Finance, PhD

The department prepares students for careers in research and teaching at the world’s leading academic institutions, focusing on Asset Pricing and Portfolio Management, Corporate Finance, International Finance, Financial Institutions and Macroeconomics.

Wharton’s Finance faculty, widely recognized as the finest in the world, have been at the forefront of several areas of research. For example, members of the faculty have led modern innovations in theories of portfolio choice and savings behavior, which have significantly impacted the asset pricing techniques used by researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. Another example is the contribution by faculty members to the analysis of financial institutions and markets, which is fundamental to our understanding of the trade-offs between economic systems and their implications for financial fragility and crises.

Faculty research, both empirical and theoretical, includes such areas as:

  • Structure of financial markets
  • Formation and behavior of financial asset prices
  • Banking and monetary systems
  • Corporate control and capital structure
  • Saving and capital formation
  • International financial markets

View the University’s Academic Requirements for PhD Degrees.

Required Courses

The course of study for the Ph.D. in Finance requires the completion of 18 graduate course units.

Core Requirements
Complete the following:8
Microeconomic Theory I
Microeconomic Theory II
Econometrics or Statistics
Select one of the following sequences:
Econometrics I: Fundamentals
and Econometrics II: Methods & Models
Applied Econometrics I
and Applied Econometrics II
Finance Core
Financial Economics
Corporate Finance and Financial Institutions
Introduction to Empirical Methods in Finance
Intertemporal Macroeconomics and Finance
Finance Electives
Select four of the following:4
Continuous-Time Financial Economics
Financial Economics Under Imperfect Information
Topics In Asset Pricing
Empirical Methods in Corporate Finance
Topics In Corporate Finance
Empirical Methods In Asset Pricing
Applied Quantitative Methods in Finance
Additional Coursework
Select six additional courses 16
Total Course Units18

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
Microeconomic Theory I
Financial Economics
Intertemporal Macroeconomics and Finance
Econometrics I: Fundamentals
Applied Econometrics I
Microeconomic Theory II
Corporate Finance and Financial Institutions
Introduction to Empirical Methods in Finance
Econometrics II: Methods & Models
Applied Econometrics II
First-Year Paper Due in September
Preliminary Exam 1