Finance: Key Features

The Ph.D. Program in Finance at GSEFM is designed to ensure that students acquire a thorough knowledge of the theory of finance, of econometric and computational methods, as well as the structure of modern financial markets, before beginning their own research under faculty supervision.

In the first year of the program, students attend core courses in financial economics, econometrics, and mathematical methods. Furthermore, students attend courses in microeconomic or macroeconomic theory. At the end of the first year of studies, students must pass qualifying examinations in finance, econometrics, and microeconomics or macroeconomics. In the second year of the program students complete field courses in two to three fields of their choosing and begin to work on their own research. All students are required to have a faculty advisor by the end of their second year in the program. The role of the faculty advisor is to help the student to make the transition from coursework to research and to identify suitable dissertation topics. By the end of their third year in the program students will need to have completed their first research paper. The dissertation is completed in the fourth year of the program. The dissertation must be a major piece of research, and its chapters must have the potential for publication in an international scientific journal.

First-year students in the Master Program in Quantitative Finance at GSEFM enroll in the same set of courses as the first-year Ph.D.  Program in Finance students. If completing their first year of studies with strong success, the Master Program in Quantitative Finance students are then eligible and strongly encouraged to join the Ph.D. Program in Finance from their second year of studies onwards. Other students in the Master Program in Quantitative Finance in their second year of studies have the option to enroll in concentration courses with an emphasis on policy issues and/or on issues of implementation. The Master Program in Quantitative Finance is completed with a Master thesis written in the final months of the second year of studies.

Ph.D. Program Structure

First Year
Pre-Semester: Mathematics and Statistics
Wintersemester: Advanced Financial Economics I (8 CP), Advanced Econometrics 1 (8 CP), Advanced Macroeconomic Theory 1 (8 CP) or Advanced Microeconomic Theory 1 (8 CP), Mathematical Methods (8 CP)
Sommersemester: Advanced Financial Economics II (8 CP), Advanced Econometrics 2 (8 CP), Advanced Macroeconomic Theory 2 (8 CP) or Advanced Microeconomic Theory 2 (8 CP), Historical and Normative Foundations (8 CP)
Qualifying Examinations
Second Year
Winteremester: Field Courses, Workshop Attendance
Sommersemester: Field Courses, Seminar, Workshop Attendance
Fields Offered:
Development and International Economics (including Cross-Country Studies, Development Microeconomics, Economic Growth, International Trade)
Econometrics (including Bayesian Econometrics, Dynamic Panel Models, Econometrics of Duration and Transition Data, Long Memory in Time-Series, Non-Parametric Econometrics)
Finance (including Asset Pricing, Corporate Finance Theory, Empirical Banking, Household Finance, Option Pricing, Taxes and Finance)
Law and Economics (including Epistemics of Law and Economics, European Cross-Border Business, Law of International Financial Institutions)
Macroeconomics (including Consumption and Saving, Economic Growth, Family Macroeconomics, Household Finance, Monetary Theory and Policy, Monetary and Fiscal Policy, Numerical Methods in Macroeconomics)
Marketing (including Bayesian Modelling for Marketing, Customer Management and Social Media, Pricing and Online-Advertising, Structural Models and Competition)
Microeconomics and Management (including Behavioral Auction Theory, Behavioral Economics, Decision Making under Risk and Ambiguity, Economics of Taxation, Empirical Labor Economics, Empirics of Contracts, Experimental Economics, General Equilibrium Theory: History, Incentives in Organizations, Intergenerational Economics, Modeling Group Behavior Using Game Theory, Taxes and Finance)
Third Year
Workshop Attendance
Independent Studies Course (Teaching Skills)
Third-Year Research Paper
Fourth Year
Workshop Attendance
Job Market Course
Thesis Defense
Stay Abroad
During either the third or fourth year in the program, students may spend one or two semesters abroad for a research stay at an internationally top ranked Ph.D. program. Such stays are facilitated by the faculty advisor.