The Finance PhD program provides a sound foundation in the finance and economics disciplines, as well as in related elective courses.

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Courses required for a Finance PhD

Course Requirements

Complete by end of year 2 the four required finance classes, namely Finance I to Finance IV, and required graduate-level economics classes in the Department of Economics (Microeconomics I, Econometrics I, and Macroeconomics I) and in total, a minimum of 11 graduate-level courses. Specifically:

  • Four required finance courses (Finance I to IV)
  • Three required economics courses (Microeconomics I, Macroeconomics I, and Econometrics I)
  • Electives to meet your specific needs or interests, which can include additional classes in economics (e.g., Microeconomics II, Macroeconomics II, and Econometrics II), mathematics, statistics, decision sciences, and finance

Second-Year Paper

Students are required to form a PhD faculty committee who will guide the student in developing/writing their second-year paper. This paper will be presented in October/November of their third year (roughly at the 2.25-year mark).

Qualifying Exam

At the end of the second year, a finance qualifying exam is offered based on Finance I to Finance IV. This exam is graded and evaluated by the finance faculty committee. The committee can fail a student in any part of the entire exam and determine if the student should take a new qualifier in any subject (or subjects) and/or retake the class that he/she failed in the qualifying exam.

Teaching and Research Assistantship

Students acquire critical classroom experience as professors’ teaching assistants in the courses they offer across programs at Fuqua. Compensated research assistantships beyond that are available on a competitive basis.

Preliminary Exam / Comprehensive Evaluation

The preliminary exam / comprehensive evaluation includes the second-year paper presentation, the performance in the courses and the qualifiers. The finance faculty use these inputs to evaluate the student after the second-year paper presentation. The faculty in conjunction with the student’s PhD faculty committee decides if the student passes the comprehensive exam. In case the student fails the comprehensive exam, he/she may be given a second opportunity as determined by the faculty within 4 months of the first presentation. In case the student fails in their second attempt they will receive a terminal master’s degree in business.

Dissertation Proposal

We suggest students form a dissertation committee in the fall of their fourth year, with the proposal occurring in the spring of the fourth year. Students have until the end of the summer of the fourth year to complete this requirement.

Dissertation Defense

We expect students to defend their dissertation by the end of their fifth year in the program.

 

Sample Program Schedule

The following is a pro-forma schedule that you might choose, depending on your background, experience, strengths, and interests. At the end of four full semesters (end of Year 2), you should have taken a minimum of 11 graduate-level courses to meet the finance area requirements.

Year 1

Fall

Spring

Summer

  • Microeconomics I (Required)
  • Econometrics I (Required)
  • Finance I / Introduction to Finance (Required)
  • Optional: Macroeconomics I
  • Finance II / Empirical Corporate Finance (Required)
  • Finance IV / Asset Pricing (Required)
  • Microeconomics II / Econometrics II /
  • Elective

Research

 

Year 2

Fall

Spring

Summer

  • Macroeconomics I (Required)
  • Two elective courses in economics or other fields
  • Finance III / Finance Theory (Required)
  • Two elective courses in economics or other fields

Qualifying exam based on Finance I to Finance IV*

Form PhD faculty committee for second-year paper

Research and write paper

 

Year 3

Fall

Spring

Summer

Presentation of second-year paper

Preliminary exam / Comprehensive evaluation*

Dissertation work

Research

 

Year 4

Fall

Spring

Summer

Dissertation work committee formation

Dissertation proposal defense*

Research

 

Year 5

Fall

Spring

Summer

Research

Research

Dissertation Defense*

 

Asterisk indicates key milestone (qualifying, preliminary, and final exams