phd finance california

School of Business

A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management

UCR Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. in Finance

UCR’s Ph.D. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance provides students with a solid foundation in the theoretical and empirical tools of finance. The goal of the program is to prepare students for careers that focus on research in asset pricing and corporate finance. Because finance research draws heavily on the discipline of economics and requires extensive training in quantitative methods, students in the program are required to study microeconomics and econometrics in addition to taking seminars in the field of finance.

Requirements

After completing coursework and passing the comprehensive exam, students are required to produce a dissertation containing original research. A large portion of their time in the program will be devoted to this research and to communicating their research findings to others in written and spoken English. Students will complete this work under the close guidance of the finance area faculty, who are among the world’s leading scholars in finance. For additional information on the faculty members, please see the  finance area faculty .

The average time for program completion is five years. Students who progress through the program at the expected pace and who are successful in completing original research projects are typically provided financial aid throughout their five years in the program. Financial aid generally consists of tuition plus income in the form of stipends or teaching assistantships.

Application Information

The UCR School of Business is not accepting Ph.D. applications for Fall 2024. The next application cycle will be for Fall 2025 (applications will be open in September 2024).

Required Finance Courses

Covers econometric approaches to analyzing common problems encountered when conducting empirical research. Focuses on hypothesis testing, specification tests, general methods of moments estimation, the capital asset pricing model, multi-factor asset pricing models, event studies, operating performance studies, simultaneous equations models and endogeneity issues. Demonstrates programming in SAS and/or Gauss.

Deals with the contemporary issues in corporate finance. Focuses on selected classic and current empirical and theoretical research in corporate finance. Seeks to provide an advanced and rigorous background in the mainstream issues of modern corporate finance with an emphasis on empirical methodology.

Covers equilibrium models of stock returns and their relation to utility theory, arbitrage-based pricing models, options, term structure models and limits to arbitrage.

Covers empirical methods in finance research with an emphasis on empirical asset pricing studies. Topics include methods of testing models related to the theory of asset prices, stock market volatility and stock returns.

Topics include advanced topics in corporate finance theory and related empirical research.

PhD Program

The Marshall PhD Program is one of the premier Business PhD programs in the world. With a diverse and outstanding faculty and a student-centered culture, we have achieved stellar success in placing our graduates in faculty positions at the top business schools in the U.S. and abroad.

Accounting PhD Program

The Accounting PhD program includes research focused on several accounting disciplines, including Financial, Managerial, and Auditing and Corporate Governance Accounting.

Data Sciences + Operations PhD Program

Operations Management studies how firms organize their resources and recurring activities in order to be competitive in cost, price, responsiveness and quality. The field stresses quantitative techniques ranging from applied probability to optimization and game theory.

Finance PhD Program

The finance Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students for academic careers in financial economics. Financial economics is the study of how individuals and firms raise and invest resources, and how financial assets are priced. Specific topics in asset pricing include the determinants of asset returns, pricing of risk, behavior of investors, and trading mechanisms. Specific topics in corporate finance include capital structure, payout policy, financial intermediation, internal capital markets, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance.

Management + Organization PhD Program

MOR research includes the study of human behavior in organizational settings, the design of organizational structures and the relationship of organizations to their environments. MOR research draws on the basic disciplines of psychology, sociology and economics to investigate research questions in three general areas: organizational behavior, organizational theory and strategic management.

Marketing PhD Program

Marketing is an interdisciplinary field that examines the interactions of consumers and businesses in the marketplace. Academic research in marketing draws upon theories and methodology from a wide variety of fields, including psychology, sociology, mathematics, statistics, and economics. Faculty members in Marshall’s marketing department represent numerous theoretical backgrounds and substantive interests. As mentors, they encourage students to identify their own interests and develop the analytic and methodological skills to pursue their own research questions.

Marshall PhD Program

Maya Cratsley is a PhD Candidate in the Management and Organization department at USC Marshall.

PhD Program Benefits

Why pursue a Ph.D. at Marshall?

Because Marshall offers a distinct set of advantages that is rarely available at other schools.

World-Renowned Faculty

Marshall faculty are top-tier professionals with a passion for academia and research. Currently, Marshall Faculty rank 8th in the world in terms of publication output in the top business journals. Many of our faculty are thought leaders in their profession, conducting innovative and influential research, serving as editors at top journals, and taking leadership roles in research bodies and associations. During the past few years, Marshall has engaged in an aggressive and successful strategy to recruit some of the top researchers in various areas of business.

Student-Centered Culture

- Our student-centered program is based on flexibility, a collegial environment, free inquiry, informed risk taking and exposes students to top quality research early in the program.

- We employ a “learner-centered” approach, fostering intellectual partnerships between faculty and students as students hone their skills in identifying interesting research topics, conducting rigorous research, and presenting their research to academic and non-academic audiences.

- We maintain a high faculty-to-student ratio, allowing students to receive quality mentoring and to develop research and teaching skills under the apprenticeship of renowned faculty members.

- We strive for students to have ample co-authorship opportunities with faculty; most of our graduates produce multiple papers with faculty before graduation.

- Students have unmatched exposure to global cultures as USC is home to more international students than any other university in the United States.

- Graduates join two powerful networks with unsurpassed reach: the Trojan Family, with more than 375,000 USC alumni worldwide, and the Marshall Trojan Family, with 80,000 graduates in 123 countries.

Abundant Research Opportunities

At Marshall, we believe in exposing students to research early in the program and providing all the necessary support to prepare students for conducting top quality research. This includes providing resources such as state of the art computers/information systems support, innumerable research databases, behavioral labs, research grants and industry access. It also includes working with faculty on research projects, and receiving the necessary training, guidance and mentorship from a top-flight researcher.

Many of our Ph.D. students will publish at least one top journal paper along with faculty prior to graduation.

Cutting-Edge Curriculum

The Marshall Ph.D. program offers you the opportunity to explore your research interests and take advantage of the classes, centers and programs offered both within and outside of Marshall.

- Our curriculum includes numerous electives that can be taken within Marshall, at USC schools outside of Marshall and at other universities.

- USC offers more than 400 highly regarded graduate and professional programs that prepare students for leadership positions in research, education and professional practice.

- Our interdisciplinary approach to research includes productive collaborations with other USC professional schools and access to USC’s 100-plus research centers and institutes.

Competitive Financial Assistance

Fellowship & Graduate Assistantships

Accepted students receive a competitive fellowship and/or graduate assistantship package. The package includes full tuition, a generous stipend, health and dental insurance, and coverage of mandatory student health center fees. The combination of fellowship and graduate assistantship is guaranteed for five years for those who maintain satisfactory degree progress.

Outside Funding

Occasionally a student brings outside funding to replace or supplement the funding from the USC Marshall School of Business. Examples of outside funding sources include the Ph.D. Project, foreign governments, and the Accounting Doctoral Scholars program. Such funding is acceptable, but applicants should understand that funding source is not considered in the evaluation process. We accept only the top applicants regardless of the source of funding.

Research Support & Awards

Marshall Ph.D. students are provided with a discretionary account for teaching and research activities. The annual funding increases as the student progresses in the program into more research activities in the later years.

After advancing to candidacy, students become eligible for competitive research awards open exclusively to USC Marshall Ph.D. students. Past awards have been sponsored by the USC Graduate School, the Ford Foundation, the USC Marshall Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurship and the USC Marshall James S. Ford Award.

Location Advantage

Marshall is located at the heart of Los Angeles and Southern California, giving students access to the people and places that make the region a global force. As one of the world’s most dynamic, diverse and successful business centers, Los Angeles is equal parts international trendsetter and cultural crossroads. Students at Marshall are immersed in a vibrant international city that is a major player in emerging economies across the Pacific Rim.The University of Southern California, one of the world’s leading private research universities, offers a global outlook as well as close ties with the local community, providing opportunities to gain real-world experience while making a lasting impact.

  • ADMISSIONS INFO
  • INFO SESSIONS

Our students have had job offers from top business schools including Stanford, MIT, Harvard, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, UT Austin, Duke, NYU, Cambridge, London Business School, University of Michigan, Rochester, Nanyang, North Carolina, Emory, and others.

Shuping Chen, PhD '03

Current Position: Wilton E. and Catherine A. Thomas Professor in Accounting, University of Texas at Austin

Initial Placement: Foster School of Business, University of Washington, Seattle

Shuping is a highly published researcher in accounting with an emphasis in voluntary disclosure, who no holds an endowed chair in accounting at UT Austin. She is on the editorial board of The Accounting Review .

Ran Duchin, PhD '08

Current Position: William A. Fowler Endowed Professor at University of Washington (Seattle)

Initial Placement: University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Ran has published extensively in the top finance journals in areas as disparate as corporate finance and behavioral economics. He was recently awarded an endowed professorship at the University of Washington in record time. He also serves as Associate Editor of the Review of Financial Studies .

Negin Golrezaei, PhD '17

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Operations, Sloan School of Management MIT

Initial Placement: MIT, Sloan School of Management

Prior to graduation, Negin won the University of Southern California Graduate School PhD Achievement Award. This prestigious award is granted to a select few graduating PhD students across the entire university. Negin's dissertation has also won two prestigious awards: the INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section Dissertation Prize, and the Dantzig Dissertation Award.

FACULTY + RESEARCH

Select phd faculty, patricia dechow.

  • Robert R. Dockson Professor of Business Administration
  • Professor of Accounting, Finance and Business Economics

Professor Dechow's research focuses on accounting accruals, the quality and reliability of earnings, the use of earnings information in predicting stock returns, and the effect of analysts' forecasts on investors’ perceptions of firm value.

Mark Leroy DeFond

  • A. N. Mosich Chair in Accounting
  • Professor of Accounting

Professor DeFond is the A. N. Mosich Chair of Accounting, Leventhal School, University of Southern California. His research investigates issues in auditing, international accounting, and earnings management.

Nathanael Fast

  • Jorge Paulo and Susanna Lemann Chair in Entrepreneurship
  • Associate Professor of Management and Organization
  • Director of the Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making
  • Co-Director of the Psychology of Technology Institute

Nathanael Fast studies the psychological underpinnings of power, leadership, and technology adoption. His research examines how power and status hierarchies shape decision making, how people’s identities shape their professional networks, and how AI is shaping the future.

Fast is Director of the Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making and Co-Director of the Psychology of Technology Institute.

He received his PhD in Organizational Behavior from Stanford University and has been recognized for both teaching and research, including USC’s Golden Apple Teaching Award, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, and Poets & Quants "best 40 B-school profs under the age of 40.

Peer C. Fiss

  • Jill and Frank Fertitta Chair in Business Administration
  • Professor of Management and Organization, and Sociology (by courtesy)
  • Associate Vice Dean for Research

Peer is broadly interested in how meaning structures shape organizational actions. His work has been published in journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, American Sociological Review, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Organizations Science, Organization Studies, MISQuarterly, and the Strategic Management Journal, among others. Peer has also been working for almost two decades on the use of set-analytic methods in the social sciences, specifically on the use of fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in management and related fields. Most recently he has been working on applying set-analytic methods to policy analysis, specifically the intersectionality of poverty. His recent book with Charles Ragin (UCI) is entitled “Intersectional Inequality: Race, Class, Test Scores, and Poverty” (University of Chicago Press, 2017).

  • ALL PhD FACULTY

SELECT RESEARCH

"how do accounting practices spread an examination of law firm networks and stock option backdating".

Patty Dechow, Samuel Tan (2021)

The Accounting Review 96, 431-464

"Implied Equity Duration: A Measure of Pandemic Shutdown Risk"

Patty Dechow, Ryan Erhard, Richard Sloan, Mark Soliman (2021)

Journal of Accounting Research 59, 243-281

"Is It a Home Run? Measuring Relative Citation Rates in Accounting Research"

Patty Dechow, Richard Sloan, Jean (Jieyin) Zeng (2020)

Accounting Horizons 34, 67-91

"Understanding the Determinants of Analyst Target Price Implied Returns"

Patty Dechow, Haifeng You (2020)

Accounting Review 95, 125-149

"Virtual (freedom from) reality: Evaluation apprehension and leaders’ preference for communicating through avatars."

Roshni Raveendhran, Nate Fast, Peter Carnevale (2020)

"“Theorizing the Multiplicity of Digital Phenomena: The Ecology of Configurations, Causal Recipes, and Guidelines for Applying QCA"

YoungKi Park, Peer Fiss, Omar El Sawy (2020)

MIS Quarterly

"Director Networks and Innovation Herding"

Felipe Cabezon, Gerard Hoberg (2021)

"Product Life Cycles in Corporate Finance"

Gerard Hoberg, Vojislav Maksimovic (2021)

Review of Financial Studies Accepted

INSIGHT + ANALYSIS

Op-ed: if roe is overturned, democracy could be the best path forward on abortion.

John Matsusaka , the Charles F. Sexton Chair in American Enterprise, pens his thoughts for Politico .

Research: Do Employees Accept Behavior Tracking?

Research conducted by Nate Fast, Associate Professor of Management and Organization, and colleagues is discussed in Forbes .

Quoted: Peer Fiss in the Los Angeles Times

FISS , Jill and Frank Fertitta Chair in Business Administration, explains how a "poison pill" strategy works in a LOS ANGELES TIMES piece on Elon Musk's Twitter bid.

Recap: 40th Annual SEC and Financial Reporting Conference

DEAN WILLIAM HOLDER [Leventhal] and RICHARD SLOAN , professor of accounting, are mentioned in a recap of this year's conference by ACCOUNTING TODAY .

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Ph.D. Program Marshall School of Business University of Southern California 3670 Trousdale Parkway, BRI 306 Los Angeles, California 90089-0809

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Finance Graduate Programs in California

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Claremont McKenna College

Claremont, CA •

Graduate School ,

CLAREMONT, CA ,

Leavey School of Business

Santa Clara, CA •

Santa Clara University •

  • • Rating 4 out of 5   2 reviews

Master's Student: Smaller class sizes and up to date equipment make for a comfortable experience. Class is mostly younger international students. ... Read 2 reviews

Santa Clara University ,

SANTA CLARA, CA ,

2 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Smaller class sizes and up to date equipment make for a comfortable experience. Class is mostly younger international students. .

Read 2 reviews.

Rady School of Management

La Jolla, CA •

University of California - San Diego •

University of California - San Diego ,

LA JOLLA, CA ,

School of Education - William Jessup University

Jessup University •

Graduate School •

ROCKLIN, CA

University of La Verne

LA VERNE, CA

  • • Rating 4.46 out of 5   61

College of Science and Engineering - San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University •

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

School of Business - University of San Diego

San Diego, CA •

University of San Diego •

  • • Rating 5 out of 5   2 reviews

Master's Student: After doing some research in the Southern California area and speaking to former MBA students, I found the University of San Diego (USD) to be the most student centric. Their values of giving back to the community in addition to the passion that their professors have for the success of the students made it a top choice for me. Additionally, their focus around entrepreneurship is important given that San Diego is a big startup hub spot. In addition, I am looking forward to the partnerships that USD has formed with global companies. I will be able to take classes internationally as a result of these partnerships. These opportunities will allow me the opportunity to develop a global mindset. Having a global mindset will help round me out as a post-MBA student which should open the doors to a plethora of opportunities and ensure that I am another ethical leader entering the business world. ... Read 2 reviews

Blue checkmark.

University of San Diego ,

SAN DIEGO, CA ,

2 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says After doing some research in the Southern California area and speaking to former MBA students, I found the University of San Diego (USD) to be the most student centric. Their values of giving back to... .

School of Business - University of California - Riverside

Riverside, CA •

University of California - Riverside •

  • • Rating 3 out of 5   1 review

University of California - Riverside ,

RIVERSIDE, CA ,

1 Niche users give it an average review of 3 stars.

Read 1 reviews.

College of Business - University of La Verne

La Verne, CA •

University of La Verne •

  • • Rating 4.54 out of 5   13 reviews

Alum: It was an amazing experience. I was able to finish my MBA and just 12 months. Which I had finished right after graduating in three years with my underground. So getting an undergrad and a masters only took four total years. The professors are extremely helpful and understanding all the time. If you were looking for something in a field that one of the professors has, you should be the one to reach out to them and let them know you're interested. Student life is also awesome! There are so many ways to get involved through clubs, campus activity for events, and beyond. For both undergrad and graduate level. The area around the University of La Verne is directly intertwined with the local community. You could go to one of the university's eating establishments or walk 100 feet and go eat at the La Verne city restaurants. ... Read 13 reviews

University of La Verne ,

LA VERNE, CA ,

13 Niche users give it an average review of 4.5 stars.

Featured Review: Alum says It was an amazing experience. I was able to finish my MBA and just 12 months. Which I had finished right after graduating in three years with my underground. So getting an undergrad and a masters... The professors are extremely helpful and understanding all the time. If you were looking for something in a field that one of the professors has, you should be the one to reach out to them and let... Student life is also awesome! There are so many ways to get involved through clubs, campus activity for events, and beyond. For both undergrad and graduate level. The area around the University of La Verne is directly intertwined with the local community. You could go to one of the university's eating establishments or walk 100 feet and go eat at the La Verne... .

Read 13 reviews.

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Saint Mary's College of California

Moraga, CA •

  • • Rating 4.26 out of 5   34 reviews

Alum: As a former student at Saint Mary's College, I can confidently say that the best part of my experience was my exceptional education. The dedicated and supportive teachers fostered a stimulating learning environment, encouraging us to think critically and strive for academic excellence. The picturesque campus provided a tranquil setting for studying and reflection. Most importantly, the coursework was thoughtfully designed, balancing theoretical knowledge and practical application. However, what truly made my time at Saint Mary's memorable was the strong sense of camaraderie among students, creating a supportive and inclusive community. Overall, the education I received at Saint Mary's College was unparalleled and prepared me for future success in my career. ... Read 34 reviews

MORAGA, CA ,

34 Niche users give it an average review of 4.3 stars.

Featured Review: Alum says As a former student at Saint Mary's College, I can confidently say that the best part of my experience was my exceptional education. The dedicated and supportive teachers fostered a stimulating... .

Read 34 reviews.

California Lutheran University School of Management

Thousand Oaks, CA •

California Lutheran University •

Master's Student: I loved the sense of community and support provided by the school. It was easy to get a hold of professors and navigate through the curriculum. Also, the program is challenging and combines education with real life experiences. ... Read 2 reviews

California Lutheran University ,

THOUSAND OAKS, CA ,

Featured Review: Master's Student says I loved the sense of community and support provided by the school. It was easy to get a hold of professors and navigate through the curriculum. Also, the program is challenging and combines education... .

Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business

La Sierra University •

La Sierra University ,

University of Arizona Global Campus

  • • Rating 4.6 out of 5   137 reviews

Doctoral Student: The University of Arizona Global Campus offers a PsyD inPsychology that prepares students to become psychologists. Some of the best aspects of the program include the focus on evidence-based practice, which ensures that students learn the latest techniques and approaches to treatment. On the other hand, one potential downside of the program may be the cost. As with many doctoral programs, tuition and fees can be high, and students may need to take out significant loans to cover the costs. Additionally, the program's rigorous curriculum can be challenging, and students will need to be dedicated and motivated to succeed. Overall, the University of Arizona Global Campus' PsyD in Psychology program offers a comprehensive education for aspiring clinical psychologists. However, students should carefully consider the costs and demands of the program before enrolling. ... Read 137 reviews

137 Niche users give it an average review of 4.6 stars.

Featured Review: Doctoral Student says The University of Arizona Global Campus offers a PsyD inPsychology that prepares students to become psychologists. Some of the best aspects of the program include the focus on evidence-based practice, which ensures that students learn the latest techniques and approaches to treatment. On the other hand, one potential downside of the program may be the cost. As with many doctoral programs, tuition and fees can be high, and students may need to take out significant loans to cover... Overall, the University of Arizona Global Campus' PsyD in Psychology program offers a comprehensive education for aspiring clinical psychologists. However, students should carefully consider the... .

Read 137 reviews.

University of Phoenix - California

Ontario, CA •

  • • Rating 4.22 out of 5   9 reviews

Master's Student: I am in the master's business administration program and just graduated with my bachelors in November 2021. This program is quite different from my last but not by much as it is more business authenticated and not health care administration. I love this program as it teaches outside-of-the-box thinking, management, and even essential working skills needed for the field. ... Read 9 reviews

ONTARIO, CA ,

9 Niche users give it an average review of 4.2 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says I am in the master's business administration program and just graduated with my bachelors in November 2021. This program is quite different from my last but not by much as it is more business... .

Read 9 reviews.

Golden Gate University Graduate Programs

San Francisco, CA •

Golden Gate University •

Golden Gate University ,

SAN FRANCISCO, CA ,

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Lincoln University - California

Oakland, CA •

  • • Rating 4 out of 5   9 reviews

Master's Student: We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and to show you personalized advertising. To find out more, read our privacy policy and cookie policy. ... Read 9 reviews

OAKLAND, CA ,

9 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and to show you personalized advertising. To find out more, read our privacy policy and cookie policy. .

California Intercontinental University

Irvine, CA •

Doctoral Student: I gained higher academic achievement at a higher level to impact knowledge. CIU has a good education program system, an easy-to-understand online study platform, and good services for students to reach new opportunities for education success and a value proposition. ... Read 2 reviews

IRVINE, CA ,

Featured Review: Doctoral Student says I gained higher academic achievement at a higher level to impact knowledge. CIU has a good education program system, an easy-to-understand online study platform, and good services for students to... .

College of Health and Community Well - Being - University of La Verne

Southern California Institute of Architecture

LOS ANGELES, CA

  • • Rating 4.56 out of 5   9

Graduate College of Education - San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University

  • • Rating 4.16 out of 5   50

Showing results 1 through 15 of 15

PhD Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy in Management prepares you for a career in teaching and scholarly research at the university level. This full-time program emphasizes a strong foundation in both methodological and theoretical training.

Highly individualized, the doctoral program allows students to pursue their own areas of interest. Candidates are expected to work closely with the Merage School faculty members and, when appropriate, with faculty from other academic units on campus. A teaching requirement, supported by an ongoing seminar in pedagogy, will give you valuable experience in the classroom. 

A PhD STEM Degree Program

Our PhD in Management program is approved as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Designated Degree Program. Under the Optional Practical Training program, international students who graduate from the program are able to remain in the United States and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months, and can remain for an additional 24 months on an OPT STEM extension.

Application Fee Waiver

In order to support initiatives aimed at addressing and increasing diversity of business school faculty, UC Irvine will waive the PhD Application fees not only for applicants who meet university-wide criteria but also for students who have participated in various programs. See a full list of those programs here .

Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to breaking down barriers to higher education while celebrating the contributions and achievements of all students—regardless of culture, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion or nationality. We believe that as a world-class business school, we have a duty to help dismantle systemic racism and discrimination and promote diversity in the business world.

  • 3.79 Average Graduate GPA
  • 78% Female Students
  • 67% International Students

Program Structure

The doctoral program reflects the School's philosophy that a broad and cross-functional orientation is necessary to appreciate complex business problems that extend beyond the narrow confines of a particular discipline. Students planning academic careers can take advantage of teaching opportunities, along with instruction in teaching techniques that are especially effective in management education.

Within the general field of management, many disciplines and technologies are appropriate for advanced study. Because you work closely with the Merage School faculty , areas of concentration often parallel the strengths of faculty members. These areas include accounting, finance, information systems, marketing, operations and decision technologies, and organization and management, and strategy. The doctoral program is divided into two phases, qualification and dissertation.

Qualification (Phase I)

The Qualification Phase provides students with a general exposure to their area of specialization, the discipline of management, and methodological tools. The doctoral program curriculum is based on a flexible menu system, consisting of two menus of courses – one for research methods and one for theoretical breadth courses. 

Coursework requirements are approved by the faculty from your area of specialization. Before advancing to candidacy, your are also required to complete 4 breadth courses on the school-wide menu and the theoretical menu, outside your major field. During this phase, you acquire the knowledge necessary to conduct original research and scholarship including: 

  • Knowledge of research, theory, and key issues in the major subfields in the area of specialization
  • The appreciation of critical analytic abilities relevant to the area of specialization
  • Research methods relevant to the area, including both knowledge of methods and a demonstration of the capacity to use the methods

To advance beyond the Qualification Phase, you must complete all required coursework, a written preliminary examination, and a formal oral qualifying examination. The maximum duration of this phase is 9 academic quarters or 3 calendar years.

Academic Advisor

As a Phase I PhD student, you will be assigned an academic faculty advisor from your area of specialization to assist you in getting acclimated to the Merage School PhD program. The advisor guides you in planning your PhD coursework and supervises your academic progress for the first two years of the program.    During this phase, you have the opportunity to identify/discover your research interests and find a faculty member who best fits your research needs. The Academic Advisor and the Qualifying Advisor may or may not be the same person.

Qualifying Advisor

At the beginning of the third year, the Qualifying Advisor provides you guidance in pursuing your research interests. The Qualifying Advisor may also be the chair of your thesis committee.

Dissertation (Phase II)

The Dissertation Phase requires the completion of a significant original research project and a dissertation which demonstrates your creativity and ability to launch and sustain a career in research. The type of research project selected is an important determinant of the amount of time you will spend in this phase. Upon approval of the dissertation and final examination (dissertation defense), your doctoral committee recommends the conferral of the degree. The Dissertation Phase is expected to take 24 months after you have advanced to candidacy, which ordinarily occurs three years into the program. The normative time to degree is five years.

PhD Placements

Browse all PhD placements by area of study.

Faculty Director

Professor Violina Rindova   holds the Dean’s Leadership Circle Chair. Prior the joining the Merage School of Business, she was on the faculty of the Marshall School of Business, USC, where she held the Captain Henry W. Simonsen Chair in Strategic Entrepreneurship and served as a Research Director of the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies; and the faculty of the McCombs School of Business, where she held the Zlotnik Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and Herb Kelleher Chair in Entrepreneurship and served as the Director of the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth and Renewal. She holds a PhD in Management from the Stern School of Business, New York University, an MBA from Madrid Business School, Spain, and a JD from Kliment Ohridski University, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Professor Rindova has published over 70 articles and book chapters in the leading management journals on a variety of strategy and entrepreneurship topics including competitive and growth strategies in dynamic and uncertain technology contexts; the socio-cognitive and cultural approaches to strategic innovation and market creation and transformation; and stakeholder evaluations, media attention, and the development of firm reputation. Her recent work focuses on strategy under uncertainty and how firms imagine and shape the future through design-based strategies. Her work has been frequently in the business media, including the   Economist , the   New York Times , and the   Washington Post . She is the recipient of multiple grants and awards, including the Thought Leadership Award from the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management, the Award for Outstanding Scholarly Contribution from   Strategic Organization , the Best Paper Award from the Strategic Management Society, and the   Journal of Management Inquiry   Distinguished Scholar Award. She has served as an Associate Editor of the   Academy of Management Review   and is currently a senior editor at   Strategy Science .

Professor Rindova has taught in a variety of executive programs around the globe and has worked with clients from the advertising, entrainment, insurance, food, healthcare, and education industries.

UC Irvine’s faculty are top-notch and care deeply about their students. I wanted to attend a program that developed my interests, honed my skillset and was ultimately vested in the outcome of my education. I can categorically say that UCI has exceeded all my expectations. Aruhn Venkat, PhD '20

Learn more about applying for the PhD program.

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The field of finance covers the economics of claims on resources. Financial economists study the valuation of these claims, the markets in which they are traded, and their use by individuals, corporations, and the society at large.

At Stanford GSB, finance faculty and doctoral students study a wide spectrum of financial topics, including the pricing and valuation of assets, the behavior of financial markets, and the structure and financial decision-making of firms and financial intermediaries.

Investigation of issues arising in these areas is pursued both through the development of theoretical models and through the empirical testing of those models. The PhD Program is designed to give students a good understanding of the methods used in theoretical modeling and empirical testing.

Preparation and Qualifications

All students are required to have, or to obtain during their first year, mathematical skills at the level of one year of calculus and one course each in linear algebra and matrix theory, theory of probability, and statistical inference.

Students are expected to have familiarity with programming and data analysis using tools and software such as MATLAB, Stata, R, Python, or Julia, or to correct any deficiencies before enrolling at Stanford.

The PhD program in finance involves a great deal of very hard work, and there is keen competition for admission. For both these reasons, the faculty is selective in offering admission. Prospective applicants must have an aptitude for quantitative work and be at ease in handling formal models. A strong background in economics and college-level mathematics is desirable.

It is particularly important to realize that a PhD in finance is not a higher-level MBA, but an advanced, academically oriented degree in financial economics, with a reflective and analytical, rather than operational, viewpoint.

Faculty in Finance

Emeriti faculty, recent publications in finance, recent insights by stanford business.

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Distinctly Quantitative

Combining data science and financial modeling.

The Rady Master of Finance prepares you to analyze the large — and often multiple — real-time data sets that drive financial decision-making and risk management. Many of the empirical methods you’ll use have emerged from UC San Diego’s own world-renowned econometrics research. This emphasis on empirical data-driven methods sets the Rady degree apart from other Master of Finance programs.

And because the financial world runs on collaboration, we’ve developed a team-based approach to learning that prepares you for a career in the industry. You’ll graduate technically proficient and ready to be a sought-after colleague, collaborator and incisive decision-maker.

Noah Conlon

“My Life at Rady has been amazing. I’ve had the chance to meet some fantastic people who have a passion for finance and are extremely smart.” - Noah Conlon , MFin '22

Key Differentiators

Stem designated.

Our STEM designation ensures that you will be equipped with the strong quantitative and analytical skills in demand by top employers.

CFA and GARP affiliate

Scholarships for exams and topical industry seminars and meetings are available to MFin students as a benefit of the program’s academic affiliate status.

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Meet our students and learn about their experience in the MFin program.

Your coursework emphasizes cutting-edge methods for analyzing big data for financial decision-making and risk management.

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Finance Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Finance

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phd finance california

Application Requirements

Applications for Fall 2024 are now OPEN with all areas except GEM accepting applications for Fall 2024 

(GEM will next accept applications for Fall 2025).

The deadline to apply is Friday, January 5, 2024.

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Statement of Purpose

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Application Fee

$135 application fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, $155 application fee for all other applicants

Transcripts

We require a scanned transcript and degree certificate from each college or university you attended, uploaded into the online application.

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Recommendations

Within your application, provide three (3) letters of recommendation, preferably from sources who can assess your potential as a researcher.

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GRE/GMAT Score

Submit official score report for GRE or GMAT (GRE is preferred).

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TOEFL Score (International Applicants Only)

Submit official score report of the TOEFL.

Additional Information

A financial statement for students seeking non-immigrant visas (international applicants only) will be required only after you are offered admission to the program. There is no need to submit it with the application.

Hard copies of official documents and transcripts are NOT required in the application phase. If you are accepted for admission, we will ask you to send official sealed copies of all of your transcripts and degree certificates at that time.

A personal history statement is not required, but you may upload one if you like.

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COMMENTS

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    Ph.D. in Finance UCR's Ph.D. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance provides students with a solid foundation in the theoretical and empirical tools of finance. The goal of the program is to prepare students for careers that focus on research in asset pricing and corporate finance.

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    Our Ph.D. students work with renowned faculty whose expertise covers corporate finance, macroeconomics, asset pricing, derivatives, investments and behavioral finance. The UCLA Anderson Doctoral Program is highly selective.

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    University of San Diego •. Graduate School. •. 2 reviews. Master's Student: After doing some research in the Southern California area and speaking to former MBA students, I found the University of San Diego (USD) to be the most student centric. Their values of giving back to the community in addition to the passion that their professors ...

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    Professor Columbia University . Professor Nissim earned his PhD in Accounting at Berkeley Haas, and joined Columbia Business School in 1997. In 2014, he was reappointed as the Chair of the Accounting Division, after previously serving as the chair from 2006 to 2009. Professor Nissim's research is primarily in the areas of equity valuation ...

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