Ph.D. in Finance

Ph.D. Program

This program is offered by the Department of Finance & Economics of Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick. Five research centers are associated with the Department: the Blanche and Irwin Lerner Center for Pharmaceutical Management, the Center for Real Estate, the Center for Research in Regulated Industries, the Rutgers Financial Institutions Center, and the Whitcomb Center for Research in Financial Services.

A master's degree in economics, computer science or mathematics is a plus. Students with a limited background in either economics or finance should consider the Master of Quantitative Finance. MQF students take some of the same courses as our doctoral students. Taking our doctoral courses as non-degree or MQF students does not, however, guarantee subsequent admission into our doctoral program.

Requirements

Additional enrollments may be required:

  • Students are sometimes required to enroll in non-degree courses to improve their English or their writing. They may also need to enroll in the non-degree course Teacher Training Seminar as part of their preparation for teaching. These enrollments require payment of tuition, but they do not count towards the 72 credits required for the degree.
  • Students must enroll in 26:390:689 every semester until they have defended a dissertation proposal. This registration requires their attendance in the Finance department's weekly seminar. A grade is given, but the enrollment is for zero credits and no tuition is charged.

Students are expected to take at least three courses for degree credit each semester during the first two years. They should then take the qualifying examination at the end of their second academic year. The last two years of the program should be devoted primarily to working on a dissertation.

Within a year after passing the qualifying examination, the student must defend a dissertation proposal.

Course Information

Foundation/methodology requirement (4 courses)

  • 26:223:552 Microeconomic Theory
  • 26:711:561 Optimization Models in Finance 26:711:564 Math Methods in Economics
  • 26:960:575 Introduction to Probability
  • Elective (e.g. Stochastic Processes, Game Theory, Macroeconomics, or Modern Statistics)

Major (5 courses)

  • 26:390:571 Investments
  • 26:390:572 Corporate Finance
  • 26:010:651 Accounting Theory I: Theory of Corporate Disclosures, Control, and Governance
  • 26:390:685 Floating Finance Seminar (2nd year)
  • 26:390:685 Floating Finance Seminar (3rd year)

Minor (3 courses)

  • 26:223:554 Econometrics - Cross Sectional
  • 26:223:655 Advanced Econometrics - Time Series
  • Economics Elective (e.g. Game Theory, Macroeconomics)

First early research requirement (equivalent to one course): Write a paper with a faculty member, to be presented to the department during the fall semester.

Second early research requirement (equivalent to one course): Write a second paper (ideally a dissertation proposal) with a faculty member to be presented to the department during the fall semester.

Paper presentation requirement: Upon passing the qualifying exam, students must continue to make an annual presentation of their research to the faculty. Presenting the proposal or early research papers satisfies this requirement for that year.

Seminar Attendance: Students are required to attend the faculty seminar series.

Floating Finance Seminar in 4th year: Students are required to take the floating finance seminar in their 2nd and 3rd year. The advisor may also require them to take it in their 4th year.

Preparation to teach: Students who enter the program with financial support may need to be ready to teach an undergraduate course in finance in order to be sure of having an employment opportunity from RBS during the summer. Those who do not already have teaching experience may want to consider the non-degree course in Teacher Training Seminar that is offered each spring semester.

Other rules and requirements: For details of rules and requirements that apply to all doctoral students in RBS, see Policies and Procedures.

Course Descriptions

390:571 - Investments

Spring 2006 and every second spring thereafter.

Surveys the fundamental assumptions and the analytical techniques of the modern theory of finance. Topics include choices involving risk using utility theory and state preference, portfolio selection, capital market equilibrium and its implications for corporate finance and portfolio selections, and option theory.Prerequisites: 26:223:552 and 26:960:577.

390:572 - Corporate Finance

Spring 2007 and every second spring thereafter.

Basic knowledge of theoretical and empirical model building in the area of corporate finance. Prerequisite: 26:390:571.

26:390:685 - Special Topics in Finance (Floating Finance Seminar)

Every fall

Topic: Market Microstructure

Market microstructure is the study of how markets operate and how transaction dynamics can affect security price formation and behavior. The impact of microstructure on all areas of finance has been increasingly apparent. Empirical microstructure has opened the door for improved transaction cost measurement, volatility dynamics and even asymmetric information measures, among others. Thus, this field is an important building block towards understanding today's financial markets. The course focuses on empirical methods and models, with special attention to high frequency data analysis.

Topic: Options & Risk Management

Financial Intermediation

This course will discuss both theoretical and empirical papers on Financial Intermediation. Topics include the endogenous theoretical motivations of banking, bank "specialness", loan contracting, collateral, FDIC insurance using sun spot and asymmetric theories, relationship lending, predatory lending, etc. Students will have to present a paper, and class grade will depend on the quality of that presentation and the submitted write-up of their selected paper.

Topic: Empirical Techniques in Corporate Finance

Topic: Financial Institutions

Topic: Corporate Finance Strategy

Topic: Options in Finance


  • 26:390:686 First Early Research Seminar in Finance
  • 26:390:687 Second Early Research Seminar in Finance
  • 26:390:688 Independent Study in Finance
  • 26:390:799 Dissertation Research in Finance

Please note: Links to recent syllabi are provided where possible. In some cases, the link goes to the web site for the individual faculty member, where the syllabus is maintained. In other cases, the link allows you to download the syllabus. Other syllabi are available in the Program Office.

These syllabi are provided as information to potential applicants. They should also help current students make their individual study plans. But they are subject to change. Students should not buy books or make other plans related to a course until they have confirmed with the instructor that they have an up-to-date syllabus for the semester in which they are taking the course.