PhD Curriculum and Requirements
Students earning the finance and financial accounting concentration of the Freeman School's Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration degree are required to take a minimum of 48 credits. These credits include required coursework in the first two years of the program, a third-year paper, electives, and independent research credits once advanced to candidacy.
Econometrics Comprehensive Exam
In the summer after the first year, students will be required to take and pass the comprehensive exam in econometrics (to be administered and graded by the Department of Economics, with the passing grade determined by the tenure system Finance/Financial Accounting faculty).
First Year Paper: In the summer after the first year, students are required to complete a replication of an empirical paper in finance or financial accounting. The paper assignment will be the principal requirement of a for-credit course and should be completed by the end of the summer term under the supervision of two tenure system faculty members. Alternatively, students may work as a co-author with a tenured or tenure track faculty member, who along with a second tenured or tenure track faculty member will certify that the student has met the requirements for the first year paper in the joint work. Co-authoring arrangements will be based on voluntary agreements between students and faculty members.
Second Year Paper
In the spring semester of the second year, students are required to start (or join) a co-authored project with at least two tenured or tenure track Freeman School faculty members who have successfully published in A level journals. The goal is to learn how to write and polish research papers from people who have done it successfully. The faculty co-authors will grade and evaluate your performance on the paper. Co-authoring arrangements will be based on voluntary agreements between students, the Faculty Doctoral Program Director, and faculty members, without any a priori guarantee or compulsion.
Major Area Comprehensive Exam
In the summer after the second year, students will be required to take and pass the comprehensive exam in finance.
Starting in the summer after the second year (or earlier), students will be required to work on an independent research project in finance or financial accounting. This project should result in a paper and is to be completed under the supervision of an appropriate faculty committee approved by the program director. The student must complete and successfully present the paper to the finance and financial accounting faculty for advancement in the program. The final paper should be completed and presented by the end of the spring semester of the third year. The presentation will be considered an oral examination. Students successfully passing this examination will be admitted into candidacy.
Dissertation Proposal and Defense
After entering candidacy, students will be expected to actively pursue dissertation research.
Freeman offers a series of finance/financial accounting workshops and seminars throughout the year featuring notable guest speakers from universities across the country. Students will also present their own original research to their professors and peers in preparation for speaking at conferences and colloquia during their career.
Students are expected to attend unless they have a class conflict or an emergency. They are also encouraged to attend seminars in the economics department.
Expand the selections to view the required courses/curriculums:
Year 1: Pre-Summer (1 Course)
- ECON 7180 - Mathematical Economics I
This course covers the necessary mathematical foundations for economic theory, including financial economics.
Year 1: Fall Semester (3 Courses)
- ECON 7510 - Advanced Price Theory I (consumer theory and theory of the firm)
- ECON 7160 - Econometrics 1 (coverage of probability theory and basic econometrics)
- ECON 7530 – Advanced Income and Employment Theory (macroeconomics)
Year 1: Spring Semester (3 Courses)
- BUSN 7010 – Financial Economics Theory
- ECON 7170 - Econometrics II (advanced topics in econometrics)
- ECON 7175 - Econometrics III (applied econometrics)
Year 1: Summer (1 – 2 courses plus preliminary exam)
- Econometrics preliminary examination (given by economics department)
- BUSN 7140 - Empirical Research Paper I (see first year paper description above)
- ACCN 6030 - Financial Reporting I (if you have not taken an equivalent course in the past)
Year 2: Fall (3-4 Courses)
- BUSN 7170 - Empirical Research in Accounting Seminar II
- BUSN 7210 - Empirical Research in Finance Seminar I
- BUSN 7150 – Empirical Research in Accounting Seminar I
- ACCN 6040 - Financial Reporting II (if you have not taken an equivalent course in the past)
Year 2: Spring (3 - 4 courses)
- BUSN 7XXX - Empirical Research in Accounting Seminar II – (New Course)
- BUSN 7220 – Empirical Research in Finance Seminar II
- BUSN 7141- Empirical Research Paper II (Research with various faculty)
- BUSN 7020 - Investments & Asset Pricing Seminar*
*This seminar may be offered depending on faculty availability
Year 2: Summer
- Finance and Financial Accounting Comprehensive Exam
- Third Year Paper & Presentation
- BUSN 9990 – Dissertation Research
Year 4 and beyond:
- BUSN 9990 – Dissertation Research
Students who want to pursue a career in financial accounting are required to take Financial Reporting I & II (ACCN 6030 & ACCN 6040) if they have not taken equivalent courses in the past. They are encouraged to take additional accounting electives such as Advanced Financial Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis and/or finance electives. Students are encouraged to take these classes early in the program if possible.
Students who want to pursue a career in finance but who lack a finance background must take at least two graduate level finance courses, ACCN 6010 External Reporting and Financial Analysis (or equivalent), and ACCN 6020 Internal Reporting and Financial Analysis (or equivalent). Students are encouraged to take these classes early in the program if possible.
Doctoral electives are available in the Economics Department.
Additional doctoral electives in business may be offered depending on staffing availability and support.