Tepper School of Business

Tepper School

Ph.D. Program in Financial Economics

This field devotes attention to the study of the effects of information, attitudes toward risk, taxation, macroeconomic fluctuations, and security market prices..

The purpose of the Ph.D. program in financial economics is to educate students in the concepts and analytical techniques needed to understand and advance the frontiers of knowledge in financial economics.

The program provides students with sound training in economics, finance, and quantitative methods, as well as the opportunity to work closely with faculty on original research.

Financial economics deals with the pricing of capital assets and the financial decisions of individuals and firms. Much of its attention is devoted to the study of the effects of information, attitudes toward risk, taxation, macroeconomic fluctuations, and time on investors' investment choices and security market prices. Issues involving the behavior of firms are also of interest, including the importance of corporate dividend, capital structure, and investment policies to firm valuation.

The Ph.D. program in financial economics is designed to educate students in the concepts and analytical techniques required for basic and applied research in these and related areas. This training typically leads to academic careers at other major business schools and economics departments.

Carnegie Mellon is one of the few institutions at which the economics department for the university as a whole is housed in the business school. This creates an environment which is especially conducive to close integration between the various management studies and economics. The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon has long played a pioneering role in the application of new ideas and techniques in economics to financial problems.

Research Topics

Asset pricing theory.

  • Market Incompleteness
  • The Effect of Incomplete Markets on Security Valuation
  • Risk Preferences
  • Asset Pricing and Investor Risk Preferences
  • Mortgage Valuation
  • The Valuation of Mortgage Loans

Tax Effects in Security Markets

  • Treasury Bonds
  • Tax Effects in the Relative Pricing of Treasury Bonds
  • Municipal Bonds
  • Term and Tax Effects in the Pricing of Municipal Bonds
  • Capital Gains Taxation
  • The Effect of Capital Gains Taxation on the Optimal Trading and Equilibrium Pricing of Financial Assets

Corporate Finance

  • Corporate Control
  • Capital Structure And Corporate Control
  • Optimal Bankruptcy Law

Market Microstructure

  • Design of Financial Markets
  • Limit and Market Orders
  • Trading Strategies

International Finance

  • Risk Premia in Currency Markets
  • Lottery Bonds

P lease visit our Ph.D. Student Profiles page t o view the profiles of our current doctoral candidates.

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Wharton’s PhD program in Finance provides students with a solid foundation in the theoretical and empirical tools of modern finance, drawing heavily on the discipline of economics.

The department prepares students for careers in research and teaching at the world’s leading academic institutions, focusing on Asset Pricing and Portfolio Management, Corporate Finance, International Finance, Financial Institutions and Macroeconomics.

Wharton’s Finance faculty, widely recognized as the finest in the world, has been at the forefront of several areas of research. For example, members of the faculty have led modern innovations in theories of portfolio choice and savings behavior, which have significantly impacted the asset pricing techniques used by researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. Another example is the contribution by faculty members to the analysis of financial institutions and markets, which is fundamental to our understanding of the trade-offs between economic systems and their implications for financial fragility and crises.

Faculty research, both empirical and theoretical, includes such areas as:

  • Structure of financial markets
  • Formation and behavior of financial asset prices
  • Banking and monetary systems
  • Corporate control and capital structure
  • Saving and capital formation
  • International financial markets

Candidates with undergraduate training in economics, mathematics, engineering, statistics, and other quantitative disciplines have an ideal background for doctoral studies in this field.

Effective 2023, The Wharton Finance PhD Program is now STEM certified.

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The field of finance covers the economics of claims on resources. Financial economists study the valuation of these claims, the markets in which they are traded, and their use by individuals, corporations, and the society at large.

At Stanford GSB, finance faculty and doctoral students study a wide spectrum of financial topics, including the pricing and valuation of assets, the behavior of financial markets, and the structure and financial decision-making of firms and financial intermediaries.

Investigation of issues arising in these areas is pursued both through the development of theoretical models and through the empirical testing of those models. The PhD Program is designed to give students a good understanding of the methods used in theoretical modeling and empirical testing.

Preparation and Qualifications

All students are required to have, or to obtain during their first year, mathematical skills at the level of one year of calculus and one course each in linear algebra and matrix theory, theory of probability, and statistical inference.

Students are expected to have familiarity with programming and data analysis using tools and software such as MATLAB, Stata, R, Python, or Julia, or to correct any deficiencies before enrolling at Stanford.

The PhD program in finance involves a great deal of very hard work, and there is keen competition for admission. For both these reasons, the faculty is selective in offering admission. Prospective applicants must have an aptitude for quantitative work and be at ease in handling formal models. A strong background in economics and college-level mathematics is desirable.

It is particularly important to realize that a PhD in finance is not a higher-level MBA, but an advanced, academically oriented degree in financial economics, with a reflective and analytical, rather than operational, viewpoint.

Faculty in Finance

Emeriti faculty, recent publications in finance, recent insights by stanford business.

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PhD Programs

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Students in our PhD programs are encouraged from day one to think of this experience as their first job in business academia—a training ground for a challenging and rewarding career generating rigorous, relevant research that influences practice.

Our doctoral students work with faculty and access resources throughout HBS and Harvard University. The PhD program curriculum requires coursework at HBS and other Harvard discipline departments, and with HBS and Harvard faculty on advisory committees. Faculty throughout Harvard guide the programs through their participation on advisory committees.

How do I know which program is right for me?

There are many paths, but we are one HBS. Our PhD students draw on diverse personal and professional backgrounds to pursue an ever-expanding range of research topics. Explore more here about each program’s requirements & curriculum, read student profiles for each discipline as well as student research , and placement information.

The PhD in Business Administration grounds students in the disciplinary theories and research methods that form the foundation of an academic career. Jointly administered by HBS and GSAS, the program has five areas of study: Accounting and Management , Management , Marketing , Strategy , and Technology and Operations Management . All areas of study involve roughly two years of coursework culminating in a field exam. The remaining years of the program are spent conducting independent research, working on co-authored publications, and writing the dissertation. Students join these programs from a wide range of backgrounds, from consulting to engineering. Many applicants possess liberal arts degrees, as there is not a requirement to possess a business degree before joining the program

The PhD in Business Economics provides students the opportunity to study in both Harvard’s world-class Economics Department and Harvard Business School. Throughout the program, coursework includes exploration of microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, probability and statistics, and econometrics. While some students join the Business Economics program directly from undergraduate or masters programs, others have worked in economic consulting firms or as research assistants at universities or intergovernmental organizations.

The PhD program in Health Policy (Management) is rooted in data-driven research on the managerial, operational, and strategic issues facing a wide range of organizations. Coursework includes the study of microeconomic theory, management, research methods, and statistics. The backgrounds of students in this program are quite varied, with some coming from public health or the healthcare industry, while others arrive at the program with a background in disciplinary research

The PhD program in Organizational Behavior offers two tracks: either a micro or macro approach. In the micro track, students focus on the study of interpersonal relationships within organizations and the effects that groups have on individuals. Students in the macro track use sociological methods to examine organizations, groups, and markets as a whole, including topics such as the influence of individuals on organizational change, or the relationship between social missions and financial objectives. Jointly administered by HBS and GSAS, the program includes core disciplinary training in sociology or psychology, as well as additional coursework in organizational behavior.

Accounting & Management  

Business economics  , health policy (management)  , management  , marketing  , organizational behavior  , strategy  , technology & operations management  .

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PhD | Finance

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phd in finance or economics

The Ph.D. in Finance

Stern’s Ph.D. program in finance trains scholars to conduct research at the leading edge of financial economics. The faculty represents one of the largest finance research groups in the world that has been ranked consistently as the leading publisher of academic research in top finance journals. Comprised of more than 40 researchers, including a Nobel-prize-winning economist, our faculty are active in all areas of finance—asset pricing, corporate finance, derivatives, market microstructure, and behavioral finance—with both theoretical and empirical focus, and with emerging specialization in the areas of financial intermediation, crises, and macro-finance. As a result of this unusual breadth, students have access to expertise in almost any topic that they might wish to explore.

Explore Finance

Discover our other fields of study.

Heather Tookes

Financial economics encompasses a broad area of topics and issues, including corporate investments and financing policy, security valuation, portfolio management, the behavior of prices in speculative markets, financial institutions, and intermediation.

The PhD specialization in finance is designed to give the student a strong background for study and research in both theoretical and empirical work in finance and related areas. Emphasis is placed on understanding the important concepts and models. Students normally take several graduate courses in the Department of Economics, particularly in microeconomics and macroeconomic theory, the economics of uncertainty, and econometrics.

Will Goetzmann

The program offers two courses specifically in financial theory and its applications. In addition, the faculty and doctoral students attend a seminar that features speakers from around the country. However, the specialization is built primarily around individual study and research under the guidance of the faculty.

Examples of potential areas of research for the financial economics dissertation:

  • Principal-agent relationships
  • Financial intermediation
  • Efficiency of markets
  • Portfolio selection

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  • university of new orleans
  • doctor of philosophy degree in financial economics

Financial Economics Ph.D. Program

The Department of Economics and Finance at the University of New Orleans offers a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Financial Economics. The innovative curriculum incorporates both contemporary economic and financial analysis into a program that reflects the growing integration of these two disciplines. It is one of the first programs to formally respond to the substantial demand for financial economists in research and policy making positions in universities, business and government.

graduate school

PhD Curriculum

The Financial Economics program is divided into three stages

  • Core preparation
  • Advanced specialization


Core courses.

The PhD consists of core qualifying exams, including two specialized fields and a corresponding general exam. The capstone is a dissertation, including an oral defense. 

Typically, students, before their second fall semester, will take a finance qualifying, which focuses on corporate finance and asset pricing. Following the complete of the second fall semester, students will complete an economic qualifying, including micro and macro economics. 

A total of 60 credit hours are needed. To be considered a full time student, 9 credit hours are required for each semester. 

Dissertation information

doctoral degree requirements

Graduate School Admission Requirement

College of business administration.

Contact Dr. Mohammad Kabir Hassan  [email protected]

Application Deadline Fall Admission:  February 1

Test Requirements :  GRE

Other Requirements 3 Letters of Recommendation  Statement of Purpose  CV or Resume Writing Sample

Financing your Education

There are numerous options to help finance your PhD program

  • Graduate School Scholarships
  • Graduate Assistantships
  • Funding Workshops
  • Financial Resources

Tuition & Fees

For more information, visit the Graduate Schools page

Graduate school financial information

Financial Economics Ph.D. Alumni Profile

Since the inception of the Ph.D. program in 1984, there have more than 100 degrees granted. Our graduates hold academic tenured and tenure-track positions in institutions around the United States such as

  • The University of Missouri, St. Louis
  • Wayne State University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Baruch College
  • Temple University
  • Boston University
  • Nichols State

As well as Abroad

  • Isik University (Turkey)
  • Universidad de Sonora (Mexico)
  • King Saud University (Saudi Arabia)
  • King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (Saudi Arabia)
  • Imam Muhmmad University (Saudi Arabia)
  • Hashemite University (Saudi Arabia) 

In non-academic areas, positions have been taken with

  • The First Commerce Corporation
  • The Army Corps of Engineers
  • The Controller’s Office of the City of New York.

See a list of our alumni

Rumpa biswas.

Headshot of the student

PhD Student Department: Economics and Finance Education: MBA Finance, Hofstra University, NY, USA Teaching Interests: Corporate Finance, Investments, Portfolio Analysis, Derivatives, Fixed Income, Risk Management, Financial Markets and Institutions Research Interests: Investments, Corporate Finance, Derivatives, Risk Management Office: KH 435 Phone:  Email:  [email protected]

Nicolas Duvernois

Headshot of the student

PhD Student Department: Economics and Finance  Education: MS in Management - ESCE Business School, MBA - Nicholis State University, MS in Financial Economics - University of New Orleans   Teaching Interests: Investments, Financial Management, Data Analytics, and Microeconomics Research Interests: Macro-Finance, Empirical Asset Pricing, Risk-sharing, Income Inequality, Climate Finance    Office: KH 424 Phone:  504-875-5659. Email: [email protected].

Obed Izaguirre

Headshot of the student

PhD Student Department: Economics and Finance Education: BA in Business and Industrial Management - Universidad Tecnologica Centroamericana (Honduras), MBA - Nicholls State University, MS in Financial Economics - University of New Orleans   Teaching Interests: Corporate Finance, Statistics, Financial Management, Investments, Economics, Financial Institutions   Research Interests: Corporate Finance, International Finance, Corporate Governance, Ownership Structure, Financial Markets, Sports Economics Office: KH 432 Phone: Email: [email protected]

Kiran Paudel

Headshot of the student

PhD Graduate - 2020 May Department: Economics and Finance Education: Ph.D. in Financial Economics, University of New Orleans, MS in Finance, University of North Texas, BS in Computer Science, Minor in Economics, the University of Texas at Dallas   Teaching Interests: Corporate Finance, Investments, Portfolio Analysis, Derivatives, Fixed Income, Risk Management, Financial Markets and Institutions   Research Interests: Investments, Corporate Finance, Derivatives, Risk Management Phone:  469-579-1450 Email: [email protected]

Seungho Shin

PhD Student Department: Economics and Finance Education: BA in Finance - University of Central Florida, MBA in Finance and Operations Management - Rollins College, MS in Financial Economics - University of New Orleans   Teaching Interests: FinTech, Business and Economics Statistics, Financial Management, Microeconomics   Research Interests: Empirical Asset Pricing, Market Microstructure, Corporate Governance, FinTech Office: KH 342 Phone:  Email: [email protected]

PhD Student Department: Economics and Finance Education: MBA in Finance - State University of New York at Buffalo, MS in Finance - University of New Orleans   Teaching Interests: Investments, Portfolio Analysis, Derivatives, Financial Management, Corporate Finance, Economics, Statistics   Research Interests: Empirical Asset Pricing, Risk Management, Market Microstructure Office: KH 436 Phone: Email: [email protected]

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes specify what students will know, be able to do, or be able to demonstrate when they have completed a program of study.

View Outcomes

Smart. Open. Grounded. Inventive. Read our Ideas Made to Matter.

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Through intellectual rigor and experiential learning, this full-time, two-year MBA program develops leaders who make a difference in the world.

A rigorous, hands-on program that prepares adaptive problem solvers for premier finance careers.

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Earn your MBA and SM in engineering with this transformative two-year program.

Combine an international MBA with a deep dive into management science. A special opportunity for partner and affiliate schools only.

A doctoral program that produces outstanding scholars who are leading in their fields of research.

Bring a business perspective to your technical and quantitative expertise with a bachelor’s degree in management, business analytics, or finance.

A joint program for mid-career professionals that integrates engineering and systems thinking. Earn your master’s degree in engineering and management.

An interdisciplinary program that combines engineering, management, and design, leading to a master’s degree in engineering and management.

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This 20-month MBA program equips experienced executives to enhance their impact on their organizations and the world.

Non-degree programs for senior executives and high-potential managers.

A non-degree, customizable program for mid-career professionals.

PhD Program in Finance

2023-24 curriculum outline.

The MIT Sloan Finance Group offers a doctoral program specialization in Finance for students interested in research careers in academic finance. The requirements of the program may be loosely divided into five categories: coursework, the Finance Seminar, the general examination, the research paper, and the dissertation. Attendance at the weekly Finance Seminar is mandatory in the second year and beyond and is encouraged in the first year.  During the first two years, students are engaged primarily in coursework, taking both required and elective courses in preparation for their general examination at the end of the second year.  Students are required to complete a research paper by the end of their fifth semester, present it in front of the faculty committee and receive a passing grade.  After that, students are required to find a formal thesis advisor and form a thesis committee by the end of their eighth semester. The Thesis Committee should consist of at least one tenured faculty from the MIT Sloan Finance Group.

Required Courses

The following set of required courses is designed to furnish each student with a sound and well-rounded understanding of the theoretical and empirical foundations of finance, as well as the tools necessary to make original contributions in each of these areas. Finance PhD courses (15.470, 15.471, 15.472, 15.473, 15.474) in which the student does not receive a grade of B or higher must be retaken.

First Year - Summer

Math Camp begins on the second Monday in August. 

First Year - Fall Semester

14.121/14.122 Micro Theory I/II

14.451/14.452 Macro Theory I/II ( strongly recommended)

14.380/14.381 — Statistics/Applied Econometrics

15.470 — Asset Pricing

First Year - Spring Semester

14.123/14.124 Micro Theory III/IV

14.453/14.454 Macro Theory III/IV (strongly recommended)

14.382 – Econometrics

15.471 – Corporate Finance

Second Year - Fall Semester

15.472 — Advanced Asset Pricing

  14.384 — Time-Series Analysis or  14.385 — Nonlinear Econometric Analysis  (Enrolled students receive a one-semester waiver from attending the Finance Seminar due to a scheduling conflict)

15.475 — Current Research in Financial Economics

Second Year - Spring Semester

15.473 — Advanced Corporate Finance

 15.474 — Current Topics in Finance (strongly encouraged to take multiple times)

15.475 — Current Research in Financial Economics

Recommended Elective Courses

Beyond these required courses, students are expected to enroll in elective courses determined by their primary area of interest. There are two informal “tracks” in Financial Economics: Corporate Finance and Asset Pricing. Recommended electives are designed to deepen the student's grasp of material that will be central to the writing of his/her dissertation. Students also have the opportunity to take courses at Harvard University. There is no formal requirement to select one track or another, and students are free to take any of the electives.

phd in finance or economics

Economics Department lobby

PhD Program

Year after year, our top-ranked PhD program sets the standard for graduate economics training across the country. Graduate students work closely with our world-class faculty to develop their own research and prepare to make impactful contributions to the field.

Our doctoral program enrolls 20-24 full-time students each year and students complete their degree in five to six years. Students undertake core coursework in microeconomic theory, macroeconomics, and econometrics, and are expected to complete two major and two minor fields in economics. Beyond the classroom, doctoral students work in close collaboration with faculty to develop their research capabilities, gaining hands-on experience in both theoretical and empirical projects.

How to apply

Students are admitted to the program once per year for entry in the fall. The online application opens on September 15 and closes on December 15.

Meet our students

Our PhD graduates go on to teach in leading economics departments, business schools, and schools of public policy, or pursue influential careers with organizations and businesses around the world. 

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  • Dissertation Areas and Joint PhD Programs
  • PhD Career Outcomes
  • PhD Proposals and Defenses
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  • PhD Research Community
  • 100 Years of Pioneering Research
  • Rising Scholars Conference
  • Yiran Fan Memorial Conference
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • PhD in Accounting
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PhD in Finance

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Chicago Booth has long been recognized for its PhD in finance. Our faculty—which includes Nobel laureate and program graduate Eugene F. Fama, known as the father of modern empirical finance—sets the course for research in all areas of the field.

As a finance PhD student at Chicago Booth, you’ll join a community that encourages you to think independently.

Taking courses at Booth and in the university’s Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, you’ll gain a solid foundation in all aspects of economics and finance—from the factors that determine security prices to how firms make investment decisions.

The Finance PhD Program also offers the Joint Program in Financial Economics , which is run by Chicago Booth and the Department of Economics in the Division of the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.

Our Distinguished Finance Faculty

Chicago Booth finance faculty are leading researchers who also build strong relationships with doctoral students, collaborate on new ideas, and connect students with powerful career opportunities.

Francesca Bastianello

Francesca Bastianello

Assistant Professor of Finance and Liew Family Junior Faculty Fellow, Fama Faculty Fellow

Emanuele Colonnelli

Emanuele Colonnelli

Associate Professor of Finance and MV Advisors Faculty Fellow

George Constantinides

George M. Constantinides

Leo Melamed Professor of Finance

Douglas Diamond Headshot

Douglas W. Diamond

Merton H. Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance

Eugene F. Fama

Eugene F. Fama

Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance

Niels Gormsen

Niels Gormsen

Neubauer Family Associate Professor of Finance and Fama Faculty Fellow

Lars Peter Hansen

Lars Hansen

David Rockefeller Distinguished Service Professor The University of Chicago Departments of Economics, Statistics and the Booth School of Business

Zhiguo He

Fuji Bank and Heller Professor of Finance and Jeuck Faculty Fellow

John C. Heaton

John C. Heaton

Joseph L. Gidwitz Professor of Finance

Steven Neil Kaplan

Steven Neil Kaplan

Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and Kessenich E.P. Faculty Director at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Anil Kashyap

Anil Kashyap

Stevens Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Finance

Ralph S. J. Koijen

Ralph S.J. Koijen

AQR Capital Management Distinguished Service Professor of Finance and Fama Faculty Fellow

Yueran Ma

Associate Professor of Finance and Fama Faculty Fellow

Stefan Nagel

Stefan Nagel

Fama Family Distinguished Service Professor of Finance

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson

Assistant Professor of Finance and Cohen and Keenoy Faculty Scholar

Pascal Noel

Pascal Noel

Neubauer Family Associate Professor of Finance and Kathryn and Grant Swick Faculty Scholar

Lubos Pastor

Lubos Pastor

Charles P. McQuaid Distinguished Service Professor of Finance and Robert King Steel Faculty Fellow

Raghuram Rajan

Raghuram G. Rajan

Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance

Amir Sufi

Bruce Lindsay Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Public Policy

Quentin Vandeweyer

Quentin Vandeweyer

Assistant Professor of Finance and Fama Faculty Fellow

Pietro Veronesi

Pietro Veronesi

Deputy Dean for Faculty and Chicago Board of Trade Professor of Finance

Robert W. Vishny

Robert W. Vishny

Myron S. Scholes Distinguished Service Professor of Finance and Neubauer Faculty Director of the Davis Center

Michael Weber

Michael Weber

Associate Professor of Finance

Constantine Yannelis

Constantine Yannelis

Associate Professor of Finance and FMC Faculty Scholar

Anthony Zhang

Anthony Lee Zhang

Assistant Professor of Finance

Luigi Zingales

Luigi Zingales

Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance

Erick Zwick

A Network of Support

Chicago Booth is home to several interdisciplinary research centers that offer funding for student work, host workshops and conferences, and foster a strong research community.

Fama-Miller Center for Research in Finance Tasked with pushing the boundaries of research in finance, the Fama-Miller Center provides institutional structure and support for researchers in the field.

Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Bringing together researchers from the entire Chicago economics community, the Becker Friedman Institute fosters novel insights on the world’s most difficult economic problems.

Center for Research in Security Prices CRSP maintains one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive stock market databases. Since 1963, it has been a valued resource for businesses, government, and scholars.

Initiative on Global Markets Enhancing the understanding of business and financial market globalization, the IGM positions Chicago Booth as a thought leader in the understanding of ever-changing markets and improves financial and economic decision-making around the world.

George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State Dedicated to examining issues at the intersection of politics and the economy, the Stigler Center supports research by PhD students and others who are interested in the political, economic, and cultural obstacles to better working markets.

Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation Committed to making the world more equitable and sustainable, the Rustandy Center works to solve complex social and environmental problems. The center’s student support includes fellowships, research funding, and networking opportunities.

Alumni Success

Graduates of the Stevens Doctoral Program go on to successful careers in prominent institutions of higher learning, leading financial institutions, government, and beyond.

Explore your research interests in finance and work with faculty who set the agenda for research in the field.

The PhD Experience at Booth

For Itzhak Ben-David, PhD ’08, the PhD Program in Finance was an exploratory journey.

Itzhak Ben-David

Video Transcript

Itzhak Ben-David, ’08: 00:03 For me, the PhD Program was an exploratory journey. It was about discovering what was interesting for me, what will be interesting for other economists. It was about discovering something new about the world. Much of the PhD Program experience is to explore and to wonder a bit and to just think and expose yourself to new ideas and new disciplines. Back then, this was 2006, I found a billboard that said, "If you buy this house, we're going to give you a free car or $20,000 in cash." And this seemed really odd to me. What I realized that was going on, that this was part of a borrower fraud and the idea was that seller and the buyer will agree on a higher price on a house and the lender would be under the impression that the collateral worth more than it really is.

Itzhak Ben-David, ’08: 00:58 So I started to investigate other parts of the real estate food chain. What I saw is that in many parts of this chain, there were incentives in place pushing the intermediaries or the different economic agents to inflate prices. It's not always a bubble, but oftentimes it points out behavior that is not consistent with our textbook behavior. I had the dream team of advisors, Toby Moskowitz, Dick Taylor, Steve Levitt, and Erik Hurst. Each one of them contributed in different way to my dissertation and brought different ideas, brought different aspects. There is no better place of doing research than in Booth. It's really a hub of academic activity. There is no important work that doesn't pass at Chicago before being published. It's really an intellectual home. When you meet people and you know that they are from Booth, you can see the difference in their thinking.

Current Finance Students

PhD students in finance study a wide range of topics, including the behavior and determinants of security prices, the financing and investment decisions of firms, corporate governance, and the management and regulation of financial institutions. They go on to careers at prestigious institutions, from Yale University to the International Monetary Fund.

Current Students

Ching-Tse Chen Mihir Gandhi  Huan (Bianca) He Agustin Hurtado Young Soo Jang Piotr Langer Jessica Li Edoardo Marchesi Rayhan Momin Lauren Mostrom Meichen Qian Francisco Ruela Sixun Tang Hui (Judy) Yue

Booth also offers joint degrees. Learn more about the current students in our Joint Program in Financial Economics .

Spotlight on Research

The pages of Chicago Booth Review regularly highlight the research findings of finance faculty and PhD students.

A Brief History of Finance and My Life at Chicago

Chicago Booth’s Eugene F. Fama describes the serendipitous events that led him to Chicago, and into his monumental career in academic finance.

Are Investors Chronically Pessimistic?

Research by Chicago Booth’s Stefan Nagel and others suggests that investors are just as likely to be optimistic as pessimistic.

Inside Information from the Fed? Follow That Cab

Chicago Booth PhD candidate David Andrew Finer analyzes New York City taxi data and finds evidence suggesting face-to-face meetings between insiders from the New York Fed and Manhattan’s financial sector.

Program Expectations and Requirements

The Stevens Program at Booth is a full-time program. Students generally complete the majority of coursework and examination requirements within the first two years of studies and begin work on their dissertation during the third year.

For details, see General Examination Requirements by Area in the Stevens Program Guidebook. Download the Guidebook

phd in finance or economics

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  • Financial Economics

Financial Economics Ph.D.

Kellogg Program Description

Finance Department Website

The Department of Economics and the Finance Department in the Kellogg School of Management have a joint Ph.D. degree in Financial Economics.

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon,  general degree requirements  and the policies on  Satisfactory Progress, Probation and Exclusion  of The Graduate School, and additional requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress of the Department of Economics and the Finance Department.

Coursework Requirements

Total Required Units:  18

Other Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Examinations: satisfactory grades in each of the three core areas (microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics); oral examination for approval of dissertation prospectus

  Research/Projects:  two research papers presented in the student seminar (ECON 501) or equivalent. Out of these, one paper is the second-year summer paper detailed below

  Finance Comprehensive Exam : Students must pass a Finance Competence Requirement. This can be done by achieving a 3.6 GPA across the six finance doctoral courses (FINC 585-1,2,3 and FINC 586-1,2,3), or by passing a comprehensive Finance exam. The Exam takes place at the beginning of the summer quarter of the second year, typically in June.

  Second-year Research Paper and Advisors: Students need to complete a research project to be presented to the department in the first week of September at the end of the summer quarter of the second year. The research project must be supervised by an individual faculty advisor (who can be the same as, or distinct from, the Academic Advisor) selected by the end of the winter quarter. The second-year advisor need not be the same person as the eventual main dissertation advisor.

  Ph.D. Dissertation:  original, independent research

  Final Evaluations:  oral dissertation defense

  Supervised Teaching Experience:  All doctoral students are required to act as a teaching assistant for at least one quarter. As part of these duties, the student must lead a weekly discussion section. Teaching experience is an essential part of graduate training. Foreign students must demonstrate acceptable English proficiency as prescribed by The Graduate School. Evaluations are made and kept as part of the students' record.

 There are two points of entry into the joint graduate program in Financial Economics.

  • The first is a direct application when applying to graduate school at Northwestern. Admission requires approved by both the Economics and the Finance admissions committees.
  • The second is for students initially enrolled in the Economics Ph.D. program to apply for entry after achieving candidacy. (Students initially enrolled in the Finance Ph.D. program can do the same.) Economics students should initiate the process by contacting the Economics Director of Graduate Studies immediately after candidacy. Applications must be approved by both the Economics and the Finance admissions committees. If the application is approved, the student initiates a degree transfer request to The Graduate School.

Finance PhD Program

Phd finance program.

The finance Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students for academic careers in financial economics. Financial economics is the study of how individuals and firms raise and invest resources, and how financial assets are priced. Specific topics in asset pricing include the determinants of asset returns, pricing of risk, behavior of investors, and trading mechanisms. Specific topics in corporate finance include capital structure, payout policy, financial intermediation, internal capital markets, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance.

During their years of study, students work closely with faculty members in the Department of Finance and Business Economics (FBE), both as students in classes and as assistants on research projects. The FBE faculty includes a wide array of internationally known experts in finance who publish regularly in the top journals and hold leadership positions in the top journals and professional organizations in finance.

A central premise of the program is that the most effective way to learn how to do research is to do research. Based on this idea, the program revolves around production of scholarly papers by students, typically one in each year. The first two years of the program also include a large classroom component in which students develop foundational skills in economics and statistics, and then complete full-year sequences on asset pricing and corporate finance. The curriculum features a set of revolving half-semester classes on cutting edge topics taught by USC faculty members and expert visiting scholars. Students also attend weekly seminars featuring presentations by leading experts at other universities.

Graduates of the program typically seek academic positions as faculty members at research institutions. Recent graduates have found jobs at a variety of strong research universities, including the University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Emory University, and University of Utah, as well as at leading universities outside the United States.

The program maintains a supportive and collegial environment that fosters collaboration between faculty members and PhD students. All students are assigned one or more faculty mentors for the duration of their studies, and faculty members are actively engaged in supervision of student research.


Sample Schedule

  • GSBA 602. Selected Issues in Economic Theory I
  • GSBA 604. Regression and Generalized Linear Models for Business Research
  • Elective(s)
  • GSBA 612. Selected Issues in Economic Theory II
  • FBE 630. Fundamentals of Corporate Finance
  • FBE 633. Fundamentals of Asset Pricing
  • [Statistics or research design]

Students are assigned a faculty mentor upon entering the program. The faculty mentor advises the student on course selection and as appropriate involves the student in a research project. During the first summer, each student conducts a supervised reading of the literature and prepares a research proposal or study.

  • FBE 631. Advanced Corporate Finance
  • FBE 634. Advanced Asset Pricing
  • FBE 670. Selected Topics in Finance Research #1
  • FBE 670. Selected Topics in Finance Research #2
  • GSBA 690. Tutorial on the Research Process
  • BUCO 637. Communication for Doctoral Students
  • Paper #2 (Screening Exam)

Students spend much of the second year developing and producing an independent study. The study is submitted to the program at the end of the summer, and serves as the qualifying exam for the second year.

  • FBE 670. Selected Topics in Finance Research #3-#N
  • Dissertation proposal (USC Qualifying Exam)
  • Dissertation proposal
  • GBSA 794. Doctoral Dissertation
  • Job Market Paper
  • GSBA 794. Doctoral Dissertation
  • Dissertation

Job Market Candidates

Constantin charles.

  • PhD Candidate in Finance and Business Economics

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Finance at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. My research focuses on Macro Finance, Financial Intermediaries, and Labor Finance.


Dates + deadlines.

September: Application Opens December 15 Application Deadline: Accounting and Management and Organization* January 15 Application Deadline: Data Sciences & Operations, Finance & Business Economics and Marketing February 15 Decision Notifications Begin April 15 Admit Decision Deadline The Fall 2023 application is open! The link to the PhD Program application is available on the Admissions page and the next opportunity to apply is for Fall 2023 admission. Late applications may or may not be considered at the discretion of the admissions committee. Admissions decisions are made from mid-February to mid-April. You will be notified by email when a decision has been made.


For more information about this program please fill out THIS FORM.


Ph.D. Program USC Marshall School of Business 3670 Trousdale Parkway, BRI 306 Los Angeles, California 90089-0809 EMAIL

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phd in finance or economics

The finance area has long been recognized as one of the world's top-10 programs. Finance as a subject area is a highly quantitative discipline. Research produced by the area is geared primarily towards publication and impact in the top academic finance journals. The area has always been eclectic in terms of its research focus, ranging from rational-expectations macro-asset-pricing empirical models to behavioral and experimental theory. UCLA Anderson finance has also had a remarkable tradition of collaboration, beyond that customary among our peers. Virtually all of our finance faculty, at every rank, nowadays works actively with one or more Ph.D. students. It has been quite common for (advanced) Ph.D. students to write papers together with junior and senior faculty. Indeed, an unusually large number of the highest-impact research publications in finance were written by authors who met while at UCLA, be this faculty or Ph.D. students.

From the Finance Ph.D. Liaison

phd in finance or economics

“Welcome to UCLA Anderson’s Finance area, long recognized as one of the world’s top programs. Our Ph.D. students work with renowned faculty whose expertise covers corporate finance, macroeconomics, asset pricing, derivatives, investments and behavioral finance. The UCLA Anderson Doctoral Program is highly selective. We expect you to develop a passion and tenacity for excellent research in finance and, through mentorship and collaboration, we prepare you for a distinguished academic career. We look forward to receiving your application.”

Barney Hartman-Glaser Professor of Finance

Explore the Program

Recent publications.

Risk and Return in Segmented Markets with Expertise Andrea Eisfeldt

Complex assets appear to earn persistent high average returns, and to display high Sharpe ratios – but investor participation is very limited. Eisfeldt, along with co-authors Hanno Lustig and Lei Zhang, provides an explanation for these facts using a model of the pricing of complex securities by risk-averse investors who are subject to asset-specific risk in a dynamic model of industry equilibrium.

Read Publication

phd in finance or economics

Learning Millennial Style Bruce Carlin

The growing use of online educational content and related video services has changed the way people access education, share knowledge, and possibly make life decisions. Here, Carlin – with co-authors Li Jiang and Stephen A. Spiller – characterizes how video content affects individual decision-making and willingness to share in the context of a personal financial decision.

Volatility Managed Portfolios Tyler Muir

Managed portfolios that take less risk when volatility is high produce large, positive alphas and increase factor Sharpe ratios by substantial amounts. Muir, together with co-author Alan Moreira, documents a profitable trading strategy that increases stock market exposure in low volatility episodes and reduces exposure in high volatility times.

Alumni Success

phd in finance or economics

Robert Richmond (’16)

First academic placement: NYU Stern

In 2016, Robert Richmond earned the Conference on International Finance Best Paper Award (2016), the Cubist Systematic Strategies Ph.D. Candidate Award for Outstanding Research and the Xavier Drèze award for most outstanding Ph.D. research paper. His current research uncovers an economic source of exposure to global risk that drives international asset prices.

phd in finance or economics

Mindy Xiaolan Zhang (’14)

First academic placement: UT Austin

Mindy Zhang is recipient of the 2014 Trefftzs Award for Best Student Paper, WFA; and the 2014 Yihong Xia Best Paper Award, CICF. She conducts research on macro finance, equilibrium asset pricing, dynamic contracting, dynamic corporate theory, labor and finance.

phd in finance or economics

Tobias J. Moskowitz (’98)

First academic placement: University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Recipient of numerous honors and awards, Tobias "Toby" Moskowitz is one of UCLA Anderson's Inspirational 100 alumni. Moskowitz was named the inaugural Dean Takahashi '80 B.A., '83 M.P.P.M. Professor of Finance at Yale School of Management in 2016. He was previously the Fama Family Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he had taught since 1998. In 2011, he co-authored the best-selling book Scorecasting , which uses economic principles to explain the hidden side of sports.

phd in finance or economics

Joshua D. Coval (’97)

First academic placement: University of Michigan Business School

Joshua Coval's current research investigates the structured finance market and how investor reliance on ratings and unsound pricing models led to the spectacular rise and collapse thereof. His research awards include the 2000 and 2005 Smith-Breeden Prize for the best paper in the Journal of Finance . His research has been featured in The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Time, Money Magazine and Financial Times .

phd in finance or economics

William F. Sharpe (’61)

Winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Economic Science, William Sharpe was mentored at UCLA by the late Professor J. Fred Weston. Sharpe was one of the originators of the Capital Asset Pricing Model and developed the Sharpe Ratio for investment performance analysis. He co-founded the independent investment advisory firm Financial Engines.

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Financial Economics

Robert Barro

Robert Barro

Robert J. Barro is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Recent research involves rare macroeconomic disasters, corporate tax reform, religion & economy, empirical determinants of economic growth, and economic effects of public debt and budget deficits. Recent books include Religion and Economy (forthcoming with Rachel McCleary), Economic Growth (2nd edition, written with Xavier Sala-i-Martin), Nothing Is Sacred: Economic Ideas for the New Millennium, Determinants of Economic Growth, and Getting It Right: Markets and Choices in a Free Society. ... Read more about Robert Barro

Emily Breza

Emily Breza

Emily Breza joined the Economics Department as an Assistant Professor in January 2017.  She received her PhD in Economics from MIT and her BA from...

John Campbell

John Y. Campbell

John Campbell has published over 80 articles on various aspects of finance and macroeconomics, including fixed-income securities, equity valuation, and portfolio choice. His books include The Econometrics of Financial Markets (with Andrew Lo and Craig MacKinlay, Princeton University Press 1997), Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors (with Luis Viceira, Oxford University Press 2002), and The Squam Lake Report: Fixing the Financial System (with the Squam Lake Group of financial economists, Princeton University Press 2010).

Faculty Assistant: Mack Carroll

Gabriel Chodorow Reich

Gabriel Chodorow-Reich

Gabriel Chodorow-Reich's research focuses on macroeconomics, finance, and labor economics. Gabriel received his Ph.D. from the University of...

Xavier Gabaix

Xavier Gabaix

Xavier Gabaix is Pershing Square Professor of Economics and Finance at Harvard’s economics department. He received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris) and obtained his PhD in economics from Harvard University.... Read more about Xavier Gabaix

David Laibson

David Laibson

David Laibson is a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is Research Associate in the Asset Pricing, Economic Fluctuations, and Aging Working Groups.  Laibsonʼs research focuses on the topic of behavioral economics, and he is a co-leader of the Harvard University Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative. ... Read more about David Laibson

Neil Shephard

Neil Shephard

Neil Shephard is the Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science, in the Department of Economics and Department of Statistics.  His broad research interests are in econometrics, finance and statistics, with a particular focus on financial econometrics.   He has made particular advances in developing simulation based inference methods for online learning and has contributed methods to allow the mainstream use of high frequency financial data in economics.  He joined the Harvard faculty in 2013, holding a professorship joint between the Economics and Statistics Departments.  Professor Shephard is a fellow of the Econometric Society and the British Academy.  He is an associated editor of Econometrica .  Professor Shephard was a faculty member at the London School of Economics from 1988-1993 and Oxford University from 1991 to 2013.   

Staff Support: Emily Palmer

Andrei Shleifer

Andrei Shleifer

Andrei Shleifer has worked in the areas of comparative corporate governance, law and finance, behavioral finance, as well as institutional economics. He has published six books, including The Grabbing Hand (with Robert Vishny), and Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance , as well as over a hundred articles. In 1999, Shleifer won the John Bates Clark medal of the American Economic Association.... Read more about Andrei Shleifer

Jeremy Stein

Jeremy Stein

Jeremy Stein’s research has covered such topics as behavioral finance and stock-market efficiency, corporate investment and financing decisions, risk management, capital allocation inside firms, banking, financial regulation, and monetary policy. He  was previously a co-editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Journal of Economic Perspectives , and has served on the editorial boards of several other economics and finance journals. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  In 2008, he was president of the American Finance Association. He has served in the Obama Administration as a senior advisor to the Treasury Secretary and on the staff of the National Economic Council.... Read more about Jeremy Stein

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The 10 Best PhD Programs in Finance

The GradCafe Editor

Table of Contents

Why get a doctorate in finance, jobs and salaries for doctors of finance, what’s the average cost of a phd program in finance, stanford university, graduate school of business, the university of pennsylvania, the wharton school, the university of chicago, booth school of business, the university of illinois at urbana-champaign, gies college of business, massachusetts institute of technology, sloan school of management, northwestern university, kellogg school of management, the university of california berkeley, haas school of business, the university of texas at san antonio, alvarez college of business, liberty university, school of business, northcentral university, things to consider when choosing a finance phd program, preparing for a finance doctorate program, skills you gain from earning a phd in finance, how long does a phd in finance take, is it worth getting a phd in finance, how much can you make with a phd in finance, what do you need to get a phd in finance, final thoughts.

In essence, finance is the study of economics and the claims on resources. The best PhD programs in finance help you develop professionally so you can make difficult decisions around fund allocation, financial planning, and corporate financial management. This qualification will also equip you for a career in teaching or research at top universities.

Which of the 10 best finance PhDs is best for you?

Read on to learn everything you need to know.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), finance managerial professionals have an average salary of $131,710  per year, and jobs are estimated to grow by 17%  from 2020 to 2030. This is much more than the average across all occupations. With a PhD in finance, you may work as a finance manager or even become a CEO of a large corporation.

After earning a PhD in finance, you can find well-paid jobs as a professor or in various corporate finance roles.

Here are some of the most common finance professions with the average annual salaries for each:

  • Financial Manager ( $96,255 )
  • Financial Analyst ( $63,295 )
  • Finance Professor ( $73,776 )
  • Chief Financial Officer ( $140,694 )
  • Investment Analyst ( $67,730 )

Read More:   The Highest Paying PhD Programs

The tuition for a PhD in finance can vary depending on the university, with public institutions generally being much more affordable than private ones.

Across all schools, the average tuition is around $30,000 per year.

However, on top of this, you need to factor in other expenses, which could add up to another $30,000 a year. Some top universities offer full funding, including tuition and a stipend for all students who are successfully admitted to the program.

Read Next: The Average Cost of a Master’s Degree in Finance

Top finance phd programs and schools.

PhD in Finance

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Stanford University is one of the most prestigious business schools in the world. Its PhD in finance programs has an emphasis on theoretical modeling and empirical testing of financial and economic principles.

  • Courses include: Financial markets, empirical asset pricing, macroeconomics, and financial markets.
  • Duration: 5 years
  • Tuition : Full funding
  • Financial aid: Research & teaching assistantship, grants, outside employment, and outside support.
  • Delivery: On-campus
  • Acceptance rate: 5%
  • Location: Stanford, California

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The University of Pennsylvania’s renowned Wharton School of Business is home to faculty who are well-known in the field of business research. The school boasts a low student-faculty ratio in an atmosphere that allows you to work with faculty members as peers. This doctor of finance program emphasizes subjects like asset pricing, corporate finance, and portfolio management. This helps students become experts in research and teaching in these areas.

  • Courses include: Topics in asset pricing, financial economics, and international finance.
  • Credits: 18 courses
  • Financial aid: Fellowships, grants, student employment, health insurance, stipend, and loans.
  • Acceptance rate: 9%
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Booth School of Business is a major center for finance education because its faculty includes Eugene F. Fama, Nobel laureate and the father of modern empirical finance. This finance doctoral degree has an option for a joint PhD in collaboration with the university’s economics department.

  • Courses: Financial economics, financial markets in the macroeconomy, and behavioral finance.
  • Tuition : Refer tuition page
  • Financial aid: Grants, stipends, health insurance, scholarships, fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and loans.
  • Acceptance rate: 7%
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois

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The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is one of the best places for studying and conducting research in finance. Its finance research faculty was ranked #4  in the UTD Top 100 Business School Research Rankings between 2016-2019. In this PhD in finance program, students can take the qualifying examination at the end of the first year and, if successful. They’ll be able to start their research project earlier and complete the degree sooner.

  • Courses include: Empirical analysis in finance, corporate finance, and statistics & probability.
  • Duration: 4-5 years
  • Financial aid: Full tuition waiver, stipends, scholarships, grants, student employment, and loans.
  • Acceptance rate: 63%
  • Location: Champaign, Illinois

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The Sloan School is one of the top research centers in the world, which aims to transform students into experts who can handle real-world problems in a wide range of spheres, from business and healthcare to climate change. This PhD program in finance gives students the flexibility to choose between a wide range of electives and even study some courses at Harvard.

  • Courses include: Current research in financial economics, statistics/applied econometrics, and corporate finance.
  • Duration: 6 years
  • Financial aid: Full tuition, stipend, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, health insurance, fellowships, scholarships, and loans.
  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

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The Kellogg School of Management allows students to conduct independent research under the supervision of faculty who’ve made significant contributions to the field and have earned numerous prestigious awards. This doctorate of finance program’s admission process has a dual application option. You can also apply to the Economics PhD simultaneously, so if you are not selected for the finance program, you may be considered for economics.

  • Courses include: Econometrics, corporate finance, and asset pricing.
  • Duration: 5.5 years
  • Financial aid: Tuition scholarship, stipends, health insurance, moving allowance, and subsidies.
  • Location: Evanston, Illinois

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The Haas School of Business in Berkeley is an innovative institution that questions the status quo, takes intelligent risks, and accepts sensible failures in its path to progress. This finance PhD program offers students opportunities to learn about cutting-edge research from faculty from around the world.

  • Courses include: Corporate finance theory, stochastic calculus, and applications of psychology & economics.
  • Tuition : Refer cost page
  • Financial aid: Fellowships, grants, tuition allowance, stipends, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships.
  • Acceptance rate: 17%
  • Location: Berkeley, California

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The Alvarez College of Business is one of the forty largest business schools in the USA. It follows a comprehensive and practical approach to education that allows students to apply the knowledge they gain directly in the workplace. This PhD in finance encourages students to do collaborative research with the faculty, which helps them publish their own academic papers before they even complete the program.

  • Courses include: Corporate finance, international financial markets, and microeconomic theory.
  • Credits: 84 (post-bachelors)
  • Financial aid: Scholarships, grants, work-study, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, research fellowships, and loans.
  • Acceptance rate: 84%
  • Location: San Antonio, Texas

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Finance

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Liberty University is a non-profit institution among the top five online schools in the USA and has been offering fixed tuition fees for the past seven years. This is one of the best PhD in Finance programs you can do completely online. It aims to prepare students to address issues in business finance through research, best practices, and relevant literature.

  • Courses: Managerial Finance, Investments & Derivatives, Business Valuation, etc.
  • Credits: 60
  • Duration: 3 years average
  • Tuition : $595 per credit
  • Financial aid: Grants, scholarships, work-study, veteran benefits, and loans.
  • Delivery: Online
  • Acceptance rate: 50%
  • Location: Lynchburg, Virginia

PhD in Business Administration (PhD-BA) – Finance Management

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Northcentral University was founded with the objective of offering flexible, fully-online programs to working professionals around the world. This doctorate degree in finance online is flexible and allows you to design your own schedule. You will also get one-on-one personal mentoring from qualified faculty.

  • Courses include: Business financial systems, business statistics, and business leadership & strategy.
  • Duration: 84 months average
  • Tuition: $1,105 per credit
  • Financial aid: Grants, scholarships, and military scholarships.
  • Acceptance rate: NA
  • Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

The right PhD program for you is a very personal decision and will depend on several individual factors.

However, these general questions will help you to make the right choice:

  • Is the university properly accredited?
  • Does the university conduct innovative and cutting-edge research?
  • Are there renowned faculty members who you’ll want to work with?
  • Do they offer subjects or specializations that match your career goals?
  • What is the school’s placement history?
  • What are the tuition fees, costs, and options for scholarships and financial aid?
  • Does the program offer online study options?

It’s also important to consider if you want to pursue a career in academia or work in organizations as a senior finance professional. A PhD degree will generally set you up for a career in research or academia, while a DBA is more suited to a career in business or government.

It’s important to start preparing early if you want to be selected for one of the best finance PhD programs.

These handy tips can help you put your best foot forward:

  • Research the requirements of the best universities offering PhD in finance degrees, including pre-requisite subjects and qualifying grades. Keep these in mind when completing your bachelor’s or master’s degree.
  • Understand your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the program’s requirements. Work on your weaknesses and continue to hone relevant skills.
  • Read extensively in the field and keep up-to-date on regional and global developments.
  • Join communities of finance professionals to build your network and be exposed to the latest knowledge in the discipline.

The most important skills you learn as a doctor of finance include:

  • Communication skills, including writing and presentation skills
  • Data analytical skills
  • Economics and accounting skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Mathematical skills
  • Analytical software skills
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Problem-solving skills

PhD Programs in Finance FAQs

PhD programs in finance usually take between three and eight years to complete.

A PhD in Finance is a qualification that’s in high demand today. It is a terminal degree and can help you get top-level jobs with lucrative salaries in corporate or large organizations.

With a finance doctorate, you can expect to earn a salary anywhere from around $45,000 to $150,000, depending on your experience, role, and the organization you work for. According to the BLS, the average salary for finance PhD holders is $131,710 .

The admissions requirements vary depending on the program, but you’ll typically need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in finance. The programs can take three to eight years of coursework and research.

To apply, you’ll usually need to submit:

  • Application
  • Academic resume
  • Academic transcripts
  • Recommendation letters
  • GRE or GMAT score
  • Personal essay

With a doctorate in finance, you can build a rewarding career in academia, research, or the business sector. Like any doctorate, these programs ask for dedication and hard work. By planning early, you’ll set yourself up to pursue one of the best PhD programs in finance.

For more on how to build your career in the field, take a look at our guides to the best master’s degree in finance , the highest paying PhDs , and fully-funded PhD programs .

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The Financial Economics PhD program is a joint degree offered through the Finance Department at the Kellogg School of Management and the Economics Department at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. 

Students within Financial Economics will have access to a broad array of faculty across a variety of disciplines within economics, tapping into the interdisciplinary strengths found within our Finance-Economics curriculum. Additionally, this program benefits by location – our Economics department, PhD students, and research faculty are conveniently located within our new building, the Global Hub, just one floor down from the Finance department.

Some of the most active areas of current research are at the intersection of economics and finance. The aim of the Financial Economics program is to leverage the close ties and common research interests of the Economics Department and the Finance Department at Northwestern to train PhD students interested in these interdisciplinary areas. Students are required to do coursework in multiple fields in economics and finance, and are exposed to the most up-to-date models and methods in these fields. Faculty members from both departments supervise students as they develop their own research projects. PhD students also benefit from close collaborations with students in both departments, and participate in weekly seminar series that draw faculty and PhD students together for scholarly discussions across common research areas, including finance, macroeconomics, industrial organization, development economics, economic theory, and more. The program aims to produce scholars who can be successful in both economics and finance departments. 

Active Research Areas : The study of finance aligns with numerous areas within economics: macroeconomics, public finance, econometrics, household finance, economic development and economic history. This is why broad training in economics is essential for those who wish to do innovative work that straddles both finance and economics. Some examples include the financing and investment decisions of firms, households and governments; the interplay between asset prices, capital markets and the macro-economy; and the role and limitations of financial institutions in facilitating access to credit.  

Financial Economics PhD students will collaborate with world-renown scholars within our Finance and Economics departments. They include elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, the Society for Financial Econometrics, and the National Bureau of Economic Research. They serve/served as directors of the American Finance Association and past-presidents of the Econometric Society and Western Finance Association. Several faculty serve/served in editorial positions at leading journals, such as the American Economic Review , Econometrica , Journal of Economic Theory , Journal of Finance and RAND Journal of Economics . Recent publications within top economics and finance journals include American Economic Review , Econometrica , Journal of Finance , Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, and Quarterly Journal of Economics.

What We Are Looking for in Applicants

We seek students with strong training in mathematics and statistics and a solid background in economics, either through prior study or through work and research experience. Recommended coursework at an advanced level includes calculus, linear algebra, optimization, probability and statistics . Prior research experience is not required.

There are two points of entry into the Financial Economics program: as a new graduate student to Northwestern or as a transfer student from either the Economics or Finance PhD programs.

  • New Graduate Student to Northwestern – Applicants submit one application to the Financial Economics PhD Program that is reviewed by both Finance and Economics faculty, who then render a joint admission decision. Students enter the program as a first-year PhD student. 
  • Transfer Student – Economics or Finance PhD students who are completing their first year of study and have satisfied all the requirements within Economics may apply for a transfer by contacting the Director of Graduate Study in the program they are currently enrolled in. Applications must be approved by both the Economics and the Finance admissions committees. If the application is approved, the student will initiate a degree transfer request to The Graduate School.

Program Requirements

Coursework In years one and two, students take three or four courses each quarter (fall, winter, spring). The first-year students complete the three core sequences in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics. In year two, students enroll in a minimum of nine approved courses including at least two courses from the sequence in asset pricing, at least two course in corporate finance, two economics field sequence of at least two quarters each, and at least one course in economic history. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA).

Qualifying Exam At the end of year one, students are required to establish competence in the three cores areas of study: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics. This competence is satisfied by achieving a 3.0 GPA in each of the three-courses sequences.

During the summer following the student’s second year of study, students must pass a comprehensive qualifying exam designed to measure competence in both asset pricing and corporate finance or they demonstrate competence by maintaining a 3.6 GPA average across both course sequences.

Candidacy As students transition from coursework to research, they are required to write an original research paper in the summer of their second year supervised by a faculty advisor. Students present their completed research project to the faculty of the joint program in September following the summer quarter of their second year. At that time, their performance is reviewed by the faculty of the joint program, and upon successfully completing their coursework, passing of their qualifying exam and second-year paper, students are admitted to candidacy.

Third-Year Paper A second paper is typically completed by winter quarter of the third year and presented during the Economics 501 seminar of spring quarter of the third year. The research paper has to be sufficiently advanced to be part of the student's dissertation.

Research, Proposal & Dissertation The main activity in years three and four is research toward a thesis of publishable quality, under the direction of one or more faculty advisors.  A thesis proposal must be presented to the faculty committee no later than the end of the fall quarter of their fourth year of study. In their final year in the program, each candidate must complete a dissertation demonstrating original and significant research and must pass a final oral examination (“defense”) on the dissertation.

Teaching Requirement To promote engagement with faculty and integration with the intellectual life of the department, students serve as research assistants and teaching assistants during years two, three, and four. Research assistantships (RAs) are an excellent lead-in to research; teaching assistantships (TAs) prepare students for teaching after obtaining the PhD.


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Economics vs. Finance Ph.D.

Patrick gleeson, ph. d.,.

Smiling young PHD graduate.

A Ph.D. in economics and a Ph.D. in finance are both advanced degrees in the study of money. The difference between the two degrees is more one of emphasis than of a bright line contrast between two subject areas. The Ph.D. in economics is a research degree and prepares the student for economic research, often in some sort of think tank, or for teaching, usually in a university economics department. The graduate with a finance Ph.D. is more likely to work in the financial industry, dealing with the practical concerns of financial markets.

Explore this article

  • The Similarities
  • Dissertation Differences
  • Academic Job Market
  • Private Sector Job Market

1 The Similarities

The two degrees have a lot in common, and graduate students in the two specializations share a lot of course work. Both heavily emphasize mathematics. In fact, according to Rossitza B. Wooster, an assistant professor of economics at Portland State University, if you don't have a Graduate Record Exam score of at least 800 in mathematics, you probably won't last through your first year. One good way of looking at the two degrees is that they are both doctorates in applied mathematics, but the economics doctorate emphasizes theory and the finance doctorate emphasizes the application of theory to financial markets and issues.

2 Dissertation Differences

While the two degrees have similar course requirements, the dissertations reveal the differences between them. Finance dissertations from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley are on leveraged buyouts and distressed asset pricing, consumer decisions and other relatively practical, market-oriented matters. Economics dissertations from Berkeley emphasize theory and are on such subjects as economic decision theory, microeconomic theory and public economics and development.

3 Academic Job Market

Finance Ph.D.s are generally paid more in the academic job market than Economics Ph.D.s. Mark Perry, a professor of both economics and finance at the University of Michigan, notes that in 2006, professors with Ph.D.s in finance had starting salaries averaging $110,000; professors with Ph.D.s in economics had starting salaries that same year averaging $71,900. The annual salary survey conducted by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business notes a similar disparity for the academic year 2013-14: Annual salaries for professors of finance, banking, real estate and insurance averaged $176,700, and annual salaries for professors of economics and managerial economics averaged $135,800.

4 Private Sector Job Market

Scott Jaschik, writing in Inside Higher Ed, notes that surveys by the National Science Foundation during the period 1997 to 2011 shows that the majority of Ph.D.s in economics held teaching jobs, but that the percentage of those teaching rather than entering government or the private sector declined slightly during the period. He also notes that the same study shows that teaching Ph.D.s earned less than those working in government or the private sector. Finance Ph.D.s, on the other hand, are more likely to go into government or the private sector, where, as Professor Wooster notes, they may make up to twice as much as a finance Ph.D. teaching at a university.

  • 1 The Economist: The Disposable Academic
  • 2 University of Pennsylvania Press: Getting a Ph. D. in Economics
  • 3 Haas School of Finance: Finance Dissertations and Placements
  • 4 Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley: Ph. D. Candidates Available for Positions in the Academic Year 2013-2014

About the Author

Patrick Gleeson received a doctorate in 18th century English literature at the University of Washington. He served as a professor of English at the University of Victoria and was head of freshman English at San Francisco State University. Gleeson is the director of technical publications for McClarie Group and manages an investment fund. He is a Registered Investment Advisor.

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IIT Kanpur eMasters Degree Program

E-masters in financial analysis, accelerate your career with masters in financial analysis: where data meets strategy.

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The e-Masters in Financial Analysis program at IIT Kanpur is designed for students seeking a comprehensive education in the fields of economics, finance, and data analysis. The program is tailored for individuals who wish to pursue a career in these areas, or for those who are interested in enhancing their existing skills.

Program offers a unique blend of economic theories, financial concepts and data analysis tools to prepare students for the dynamic and constantly changing business environment. The program provides a deep understanding of micro and macroeconomic principles, financial markets, investment analysis, financial risk management, and data analysis. The program is ideal for individuals who have a background in economics, finance or related fields, or for those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of these areas. It is also suitable for professionals looking to enhance their careers through further education, as the program is offered online.

The Masters in Financial Analysis program at IIT Kanpur is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the competitive world of economics, finance and data analysis. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the latest tools and techniques, as well as a thorough understanding of the economic and financial concepts that shape our world.

In conclusion, the e-Masters in Financial Analysis program offered at IIT Kanpur is a comprehensive program that provides students with a unique blend of economic, financial and data analysis skills. It is a great opportunity for individuals who are seeking a challenging and rewarding career in these fields, or for those who wish to enhance their existing skills.

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Why do participants choose the eMasters degree?

  • "I hold an MBA in Marketing and have been privileged to work with international brands over the last 5 years. With a little to decent knowledge of Finance, I feel it's the right time to expand my knowledge horizon besides marketing, and hence interested in this IIT Kanpur program." Ambar, Program Manager working with India’s leading EdTech Company with 4 years of experience
  • "The program will enhance and expand my knowledge about the economy and finance, which can be clearly imparted to customers. Additionally, understanding data analysis will enable me to contribute to the decision-making process in my organization." Malavika, Professional employed at a Financial Institution with 3 years of experience

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e-Masters in Financial Analysis Curriculum

Get ready to dive into the latest theories & techniques in Financial Analysis. Our well researched curriculum will equip you with the skills you need to succeed.

eMasters in Financial Analysis consist of Core (C), Specialization (S), and Electives (E) modules and Projects (P). Participants are given flexibility in deciding on electives and projects and follow the 6C + 3S + 2E + P structure.

Core Modules

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Introduction to Finance and Accounting

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Specialization Modules

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What is the curriculum for the program.

The curriculum for eMasters in Financial Analysis comprises Core (C), Specialization (S), and Electives (E) modules and Projects (P). Participants are given flexibility in deciding on electives and projects and follow the 6C + 3S + 2E + P structure.

The Core Modules include

  • Pricing: The module covers the fundamentals of cost and its types, demand curves, price response estimation, monopoly and regulation, price discrimination, and strategic decision making under uncertainty. As the program introduces you to the tools to understand the basics of modern economic analysis, the initial emphasis has been placed on the pricing concept.
  • Economic and Financial Data Analysis: Through this module, participants will be introduced to various statistical tools and techniques and their applications in economics and finance. It covers concepts including descriptive statistics, correlation, covariances and population, hypothesis testing, regression, and its models and time series analysis. As part of the module, you will also learn to use statistical software such as R to demonstrate your learnings.
  • Introduction to Finance and Accounting: The module provides a foundational understanding of finance and accounting. Further, it will prepare you for advanced knowledge of electives and real-life applications. You will gain an insight into concepts like time value of money, risk and return analysis (optimal portfolio analysis, capital allocation framework), fixed income securities, derivatives, financial statements, financial ratios, dividends, business risk, and credit analysis.
  • Money and Banking: The module aims to provide a broader view of the different instruments of money and capital markets and banking operations. Concepts highlighted in this module include money and its forms, banking management principles, interest rate analysis, banking, and monetary policy and financial regulation.
  • Game Theory and Strategy: Strategic interactions are pervasive in all walks of life. The module aims to present a systematic study of these strategic interactions, focusing on their applications in businesses and public policy. Accordingly, you will learn in-depth about game trees, simultaneous move games, extensive form games, mixed strategy Nash equilibrium and applications, and cooperative game theory and applications.
  • Global Economy and International Finance: Get introduced to the economics of international markets and how international considerations affect financial and economic models. The concepts included in the study cover globalization, the foreign exchange market, currency, quotes and prices, the balance of payments, exchange rate systems, interest rate parity conditions, and exchange rate determination.

The Specialization Modules include

  • Machine Learning Applications: In this module, you will be introduced to machine learning (ML) and computational tools to implement ML schemes on economic data sets.
  • Advanced Financial Econometrics: The primary aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of various tools and techniques along with their applications used for better understanding and investment decisions. The topics covered include autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity models, panel data modeling, limited dependent variable model and their applications in policy design and implementation, simulation methods, and event-study analysis.
  • Probability and Stochastic Systems: Understanding probability is critical to study a world replete with randomness and uncertainty. Through this module, you will learn not only how to solve challenging technical problems but also be exposed to various ways in which probability is applied in the real world.

The Elective Modules include

  • Economics of Platforms: Digital platforms such as Amazon, Zomato, Uber, Netflix, and Facebook, among many others, have become an essential part of our life. In this module, you will systematically study the economics of these platforms, emphasizing their applications in public policy and businesses.
  • Applied Corporate Finance: The module is designed to provide an applied role of corporate finance in investment decisions from investors' and firms' perspectives. The topics covered include corporate finance concepts, capital budgeting, stock valuation, capital asset pricing model, portfolio and factor models (APT, Fama, French), cost of equity estimation, and long-term financing.
  • Applied Macroeconomics: In this module, you will have gained a firm understanding of tools to analyze economies subject to macroeconomic influences, both foreign and domestic. The topics coming under its purview include inflation, deflation, monetary policy and accounts, fiscal systems, external accounts, risk assessment, and a glimpse into current macroeconomics prevailing during and after pandemics.
  • Public Policy: In this module, you will get a glimpse into the role and processes of government in the economy. It also reviews the empirical tools, including the role of data and statistical tools required to study the efficacy of government policies.
  • Contemporary Issues in the Indian Economy: The primary aim of this module is to introduce you to the basic macroeconomic indicators of the Indian economy. Give an insight into the analysis of the income sources and various fiscal indicators, tax devolution, cooperative federalism, finance commission, sectoral understanding, and its contribution to the economy. Further, learn about the monetary and financial developments of the country and indicators covering socio-economic aspects of India's economy.
  • Program Evaluation: This module aims to equip you with tools and techniques for policy evaluation. The module is beneficial to the bureaucrats and industry experts involved in the grassroots-level monitoring and implementation of public policies.
  • Public Finance: The module covers different dimensions of public finance and is expected to provide a practical understanding of public finance, from policy making to its implications.

About IIT Kanpur

Established in 1959 by the Government of India, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur) is a globally acclaimed university for world-class education and research in science, engineering, management and humanities. We aim to provide leadership in technological innovation for the growth of India.

phd in finance or economics

State-of-the-Art Digital Learning Platform

The eMasters Program by IIT Kanpur will be delivered on iPearl.ai , a State-of-the-Art digital learning platform, powered by TalentSprint. iPearl.ai , highly rated for its user experience, is a direct-to-device platform that works seamlessly on any internet-connected device and provides a single sign-on experience for all your learning needs, including recorded videos, reading material, live interactive sessions, assignments, quizzes, discussion forums, virtual lounges and more.

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