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The PhD program in finance offers students an opportunity to engage in scholarly academic research and graduate-level teaching.

Using the latest tools of finance and Isenberg’s robust resources, students make significant contributions to the field of modern financial economics and position themselves to pursue successful careers in academia and industry. 

Message from the Coordinator

Marco Macchiavelli

Welcome to Isenberg’s PhD program in finance. Our goal - to help students pursue careers in academia and beyond.

In the last 10 years, our students have published in premier journals that include the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Many former students are now tenured or have tenure track positions in top academic institutions. Others have industry jobs with leading financial institutions.

Our students are successful because of our exceptional program. We offer:

  • Research-oriented faculty who work closely with our students from day one. This hands-on mentorship helps prepare students to write compelling dissertations.
  • Specific expertise in alterative investments and derivatives. This niche allows students to contribute to the growing areas of international security and derivatives market research.
  • Outstanding research resources, including The Center for International Securities and Derivative Markets, a leading center for research in investment management located at Isenberg.

Our program is extremely supportive and collaborative. We give students the freedom to delve into the topics that most interest them. We seek students who are motivated to do high-level academic research that can be published in top quality academic outlets. We invite you to apply.

Marco Macchiavelli

PhD Coordinator & Assistant Professor

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Academic Overview

Students generally complete a PhD in Finance within four years. Students must take 45 credits of coursework, which includes classes in theory and research methods, research electives and minor classes. Students must pass both a core and comprehensive examination, and must write two summer papers. During the final years, students research, write and defend a dissertation and teach at Isenberg.


Sample of our required finance courses:

  • Intro to Financial Theory
  • Probability & Statistics I
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Microeconomics I
  • Seminar in Finance I
  • Probability & Statistics II
  • Microeconomics II
Degree Timeline

YEAR 1: Coursework, including statistics, research methods, and theory courses, and research electives; Core exam; First Summer Paper

YEAR 2: Coursework, including core courses, research electives and minor area courses; Comprehensive exam; Second Summer Paper

YEAR 3: Additional coursework as needed; Development of dissertation proposal; Teaching

YEAR 4: Dissertation

Finance Doctoral Candidates

Finance Doctoral Candidates