Earning a PhD in Finance – Program Building Blocks

Many people believe that a PhD in finance is the next step after a Master’s degree in finance, but this is not always the case. The MBA in finance is geared towards practitioners, whereas the PhD is intended as training to be a researcher in the finance field. Therefore, the methods used in the programs are distinctively different, and a person seeking out a PhD does not necessarily need to have a Master’s degree as a prerequisite.

The following is a guide to aid you in understanding what earning a PhD in finance will entail.

What are prerequisites for a PhD in Finance?

As mentioned before, you don’t always need a MBA before entry in a PhD finance program. The best preparation for a PhD is one of the following degrees:

  • MS in Finance
  • MS in Econ
  • Masters in Math, Engineering, or Physics

In order to be admitted to a top PhD program, you’ll need a GMAT score in mid to upper 700s. Of the two component parts of the GMAT, the math score is more important than the verbal. Most schools look for a student at the 90th percentile, and at the top finance programs almost all admitted students have GMAT math scores in the top 1 or 2 percent.

Depending on the particular background, your experience going into a PhD program in finance will prepare you for different situations. One who has a masters in economics or math may have interesting and useful insight into the financial process that having previously majoring in finance may not equip them for. Bringing unique experiences to any situation almost guarantees interesting results and this very well could come in the form of a dissertation or another research endeavor.

What is the Course Curriculum for a PhD in Finance?

Because of the advanced level finance students will be working in, it’s typical for those studying finance to learn the pricing and valuation of assets, the behavior of financial markets, and the structure and financial decision making of firms and financial intermediaries. It certainly isn’t limited to those and it’s important to note that quality finance programs should provide you with a good understanding of the methods used in theoretical modeling and empirical testing.

Some core courses in finance programs include:

  • Financial Economics
  • Corporate Finance and Financial Institutions
  • Empirical Methods
  • Microeconomics and Finance
  • Methods in Finance Theory
  • Asset Pricing
  • International Finance

Upon completion of PhD curriculum you should be able to:

  • Understand the methods of pure and applied research
  • Acquire skills needed for research related and academic positions in financial economics
  • Have firm understanding in the methods of quantitative analysis and the structures of financial institutions and markets
  • Be fluent in your ability to look at questions in new ways and to construct lucid, comprehensive analysis of problems raised to you
  • Participate well in seminars and workshop discussions; be conversational in oral analysis, debate, and evaluation

Understanding The Breadth of a Finance PhD Program

Since PhD programs in finance are incredibly large undertakings, it’s important to understand the differences between the masters program and what lies ahead. The different challenges associated with PhD programs largely mean an increase from the large workload in masters programs, but with starkly different responsibilities since it is much for focused on analytics and research. A PhD in finance provides stable footing for a number of positions in the workforce, including many different opportunities as a professor and expert lecturer on finance. If this is something you believe to be interested in, it is a highly regarded to field to become further immersed into and a very worthwhile allocation of your time and work.

Online Graduate Programs in Finance

Walden University PhD - Mgmt: Finance DBA - Finance MBA - Corporate Finance Walden University – Walden University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is one of the most popular schools for students seeking online graduate degrees. The school has a PhD and DBA in Finance available as well as an MBA in Corporate Finance if that better suits your career goals. Length of study can vary from two to three years.
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Northcentral University PhD - Business Admin: Financial Mgmt DBA - Financial Mgmt MBA - Financial Mgmt Northcentral University – Northcentral University is an Arizona-based school with accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. NCU is ideal for students seeking an online education from a smaller school with more personal attention from professors. NCU has online degrees for a PhD, DBA, and MBA in Financial Management.
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