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Washington State University
Carson College of Business Ph.D.: Finance Concentration

Ph.D.: Finance Concentration

Now accepting applications for Fall 2024

This program will prepare you for a research- and teaching-focused career in higher education. Graduates are qualified to teach at AACSB-accredited universities throughout the United States and abroad.

You will develop substantial competencies in the theory, practice, and research methodology essential to the advancement of finance knowledge, while incorporating your own background, experience, and objectives. The program includes a variety of formal and informal interactions and projects with faculty and others, as well as coursework, comprehensive exams, teaching experience, and dissertation research.

Coursework covers finance topics as well as subject matter from supporting fields such as economics, accounting, etc. Extensive study of research methods and statistics associated with finance research is a large component of the program. In addition to specific coursework, you will have opportunities to collaborate with finance faculty and other graduate students to develop your research competencies.

Admission requirements

A minimum admissions index score of 1250 is required to be considered for admission. The index is based on the formula GPA x 200 + GMAT (and a TOEFL of 580 for ESL students). There is not a minimum GMAT score requirement. However, successful candidates typically exceed 650.

We prefer the GMAT, but we do accept the GRE test as a substitute. In either case, the exam must have been taken within 5 years of the time of application to WSU. A GMAT conversion will be applied to the GRE score submitted by applicants who take the GRE in lieu of the GMAT. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) provides a conversion chart. The converted GRE score will then be applied to the Carson College of Business admissions index score in the same manner as a standard GMAT score.

Desired prerequisites

  • 3 semesters of college calculus
  • 1 semester of mathematics for economists
  • 1 semester of linear algebra
  • 2 semesters of probability and statistics
  • 1 semester of intermediate microeconomics
  • 1 semester of intermediate corporate finance
  • 1 semester of investments
  • 1 semester of financial markets and institutions

Major field requirements


  • EconS/Fin 596 (I): Advanced Topics in Financial Economics
  • EconS/Fin 596 (II): Advanced Topics in Financial Economics
  • EconS/Fin 596 (III): Advanced Topics in Financial Economics
  • Two additional courses to be defined and approved by the coordinator of the Ph.D. program in finance. Possibilities include MBA-level finance courses, Fin 600: Independent Study (up to 6 credits), a Fin 400-level course (up to 6 credits), MgtOps 596, graduate level accounting courses, and statistics courses.

Supporting field requirements


Two of the following:

  • EconS/Fin 500: Macroeconomic Theory I
  • EconS/Fin 501: Microeconomic Theory I
  • EconS/Fin 502: Macroeconomic Theory II
  • EconS/Fin 503: Microeconomic Theory II

Research tool requirements


  • EconS/Fin 510: Statistics for Economists
  • EconS/Fin 511: Econometrics I
  • EconS/Fin 512: Econometrics II
  • BA 598: Research and Professional Development Seminar
  • Two of the following:
    • Stat 530: Applied Linear Models
    • MgtOp 516: Time Series Analysis
    • Math 548: Numerical Analysis
    • Stat 556: Introduction to Statistical Theory
    • Stat 536: Statistical Computing
    • MgtOp 519: Applied Multivariate Analysis
    • Stat 522: Biostatistics and Epidemiology
    • MgtOps 596: Advanced Topics in Operations and Statistics
    • Mktg 593: Behavioral Research Methods Seminar
    • Course approved by the coordinator of the Ph.D. program in finance, e.g., FIN496 Special Topics in Finance.

Suggested study program first year


  • EconS/Fin 500: Macroeconomic Theory I and/or
  • EconS/Fin 501: Microeconomic Theory I
  • EconS/Fin 510: Statistics for Economists
  • BA 598: Research and Professional Development Seminar


  • EconS/Fin 502: Macroeconomic Theory II and/or
  • EconS/Fin 503: Microeconomic Theory II
  • EconS/Fin 511: Econometrics

Qualifying Exam

You are required to take the Micro, Macro, and Econometrics qualifying exams after completing the EconS courses (two of EconS/Fin 500: Macroeconomic Theory I, EconS/Fin 501: Microeconomic Theory I, EconS/Fin 502: Macroeconomic Theory II, and EconS/Fin 503: Microeconomic Theory II, plus EconS/Fin 510: Statistics for Economists and EconS/Fin 511: Econometrics I). However, this requirement will be waived if you receive no lower than a B in any of the courses.


You will take this exam after you complete the Ph.D. seminars in Advanced Topics in Financial Economics.


The research work must be original and relevant to the finance field and the existing body of finance literature.


Data sources:

  • Audit Analytics
  • Compustat
  • Compustat Global
  • CRSP
  • Eventus
  • Execucomp
  • KLD Ratings
  • SDC – Global New Issues
  • SDC – M&A
  • Thomson 13f Holdings
  • Thomson Insider Filings

WRDS Workshop: WRDS Workshop PowerPoint


George Jiang
Gary P. Brinson Chair of Investment Management
Professor of Finance
Department of Finance and Management Science
Todd Addition 480

Program at a glance

Degree offered: Doctor of Philosophy
Number of faculty working with students: 11
Number of students enrolled in program: 11
Students with assistantships/scholarships: 100%
Priority application deadline: January 10

Universities and colleges employing recent graduates:

  • Gonzaga University
  • University of Toledo
  • Central Michigan University
  • Marquette University
  • University of New Mexico
  • Oregon State University, and more