Ph.D.

Ph.D. in Business with Specialization in Finance

The Ph.D. program in business with a specialization in finance is a research-oriented program designed to prepare students for academic careers. The coursework in the Ph.D. program is an intensive course of study in both the theory and empirical application of finance. The course of study includes a combination of classroom instruction, seminars, and work with the finance faculty. In addition to coursework, students are required to pass written comprehensive examinations, write a dissertation and pass a final oral examination. Beginning Fall 2017, the Ph.D. finance specialization will admit a cohort of 2-3 students each year.


Student Life

Start Something Lincoln Life

Ph.D. students are expected to be active partners in the academic community. The UNL community fosters high academic achievement as well as diverse social organizations and events. Students will have opportunities to work with different faculty, develop independent research projects, collaborate on joint projects, and participate in various brownbag sessions, current topics seminars, and doctoral development sessions. Doctoral students will also have opportunities to develop their teaching skills.

The city of Lincoln is friendly and easy to navigate with a nationally noted low crime rate, a wide range of housing choices, a reliable public transit system and numerous options for recreational and personal interest activities.

Admission to our Program

We admit only a handful of new students each full academic year, therefore we do not admit students mid-year. Normally we have about eight Ph.D. students in residence at any one time. Our program provides unique opportunities and added benefits to students which include assistantships, health insurance, and academic support. Our Ph.D. program cultivates an environment of collaboration and care for our students.

Admission Requirements
  1. Students beginning the lock-step program need a minimum of one year of calculus and one semester of probability and statistics. We strongly recommend that students have three semesters of calculus, one semester of linear algebra and a probability and statistics course.
  2. Students must submit an Official GMAT or GRE Score. Applicants are expected to have a minimum score equal to the 90th percentile for admission. Applicants whose first language is not English and who have not received a previous degree from English speaking Institution must submit a Test of Spoken English (TOEFL). Applicants should attain a minimum score of 550 - paper, 80 - iBT or 6.5 IELTS.
  3. Additional qualifications may be required, particularly for prospective teaching assistants. International students accepted into the program will be required to attend the Institute of International Teaching Assistants in the summer prior to teaching in the program (generally the summer after the first year in the program).
Admission Deadline

Students must begin the application process with the UNL Office of Graduate Studies. Instructions regarding transcripts, letters, etc. can be found there. All applications materials must be received by January 1 for fall consideration.

Benefits

Assistantships

All full-time doctoral students are funded with a departmental teaching or research assistantship, university fellowship, or external assistance. Full-time students are provided with office space, computer resources and departmental office support. The assistantship includes a competitive stipend of $25,000, health benefits and teaching and research opportunities for the expected four years of study. Students are normally assigned as research assistants the first year of the program. Teaching duties normally start in the second year of the program. Part-time students are admitted only under special circumstances.

Tuition Remission

Included with the a graduate assistantship is up to 12 credit hours of graduate course work tuition remission per academic semester plus an additional 12 hours during the entire Summer Session, however fees are not waived. Information about current tuition and fees for the year can be found at http://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/prospective/money#tuition

Health Insurance

All graduate assistants with appointments that qualify for full tuition remission receive an additional benefit of basic coverage under the university's student health insurance plan. Dependent plans are also available on an optional basis.

The assistantship provides basic individual student health insurance at a reduced rate. Students and the University will share in the cost of the premium. Approximately 21% of the annual cost of the individual health insurance premium will be billed directly to the student’s account. Premium costs are determined at a later date. Students have the option of purchasing additional health insurance for family members from the same plan. International students are always required to have student health insurance coverage, unless proof of insurance from an outside source is provided.

(Health Insurance link for more info: http://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/current/health )

Program Requirements

Coursework

The lock-step curriculum requirements are as follows:

The total hours required by the Graduate College 90
Sum of minimum hours of coursework required by Finance Department 42
    Required hours of Finance Seminars 15
    Required hours of Econometrics 9
    Required hours of Probability and Statistics (graduate level) 9
    Required hours of Economic Theory 6
    Required hours of Research and Teaching Methods 3
Dissertation hours 48

Admitted students are expected to have completed coursework in mutivariate calculus, linear algebra and probability and statistics at a sufficient level to immediately enroll in graduate level economics and statistics courses. Courses are expected to be completed in the following sequence:

Tentative Course Sequence
Entering Program in Odd-numbered Years (e.g. Fall 2017)
Summer prior to Year 1
Summer prior to Year 1:
SAS and STATA Computer Programming Boot Camp
(Typically the week before fall classes begin)
Year 1
Semester 1:
FINA 968 Corporate Finance I
ECON 873 Microeconomic Models
STAT 880 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics
Elective ( such as Acct 916: Contemporary Accounting Theory)
Semester 2:
FINA 969 Corporate Finance II
FINA 962 Research Methods
ECON 957 Econometrics I
Summer:
Take Preliminary Qualifying Exam
Complete Institute for International Teaching Assistants
Year 2
Semester 1:
FINA 961 Asset Pricing I
ECON 958 Econometrics II
ECON 973 Advanced Microeconomic Theory I
Semester 2:
FINA 966 Asset Pricing II
FINA 996 Current Topics in Finance Research
ECON 959 Econometrics III
Summer:
Take Comprehensive Exam
Complete 2nd year paper
Year 3
Semester 1:
Present 2nd year paper to faculty
Begin to work on dissertation
Semester 2:
Continue work on dissertation
Summer:
Dissertation
Year 4
Semester 1:
Dissertation Proposal Defense
Send Out Job Market Packets to Schools
Interview at FMA Conference
Campus Visits
Semester 2:
Interview at AFA Conference
Hopefully More Campus Visits
Finish Dissertation
Final Defense
Tentative Course Sequence
Entering Program in Even-numbered Years (e.g. Fall 2018)
Summer prior to Year 1
Summer prior to Year 1:
SAS and STATA Computer Programming Boot Camp
(Typically the week before fall classes begin)
Year 1
Semester 1:
FINA 961 Asset Pricing I
ECON 873 Microeconomic Models
STAT 880 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics
Elective (such as Acct 916 Contemporary Accounting Theory)
Semester 2:
FINA 966 Asset Pricing II
FINA 996 Current Topics in Finance Research
ECON 957 Econometrics I
Summer:
Take Preliminary Qualifying Exam
Complete Institute for International Teaching Assistants
Year 2
Semester 1:
FINA 968 Corporate Finance I
ECON 958 Econometrics II
ECON 973 Advanced Microeconomic Theory I
Semester 2:
FINA 969 Corporate Finance II
FINA 962 Research Methods
ECON 959 Econometrics III
Summer:
Take Comprehensive Exam
Complete 2nd year paper
Year 3
Semester 1:
Present 2nd year paper to faculty
Begin to work on dissertation
Semester 2:
Continue work on dissertation
Summer:
Dissertation
Year 4
Semester 1:
Dissertation Proposal Defense
Send Out Job Market Packets to Schools
Interview at FMA Conference
Campus Visits
Semester 2:
Interview at AFA Conference
Hopefully More Campus Visits
Finish Dissertation
Final Defense

Students with prior graduate study experience may transfer in elective hours and probability and statistics coursework.

Program of Study

Students must file a program of study in their first year of study which requires the appointment of a Supervisory Committee. Upon completion of the comprehensive examination, a student may consult with the Graduate Chair to make changes to his or her committee.

Annual Review

Each student must undergo an annual review to determine their progress. The review is conducted with each student by the Department Ph.D. Committee.

Qualifying Exam

First year students are required to take a Qualifying Examination in financial theory approximately three to four weeks after completion of the first year. Students who fail this exam will be terminated from the program. Second year students are required to demonstrate a mastery of the core areas by passing a comprehensive examination, approximately three to four weeks after completion of the second year coursework.

Comprehensive Examinations

For students admitted prior to Fall 2015, students will take the Finance Ph.D. comprehensive exam in the spring semester of their third year. In order to sit for the exam, students must: (i) present their second year paper to the faculty in the fall semester of their third year; and (ii) have the second year paper approved by the Ph.D. committee for submission to a journal during the spring of their third year. A failing grade for the comprehensive exam will be recorded if the student does not meet the requirements to sit for the exam.

For students admitted in fall 2015 or later, the comprehensive exam will be given approximately three to four weeks after the completion of the 2nd year coursework (typically late May or early June). Students must also complete a second year paper in the summer after their second year, and present this paper to the faculty in the fall semester of their 3rd year.

After a successful completion of the second year paper, comprehensive exam and all coursework, the student must submit the Application for Admission to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the Graduate College. Candidacy for the Ph.D. degree commences as of the date of completion of the oral defense of the dissertation topic.

Doctoral Dissertation

Every Ph.D. student must submit a tentative outline of his or her dissertation to the Supervisory Committee and defend the proposed topic and methodology before the committee as a condition of approval of the topic.

The doctoral dissertation involves a substantial research project and/or indicates evidence of the candidate’s ability to carry on independent, original research in his or her field.

Application Procedures

The Office of International Affairs provides orientation, counseling and advising to international students, and serves as the official liaison between your sponsoring agency and the United States government. Staff members are also available to help you make contacts on campus and in the Lincoln community.

  1. Apply online at the Office of Graduate Studies and submit the $50 application fee. The next day you will receive instructions for the UNL GAMES application system (Graduate Admission Management and Evaluation System). Please note: All application materials (except transcripts and finance resource certification) must be submitted electronically. Do not send paper recommendation forms or resume.

  2. Recommendation for Graduate Admission. Three letters of reference are required and should be submitted through GAMES.

  3. Professional Résumé. Your résumé should be submitted through GAMES.

  4. Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). You should register to take the GMAT and have the results forwarded to UNL (use institution code S40-HW-48). You should also submit your scores through GAMES.

  5. International Students should also include:
    • TOEFL score (minimum score of 550 paper, 80 iBT or 6.5 IELTS) (Use institution code 6877)

    Guidelines for international students can be found at http://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/prospective/international.

  6. Transcripts
    • As part of the admission process, you are required to submit an unofficial transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended which lists courses completed, grades earned, as well as degrees conferred.
    • You will upload either an electronic or scanned copy of your transcript to MyRed. MyRed Upload Instructions
    • Please do not send paper transcripts to any university office as it may delay the timely processing of your application.
    • Once admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript that is sent directly from each institution you have attended either electronically or on paper to the Office of Graduate Studies.
    • University of Nebraska–Lincoln
      Graduate Admissions
      1100 Seaton Hall
      Lincoln, NE 68588-0619
      Tel: (402) 472-2875
    • For more information, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website.
Note to International Students

It is recommended that you start your application process at least one year prior to the date you would like to be admitted. You must also be aware of the additional requirements that you need to meet in order to be admitted to the College of Business Administration.

Contact

Friesen, Geoffrey C
Associate Professor of Finance

Finance

CBA 242
P.O. Box 880490
Lincoln, NE 68588-0490
Mailing Address
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Department of Finance
P.O. Box 880490
Lincoln, NE 68588-0490
Shipping Address
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Department of Finance
CBA 210
1240 R Street
Lincoln, NE 68588-0490