The finance discipline doctoral program seeks to prepare students to make significant contributions to the existing body of academic research in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, capital structure, internal firm organization, corporate diversification, corporate restructuring, financial institutions and investments and others. The program produces graduates that can independently identify important research questions and carry out theoretical and empirical investigation at levels suitable for publication in the top academic journals. The finance faculty works closely with students to develop suitable research topics and very often collaborates with students on joint research. In short, we strive for our graduates to obtain academic placements at top research institutions.
Finance students take courses from both the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business and the Department of Economics as part of their training. The finance faculty offers seminars that provide the core of the doctoral students’ training. These seminars introduce the theoretical underpinnings of finance. Beyond these seminars, students are expected to take additional finance seminars that focus on their chosen areas of interest. Since strong methodological skills are critical to a successful scholarly career, finance doctoral students typically also take courses in econometrics, statistics, and mathematical methods. Students are free to matriculate into courses within the Katz school, other colleges at the University of Pittsburgh (such as Statistics or Mathematics), or at Carnegie Mellon University.
A minimum of eight major and seven methodology-related courses are necessary to fulfill coursework requirements. Students typically pursue four courses per semester for two years prior to taking their comprehensive exams in late summer following their second year.
Students are also required to complete an independent research proposal/paper and submit it to the finance faculty at the end of the spring in their second year of study. It is anticipated that this proposal will eventually develop into a publishable research article; however, the main goal of the assignment is for students to gain experience in identifying important research questions and carrying out theoretical and empirical investigation of these questions.
The following finance doctoral seminars are offered by the Katz Doctoral Program (subject to student enrollment):