Finance at the Simon School deals with problems of corporate financial policy, individual consumption-investment choices, and capital market equilibrium in an uncertain environment. The principles of price theory, mathematics, and statistics provide the basis for analyzing these problems. The methodological approach taken at the Simon School places strong emphasis on formal modeling of problems and empirical testing of alternative theories.
The first year is designed to give students solid training in microeconomics and econometrics and to introduce them to the basic issues in finance. The Finance Seminars introduce students to the current research topics. Students will be required to take courses offered by the Simon School as well as University of Rochester. First year students are required to take the Core Exam, which is given in June. Alternatively, students can take an Economic Sequence through the University of Rochester in place of the Core Exam. Students are also required to prepare a first year research paper that they will present in the fall of the second year.
The second year is designed to deepen students' knowledge of finance. Students are expected to take PhD level courses in Finance. In addition, participation in Finance and Applied Economics seminars is required. This training prepares the student for the Qualifying Exam. The Qualifying Exam, given at the end of the second year, tests student's abilities to integrate class material and reading requirements by requiring the students to present an original research paper.
In the third year, students move from course work to active research. Continued participation in all Finance and Applied Economics Seminars is required throughout the program.
Students become PhD Candidates by receiving a recommendation from the Finance area coordinator by the end of their fourth year.
Students are expected to submit their research paper, with a faculty advisor and committee approval, for a Thesis Proposal by the fall of their fourth year. Student's are expected to defend their thesis by the end of their fifth year.
All students must declare a minor field of study and pass a qualifying exam in their chosen minor field. The exam varies based on the minor chosen, it may consist of either a written exam, completing specific courses and/or submitting a research paper.