Finance & Quantitative Methods

PhD in Business Administration


Emphasizing the development of university-level research and teaching skills.

PhD students are admitted for the fall term, on a full-time basis only. Admission is competitive and highly selective. Typically, only two or three students are admitted each year. Although these requirements are informal, the typical successful candidate has a GMAT score that exceeds 675 and an academic background with at least one full year of undergraduate calculus. A graduate degree is desirable, but not required.

The John Maze Stewart Department of Finance and Quantitative Methods does not require that applicants hold specific degrees or majors, and individuals from many academic areas have done well in the program. Recently admitted students have degrees in the natural sciences, engineering, and computer science as well as the more traditional areas of finance, economics, and business administration.

Accepted students receive full tuition waivers and graduate assistantship stipends, which are quite competitive. Additional financial support may include fellowships, generous travel allowances, and the opportunities for summer teaching and research. Significant financial enhancements are offered to highly qualified applicants.

Admission Guidelines

To be considered for the PhD in Business Administration Concentration in Finance & Quantitative Methods, the applicant must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and Gatton College of Business and Economics.

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Degree Requirements


For students who have the relevant background courses in business, mathematics, and statistics before enrolling, a typical program of study totaling 48 hours is illustrated below. (Credit hours are in parentheses.) This program is intended only as an example. Individual programs of study may be developed to accommodate research interests.


Fall semester

ECO 590 - Introduction to Quantitative Economics I (3)
ECO 601 - Advanced Microeconomic Theory (3)
ECO 603 - Research Methods and Procedures (3)
FIN 700 - Seminar in Financial Theory I (3)

Spring semester

ECO 703 - Introduction to Econometrics I (3)
ECO 701 - Neoclassical Microeconomic Theory (3)
FIN 691 - Current Research in Financial Economics (3) 
FIN 750 - Seminar in Investment Theory (3)

Summer semester
 - First year paper


Fall semester

FIN 701 - Financial Theory II (3)
ECO 602 - Macroeconomic Theory (3)
ECO 706 - Introduction to Econometrics II (3)
Elective (3)

Spring semester

FIN 745 - Seminar in Managerial Finance (3)
ECO 706 - Introduction to Econometrics II (3)
FIN 691 - Current Research in Financial Economics (3)
Elective (3)

Summer semester
- Qualifying examination 
- Second year paper

Examinations, dissertation, and credentials

Shortly after finance PhD students complete the required courses, they take a written exam covering PhD seminars and related coursework. Then they compete their oral qualifying examination, which is a formal defense of their dissertation proposal. After they pass these two qualifying exams, students usually complete the dissertation process in one to three years.

In addition to working toward a PhD in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance and Quantitative Methods, our doctoral students can enroll concurrently in the Gatton graduate economics program. Those who pass the relevant courses and examinations receive a Master of Science in Economics. Students may also pursue the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Contact Us

If you are interested in challenging yourself intellectually and becoming a professor in a major research university, contact us to get more information about applying to our PhD program in Finance & Quantitative Methods. Contact Jeannie Graves.

Russell Jame
Director of Graduate Studies for Finance and Quantitative Methods