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Finance Major

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About the Major | Degree and Major Requirements Application Process
Program Costs and Financial Assistance Request More Information 


ABOUT THE MAJOR

Finance is one of seven majors offered through FSU’s College of Business’ Ph.D. in Business Administration. The major admits two or three candidates each fall, and the program takes five years to complete.

  • Emphasizes investments, corporate finance, financial institutions and markets
  • Includes primary seminars in corporate finance, investments, financial theory
  • Encourages support area courses in econometrics
  • Includes research courses in statistics, econometrics, mathematical economics and financial mathematics; comprehensive exams and dissertation

Application Deadlines

  • January 15 – Priority deadline (application review begins and will continue until positions are filled)
  • March 1 – Application submission deadline. All supporting materials must be received by March 15.

For More Information

  • Contact Dr. David Peterson, program director, for more information on the Finance major, its content and curriculum
  • Contact Gail Palo, Ph.D. academic adviser, for more information about the admissions process
  • Learn more about the Finance faculty and doctoral students.

Recent Student Accomplishments

Placements: Bentley University; California State University – Fullerton; Hofstra University; Ohio University; Stetson University; University of Texas – San Antonio; University of South Alabama; Xavier University; University of Missouri – Kansas City; Cornerstone Research; University of South Florida; University of New Hampshire

Awards:

  • Kelly Bergsma, 2013-14 Outstanding Teaching Assistant; selected to attend the 2013 Yale Summer School in Behavioral Finance, 2014 AFA travel award; selected to present dissertation essay at the 2014 Financial Management Association Europe Doctoral Student Consortium
  • Inger Daniels, 2014 FSU McKnight Doctoral Fellowship
  • Yuting Meng, 2015 AFA travel award
  • Kelsey Syvrud, prestigious fifth year of College of Business doctoral funding for further research; selected for summer 2014 International Finance Program at George Washington University

Defended dissertations:

  • "Cultural Holidays and Equity Returns", by Kelley M. Bergsma; Dr. Danling Jiang, major professor
  • "Two Essays on Asset Pricing" by Karen E. Sherrill; Dr. David Peterson, major professor
  • "Two Essays on the Internationalization of Investors Bases" by Kelsey Lynne Syvrud; Dr. April Knill, major professor
  • "An Examination of Cost-Minimization Strategies in Seasoned Equity Offerings” by Timothy A. Jones; Dr. C.F. Sirmans, major professor
  • “Investor Psychology and Return Seasonalities in the Cross Section” by Yuting M. Digiovanni; Dr. Danling Jiang, major professor
  • “Two Essays on Cash Holdings: The Compensation Benefits of Corporate Cash Holdings and the Impact of Cash Holdings Volatility on Firm Value” by Stephan Douglas Shipe; Dr. Yingmei Cheng, major professor

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DEGREE AND MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

Prerequisites

All Finance doctoral students must complete graduate level courses in Investments, Econometrics, and Statistics, and undergraduate level courses in Calculus I, Calculus II, Linear Algebra, and Mathematical Economics.  The Finance doctoral adviser and the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs must approve course selections to meet the above requirements.

Major Requirements

All Finance doctoral students must complete courses in three areas: Tools for Analytical Research (TAR), Primary Finance and Support.

I. Tools for Analytical Research (TAR) Area

Students typically take a selection of analytical-tool courses that provide the tools and skills necessary to understand and conduct research in finance.

Students must take the following three TAR courses:

  • ECO 5403 Static Optimization
  • ECO 5416 Econometrics I
  • ECO 5423 Econometric Theory

Plus two additional quantitative courses in Statistics, or Economics numbered 5000 and above with the approval of the primary area adviser.

II. Primary Finance Coursework

The primary area courses and seminars provide opportunities for in-depth study. In addition to the Economics requirement in the TAR area, Finance students are required to take graduate courses in micro- or macro-economics. The selection of these courses is subject to the approval of the primary area adviser.

The doctoral primary area in Finance covers the foundations and theories of finance. Finance students must take the following doctoral seminars and courses:

  • FIN 6449 - Doctoral Seminar in Corporate Finance
  • FIN 6527 - Doctoral Seminar in Investments - Finance and Investments
  • FIN 6804 - Foundations of Financial Theory I
  • FIN 5935 - Foundations of Financial Theory II
  • FIN 6842 - Empirical Research in Finance
  • FIN TBD - Supervised Research/Directed Individual Study in Finance (number of courses and topics vary)
  • TBD - One elective approved by the doctoral adviser

The requirement for an elective course, chosen in consultation with the Finance program director, is designed to allow some minimum specialization by students. As some examples, this course could be a multinational finance course, a financial institutions course, an economics course or an additional quantitative course. In addition to these regularly scheduled seminars, the Finance Workshop meets periodically to share the results of recent research conducted by FSU faculty and doctoral students and by invited scholars from other universities. Finance Doctoral students are required to attend the Finance Workshop seminars.

In addition to these courses, first- and second-year students will participate in a professional development series that will be an additional registered course in each semester of the first two years of the program. The development series is designed to introduce doctoral students to the roles and responsibilities of faculty members, including research ethics, communication with faculty at other universities, the research review process, balancing research, teaching and service, among other topics.

There is also a requirement that each student complete a research paper. This paper is based on independent research by the student, primarily during the second year of the program, and under the supervision of two faculty members. The research project is undertaken in the student’s area of interest to facilitate development toward his/her dissertation. The project culminates with the student presenting the research results to the finance faculty. Students must complete their research paper prior to taking the finance preliminary examination.

III. Support Area Coursework

Finance doctoral students typically choose a Support Area in econometrics. Normally, four courses are required in the Support Area.  In addition, at least two of the courses required in the Support Area cannot be used to satisfy other requirements.  

Suggested Course Sequence for Finance Doctoral Students

 


FALL


SPRING


SUMMER

Year 1

  • FIN 6804 Foundations of Financial Theory I
  • ECO 5416 Econometrics I
  • ECO 5403 Static Optimization (microeconomics)
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • FIN 5935 Foundations of Financial Theory II
  • ECO 5423 Econometric Theory
  • FIN 6842 Research Methods in Finance
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • ECO 5427 Limited Dependent Variable Models
  • STA 5207 Applied Regression Methods OR STA 5440 Intro to Probability I
  • FIN 6946 Supervised Teaching

Year 2

  • FIN 6527 Investments Seminar
  • STA 5207 or STA 5440
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • Elective or DIS
  • FIN 6449 Corporate Seminar
  • ECO 5428 Time Series
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • Supervised Readings for Comp Exams
  • Comprehensive exam – June
  • Dissertation

Year 3

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation

Year 4

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation

Year 5

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation and Defense

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APPLICATION PROCESS

Admission decisions are made by the college’s Doctoral Admissions Committee and are based on a combination of factors, including prior academic record from accepted universities; GRE or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT preferred) scores taken within the past five years; letters of recommendation; experience; record of accomplishments. Admission is competitive and focused on students with grade-point averages of 3.5 or higher and GMAT scores of at least 600 or GRE scores of at least 155 on each section of the revised GRE.

Application Checklist

  • Login to https://admissions.fsu.edu/gradapp (applications will only accepted through this portal)
  • Begin your application by logging in with your FSUID or clicking the link to register to get one
  • Complete your online application form
  • Include the names and contact information for at least 3 (required) references
    • This will generate automated email sent to your references by our system to request that they submit a recommendation for you and answer a series of standardized questions.
  • Submit your Statement of Purpose (2-3 pages)
  • Submit a current resume or C.V
  • Pay the nonrefundable $30 application fee
  • Request that each college or university you have attended submit an official transcript to FSU
    • Transcripts are considered official if they are sent directly to FSU (either through the U.S. mail or electronically) by your undergraduate or graduate institution. In some cases, an unofficial transcript may be used during the initial review process, however an official transcript must be submitted prior to admission.
  • Request that official GMAT or GRE scores (and TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable) be submitted to FSU 
    • Test scores will only be considered official if sent directly from the testing service. The code for ETS to send (GRE and TOEFL) scores to FSU is 5219. The code to send GMAT scores to FSU is PN8K567.
    • An English proficiency exam score (TOEFL or IELTS) must be submitted for international applicants whose native language is not English or who have not received a college degree from an institution where the instruction is primarily in English.
    • Have transcripts and test scores sent to graduateadmissions@fsu.edu or:
      Admissions Office 
      PO Box 3062400, 282 Champions Way 
      Florida State University

Residency

The doctoral program is a full-time program that lasts four to five years. Students should plan to live in the Tallahassee area year-round, including summers. Our program is not set up for individuals who wish to take courses part time or online.

International Applicants

International applicants whose native language is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in an English-speaking country are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official test results in order to be admitted to The Florida State University. The College of Business requires a minimum TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test and 100 on the internet-based test, or a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS exam, taken within the past two (2) years.

A minimum score of 25 for each section of the TOEFL is strongly recommended. In addition, international graduate applicants seeking teaching assistantships are required to pass a test of spoken English.

For more international applicant information, visit http://admissions.fsu.edu/international external link icon for information concerning financial responsibilities, degree equivalency, etc.

For further questions regarding the admissions process, please contact Gail Palo, Ph.D. academic adviser.

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PROGRAM COSTS AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Program Costs

Ph.D. students typically take 27-33 credit hours each year. Here are the estimated program costs for the 2017-2018 academic year:

  • Florida residents: $479.32 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $12,941.64 - $15,817.56 per year.
  • Non-Florida residents: $1,110.72 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $29,989.44 - $36,653.76 per year.

Note: These costs do not include required books, supplies for courses, or required health insurance. Costs are subject to change. Fees above do not include some per-term flat fees for FSUCard and facilities use. For a breakdown of on-campus student fees and their explanations, visit the university’s Tuition Rates page.

Financial Assistance

The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. The goal of the college is to provide assistantships and/or fellowships to all of our admitted doctoral students, subject to overall enrollment and fiscal limitations. Currently, 100 percent of the doctoral students who request funding and who are in residence receive financial assistance from the college. Annual stipends and supplementary assistance such as travel expenses for conference attendance will vary among cohorts and programs. Students who are not Florida residents should note that tuition waivers associated with assistantships only cover the out-of-state portion of their tuition for year one of the program. Out-of-state tuition waivers are generally not available for years two through five.

Doctoral students receive financial assistance for up to five years provided they maintain a satisfactory level of academic and work performance.

Awards/Scholarships

The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. There are various scholarships available for graduate students. Please click here to visit our graduate scholarships page.

(Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all completed application materials before January 15 to be eligible for additional funding opportunities at the university level).

  • For a full list of Florida State University funding and awards, visit gradschool.fsu.edu external link icon
  • For more information on Florida State University's research and research funding, visit research.fsu.edu external link icon
  • For more information on Florida State University's graduate fellowships and awards, visit ogfa.fsu.edu external link icon

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REQUEST MORE INFORMATION
 



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