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.
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.
RESEARCH AND TEACHING ASSISTANT REQUIREMENT
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.
|YEAR 1 - FALL|
| Microeconomic Theory I
Ph.D. Seminar: Capital Markets
|YEAR 1 - SPRING|
| Microeconomic Theory II
Macroeconomic Theory II
Ph.D. Seminar: Advanced Topics in Corporate Finance
|YEAR 2 - FALL|
| Ph.D. Seminar: Asset Pricing
Ph.D. Seminar: Topics in Empirical Corporate Finance
Ph.D. Seminar: Research Topics in Finance I
|YEAR 2 - SPRING|
Ph.D. Seminar: Advanced Topics in Asset Pricing
|YEAR 3 - FALL|
|YEAR 3 - SPRING|
|YEAR 4 - FALL|
|YEAR 4 - SPRING|
| YEAR 5 - FALL
| Dissertation Research and Writing
|YEAR 5 - SPRING|
Dissertation Research and Writing
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|
| 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
| Students Holding Master's Degree
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 Review, Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.
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