The PhD in Business Administration-Finance track is a full-time, in-residence program lasting 4 to 5 years. The program prepares students to be academic researchers, tenure-track professors, or careers in government organizations and the private sector.

The curriculum has been updated to include the newest state-of-the-art data science and analytics classes, keeping up with current academic research and teaching trends. For example, courses in Natural Language Processing and Textual Analysis have been introduced. A new emphasis on data science provides students with the tools to differentiate their research in a competitive area. 

Students accepted into the program are offered full tuition credits and a $25,000 stipend to help defray living costs for up to four years. Summer stipends of $6,000 are also available annually to all qualified students. Travel grants annually fund academic conference presentations.

Small class sizes (4-6 students) also allow closer interaction with faculty publishing in top-ranked journals to develop research niches. We organize international conferences to signal that competence (Corporate Social Responsibility in 2019 and 2021). Mindful of the teaching career – a course on teaching skills is also part of the required curriculum. Recognizing the diverse insights other disciplines may bring, students can attend classes from two additional tracks of our PhD Business Administration program – The Organizations & Social Change and Information Systems for Data Science track. Also, competency tests in Accounting are part of the required curriculum. 

We are not accepting applications for fall 2023. We accept applications every other year; please check back next fall.

Notable Placements:

Meet our recent alums

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


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. To proceed, students take a qualifying exam in the summer of their first year. The second year is dedicated solely to seminar courses, with some covering investments, asset pricing, corporate finance, and accounting. Courses are designed to prepare students for taking on instructor duties in their third year. 

Sample Program of Study

Year One - Fall
BUSADM 722 - Cross-Section Analysis of Financial Data
BUSADM 710 - Accounting For Finance 
BUSADM 780 - Advanced Data Mining and Predictive Modeling
BUSADM 797 - Natural Language Processing in Finance

Year One - Spring
BUSADM 721 - Quantitative Financial Analysis II
BUSADM 723 - Time Series Analysis of Financial Data
BUSADM 731 - Financial Economics
Year One - Summer
Qualifying exam based on coursework in the first year.
Year Two - Fall
BUSADM 730 - Seminar in Investment and Asset Valuation
BUSADM 732 - Seminar in Corporate Finance
BUSADM 711 - Accounting for Finance II

Year Two - Spring
BUSADM 775 - Teaching and Professional Development
BUSADM 733 - Advanced Topics in Corporate Finance
BUSADM 734 - Topics in Investment Asset Pricing
BUSADM 736 - Accounting for Finance III
BUSADM 700 Business in Context: Markets, Technologies, Societies.

Year Two - Summer
Exam based on coursework in the second year - if successful, All But Dissertation (ABD).
Year Three - Fall
BUSADM 777 - Dissertation Seminar
PhD Proposal Defense (intersession)
Student teaches an undergraduate course
Year Three - Spring
BUSADM 899 - Thesis
Student teaches an undergraduate course
Year Three - Summer
PhD thesis defense (if ready)
Year Four - Fall
BUSADM 777 - Dissertation Seminar
Student teaches an undergraduate course
Year Four - Spring
BUSADM 899 - Thesis
Student teaches an undergraduate course
Year Four - Summer
PhD thesis defense due


Application Requirements

Applicants need to submit a current résumé or CV, a statement of purpose, a writing sample, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts of all prior academic work, official GMAT or GRE scores, and, if appropriate, an official TOEFL or IELTS score. Provide these materials directly to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Writing Sample:

Please submit with your application one or two selected samples of prior academic writings. Such writings could include course papers from your master’s program, research papers, conference papers, or other types of manuscripts. Length is not important, but these typically range between 2,000 and 10,000 words. Please select papers written by you (solo-authored) that best showcase your ability to tackle a relevant research topic by using or developing analytical frameworks or theories, referencing other people’s work, and using empirical evidence (if applicable).

Questions or concerns: Contact Lucia S. Gao, Associate Professor of Finance

Faculty Profiles

Our faculty has published in the most prestigious journals in finance and accounting. Recent publications include articles listed in the FT-50 list of the highest-ranked journals in business, including in Journal of Finance by Rui Li, Journal of Financial Economics by Chi Wan, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis by Mine Ertugrul, Journal of Business Ethics by Kun Yu, and Journal of International Business Studies by Jay Lee.

Finance Faculty

Accounting Faculty

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