Finance, PhD

for the Doctor of Philosophy in Finance

chair of department: Louis Chan

director of graduate studies: Martin Widdicks (MSF); George Pennacchi (PhD)


department website:

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

college website:

department office: 340 Wohlers Hall, 1206 S. Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820

phone: (217) 244-2239

Graduate Degree Programs in Finance


Finance, MS

optional concentrations for the Finance, MS: Accountancy, Business & Public Policy, Corporate Governance & International Business, Data Analytics in Finance, Information Technology & Control

Financial Engineering, MS (administered by Finance and Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering)

optional concentration for the Financial Engineering, MS: Data Analytics in Finance

Finance, PhD




Data Analytics in Finance


Business & Public Policy

Real Estate

The first stage toward the degree of Doctor of Philosophy ends when the candidate completes certain minimum coursework, fulfillment of other departmental requirements, and successful passing of a qualifying examination. The second stage requires successful completion and presentation of an initial research paper. The third stage includes research and preparation of the dissertation. Completion of this stage requires an oral preliminary thesis proposal defense and an oral final dissertation defense.

The minimum number of graduate hours required for all stages combined is 64. A student plans courses and research with his or her advisor. Consideration is given to previous academic training, career objective and the general requirements of the Graduate College and the Department. The student should become familiar with these requirements and satisfy them as soon as possible.

The Doctor of Philosophy is primarily a research degree, and the candidate must demonstrate the capacity for independent research by producing an original thesis on a topic within his or her major field of study. The subject of the thesis must be reported to the doctoral committee and to the Graduate College at the time of the preliminary examination (proposal defense). The candidate is admitted to the final oral examination by the dean of the Graduate College upon completion of the dissertation and the recommendation of the department.

The doctoral program generally begins in the fall semester. The application period typically runs October 1 through February 15.

Additional details on the program may be found at


The minimum required grade point average for admission is 3.0 (A = 4.0).  All applicants are required to submit Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or GRE scores. Most international applicants are also required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) IELTS or iBT scores. The test scores will be used by the Admissions Committee, along with other information, in evaluating the applicant’s qualifications for graduate study.

for the Doctor of Philosophy in Finance

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's graduate programs and the Graduate College Handbook

ECON 502Economic Statistics (and prerequisites if required (ECON 500, ECON 501, ECON 506)4-16
MATH 464Statistics and Probability II (4 min)3,4
ECON 507Computable G E Modeling4
At least two doctoral level courses beyond the minimum course requirements in econometrics and statistics, with a minimum grade of B in each8
FIN 590Individual Study and Research4
FIN 591Theory of Finance4
FIN 592Empirical Analysis in Finance2-4
FIN 594Seminar in Corporate Finance4
FIN 593Seminar in Investments4
Research Seminars in Finance (16 min)16
FIN 599Thesis Research (min/max applied toward degree 0 min)0
Total Hours96

Other Requirement

Other requirements may overlap
Students who do not already hold a Master's degree or its equivalent prior to enrollment must also take additional finance courses to complete the requirements of the MS Finance degree
Teaching experience
Second-year paper
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? No, earned during Ph.D.
Qualifying Exam Required Yes
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0