Finance

Wharton’s PhD program in Finance provides students with a solid foundation in the theoretical and empirical tools of modern finance, drawing heavily on the discipline of economics.

Overview

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

Sample Schedule

Year 1
  • Coursework
  • Examination
  • Research Papers
  • Research Activities
  • Completion of Other Requirements by Field

Fall:
ECON 681, Microeconomic Theory [This course can be substituted with ECON 701 for students who wish to study microeconomic theory at a deeper level. Prior approval from the PhD Coordinator is required.] FNCE 911- Financial Economics; FNCE 928 – Methods In Finance Theory; ECON 705 – Econometrics I (Fundamentals) or STAT 520 – Applied Economics I Students must pass with a grade of B- or better, ECON 898, FNCE 911, ECON 705, FNCE 928

Spring:
FNCE 912- Corporate Finance and Financial Institutions; , FNCE 921 – Introduction to Empirical Methods in Finance, FNCE 924 – Intertemporal Macroeconomics and Finance , ECON 706 – Econometrics II (Methods) or STAT 521 Applied Economics, Finance Preliminary Exam in early summer. Student must pass with a grade of B- or better.

Core Courses

FINANCE CORE (6 COURSES)

FNCE 911 Financial Economics
FNCE 912 Corporate Finance & Financial Institutions
FNCE 921 Introduction to Empirical Methods
FNCE 924 Intertemporal Macroeconomics and Finance
FNCE 928 Methods in Finance Theory

FINANCE ELECTIVES (4 COURSES OVER SECOND AND THIRD YEAR)

Each student is expected to develop proficiency in specialized areas in preparation for dissertation and research work. To this end, 4 or more finance electives are required from among the following courses:
FNCE 922 Continuous – Time Financial Economics
FNCE 923 Financial Economics under Imperfect Information
FNCE 925 Topics in Asset Pricing
FNCE 926 Empirical Methods in Corporate Finance
FNCE 932 Topics in Corporate Finance
FNCE 933 International Finance
FNCE 934 Empirical Methods in Asset Pricing
FNCE 937 Applied Quantitative Methods in Finance
FNCE 939 Behavioral Finance
With 8 core course and 4 elective courses in finance, students will need 6 additional course credits to satisfy the course requirements for the Ph.D. Students can satisfy these additional course credits in the following ways:

  • Transfer credits
  • Electives from Other Departments: Economics, Statistics, Accounting, Mathematics, etc.
  • Seminar Courses (FNCE 950): Students should limit seminar courses to a maximum of 3. These credits require students to attend the weekly seminar and write referee reports. Registration requires prior approval from the Ph.D. Program Coordinator.

Finance Core (6 courses)

FNCE 911 Financial Economics
FNCE 912 Corporate Finance & Financial Institutions
FNCE 921 Introduction to Empirical Methods
FNCE 924 Intertemporal Macroeconomics and Finance
FNCE 928 Methods in Finance Theory

Finance Electives (4 courses over second and third year)

Each student is expected to develop proficiency in specialized areas in preparation for dissertation and research work. To this end, 4 or more finance electives are required from among the following courses:
FNCE 922 Continuous – Time Financial Economics
FNCE 923 Financial Economics under Imperfect Information
FNCE 925 Topics in Asset Pricing
FNCE 926 Empirical Methods in Corporate Finance
FNCE 932 Topics in Corporate Finance
FNCE 933 International Finance
FNCE 934 Empirical Methods in Asset Pricing
FNCE 937 Applied Quantitative Methods in Finance
FNCE 939 Behavioral Finance
With 8 core course and 4 elective courses in finance, students will need 6 additional course credits to satisfy the course requirements for the Ph.D. Students can satisfy these additional course credits in the following ways:

  • Transfer credits
  • Electives from Other Departments: Economics, Statistics, Accounting, Mathematics, etc.
  • Seminar Courses (FNCE 950): Students should limit seminar courses to a maximum of 3. These credits require students to attend the weekly seminar and write referee reports. Registration requires prior approval from the Ph.D. Program Coordinator.

Get the Details.

Visit the Finance website for details on program requirements and courses. Read faculty and student research and bios to see what you can do with a Finance PhD.

Contact

Finance Doctoral Coordinator
Prof. Itay Goldstein
Joel S. Ehrenkranz Family Professor, Professor of Finance
Email: itayg@wharton.upenn.edu
Phone: (215) 746-0499

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Faculty Members
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PhD Students