Business Ph.D.


At the University of Kansas, we train our finance Ph.D. students to teach at the university level, to do research that is publishable in top academic journals, and to analyze questions that are important to government agencies and the private sector.

The finance Ph.D. program is small and the training is intensive.  We admit between two and four new students every other year.  Successful students develop close working relationships with the KU finance faculty, both in the classroom and on co-authored research.  Many of our students publish their first research study before finishing the program, and most students accept jobs at universities rated “high” or “very high” in research activity by the Carnegie Foundation.      

We emphasize rigorous training and hands-on experience.  Five semesters of coursework include a firm grounding in economic theory, thorough training in statistics and econometrics, and an immersion in the most important research studies in corporate finance, investments, and financial institutions.  Students begin their own research during the first year of the program and present their first research seminar early in the second year of the program; many of these “first-year papers” are eventually published in academic journals.  Students typically teach three undergraduate finance classes before graduating.

Students that remain in good standing receive up to five years of financial support.  Support includes paid tuition, subsidized student health insurance, and appointment as a research or teaching assistant with an annual stipend of at least $26,000.  Students have access to standard statistical software (e.g., SAS, Stata) and a wide range of research databases are made available through the Wharton Research Database Services (WRDS). 

Finance Faculty Research

The KU Finance faculty have national and international reputations for their work in corporate finance and governance, financial institutions and regulation, financial markets and investments, and derivatives and risk management. Their work is widely published in prestigious academic journals and cited in the financial press. They serve as journal editors, editorial board members, government advisors, industry consultants, and in a variety of other professional capacities.

Timeline for Coursework, Research, and Teaching
Typical Year 1 :

Microeconomics I (ECON 801)
Elementary Econometrics (ECON 715)
Probability and Statistics for Business Research (DSCI 920 and 921)
Advanced Managerial Economics (BE 917)
Doctoral Seminar in Finance (FIN 901)
Seminar in Financial Institutions (FIN 939)
Summer research

Typical Year 2:

Microeconomics II (ECON 802)
Advanced Regression (DSCI 922)
Econometrics I and II (ECON 817 and 818)
Seminar in Business Finance (FIN 937)
Seminar in Investments (FIN 938)
Pass the Finance Qualifier Exam
Pass the Microeconomics Preliminary Exam
Present First-Year Research paper
Teach an undergraduate finance class
Summer research

Typical Year 3:

An advanced elective in Finance
An advanced elective in Economics
An advanced elective in Research Methods
Pass the Finance Comprehensive Exam
Present Second-Year Research paper
Teach an undergraduate finance class
Summer research

Typical Year 4:

Present your Dissertation Proposal
Teach an undergraduate finance class

Typical Year 5:

Defend your dissertation

NOTE:  Some students are able to complete the program above in four years.

Student Placements
Most our finance Ph.D. graduates choose to start their careers at colleges and universities in the U.S. A sampling from recent years includes (alphabetical order) the University of Louisville, the University of Mississippi, the University of New Hampshire, the University of New Mexico, the University of South Carolina, Stony Brook University (SUNY), and the University of Wyoming. A complete list of our graduating students and their placements can be found here.



Faculty Research
The school and accounting program are accredited by AACSB International, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
Our Finance Scholars travel to Wall Street every year
Students in Applied Portfolio Management class manage a fund valued at $1 million
Business students get hands-on experience valuing and analyzing investments
Top 20 undergraduate accounting program —Bloomberg Businessweek
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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