Doctoral in Finance

A doctoral in finance program is designed to provide students with strong foundations in theoretical as well as empirical finance.

Areas of focus may include

  • Portfolio management
  • Asset pricing
  • International finance
  • Corporate finance
  • Financial institutions
  • Financial economics
  • Structure of financial markets
  • Corporate control and capital structure
  • Saving and capital formation


Requirements for a Doctoral in Finance Program
Students with an undergraduate degree in mathematics, engineering, statistics, or economics are usually eligible to apply for doctoral degrees in finance. The ideal candidates should have sufficient training in quantitative disciplines. Students will usually be required to submit their GMAT or GRE scores for admission. If they do not have the required level of training, they may be admitted to the program if they agree to complete and pass some prerequisite courses.

Program Structure
The program usually lasts for four to five years. It is divided into phases. Students may only move on from one phase to the next if they satisfy the requirements and pass the required exams. Students may only be admitted to the final or the dissertation stage if they fulfill the credit hours requirement, take a written finance entrance examination, and present a preliminary research paper. In addition to coursework credits, students will also be required to complete a certain number of research-related credits.

In the final year students undertake a dissertation under the supervision of instructors who are specialized in the subject and have years of academic experience. The dissertation should be based on a unique idea and original research. Before they begin, students will be required to present and defend a dissertation proposal, and as a last step, students will have to defend the doctoral dissertation paper to a panel of scholars and experts in the field.

The exact names and types of courses will vary, but to get a general idea, you should look through the example courses listed below:

  • Corporate Finance Theory
  • Financial Econometrics
  • Investment Theory
  • Introduction to Empirical Methods
  • Inter temporal Macroeconomics and Finance
  • Applied Quantitative Methods in Finance
  • Behavioral Finance
  • Financial Institutions
  • International Finance
  • Financial Economics
  • Cross section Econometrics

Financial Assistance
All students in doctorate programs are usually eligible to apply for scholarships. Doctoral scholarships usually offer tuition fee waivers as well as stipends to cover the cost of living for the students. Some students may be required to teach first or second year college students. For more specific details, you should visit the 'funding page' of the university in which you wish to enroll.

Employment Outlook
Students usually go on to pursue careers in research as well as teaching at various academic institutions. They intend to contribute effectively to the already existing field of knowledge. They may also seek opportunities with consultancy agencies or research companies. According to USAJOBS, some of the possible positions along with their salary ranges include:

Assistant/Associate Professor
$62,467.00 - $140,000.00/year

Financial Economist

Financial Systems Analyst
$39,357.00 - $75,720.00/year


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