PhD in Finance

Finance is the branch of economics that deals with capital markets. Possible specializations within finance include corporate finance, corporate control, asset pricing, portfolio theory, derivatives, market microstructure, behavioural finance, financial institutions, international finance, and valuation.

Finance Specialization Course Requirements

Each doctoral student in finance must complete the following seminars.

FIN 701. Advanced Seminar in Finance I
This course provides an introduction to theoretical and empirical work in asset pricing and market microstructure. Topics covered include market efficiency, time varying expected returns and volatility, test of asset pricing models, and models and analysis of price formation. Prerequisite: Open to doctoral students in the Alberta School of Business, the Department of Economics and the Program of Mathematical Finance. For all other students, written permission of instructor required. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

FIN 702. Advanced Seminar in Finance II
This seminar introduces students to theoretical and empirical research in corporate finance. Potential topics include contracting theory, the theory of the firm, corporate governance, capital structure, and dividend policy. Prerequisite: Open to doctoral students in the Alberta School of Business, the Department of Economics and the Program of Mathematical Finance. For all other students, written permission of instructor required. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

FIN 703. Advanced Seminar in Finance III
This seminar provides advanced mathematical coverage of important topics in finance. Potential topics include continuous-time models of asset pricing and portfolio choice, pricing and hedging of derivative securities, and the applications of contingent claim pricing models to the valuation of real assets and corporate liabilities. Prerequisite: Open to doctoral students in the Alberta School of Business, the Department of Economics and the Program of Mathematical Finance. For all other students, written permission of instructor required. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

FIN 705. Research Seminar in Finance.
This seminar is a single-term course offered over two terms. Members of the faculty and visiting speakers will often present their research. Advance students are expected to present original work related to their doctoral thesis. Other students will discuss and critique papers on the frontier of current research. Prerequisites or corequisites: Finance 701, Finance 702, and Finance 703. Open to doctoral students in the Alberta School of Business, the Department of Economics and the Program of Mathematical Finance. For all other students, written permission of instructor required. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

Students must also complete at least two graduate level courses in finance, management science, or economics. The courses chosen must be approved by the student's supervisory committee and Associate Dean, PhD Program and may not count toward the cognate discipline. Students may be asked by their PhD committees to do additional coursework relating to thesis topics.

A comprehensive examination is required in the finance specialization. The candidacy exam must be passed within three years of starting the program.

Suggested Cognate Discipline Courses

Finance students must complete courses in two additional cognate areas. There are generally three options available: statistics/econometrics, economics, and accounting, though other supporting courses are possible with the permission of the student's supervisor.

a) Statistics/Econometrics

Students should possess a thorough knowledge of probability theory, statistics, and linear models in the context of a major statistical computer package. A possible way to achieve this is to complete STAT 471 and STAT 466. Students with limited mathematical or statistics backgrounds should consider taking MGTSC 705 as well as either ECON 386/387 or MATH 214/215 before going on to STAT 471/466.

Students must complete any three of:

ECON 508 Econometrics II
ECON 599 Applied Econometrics
STAT 679 Time Series Analysis
STAT 580 Stochastic Processes
MGTSC 705* Multivariate Data Analysis I
MGTSC 707 Applied Business Analysis of Time Series and Panel Data

*Recommended

Other courses containing equivalent or higher level material may be substituted, with approval of the supervisor.

b) Economics

Students must complete:

ECON 503 Microeconomic Theory I
ECON 505 Microeconomic Theory II
ECON 581 Macroeconomic Theory I

c) Accounting

Students will normally complete:

ACCTG 731 Economic approaches to Accounting Research
ACCTG 732 Analytical Research in Accounting
ACCTG 733 Advanced Topics in Empirical Accounting Research

Students can substitute other graduate courses for the above with permission of their supervisor.

d) Other Supporting Courses

Students may take more than the minimum number of courses to complement their research focus and cognate disciplines. Some suggestions are as follows:

ECON 507 Econometrics I
ECON 540 Monetary Economics I
ECON 542
Economics of Financial Markets
ECON 570 Industrial Economics I
MGTSC 705 Multivariate Data Analysis I
MGTSC 707
Applied Business Analysis of Time Series and Panel Data
STAT 472 Probability II


Students who are taking either the accounting or the economics cognate should take MGTSC 705 or its equivalent before, or concurrently with, their cognate requirements. In addition to these courses, students should consult with their supervisors concerning other desirable statistics/econometrics courses.

 

updated November 15, 2018