• Comprehensive Exam

    During the summer following the completion of the second year of coursework, the student will be required to prepare an original research paper on a topic of interest to the student. The student will secure the participation of a faculty member to serve as the primary advisor in the preparation of the research paper. An advisor should be selected no later than May 31 following the student’s second year in the program.

    A first draft of the research paper must be submitted to the primary advisor no later than October 1 of the student’s third year. A draft which attempts to address any concerns of the primary advisor, which are to be specified in writing, should be submitted to the primary advisor and the academic coordinator of the Finance Ph.D. program no later than February 1 of the student’s third year in the program.

    To satisfy the comprehensive examination requirement, the student must then orally defend the research paper before a committee of the Graduate Finance faculty, which may be a committee of the whole but not less than four Graduate Finance faculty members, prior to May 1 of the student’s third year in the program. The paper itself, the primary advisor’s initial concerns and the student’s response to the primary advisor’s concerns will be available to the committee a reasonable period of time before the presentation.

    A student passing the comprehensive examination is eligible to defend a dissertation proposal. All dates specified herein are the latest dates at which the requirements can be met. Students are encouraged to complete and orally defend the research paper at the earliest possible date.

  • Qualifying Exams

    For the Ph.D. Finance curriculum, there are two sets of written exams. The first set is the Preliminary Qualifying Exam (PQE), which is administered during August, following completion of one full year in the program. The PQE asks specific problem-oriented questions that draw upon a knowledge-base that Ph.D. candidates are expected to have mastered. The second set is the Comprehensive Exams.

    The Ph.D. qualifying exam committee typically offers the Preliminary Qualifying Exam (PQE) during the period between the end of the second summer session and the beginning of the fall semester. Students satisfying the scholastic requirements described in the Guide to Graduate Programs in Finance will be eligible to sit for the exam once they have successfully completed FI 512, FI 515 and FI 601.

  • The Dissertation

    During the third year, students are expected to commence work on the dissertation. Students are transferred from the program committee to a dissertation committee and formally begin work on their thesis defense.

    Writing a dissertation is the final test of research skills. It requires an understanding of relevant literature and methodology, as well as the ability to think independently. Ph.D. candidates must find an original topic, plan a test of hypotheses, and write and defend at a final oral examination a document acceptable to the dissertation committee and to the Graduate School.

  • Application Deadlines
    Domestic Students

    Fall Term - July 1
    Spring Term - November 1
    Summer - April 1

    International Students

    Fall Term - Outside the United States - January 15
    Fall Term - Inside the United States - April 15
    Spring Term - Outside the United States - June 1
    Spring Term - Inside the United States - September 15

    To be considered for funding for the fall term, your application should be submitted no later than January 15.

  • Year One
    EC 570
    Introduction to Mathematical Economics*
    EC 610
    FI 515
    Quantitative Investment Analysis
    FI 512
    Money & Capital Markets
    FI 601
    Financial Management Theory

    Two quantitative electives are also required.

    *Offered in August and regular fall semester

  • Year Two
    FI 602
    Finance Seminar

    Two quantitative electives and two Economics minor electives are also required.

  • Year Three
    FI 602
    Advanced Financial Theory
    FI 699
    Dissertation Research*

    *6 hours of Dissertation Research are required.

  • Year Four

    During the fourth year, the student should enroll in FI 699 and at least six hours of dissertation research each semester. It is anticipated that each student will enter the job market during the fall semester. By this point, the student should have written at least two journal-length papers for the seminar courses described above. These papers and the hours spent on dissertation research are expected to be adequate for a student to have at least one good paper for the job market as well as one or more additional working papers. Students who expect to succeed in the job market should also be prepared to successfully defend their dissertation proposal by the end of the fall semester.

    Normally, each qualified fourth-year student will be expected to teach one class each semester during the fourth year. A student who has not completed his or her dissertation by the end of the fourth year is expected to return to campus to defend a completed dissertation. No financial aid will be awarded after the fourth year.

and staff
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Program Coordinator
Dr. Doug Cook 205-348-8971
Alston 225
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