The program includes courses and comprehensive examination in the three Core subjects of price theory, the theory of income, and quantitative methods, as well as coursework in the theory of financial decisions and additional finance coursework. In addition to these courses and the Core examination, PhD requirements include a research paper in finance, certification of competence in two Specialized Fields of concentration (which can overlap with the finance coursework), three courses from among three different elective Fields for the General Distribution requirement (for most students these three courses fulfill the Booth Coordinated Sequence requirement), workshop participation, the approval of a Thesis/Dissertation Proposal, and the completion of the Doctoral Thesis/Dissertation.
The typical course load is three courses per quarter for two years; this permits completion of nine courses during the regular academic year. The comprehensive examination for the Core subjects is given by the Department of Economics in the Summer Quarter. The finance research paper, which constitutes the general exam in finance (along with successful completion of finance coursework), is due in September before the start of the third year.
A program of a typical PhD student consists of the following sequence:
- First Year: Courses in price theory, the theory of income, and quantitative methods to prepare for the Core examination
- First Summer: Core examination
- Second Year: Theory of Financial Decisions courses; additional courses to fulfill finance and Specialized Field requirements and participation in Workshops; certification in two Specialized Fields; identification of a Finance Research Paper topic
- Second Summer: Specialized Field Exam (if applicable) and Finance Research Paper
- Third & Fourth Years: Additional coursework as necessary to fulfill remaining coursework requirements (including the general distribution requirement); participation in Workshops; decision on a thesis topic and presentation of a Thesis Proposal Seminar; admission to Candidacy
- Fifth Year: Completion of the Doctoral Thesis and presentation of a Public Lecture at which the Department formally approves the thesis