A PhD student in Finance is required to present a thesis proposal to a Finance faculty committee of three by April 15th of his or her third year in the PhD program. The thesis proposal will be based on a completed academic research paper on a topic of the student’s choice.

A completed paper will at a minimum include the following:

  • A clear description of the research question being answered
  • A survey of the relevant literature
  • If an empirical paper,
    • a summary of the hypotheses and empirical predictions
    • description of the data
    • discussion of the empirical methodology
    • empirical analysis on a sample of the data
  • If a theoretical paper,
    • a clear discussion of the assumptions
    • discussion of the methodology used to derive the results
    • derivation of the theoretical results
    • discussions of testable empirical implications of the theoretical results
  • Discussion of planned agenda to turn the proposal into a job market paper

The Thesis Proposal Committee will vote on whether the student passed or failed the thesis proposal.  If a student receives a grade of “fail,” he or she has the opportunity to present a new thesis proposal to the Thesis Proposal Committee by October 15th of his or her fourth year in the PhD program but will receive reduced funding until he or she passes the proposal.  If a student receives a grade of “fail” on the second attempt, the Thesis Proposal Committee reserves the right to ask the student to withdraw from the program.