We are looking for students who have strong analytical minds, yet who are also creative thinkers. We find that some of these students have come from traditional business programs, but many others come from more quantitative fields, including engineering, economics, math, statistics and the natural sciences. Students with business education backgrounds should make sure that they have the quantitative skills to survive in a Ph.D. finance program. Students with more quantitative backgrounds should make sure that they are familiar with MBA-level finance and are committed to using their quantitative skills to tackle finance research questions.
No. The finance program is an extremely intense program requiring a large time investment. Most of our students find that they study at least twice as many hours a week as they did during their undergraduate or master’s studies.
Historically, more than half of our students are international, drawn primarily from Europe and Asia. Many of our international students have a prior degree from a U.S. school. Most, but not all, of our recent students have a master’s degree. Our students’ prior degrees are quite diverse and include engineering, economics, math, statistics and finance.
We train students for research and teaching careers. Most graduates have secured positions at U.S. or international universities. A small number of students have chosen to pursue careers in consulting or industry. See the Students and Placements page for more information.
No. A degree from a U.S. school will exempt you from the TOEFL requirement.
We have no set cutoff for GMAT scores. However, we do look at these scores very closely. The average score of our most recent group of admitted students was 713. Unless a student has a very strong prior academic record, admission with a score below 650 is very unlikely.
We prefer the GMAT, but we are willing to accept a GRE score instead of the GMAT. We look at all scores on the GRE test, with an emphasis on the quantitative section. Our typical admitted student will have GRE scores in the 95th percentile or above. Unless a student has a very strong prior academic record, admission with an overall score below the 90th percentile is highly unlikely.
Absolutely not. A few students have practical work experience in the financial sector. This experience often helps them in identifying research projects and/or data sets. However, many students have no past job experience. Finance research is highly theoretical and statistical and requires a very different skill set than what is typically needed in the business world.
We typically receive 100–200 applications in any given year. We generally admit four to six students for study in a given fall semester. Competition for spots in the program is intense.
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, health insurance coverage, and a monthly stipend. Students typically find that the stipend is sufficient to cover their living expenses. In most cases, students can receive a fifth year of support, if required.