Finance — MS, PhD

Degree Programs:

The MSBA program offers specialized training to graduate students desiring a more intense background in the field relative to the general preparation provided by an MBA. The objective of the program is to prepare students for careers in their chosen profession or for further graduate work. The program has a thesis and non-thesis option (the non-thesis option requires additional course work). The program of study is determined by the student and the student’s advisory committee based on the student’s background and areas of interest. The program also offers a joint program leading to both the MSBA-Finance and MBA degrees.

The MBA/MSBA-Finance is a 54-hour program administered jointly by the Finance faculty and the MBA program. The program saves the student fifteen hours of coursework over completing both degrees separately. For the MBA, students without two years full time work experience are required to do an additional 3-credit hour internship. Students must apply separately to each program (MSBA-Finance and MBA), but only have to pay one application fee. Students can also opt to apply for the second degree program during their first year in the other program.

The Ph.D. in Business with Concentration in Finance is a research oriented degree that prepares students for careers in research and teaching. It provides the depth of knowledge and skills required to conduct first-rate research in the field and present those findings in world-class scholarly publications. Our faculty is supportive of our students and works closely with them. Students will typically work on a joint research project with one or more of their professors early in their program. Thus, students are quickly immersed in doing substantial research.

Ph.D. candidates must be full-time, year around students. The doctoral program requires the development of a sense of scientific curiosity that permeates the extensive coursework and inquiry that is required. The core coursework is an intensive study of the theory and empirical analysis of Finance, focused on Investments, Corporate Finance, and Financial Institutions and Markets. Most of the coursework can be completed in the first two years. Students without master's degrees or otherwise lacking an appropriate background may be required to take additional courses.

The preliminary exam is taken after the required coursework is completed. This will usually be at the beginning of the third year. After satisfactory completion of the exam, the last phase of the program is devoted to research, including the publication of articles and completion of the Ph.D. dissertation and its defense. The length of this phase of the program is expected to take two or more years.

Information concerning specific program requirements may be obtained by visiting the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business website.