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 and optional summer paper in finance
- 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 and third year required research seminar); 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