The main objective of the program is to produce outstanding researchers who can be placed in the world's top academic finance departments.

Doctoral students in finance at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business have access to a large, active and collegial finance faculty with diverse research interests. The faculty devotes significant resources to the PhD program, recognizing that having a top PhD program is critical to maintain an outstanding research environment. The relatively small number of students ensures quality interaction with the faculty.  Faculty research interests span all areas of Finance.  

For example, research on mortgage markets, financial institutions, and the shadow-banking system undertaken by Ross finance faculty and PhD program graduates has generated important insights about the factors that lead to the recent financial crisis and its calamitous economic consequences.  Topics of recent research interest by our faculty further include corporate governance and the role of boards, corporate investment policy, investor behavior, liquidity and asset prices, and global financial markets.



Students complete most of the course work for the PhD during the first two years of the program. Because doctoral-level classes in micro-economic theory, mathematical economics, statistics and finance are among the first-year requirements, strong prior preparation is essential.

Courses during the second year are composed of at least six electives (typically in math, economics and econometrics) in addition to two PhD-level finance courses, one each semester. Students take two more doctoral seminars in finance during the third year. For the remainder of the program, they typically take one course per term in an area related to their research. PhD-level finance courses include:

ECON 651 Empirical Asset Pricing

FIN 855 Fundamental of Inv Decisions with Symmetric Info  

FIN 865 Theoretical Models in Finance 1  

FIN 871 Corporate Finance  

FIN 872 Theoretical Models in Finance 2

FIN 873 Structural Estimation in Corporate Finance  

FIN 875 Empirical Methodology in Finance  

FIN 885 Research Topics in Finance  

FIN 900 Special Research for PhD Applicants & Candidates  

FIN 990 Dissertation - Pre-candidacy  

FIN 995 Dissertation - Candidacy 


The finance department sponsors two seminars per week, and PhD students are active participants in both seminars.

To become proficient in the art of research, students produce a literature review during their first summer and a research paper during their second summer. They present their work in departmental seminars during the academic year. Students are also assigned to work for faculty members as research assistants.

Students and faculty also run a weekly reading group to discuss recent research papers. Topics alternative between asset pricing and corporate finance.



Exams covering finance and related areas typically take place at the end of the second year.

Students advance to candidacy by passing the exams and completing the two research papers. The remainder of the program is devoted to the dissertation.

Our Students


Year Name Current Affiliation
2022 James Caldera Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC
2022 Virginia Traweek Texas Christian University, Fort Worth
2021 George Malikov Western University
2020 Zhengyang Xu City University of Hong Kong
2019 Jay Kahn Office of Financial Research at the Treasury
2019 Yifei Wang Cornerstone Research
2019 Zhen (Zach) Yan Cornerstone Research
2018 Rahul Chhabra Charles River Associates
2018 Koustav De University of Kentucky
2018 Paula Suh University of Georgia
2016 John Huck University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
2016 Sahil Raina University of Alberta
2016 Christina Zafeiridou Cornerstone Research
2015 Matthew Linn UMass Amherst
2015 Kuncheng (KC) Zheng Northeastern University
2014 Taylor Begley Washington University in St. Louis
2014 Jason Kotter Brigham Young University
2014 Seungjoon Oh Peking University
2014 Daniel Weagley Georgia Institute of Technology
2013 Stefanos Delikouras University of Miami
2013 Shinwoo Kang Miwon Commercial Co., Ltd.
2013 Seokwoo Lee N/A
2013 Maciej Szefler Securities & Exchange Commission
2012 Alex Hsu Georgia Tech
2012 Gi Hyun Kim University of Warwick, UK
2012 Di Li Peking University
2012 Chen Xue University of Cincinnati
2011 Celim Yildizhan Koc University
2011 Min Zhu  
2010 Deniz Anginer Simon Fraser University
2009 Ryan Israelsen Michigan State University
2009 Joe Warburton Syracuse University
2008 Jonathan Cohn University of Texas, Austin
2008 Paige Parker Ouimet University of North Carolina
2008 Noah Stoffman Indiana University
2008 Mandy Tham Singapore Management University
2008 Xuewu Wang Quinnipiac University
2007 Adair Morse UC Berkeley
2007 Amit Seru Stanford University
2006 Julian Atanassov University of Oregon
2006 Craig Brown Northeastern University
2006 Radha Gopalan Washington University in St. Louis
2006 Qin Lei University of Michigan
2006 Sophie Shive University of Notre Dame
2005 Christa Bouwman Texas A&M University
2005 Amrita Nain University of Iowa
2004 Brian Boyer Brigham Young University
2004 Marcin Kacperczyk Imperial College, London
2004 Z. Jay Wang University of Oregon
2003 Art Durnev University of Iowa

Coordinator: Uday Rajan

  • David B. Hermelin Professor of Business Administration
  • Professor of Finance
Uday Rajan's research focuses on informational frictions such as adverse selection and moral hazard and their effect on market transactions, with...