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Finance PhD

The Ph.D. in Business Administration with a major in Finance is a full-time, in-residence program lasting 4-5 years. It is a relatively small, high-quality program. The primary goal of the program is to prepare students for careers in research and teaching at comprehensive universities. The program of study requires the satisfactory completion of coursework, a first year summer research paper, a comprehensive examination, and dissertation research. 

Students will take courses in economic theory, econometrics and finance, followed by a comprehensive examination and dissertation research.

The program is built around an applied curriculum with a strong theoretical and quantitative foundation. This involves taking doctoral courses, passing a finance comprehensive exam, and defending a dissertation. The program curriculum includes 13 doctoral courses:

  • 3 courses in economic theory (ECON 701, ECON 702 and ECON 711)
  • 4 courses in quantitative methods/econometrics (ECON 721, ECON 725,ECON 726, ECON727)
  • 4 courses in finance (FIN 736, FIN 741, FIN 742, FIN 743)
  • 1 elective course with the approval of the Finance program coordinator

The Ph.D. Program in Business Administration at WVU is a full-time graduate program and requires at least three years in residence. The residency requirement is important because the doctoral degree has aspects of an apprenticeship which can only be accomplished on campus, working directly with the business faculty, and because teaching on campus is a requirement of the program. To prepare Ph.D. candidates for university teaching responsibilities, students are expected to teach after their second year in the program. They will work closely with faculty to ensure quality instruction and receive feedback on their development as university-level teachers.

Courses

A well prepared student will have a good breadth of course work at the introductory MBA level; advanced undergraduate or MBA level finance course work including investments, financial management, and financial markets; strong quantitative skills including linear algebra, intermediate multivariable calculus, and mathematical statistics; and a solid underpinning in economics in preparation for graduate economics courses including at least one semester of intermediate microeconomics. Students without the required background will often require some pre-Ph.D. course work.

Students with a strong undergraduate degree in finance will normally require a year to obtain the necessary breadth and depth courses before enrolling in the finance Ph.D. program. Students are recommended to take ECON 721 and ECON 725 as part of the pre-Ph.D. course work.

Please visit the WVU Graduate Catalog to review our program’s course listing and descriptions.

Preparing for Graduate School

Before you begin your application process for doctoral studies, we suggest that you evaluate the skills and knowledge acquired in your previous academic endeavors to ensure that they have adequately prepared you for the rigor needed to be successful in a doctoral program of study. To assist you, we have assembled a list of topics below that you should be familiar with before starting your doctoral studies. We suggest that you look the list over carefully and let us know if any questions arise. You will have the opportunity to fill gaps in your knowledge base in the first year of study with additional coursework. Linear algebra and calculus tools are especially important for quantitatively oriented and theory classes you will be taking during your program. We hope that you find this list of topics useful in preparing for the challenges of graduate school.

Areas to be Familiar with Before Taking Ph.D. Courses in Finance

  • Linear Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Basic Statistics and/or Econometrics
  • Corporate Finance
  • Investments
  • Derivatives
  • Financial Statement Analysis

Overview

The program is designed to be completed in four or five years, depending on the student's background, interests and dissertation progress. The program of study requires the satisfactory completion of coursework plus dissertation research.

Students will take courses in economic theory, econometrics and finance, followed by a comprehensive examination and dissertation research.

The PhD program in Business Administration at WVU is a full-time graduate program and requires at least three years in residence. The residency requirement is important because the doctoral degree has aspects of an apprenticeship that can only be accomplished on campus, working directly with the business faculty and because teaching on campus is a requirement of the program. To prepare PhD candidates for university teaching responsibilities, students are expected to teach after their second year in the program. They will work closely with faculty to ensure quality instruction and receive feedback on their development as university-level teachers.

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