Ph.D. in Finance

The Ph.D. program in Finance at Boston College is internationally known for a rigorous curriculum that combines theory with applied research and pedagogy.

Finance faculty at Boston College are experts in their disciplines and globally acclaimed for their scholarship, research, and mentorship. In our collegial environment, students typically collaborate with one another and with faculty to produce groundbreaking research.

The academic program begins with systematic, rigorous training in quantitative methods, economics, and finance. In addition, students complete a major research project, serve as research and teaching assistants, and write a doctoral dissertation.

Graduates of the program are leaders in the field of finance who have the knowledge and analytical skills they need to conduct research and teach at the highest level.

Fall 2022 Application Deadline

The deadline to apply for the Ph.D. in Finance program is January 4, 2022.

Department Contact

Vyacheslav Fos
Ph.D. Coordinator

Graduate Admissions

Doctoral students in finance at Boston College complete a program of study that leads to competency in three areas: quantitative methods, economics, and finance. The program begins with course work in quantitative methods, economics, and finance. In the third year, students complete a major research project designed to develop their ability to do original research. Through hands-on experience as teaching assistants, students gain important pedagogical experience. Finally, each student completes a doctoral dissertation that contributes substantial, original work to the field of finance.


Students must complete a program of study that leads to competency in three areas: quantitative methods, economics and finance. The requirements of the program of study are typically satisfied by completing 14 courses in the first two years in the program. In some cases, course work prior to entering the program or successful performance on waiver examinations may be substituted for required courses. However, each student must complete a minimum of 12 courses while in the Program.


Satisfactory performance on a comprehensive examination marks the student’s transition from course work to full-time thesis research. The examination is intended to allow the student to demonstrate substantial knowledge of the literature and theory of finance and economics and competence in the area of quantitative methods. The examination consists of two steps.

Step 1: Students take an exam at the end of the second year in the program (late May). The exam covers all Finance Ph.D. classes taken during the first and the second year in the program. Whereas some of the questions will be specific and will test a particular topic, other questions will focus on broader understanding of the literature. Each student will be notified on their exam performance, immediately after it has been graded. There will be no second attempt to take the exam. If a student fails the exam, the only way to get admitted into “Ph.D. candidacy” would be to perform exceptionally well in Step 2.

Step 2: Students submit independent research proposals by the end of the summer of the second year in the program (late August) to their faculty advisors. Students present research papers at the end of the third Fall semester (early December). Ph.D. committee members will attend the presentation and will jointly evaluate the proposal. Students will be evaluated based on their performance in the exam (step 1) and the quality of research paper presentation (step 2).


Doctoral students are expected to engage early in research. The culmination of the program is the doctoral dissertation, a substantial, significant, and original contribution to the field that is prepared under the guidance of a thesis committee of three or more faculty members. When the research is complete, students present a thesis-defense seminar that is open to the Boston College community.


Doctoral students at the Carroll School are expected to serve as research or teaching assistants throughout their studies. Typically, a student works as a research or teaching assistant for 16 hours a week. In exchange, the Carroll School provides financial support for doctoral students in the form of a stipend and tuition remission.

Sample Course Sequence

Read Ph.D. in Finance course descriptions.

 Microeconomic Theory I
 Ph.D. Seminar: Capital Markets
 Microeconomic Theory II
 Econometric Methods
 Macroeconomic Theory II
 Ph.D. Seminar: Advanced Topics in Corporate Finance
 RA/TA Work
 Ph.D. Seminar: Asset Pricing
 Ph.D. Seminar: Topics in Empirical Corporate Finance
 Ph.D. Seminar: Research Topics in Finance I
 RA/TA Work

 Ph.D. Seminar: Advanced Topics in Asset Pricing
 Ph.D. Seminar: Research Topics in Behavioral Finance
 Ph.D. Seminar: Empirical Topics in Accounting Part I
 RA/TA Work


 Research Paper
 Research Paper Defense
 RA/TA Work

 RA/TA Work
 RA/TA Work

 Dissertation Proposal Defense
 RA/TA Work

 Dissertation Research and Writing
 RA/TA Work

 Dissertation Research and Writing
 Dissertation Defense
 RA/TA Work

The Ph.D. Program in Finance at the Carroll School attracts applicants from all over the world and from a wide array of backgrounds. While notable for the diversity of their individual achievements, our students typically share a track record of leadership, a strong commitment to research and teaching, and a desire to make a difference in the world.

Note: The following information reflects data for the entering classes of 2015–2021.


2015 Class Size
2016 Class Size 4
2017 Class Size 4
2018 Class Size 4
2019 Class Size 4
2020 Class Size
2021 Class Size 4
Overall Selectivity 5%


 Average GMAT Score
 GMAT 80th Percentile Range
 Average GRE Score  326
 GRE 80th Percentile Range
 Average Undergraduate GPA  3.32
 Average Full-Time Work Experience
 <1 year
 Students Holding Master's Degree


Average Age 29
Women 25%
International Students

International Enrollments

China Georgia
India Israel
Italy Mexico
South Korea

When it comes to career advancement, doctoral students in finance at the Carroll School have several distinct advantages. Not only does the Ph.D. program have an international reputation for academic excellence, Boston College’s Finance Department takes an active role in connecting students with exceptional career opportunities. Recent graduates are researching and teaching at such prestigious institutions.

Our students and recent graduates are also prolific scholars and writers, publishing regularly in top economic and finance journals such as the American Economic ReviewJournal of FinanceJournal of Financial EconomicsReview of Financial Studies, and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.

Where do our graduates work?

American University

Arizona State University

Baruch College (City University of New York)

Bocconi University

DePaul University

Fordham University

George Washington University

Indiana University


Lehigh University

Louisiana State University

Michigan State University

National University of Singapore

Texas A&M University

The College of William and Mary

University of Alberta

University of Arizona

University of Georgia

University of Minnesota

University of New South Wales

University of Notre Dame

University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

University of Virginia (Darden School)  

University of Hong Kong

Villanova University

Virginia Tech University

Meet Our Students

Learn more about current Ph.D. in Finance candidates.

Finance Faculty