Chair of the Department: Louis Chan
Director of Graduate Studies: Martin Widdicks (MSF); Heitor Almeida (PhD)
330 Wohlers Hall
1206 S. Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
PH (217) 244-2239
FX (217) 333-1144

Major: Finance
Degrees Offered: M.S., Ph.D.
Graduate Concentrations: Accountancy (M.S. only), Business and Public Policy (M.S. only),  Corporate Governance and International Business (M.S. only), Information Technology and Control (M.S. only)

Graduate Minor: Finance

Graduate Concentrations: Business and Public Policy, Finance, Real Estate (M.B.A. and M.A.S. only)

Graduate Degree Programs

The Department of Finance offers graduate work leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The following fields are available for specialization: banking and financial institutions, corporate finance, insurance and risk management, investments, and real estate and urban land economics.


The minimum required grade point average for admission is 3.0 (A = 4.0). To be admitted without deficiencies, the applicant should have completed one undergraduate course each in computer science, financial accounting, managerial accounting, and principles of economics as well as two courses each in calculus, probability and statistics, and financial management. Courses to remove deficiencies may be taken after beginning the program, but such courses will not count toward the departmental requirements for graduation. 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.

Finance, PhD

The first stage toward the degree of Doctor of Philosophy ends when the candidate receives a master's degree in finance or earns the equivalent credit (a minimum of 32 graduate hours at this University or 32 semester hours or 48 quarter hours of acceptable work at another recognized university). The second stage comprises certain minimum coursework, fulfillment of other departmental requirements, and successful completion of qualifying and preliminary examinations. The third stage includes research, preparation of the dissertation, and the final examination. The minimum number of graduate hours required for the second and third stages combined is 64. A student plans courses and research with his or her adviser. 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.

To enter the third stage of the doctoral program, a candidate must pass a written qualifying examinations to test his or her qualifications for further advanced study and research, as well as teaching. An oral preliminary examination is required for the field of finance. An oral defense of the proposal for the dissertation is the final step in the second stage.

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. 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 1.

Additional details on the program may be found at

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 Requirement1

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

Graduate Minor in Finance

The graduate minor in Finance is reserved for students admitted to the Master of Accounting Science program. Accountants with expertise in finance are increasingly highly valued by many employers. The graduate minor in Finance is designed to allow students in the MAS program to demonstrate substantive competency in the field of Finance. Counting the prerequisite requirement, the graduate minor is the equivalent of four graduate courses. Admission is limited and acceptance is on a competitive basis.

Prerequisites for the Minor

Admission to the minor requires the completion of either FIN 221 and FIN 300 or FIN 520 as a prerequisite. All courses must have been taken for a grade.

Admission to the Minor

Admitted MAS students should first consult with the MAS Program Advisor to determine if the minor is appropriate for the student. Information on how to apply will be available through the MAS Program Advisor. Students admitted to the MAS program may also email for more information on the Finance Minor.

Advising Notes

The graduate minor can only be completed within the Fall semester of the fifth year of the MAS program. The three required graduate courses are not available in the Spring semester. Students who drop any of the three required courses in Fall will be treated as having dropped the minor.

Students should have already completed FIN 300 before enrolling in the graduate minor. Students may apply while enrolled in FIN 300; however, the application decision may be deferred until successful completion of FIN 300. FIN 300 must be taken on this campus. Students who plan to take the graduate minor SHOULD NOT register for FIN 321, FIN 411, or FIN 412 as undergraduates. Students who have completed any of the following courses are not eligible to pursue the minor: FIN 411, FIN 321, or FIN 412.

Note: Students within the major can not minor in the same program.

FIN 511Investments4
FIN 512Financial Derivatives4
FIN 521Advanced Corporate Finance4
Total Hours12

Other Requirements1

The Finance minor consists of these 3 courses, designated for the MAS students, completed during the Fall semester. There are no substitute courses.
Please contact your department for more information regarding the addition of a minor to your program of study.