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, has 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

Core Requirements
ECON 681Microeconomic Theory1
or ECON 701 Microeconomic Theory I
Econometrics or Statistics
Select one of the following:2
Econometrics I: Fundamentals
and Econometrics II: Methods & Models
Applied Econometrics I
and Applied Econometrics II
Finance Core
FNCE 911Financial Economics1
FNCE 912Corporate Finance and Financial Institutions1
FNCE 921Introduction to Empirical Methods in Finance1
FNCE 928Methods In Finance Theory1
FNCE 924Intertemporal Macroeconomics and Finance1
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
International Finance
Empirical Methods In Asset Pricing
Applied Quantitative Methods in Finance
Behavioral Finance
Additional Coursework
Select six additional courses 16
Total Course Units18

Students can satisfy these additional course credits in the following ways.
1. Transfer Credits
2. Electives from Other Departments: Economics, Statistics, Accounting, Mathematics, etc.
3. Seminar Courses: Students should limit seminar courses to a maximum of 3. These credits require students to attend the weekly seminar and write referee reports. A permit is required. The PhD Program Coordinator must approve before a permit is issued.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2018 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.

Sample Plan of Study

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