University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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Curriculum

The finance major in the Management PhD program prepares students to become productive researchers and teachers at top  universities. This rigorous program uses economics, mathematics, decision theory and statistics to examine issues in finance research. Each student follows a slightly different path, depending on future research interests, allowing some flexibility to the curriculum below. Refer to the PhD Handbook for complete information on all program requirements.

First Year

Fall Semester

Typically five of the following:

  • ECON 609 Macroeconomic Theory I
  • ECON 611 Mathematics for Economists
  • ECON 613 Introduction to Econometric Theory
  • ECON 655 Microeconomic Theory I (required)
  • MGF 740 Theory of Finance Seminar (required)
  • MGM 700 Research Design

Spring Semester

Typically four of the following, with at least two being finance classes:

  • ECON 610 Macroeconomic Theory II
  • ECON 612 Mathematics for Economists II
  • ECON 614 Econometric Applications and Methods
  • MGF 631 Corporate Financial Management
  • MGF 636 Complex Financial Instruments
  • MGF 638 Fixed Income Securities
  • MGF 741 Corporate Finance Seminar (required)

By the end of the first year, you will be expected to present a paper outlining your current progress in an area of research and how you might contribute in the future.

Second Year

Fall Semester

Typically four of the following:

  • MTH 558 Mathematical Finance
  • ECON 712 Time Series Analysis
  • MGF 633 Investment Management
  • MGF 696 Portfolio Theory and Strategy
  • MGF 742 Information and Capital Markets Seminar
  • MGF 743 Research Methodology Seminar (required)
  • MGF 797 Research in Finance (required)

Spring Semester

  • Supervised Research (MGF 647)

If research interests dictate, you may register for research seminars or other classes in related disciplines such as accounting (e.g. accounting research methodolgy, seminar in financial accounting), computer science (e.g. machine learning, big data, computing), industrial and systems engineering (e.g. simulations and stochastic models), etc. These are subject to approval by your PhD advisor.

By the end of your second year, you will be expected to present a full research paper of publishable quality and, in the summer after the second year, you must pass the comprehensive exam. The exam consists of two written parts and takes two days. On day one, you will be asked to answer questions inspired by the finance research classes you have taken. On the second day, you will be required to write a paper review for a hypothetical finance journal.

Third Year and Beyond

After passing the comprehensive exam, you will work closely with your faculty advisor toward the completion of your thesis. While you may continue to take regular classes, your focus will be on the quality of your research and its publishability.