The Ph.D. program in Business Administration with a specialization in finance is
a research-oriented program designed to prepare students for careers in academics
and business. The coursework in the Ph.D. program is designed to be 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.
The Ph.D. finance specialization is lock-step with a class admitted every other year.
Our next admissions date will be fall of 2015.
Ph.D. candidates are admitted biannually in the fall semester of odd numbered years.
Our next application deadline will be March 2015.
- Students beginning the lock-step program need a minimum of one year of calculus
and one semester of probability and statistics. We recommend that students have
three semesters of calculus, one semester of linear algebra and a probability and
- Must submit 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 or 80 – IBT.
- 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).
- 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 March 1, 2015.
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.
Office of Graduate Studies - Requirements
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.
Recommendation for Graduate Admission. Three letters of reference are required
and should be submitted through GAMES.
Professional Résumé. Your résumé should be submitted
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).
also submit your scores through GAMES.
- International Students should also include:
- TOEFL score (minimum score of 550 written,
213 computer based or 80 iBT) (Use institution code 6877)
Guidelines for international students can be found at
Transcripts. Ask each college or university that you have attended to send
one official transcript to:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Graduate Admissions Office
1100 Seaton Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0619
Tel: (402) 472-2875
on Tuition and Costs.
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
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, 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
The lock-step curriculum requirements are as follows:
The total hours required by the Graduate College
Minimum hours of coursework required by Finance Department
Required hours of Finance Seminars
Required hours of Econometrics
Required hours of Probability and Statistics (graduate level)
Required hours of Economic Theory
Required hours of Research and Teaching Methods
Required supporting elective hours
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:
- Semester 1:
FINA 961 Advanced Theory of Finance
ECON 873 Microeconomic Models
STAT 882 Mathematical Statistics I
STAT 870 Multiple Regression Analysis
- Semester 2:
FINA 962 Research Methods
FINA 969 Seminar in Corporate Finance
STAT 883 Mathematical Statistics II
ECON 957 Econometrics I
FINA TBA – Teaching Methods
- Semester 1:
FINA 968 Seminar in Finance
ECON 958 Econometrics II
ECON 973 Advanced Microeconomic Theory I
- Semester 2:
FINA 966 Seminar in Investment
FINA 996 Research Process and Writing
ECON 959 Econometrics III
- Semester 1:
FINA TBA Empirical Methods in Corporate Finance
Second year paper presentation
- Semester 2: (One of the following)
FINA 867 Options, Futures and Derivatives Securities or
STAT 875 Categorical Data Analysis
Students with prior graduate study experience may transfer in elective hours and
probability and statistics coursework.
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.
Each student must undergo an annual review to determine their progress. The review is conducted
with each student by the Department PhD Committee.
First year students are required to take a Qualifying Examination in financial theory
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.
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.
After a successful completion of the 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.
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.
For additional information concerning the finance Ph.D. program contact::