The formal course work in a PhD Program in Finance is very important because it provides students an efficient way to learn frontier developments in the fields of interest and serves as a foundation for further scholarly research. The coursework requirements for the PhD Program in Finance are described in detail in the Finance Ph.D. Handbook. Below is an overview.  The Graduate School of The Ohio State University requires Ph.D. students to maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. 

A. Fisher College of Business Master Level Course Requirements

In addition to the prescribed sequence of PhD level courses, students are required to complete certain Master level courses depending on their previous degrees.  Students should consult with the Finance Ph.D. coordinator to determine which course are most appropriate for them. 

Incoming Ph.D. students in finance who have not completed a Master's degree in Business Administration or Master's degree in Finance must consult with the Ph.D. coordinator(s) to create a program of master level course that will make up for possible deficiencies.  A suitable program could be to take: 

a) Four seven-week Master level elective courses in finance.  Commonly suggested classes include: 

  • Corporate Finance II (Business Finance 7212)
  • Corporate Finance III (Business Finance 7213)
  • Investments II (Business Finance 7222)
  • Derivatives II (Business Finance 7232)


b) One semester of Master level accounting course: 

  • Corporate Financial Reporting I (AMIS 7200)
  • Financial Statement Analysis I (AMIS 7220)


B. Competency in Microeconomic Theory

PhD students in Finance must understand and demonstrate competency in the material in the following courses:

  • Microeconomic Theory IA (Economics 8711)
  • Microeconomic Theory IB (Economics 8712)
  • Microeconomic Theory IIA (Economics 8713)
  • Microeconomic Theory IIB (Economics 8714)

After the satisfactory completion of all these classes, Finance Ph.D. students must take the Microeconomic Theory Qualifying Examination Administered by the Economics Department and achieve a minimum grade of "M.A. Pass" on the examination.

Although not required, Ph.D. students in Finance also are encouraged to develop an understanding and competency in the material in the following macroeconomics courses:

  • Macroeconomic Theory IA (Economics 8721)
  • Macroeconomic Theory IB (Economics 8722)
  • Macroeconomic Theory IIA (Economics 8723)
  • Macroeconomic Theory IIB (Economics 8724)

Students choosing to study this material typically take these courses after their first year in the Ph.D. program. 

C. Finance Major Field Coursework Requirements

The Ph.D. students in Finance must understand and demonstrate competency the material in the following courses:

  • Theoretical Asset Pricing (Business Finance 8210)
  • Empirical Asset Pricing (Business Finance 8220)
  • Theoretical Corporate Finance (Business Finance 8230)
  • Empirical Corporate Finance (Business Finance 8240)
  • Advanced Asset Pricing (Business Finance 8250)
  • Advanced Corporate Finance (Business Finance 8260)
  • Finance Research Readings Course (Business Finance 8280)
  • Finance Research Course (Business Finance 8290)

More detaled information regarding the Finance PhD course offerings can be found here


D. Research Tool Requirements

The minimum required courses in research tools for the PhD students in finance are:

  • Survey of Statistical Methods in Economics (Economics 6701)
  • Econometrics I (Economics 8731)
  • Econometrics II (Economics 8732)

Students can substitute the following course sequence in Statistics for Economics 6701: 

  • Statistical Theory I (Statistics 6801)
  • Statistical Theory II (Statistics 6802)

Other useful courses to build appropriate knowledge of research tools and techniques include:

  • Economics III (Economics 8733)
  • Advanced Economics I (Economics 8830)
  • Micro Econometrics (Economics 8833)
  • Advanced Time Series Econometrics (Economics 8834)
  • Applied Regression Analysis (Statistics 6545)
  • Statistical Analysis of Time Series (Statistics 6550)
  • Theory of Probability (Statistics 7201)
  • Multivariate Analysis (Statistics 7560)
  • Advanced Statistical Theory I (Statistics 7301)
  • Advanced Statistical Theory II (Statistics 7302)
  • Bayesian Analysis and Decision Theory (Statistics 7303)



E.  Second Field Requirement

Each student in the Ph.D. Program in the Business Administration should choose a second field based on specific interests and the requirements set by various departments.  Second field requirements include a minimum of six (6) hours of graduate course work including at least one 8000 level (or equivalent doctoral level) course.  Microeconomics is strongly recommended as the second field for Ph.D. students in finance.  Ph.D. students in finance meet the requirements for a Microeconomics second field by taking Economics 8711, 8712, 8713, 8714 and passing the Microeconomic Theory Qualifying examination with an M.A. pass.  Second fields in other disciplines may be chosen with the written approval of the major advisor and the Coordinator of the Ph.D. program in Finance.  A suggested schedule of courses for the finance doctoral students with a second field in Microeconomics is listed in the Handbook.