research and Dissertation)

Second Year




ECON 5945
(Econometrics Theory and Practice)

ECON 6024 (Adv. Econometrics)

FIN 6115/6125 (Corporate/Investments)

FIN 6116/6126 (Corporate/Investments)



FIN 7994
(Research and Dissertation)
FIN 7994
(Research and Dissertation)

Notes on coursework:

  • The PhD Seminars are offered in alternate years: Corporate (FIN 6115/6116) in academic years starting in even numbered calendar years. Investments (FIN 6125/6126) in odd-numbered years.
  • Four electives are needed.
  • Common Electives:

Electives typically cover topics such as:

(a) Macroeconomics

(b) Statistics and/or Econometrics

(c) Financial Mathematics

(d) MBA Level Finance classes

Research Requirements

  • First Summer Paper

The summer following the first year is to be spent working on a research paper. Ideally, the paper will involve original research on a topic of interest to the student. The paper is done under the supervision on an advisor selected by the student. Satisfactory completion of the Summer Paper requires meeting each of the following requirements.

(1) June 30 (Summer after First Year): A two-page write up of the research idea and identify the faculty advisor for the paper. The advisor must sign off on the write up.

(2) August 31 (Second Year): Submit a draft of the paper.

(3) Late Fall (Second Year): The student must present their paper to the faculty and PhD students.

    • Second Summer Paper

    The student will spend the summer following their second year (and comprehensive exams) working on another research paper. Ideally, this paper will be the precursor to the student's dissertation. Because selection of the dissertation topic is so important, the student is afforded more time before deadlines than with the First Summer Paper. Satisfactory completion of the Second Summer Paper requires meeting each of the following requirements.

    (1) Fall (Third Year): A two-page write up of the research idea.

    (2) January (Third Year): The student must present their paper to the faculty and PhD students. Following this presentation, the student's advisor, the second reader, and the PhD Program Committee will meet to review the student's performance.

    • Dissertation

    The second two years in the program are mostly spent on the dissertation. The following required deadlines are aimed at keeping the student on track during the dissertation.

    (1) March 31 (Year before Job Market): Identify the topic and Dissertation Committee. Submit a two-page summary of the topic along with an outline of the remaining work to be done.

    (2) August 31 (start of Job Market Year): Proposal Defense to faculty and PhD students. The draft must be sufficiently complete that it will be ready for the FMA job market package.

    (3) Spring or Summer: Final Dissertation Defense.

    • Other requirements and Policies

    (1) Comprehensive Exams

    Two days, late May or early June after Second Year.

    (2) Graduate Assistantship

    You will be assigned to one or more faculty to assist with their research or teaching activities. Your annual review will be based in part on the faculty’s evaluation of your GA performance.

    (3) Research Seminars

    Attend the weekly seminars and meet with speaker.

    (4) Annual Review

    Each December you will meet with the PhD Director for an annual review. That meeting will include an evaluation of your performance, as well as a discussion of the year to come. An unsatisfactory annual review may result in additional checkpoints to monitor your progress, a reduction in funding, or even dismissal from the program.

    (5) Teaching Policy for Finance PhD students

    An important part of a PhD student's doctoral education is to prepare for classroom responsibilities. Over the course of the program, we seek to balance preparation for work in instruction with training in research using the following guidelines.

    (1) Students will not teach during the first two years, including summers. Assistantships will be GA positions without teaching responsibilities. The department will attempt to provide research support during the summer between the 1st and 2nd years and the 2nd and 3rd years so that students can concentrate on their 1st and 2nd year papers. Funding requires that the student be on campus for 10 weeks during the summer. Amounts for summer funds will depend on budget conditions.

    (2) Beginning fall of their 3rd year, students will teach at least three sections over their remaining time in the program with at least two sections (including the 1st one) occurring during fall or spring semesters. Typically, this will entail teaching one class during a semester.

    (3) Students may teach in their 3rd and 4th summers according to their own preferences and departmental needs.

    (4) Support for a 5th year is provided on a case-by-case basis. Students receiving 5th year funding should expect to teach 1 or 2 sections.

    (5) It is recommended that students teach at least one section of two different courses over their time in the program to build their teaching portfolios.

    (6) Professional Development Fund (PDF)

    $500 annually plus additional cash support for conference presentations. This money can be used to fund trips to AFA and FMA.

    (7) Fifth year Policy

    There are no guarantees for fifth year funding and such opportunities are dependent upon PhD Committee approval based on the student's academic performance and departmental resource availability. When available, the normal arrangement is to teach a class in each semester.

    (8) Summers

    Though students are not generally officially enrolled during the summertime, the expectation is that students are actively engaged in their doctoral work and are in the area for most of the summer. Completion of the program in four years requires making full use of the summers.