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Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Finance

The primary goal of the Ph.D. program in Business Administration with a major in Finance is to prepare students to become productive researchers and professors at institutions of higher learning, or as researchers in government and business. A list of our recent graduates and their current position may be found at The Finance Ph.D. program emphasizes the ability to conduct original research on important topics in the field of Finance. Because completing a doctoral degree is a difficult and lengthy process, we pay close attention to each student throughout their tenure. The program consists of only a handful of Ph.D. students at any one time, allowing each student to work closely with the faculty and to receive the hands-on training needed to succeed.

Research: All Finance Ph.D. students begin research at an early stage, and are assigned as research assistants to faculty members in their first semester of study. To maintain their focus on research, students cannot be assigned to teach their own independent sections until after completing the two years of course work. To further facilitate student research, the University library subscribes to Standard & Poor's Research Insight (COMPUSTAT) database and a comprehensive list of academic journals in Finance and Economics. The College of Business subscribes to Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) as well as the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) database. The Department of Finance and Economics has access to a number of specialized databases related to investments, banking, and real estate. These include Thomson Financial's New Issues and I/B/E/S databases, the SNL REIT Datasource database, and several others.

Admissions: New Ph.D. students begin the program in the Fall semester of odd numbered years, with admission decisions being made early in the Spring semester. Successful applicants typically have a strong quantitative background, though not all have an undergraduate degree in business. Applicants must submit a GMAT score, and international applicants that do not hold a degree from an English speaking country must also submit a TOEFL score. Successful applicants typically have GMAT scores at or above 640, though other factors are considered. Details on the application process may be found at the Office of the Graduate School's website.

Program of Study: The minimum course requirements for completing the Finance Ph.D. program consist of eight major courses in finance (24 hours), three courses in Economics (9 hours), and five research methods courses (15 hours), and one teaching methods course (3 hours). These courses are designed to develop analytical skills and to provide students with a good foundation in theoretical modeling and empirical testing, and they are typically completed over the first two years. Students are expected to take the Quantitative Area Qualifying Exam by the end of their first year of study, and are eligible to take the Written Comprehensive Exam in Finance after a successfully competing their second year. After passing the Written Comprehensive Exam in Finance, students begin work on an original research project and present it to the faculty for approval as the dissertation proposal. Work on the dissertation usually lasts two to three years, and a final oral exam, called the dissertation defense, concludes the Ph.D. program.


For specific information about the Finance Ph.D. program at Mississippi State University, please contact the coordinator, Dr. Brandon Cline at

Click here for information on University admissions requirements for US students and International students.

Click here to apply.