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
and oral comprehensive examinations, write a high quality dissertation and pass
a final oral examination. The Ph.D. finance specialization is lock-step with a class
admitted every other year. Students are not normally admitted in off years but will
be considered in special cases.
Ph.D. candidates are admitted biannually in the fall semester of odd numbered years.
Applications are now being considered for the Fall 2013 semester. Application deadline
is March 1.
- 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 Score. Applicants are expected to have a minimum score
in the 80th percentile (approximately 650) 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
the start of their program.
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 Accounting Seminars
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 969 Seminar in Corporate Finance
FINA 996 Research Methods
STAT 883 Mathematical Statistics II
FINA 867 Options and Futures or STAT 875 Categorical Data Analysis
FINA 996 – Teaching Methods
- Semester 1:
FINA 966 Seminar in Investments
ECON 973 Advanced Microeconomic Theory I
FINA 968 Finance Seminar
- Semester 2:
FINA 995 Research Process
ECON 957 Econometrics I
ECON 974 Advanced Macroeconomic Theory I
- Semester 1:
ECON 958 Econometrics II
STAT 873 Applied Multivariate Statistical Analysis
- Semester 2:
ACCT 991 Seminar in Capital Market Research
ECON 959 Econometrics III
Students with prior graduate study experience may transfer in elective hours and
probability and statistics coursework.
Approved Supporting Elective Courses
- FINA 812 Life and Health Insurance
- FINA 833 Enterprise Risk Management
- FINA 850 Multinational Financial Analysis
- FINA 855 Capital Markets
- FINA 863 Portfolio Management
- FINA 865 Bank Management
- FINA 867 Options, Futures and Derivative Securities
- FINA 882 Real Estate Finance
- ACCT 916 Seminar in Contemporary Accounting Theory
- ACCT 992 Seminar in Behavioral Accounting Research
- ACCT 996 Directed Readings
- ECON 871 Public Finance
- ECON 971 Public Expenditure, Taxation and Fiscal Incidence
- ECON 974 Advanced Macroeconomic Theory I
- ECON 983 Advanced Microeconomic Theory II
- ECON 984 Advanced Macroeconomic Theory II
- STAT 884 Applied Stochastic Models
Other courses may be taken with the permission of the Graduate Adviser.
- Corporate Finance
- International Finance
- Real Estate
Each student must undergo an annual review to determine their progress. The review
is conducted with each student by a faculty 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 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 their
committee. Students are encouraged to work with faculty on research projects that
lead to publishable papers.
All Ph.D. students in the finance program must take the comprehensive examination
at the end of their second year of study. If a student fails the comprehensive written
examination, he/she will be given a second opportunity at the next regularly scheduled
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 their 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 indicates
evidence of the candidate’s ability to carry on independent, original research in
his/her field. Accordingly, it reflects the candidate’s mastery of the appropriate
scientific tools and to engage in fruitful research in the future.
The question, problem or hypothesis under investigation should be well defined and
delimited so that it is manageable with the resources available. The dissertation
should be a well-organized, tightly –written manuscript suitable for publication
as a monograph or series of publishable papers.
The following suggestions are offered to students regarding the dissertation:
- The student should begin thinking about possible dissertation topics early in his/her
doctoral studies and should commit to a research subject well before the completion
of formal course work. The student should seek suggestions from professors in the
area of his/her interest.
- The student should select a dissertation project which is manageable with respect
to: (1) library resources, (2) data available or obtainable at reasonable cost,
(3) methodology, and (4) time (i.e., one year of full-time work). After the initial
stages of research the candidate may find it necessary to reduce the scope of his/her
project to meet the manageability criteria.
- The dissertation area should be explored sufficiently to determine if the topic
is feasible and to make certain that it has not been explored before or is not currently
under active investigation.
- A tentative outline should be developed early, but it should be kept flexible to
- The student should follow the rules of an appropriate style manual in the dissertation
submitted to the adviser for evaluation. The Graduate College has an approved list
of style manuals.
- International students may need to develop facility in writing scientific English
before they begin dissertation research. The submission of samples of their writing
during the initial stages of the doctoral program will enable their advisers to
assist in acquiring such a facility.
For detailed program requirements, visit
For course descriptions, visit
If you would like more information concerning the Finance Ph.D. program, contact:
For more information on majors in the College of Business Administration at the
University of Nebraska, go to http://www.cba.unl.edu/programs/