Finance

 The cornerstone of the finance track in UMass Boston's Business Administration, PhD Program is to provide training that facilitates innovations and provides tools for significant research grounded in the business realities of today. Complementing classroom study with field exposure will be key to developing the next generation of leaders in business and academics with the scientific background and skills required to innovate and conduct research to advance knowledge and practices in the financial industry. State-of-the art classes in data science are part of the required core curriculum of the program. A useful and practical summary provided by fellow PhD students about computing resources available to UMass Boston Business School researchers can be found here.


Who should apply?

The finance program track is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a full-time doctoral program specializing in areas such as:

  • corporate finance (e.g., corporate governance and control, executive compensation, capital structure, payout policy, raising capital, and corporate social responsibility)
  • investments and asset pricing (e.g., asset management and portfolio analysis, market microstructure, stock-price modeling, fixed-income market, derivative markets, financial systems in emerging markets)
  • accounting (e.g., financial reporting, accounting anomalies, managerial accounting)

Students that are accepted in the program generally qualify for both a stipend ($25,000 per year for four years subject to satisfactory academic progress) as well as full tuition credits to cover their educational expenses and help defray living costs. In addition to that, teaching opportunities over summer as well as internships at financial institutions are encouraged to complement the stipend. 

 

Impact

The Finance PhD track will prepare students to:

  • conduct translational research, which draws deeply on theory, applied methodological rigor, and with findings that have useful applications in business world
  • understand various factors that affect the operation of financial institutions/intermediaries and explore the ways in which risk management is changing at the world's financial institutions in response to the global financial and economic crisis.
  • design, develop, and reform financial systems in emerging markets (e.g., Africa, China, and India)
 

Kinds of Research

The finance track provides a unique curriculum that leverages research and teaching from both accounting and finance faculty. This, along with a small cohort, stimulates development of research across both the fields. Rigorous seminar courses allow students to learn and apply econometric techniques used in both fields in their research, as well as engage in interdisciplinary research.

One example of this interdisciplinary research is the application of accounting econometric techniques to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). As students go through rigorous coursework in both accounting and finance as well as a seminar course dedicated entirely to CSR, they are engaged in topics at the forefront of research.

Students are assigned faculty as mentors in their first year. Interaction with other faculty members is encouraged by the program through multiple brown bag seminars scheduled over the semesters, as well as seminars that feature external speakers. Through participation in regional seminars such as the Boston Finance Symposium, students are given the opportunity to network with faculty at surrounding universities in order to stimulate research across institutions. Students’ research progress is closely monitored to encourage conference participation as well as ensure that there is a steady stream of working papers in the student’s pipeline.

 

Career Opportunities

The PhD in Business Administration, Finance track will provide its students exceptional preparation for successful careers in business and academia. The rigorous training in finance and financial accounting combined with the personalized internships that offer students unique exposure to Boston's dynamic financial environment will help them to achieve their professional goals. Students in this track will be positioned to pursue academic careers in research-oriented business schools, and conduct research in government agencies and institutions, and financial and consulting companies.

 

Curriculum

The program is designed to give students a solid foundation in finance, economics, accounting, and econometrics in the first year through coursework. The intensity of the coursework takes into consideration that applicants come from multiple disciplines. Students take a qualifying exam in the summer of their first year to proceed. The second year is dedicated solely to seminar courses, with some covering investments, asset pricing, corporate finance, and accounting. Additionally, a course is designed to prepare students for taking on instructor duties in their third year. At the end of the second year, students give their second and final qualifying exam to proceed as ABD (All But Dissertation). The third year onwards is usually dedicated to research, with no coursework.

Sample Program of Study

Year One - Fall

Required Courses

BUSADM 700 Business in Context: Markets, Technologies, Societies
BUSADM 720 - Quantitative Financial Analysis I
BUSADM 722 - Cross Section Analysis of Financial Data
BUSADM 710 - Accounting For Finance I

Year One - Spring

Required Courses

BUSADM 721 - Quantitative Financial Analysis II
BUSADM 723 - Time Series Analysis of Financial Data
BUSADM 731 - Financial Economics
BUSADM 780 - Advanced Data Mining and Predictive Modeling

Year One - Summer

Qualifying exam based on course work in first year.

Year Two - Fall

Required Courses

BUSADM 730 - Seminar in Investment and Asset Valuation
BUSADM 732 - Seminar in Corporate Finance
BUSADM 711 - Accounting for Finance II
BUSADM 782 - Optimization for Data Science

Year Two - Spring

Required Courses

BUSADM 775 - Teaching and Professional Development
BUSADM 777 - Dissertation Seminar 
Choose 2 (one of which must be Topics in Corporate Finance or Topics in Investment Asset Pricing, depending on chosen field of study.)

BUSADM 733 - Topics in Corporate Finance
BUSADM 734 - Topics in Investment Asset Pricing

BUSADM 735 - Topics in International Finance
BUSADM 736 - Accounting for Finance III

Other electives

Year Two - Summer

Exam based on coursework in second year - if successful ABD.

Year Three - Fall

Required Courses

BUSADM 899 - Internship
BUSADM 777 - Dissertation Seminar
PhD Proposal Defense (intersession)
Student teaches undergraduate course

Year Three - Spring

Required Courses

BUSADM 899 - Thesis
Student teaches undergraduate course

Year Three - Summer

PhD thesis defense (if ready)

Year Four - Fall

Required Courses

BUSADM 899 - Thesis

Student teaches undergraduate course

Year Four - Spring

Required Courses

BUSADM 899 - Thesis

Student teaches undergraduate course

Year Four - Summer

PhD thesis defense due

 

Faculty Profiles