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Distinguish yourself as a leading finance scholar.

Our Ph.D. in Finance program educates and empowers students as they develop into leading industry scholars. We deliver a comprehensive curriculum paired with a hands-on research approach that involves doctoral students in research projects with faculty members early in their degree program.

Finance Doctoral Student Handbook

Curriculum Overview

The research interests of the department cover all of the major areas of finance, including corporate finance, behavioral finance, international finance, financial intermediation, financial markets, portfolio theory, empirical investments and theoretical asset pricing.

All students who enter the Ph.D. program in finance choose a program of study in consultation with the department’s doctoral program director. A typical student’s program covers a broad range of topics, including microeconomics, econometrics, corporate finance and investments (outlined below).

Semester 1 (Fall)

  • Economics 812A: Microeconomics I
  • Economics 820A: Econometrics IA
  • Finance 891: Topics in Finance

Semester 2 (Spring)

  • Economics 812B: Microeconomics II
  • Economics 820B: Econometrics IB
  • Finance 982: Finance Theory

First Summer Research

  • Research-related activity under supervision of faculty.

Semester 3 (Fall)

  • Finance 981: Corporate Finance Theory
  • Economics 821A: Cross Section Econometrics I
  • Free Elective

Semester 4 (Spring)

  • Finance 982: Investment Theory
  • Finance 983: Financial Econometrics
  • Economics 821B: Cross Section Econometrics III

Second Summer

Comprehensive exams are taken during late spring. After passing this exam, the student can begin working on the doctoral dissertation under the supervision of an individual faculty member.

Years 3 and 4 (and 5, if necessary)

Student conducts individual research, culminating in a doctoral dissertation. The dissertation proposal and defense are oral presentations made before the student’s dissertation committee.

Students are admitted to the doctoral program only for the fall semester and on a full-time basis. Find out more about admission criteria and the application process.

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Faculty-student collaboration is a significant part of the Broad experience. Doctoral students have the opportunity to work with some of the top researchers across multiple disciplines. Find out more about the research opportunities for finance doctoral students at MSU.

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The finance faculty at Michigan State University are outstanding in their field and have diverse research interests. Meet our faculty currently working with Ph.D. students in the finance doctoral program.

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See a roster of current doctoral students in the program as well as a listing of our graduates’ placements at research institutions across the globe over the last decade.

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Get answers to common questions regarding the Ph.D in Finance program at Broad.

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Tuition and Financial Aid

All admitted students (domestic and international) are eligible for a graduate assistantship. In the past all admitted students have been guaranteed four years of financial support, including a tuition credit and a monthly stipend. Students typically find that the stipend is sufficient to cover their living expenses. Eligible students may receive a fifth year of support, if required.

At the present time, all doctoral students in finance receive financial support from the department, the college, and/or various external organizations. Our goal is to provide every student admitted to the program with a graduate assistantship. The assistantship is usually at a half-time level, requiring the student to work as a teaching and/or research assistant for twenty hours a week. Renewal of financial assistance is contingent on satisfactory progress in the program and on funding availability.

Assistantships include a nine-credit-hour tuition waiver for each of the fall and spring semesters, a four-credit-hour tuition waiver for the summer session, a waiver for the out-of-state portion of tuition for non-Michigan residents and health insurance. The waiver does not include registration fees or other fees. The typical assistantship currently pays approximately $25,000 for duties assigned during the academic year.

Depending on funding and our teaching needs, we are typically able to offer most students an additional $5,000 assistantship over the summer for teaching. To be eligible for a teaching assignment, all international students must pass an oral English test (the SPEAK test) administered by Michigan State.

Since all admitted students typically receive funding, international students do not need to include the “Affidavit of Support” form with their application. Further details on the terms of assistantships will be provided to all students who are offered admission.

Contact Information

  • Department of Finance
  • Eppley Center
  • 667 N Shaw Ln Rm 315
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • Phone: (517) 353-1745