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  About the Finance PhD Program

The main objective of the program is to produce outstanding researchers who can be placed in the world's top academic finance departments. Doctoral students in finance at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business have access to a large, active and collegial finance faculty with diverse research interests. The faculty devotes significant resources to the Ph.D. program, recognizing that having a top Ph.D. program is critical to maintain an outstanding research environment. The relatively small number of students ensures quality interaction with the faculty.  Faculty research interests span all areas of Finance.  For example, research on mortgage markets, financial institutions, and the shadow-banking system undertaken by Ross finance faculty and PhD program graduates has generated important insights about the factors that lead to the recent financial crisis and its calamitous economic consequences.  Topics of recent research interest by our faculty further include corporate governance and the role of boards, corporate investment policy, investor behavior, liquidity and asset prices, and global financial markets.

Students complete most of the course work for the Ph.D. during the first two years of the program. Because doctoral-level classes in micro-economic theory, mathematical economics, statistics and finance are among the first-year requirements, strong prior preparation is essential.

Courses during the second year comprise at least six electives (typically in math, economics and econometrics) in addition to two Ph.D.-level finance courses, one each semester. Students take two more doctoral seminars in finance during the third year. For the remainder of the program, they typically take one course per term in an area related to their research.

  FIN 855 Fundamental of Inv Decisions with Symmetric Info   FIN 865 Asymmetric Information
  FIN 871 Corporate Finance
  FIN 872 Continuous-Time Asset Pricing
  FIN 875 Empirical Methodology in Finance
  FIN 885 Research Topics in Finance

  FIN 900 Special Research for PhD Applicants & Candidates
  FIN 990 Dissertation - Pre-candidacy
  FIN 995 Dissertation - Candidacy

The finance department sponsors two seminars per week, and Ph.D. students are active participants in both seminars. To become proficient in the art of research, students produce a literature review during their first summer and a research paper during their second summer. They present their work in departmental seminars during the academic year. Students are also assigned to work for faculty members as research assistants.

Exams covering finance and related areas typically take place at the end of the second year. Students advance to candidacy by passing the exams and completing the two research papers. The remainder of the program is devoted to the dissertation.


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