The student officially enters the dissertation phase of the doctoral program after passing the Finance General Exam. The dissertation phase of study typically lasts for at least two years and is concluded with the Final Oral Examination.

The dissertation is a scholarly contribution to knowledge in the student's area of specialization. By researching and writing a dissertation, the student is expected to demonstrate a high level of knowledge and the capacity to function as an independent scholar. The dissertation is directed by the major advisor and the Dissertation Committee with the advice of the finance faculty. A Dissertation Committee consisting of at least three faculty should be selected as soon as possible after the student attains candidacy.

Dissertation Proposal Workshop

When a student has completed a substantial portion of the proposed dissertation research, he (she) must present a workshop on the proposed research to the finance faculty. Following the workshop presentation, the faculty meet to discuss the research and to provide written feedback to the student.

Final Oral Examination

The Final Oral Examination tests originality, independence of thought, the ability to synthesize and interpret, and the quality of research presented. The Final Oral Examination concerns principles and historic perspective as well as data. The Final Oral Examination includes but is not limited to discussion of the dissertation. The examiners often pursue lines of thought and argument from the data and concepts that have contributed to the research and to its critical evaluation by the student.

If the examination is judged unsatisfactory, the Final Oral Examination Committee must decide whether the student will be permitted to take a second Final Oral Examination. No student is allowed to take this examination more than twice. Upon the passing of the Final Oral Examination, the student completes the final requirements of the doctoral program.