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Finance Ph.D.

Frequently Asked Questions

I received an MBA with a concentration in finance from another school. Can I be considered for the Ph.D. in finance at West Virginia University?

Yes, we believe it is important to have a broad understanding of the key areas of finance including corporate finance, investments, derivatives, and financial statement analysis. Students with this background will receive strong consideration in the application process.

I received an MBA with no concentration or a non-finance concentration from another school. Can I be considered for the Ph.D. in Finance at West Virginia University?

It is likely that you will need to enhance your finance background with additional courses beyond what you took in a general MBA program. Most general MBA programs require corporate finance and financial statement analysis but not necessarily courses in investments, portfolio theory, and financial markets. These are important components for a broad perspective of finance necessary to be successful in a Ph.D. Program in Finance.

I am currently in a Ph.D. program in Economics and would like to switch to the Ph.D. in Finance program. Do I need to complete the M.S. in Finance program before entering the Ph.D. in Finance program?

Yes.While you are likely to have strong quantitative and research skills, you may lack the broad understanding of the core finance areas taught in an M.S. in Finance program. We believe it is important for a finance doctoral student to have a broad understanding of such areas as corporate finance, investments, derivatives, and financial statement analysis.

Why is there such a focus on the passing the CFA exam in the M.S. in Finance program and as a qualifying exam for the Ph.D. in Finance?

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is an integral part of the M.S. in Finance Program at West Virginia University. The M.S. in Finance program is very practical and focused on preparing students for careers as financial analysts, portfolio managers, and valuation consultants. Graduates of the M.S. in Finance Program often follow two career tracks: industry or further graduate work. The CFA Level I exam is used as a qualifying exam for the Ph.D. program because it tests students on a broad overview of finance topics that are needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the finance area.

How does the Ph.D. in Finance program at West Virginia University differ from other Ph.D. in Finance programs across the county?

A Ph.D. in finance is a research degree, and our program maintains this strong research focus. However, we also strive for some balance between the academic perspective and an applied perspective on issues important to finance practitioners. We encourage outstanding students to simultaneously work towards their Ph.D. degree and CFA charter. This combination of academic and professional credentials substantially enhances the student’s attractiveness to many potential employers globally.

Why should I consider a newly formed Ph.D. program as opposed to more mature programs with experience and a track record?

The Ph.D. program at West Virginia University accepts only two or three excellent students per year, and the small size allows us to provide students with a lot of individual attention. Our excellent faculty will help students develop their research agenda and place students at academic institutions or industry positions around the world. Morgantown is a small, friendly, and safe environment to live and study. Due to the excellent quality of life, Morgantown is consistently rated one of the best small towns in America.

When do classes start?

Fall semester classes start in late August.

I have taken the GRE but not the GMAT. Is the GMAT required or can I use my GRE score to meet the admission criteria?

We will consider the GRE score but strongly prefer the GMAT.

Will I be considered if I apply after the February 1 admission deadline?

Applications submitted before February 1 will be given priority consideration for admission and financial aid. Applications received after this date may be considered depending on available space in the program.

Do you require a personal interview?

After reviewing your application materials, we may invite you to a personal interview. The interview may be conducted by phone (or in person,if practical).

When will I know if I have been admitted?

If you submit your application by the February1 deadline, and you are selected for an interview, you can expect to hear from us by mid-March. The final admission decisions are generally made by the end of March.

Can I attend the Ph.D. program part-time?

No. This is a full-time program that requires students to be in residence all year, including summers.