PhD Program in Finance

2023-24 Curriculum Outline

The MIT Sloan Finance Group offers a doctoral program specialization in Finance for students interested in research careers in academic finance. The requirements of the program may be loosely divided into five categories: coursework, the Finance Seminar, the general examination, the research paper, and the dissertation. Attendance at the weekly Finance Seminar is mandatory in the second year and beyond and is encouraged in the first year.  During the first two years, students are engaged primarily in coursework, taking both required and elective courses in preparation for their general examination at the end of the second year.  Students are required to complete a research paper by the end of their fifth semester, present it in front of the faculty committee and receive a passing grade.  After that, students are required to find a formal thesis advisor and form a thesis committee by the end of their eighth semester. The Thesis Committee should consist of at least one tenured faculty from the MIT Sloan Finance Group.

Required Courses

The following set of required courses is designed to furnish each student with a sound and well-rounded understanding of the theoretical and empirical foundations of finance, as well as the tools necessary to make original contributions in each of these areas. Finance PhD courses (15.470, 15.471, 15.472, 15.473, 15.474) in which the student does not receive a grade of B or higher must be retaken.

Recommended Elective Courses

Beyond these required courses, students are expected to enroll in elective courses determined by their primary area of interest. There are two informal “tracks” in Financial Economics: Corporate Finance and Asset Pricing. Recommended electives are designed to deepen the student's grasp of material that will be central to the writing of his/her dissertation. Students also have the opportunity to take courses at Harvard University. There is no formal requirement to select one track or another, and students are free to take any of the electives.