Best Finance PhD Programs in the World

6 Reasons to Pursue a Career in Finance-Best finance PhD Programs in the World

One of the most prestigious, selective and best finance PhD programs in the world is the PhD program in finance at the University of Cambridge. The program is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of only 6%.

Are you someone who likes to keep track of things and analyze data? Do numbers come easily to you, and do you also have a good head for business? If so, why not consider pursuing a career in finance? With a degree in finance, you can pursue exciting and rewarding job opportunities in this field.

We’ll look at 6 reasons why being an accountant could be the perfect fit for you as well as The Best Finance PhD Programs You Can Go.

What is PhD in finance

A PhD in Finance are programs that focuses on finances, statistics, and economics. It is designed for those wanting to pursue an academic career in the study of finance. A structure of a typical Doctoral degree, be it PhD in Finance or other programs generally run for around 3 to 7 years varying on the destination.

6 Reasons to Pursue a Career in Finance..

  1. You will find many career fields that offer a high degree of job security and good pay
  2. With your PhD in finance, you’ll be well equipped to teach students about the theories of global economics and finance, the ins and outs of financial modeling, and the tools that apply to the field.
  3. Your PhD in finance will prepare you to understand and discuss insurance, investments, college savings, taxes, and other areas of financial planning.
  4. A PhD in finance will equip you to best formulate the financial policies that will help guide your organization.
  5. Your PhD in finance will give you the economic knowledge for understanding the core concepts of this field.
  6. Your PhD in finance will give you an opportunity to work in high paying fields such as corporate policymaking and investment research.

Best Finance PhD Programs in the World.

Th Ph.D. for Finance that you can opt for. Here is a list of them with a brief on each:

PhD in Financial Management

Ph.D. in financial management deals with the study of taxation, macroeconomics, attitude towards risks, and impact of information. It trains students in finance, economics, and quantitative learning.

P.h.D in Quantitative Finance

This field of Finance deals with mathematical and quantitative ways to create and disrupt financial practices. This field focuses on enhancing return and reducing risks in the market.

PhD in Accounting and finance

Ph.D. in Finance and Accounting directly focuses on the fundamental aspects of finance and accounting. It perfects you in financial management and understanding the monetary affairs of the nation.

PhD in Computational Finance

Ph.D. in computational finance looks upon the modelling of financial markets, usage of computational intelligence in making financial decisions. This field takes you to become a portfolio manager, quantitative analyst, etc.

PhD in Financial Economics

The program focuses on economics and its impact on finance. The specialization areas create a joint curriculum to focus on asset pricing, metrics, macroeconomics, and banking.

PhD in Banking and Finance

P.h.D. in banking and finance focuses on understanding the major section of the domestic and international banking sector through the view of finance and economics

PhD in Accounting and Financial Management

PhD in Accounting and Financial Management is usually a part of PhD in Business Administration. It is usually chosen for work in analytical, logical and time management. Some of the topics covered are Business Environment, Business Finances, Financial Management, etc.

PhD in Financial Engineering

The course is layered above a strong foundation of financial science in a logically coherent world. In qualifications, a Master’s in Science or a Masters’ in Financial Engineering (MFE) will gear you up towards new quantitative roles such as delivering risk models and trading directly, library control, model validation, risk management, and programming.

Best Finance PhD Programs: Top Schools.

The location of the institution plays a major role in the orientation of the PhD program as well as the career outlook and future prospects. Glance over the following list of universities providing PhD in Finance and its related fields which you must consider before making your decision.

London school of Economics

A Ph.D. in Finance from London School of Economics requires the following:

GRE/ GMAT (GRE is preferred)
Masters in Finance or Economics
Academic Records
Outreach Research Proposal
Sample of Written Work


Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a University in USA ranking the 5th position in PhD in Economics, Finance & Accounting
MIT offers a Ph.D. in Finance. While they mention the prerequisites, other instructions are mentioned during the application process:


Bachelors degree
Quantitative background
Deep Knowledge of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics


Harvard offers a Ph.D. in Business Economics that includes Finance. The requirements for Ph.D. in Harvard are:

Specific coursework for Masters in Finance or Economics is required
GRE/ GMAT (GRE is preferred)
All courses should have a minimum grade of B.
Students must teach or assist for one semester
Dissertation proposal in the third year.

Stanford Finance Phd

Stanford University is a University in USA and ranks 2nd position in finance PhD. It has a specific requirement from their students for Ph.D. in Finance. You must fill their online application along with submitting the following documents:

Statement of Purpose (SOP)
Three references
Submitted application fees
$125 application fees
Official Transcripts

Oxford Ph.D Finance

Oxford University offers a D.Phil in Finance. The school expects intellectual people with good academic records. Here are the requirements:

Good bachelors degree with a 3.5 gpa or equivalent
Three academic references
Three pieces of written work

Duke University

At Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, students can earn a technically-focused PhD in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance that will prepare them to become faculty at the nation’s top research universities.

Students can typically complete the PhD in four to six years and they collaborate with faculty to determine a concentrated course of study that aligns with their career goals.

A comprehensive exam in the content area is required as well as a dissertation. Duke’s Fuqua School of Business provides PhD students with stipends as well as tuition, registration, and health fees for up to 10 semesters.

Courses include Microeconomics I and II; Empirical Corporate Finance; Theoretical Asset Pricing; a finance seminar; and Theoretical Corporate Finance. GMAT or GRE scores are required for admission and cannot be waived for any reason. An MBA or master’s degree is not required for admission, nor is previous work experience

North Western University

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University offers a full-time doctoral program in finance that leads to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and draws on economics, mathematics, and statistics in its exploration of finance.


Applicants should have a strong education or work background in mathematics, statistics, and economics, and while a master’s degree is not required, about half of PhD students at Northwestern have one. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. Original research papers, as well as a proposal and dissertation, are required for graduation.

In addition, PhD students serve as research and teaching assistants during the second, third, and fourth years of the program. Coursework includes three levels of asset pricing and corporate finance. Most students can complete the degree

in about five and a half years, with the first two years usually spent on coursework and the final three years spent on research and writing the dissertation..

University of Pennsylvania

The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) offers PhD program in Finance that combines the theoretical and empirical study of finance with the related discipline of economics. Students in Penn’s PhD program are prepared for research careers and teaching positions at top academic institutions.

With a student-to-faculty ratio greater than one-to-one, Penn’s faculty research has contributed to the modern understanding of economic systems and how they can affect financial fragility and crises..

Study focuses on areas like corporate finance; asset pricing and portfolio management; international finance; financial institutions; and macroeconomics.


A total of 18 courses are required for the PhD, including economics core classes, econometrics/statistics courses, finance core classes, and electives in finance. No more than six courses can be transferred from other schools.

The program consists of two phases: Pre-Candidacy and Candidacy. Students must maintain a “B” average in order to graduate. Four teaching fellowships are required, as well as various papers, presentations, and a dissertation.

University of Texas at Austin

At the Texas McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, students can earn a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Finance to prepare them for research and teaching careers. Specializations are offered in Corporate Finance, Investments, Financial Intermediaries, International Finance, and Real Estate.


Applicants must have a four-year bachelor’s degree in any subject, but a reasonable background in math, statistics, and economics is expected, as well as adequate computer programming skills.


IIT Madras, Chennai Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi Alliance School of Business, Bangalore Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, Mumbai National Institute of Technology, Silchar Alliance School of Business, Bangalore University, Ahmedabad Kalinga Institute of Technology.


The applicant must have completed a master’s degree in Finance or any other related field from a recognized academic institution with the minimum scores specified by their chosen university.
Qualify PhD entrance exams.
Provide GRE scores along with English Language Proficiency scores such as IELTS, TOEFL, etc. Further, you will also have to submit a Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letters of Recommendation (LORs) apart from other academic documents.

PhD in Finance Admission Process

In order to get admission for PhD in Finance, you need to follow a crucial admission process. Here is the admission process you should follow:

  • Fill the application form on the institute website where you wish to apply. The application can be filled online or offline
  • Take the entrance test depending on your desired institute. Once you have qualified the entrance test by scoring marks equal to or higher than required, you will be invited for further process.
  • The next part is the interview. You will be invited only if you qualify the entrance test. There can be one or more interview processes.In the interview, you may be asked about your thesis plan and why you wish to pursue PhD. If you qualify these interviews, you will get a confirmation letter from your institution.


How competitive is PhD in finance?

Finance is very difficult to get into.

How Long does a PhD in Finance Course last?

A PhD in Finance can take anywhere between 3-7 years to complete. In the initial years, theoretical knowledge is provided through diverse subjects. In the culminating years, you will spend time in industrial projects.

Is it possible to pursue PhD after an MBA in Finance?

Yes, you can pursue a PhD after an MBA in Finance. It is an excellent option, specially for those, who want to establish a career in Research or want to delve deeper into a particular domain of Finance.

How much is a PhD in Finance salary?
Most graduates with PhDs in Finance work as professors and researchers at academic research institutions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary business teachers earned a median of $88,010 per year and postsecondary economics teachers earned a median of $107,260 per year as of May 2020.3 By comparison, financial managers earned a median annual salary of $134,180 per year, and top executives earned a median of $107,680 per year.4,5

Why should I get a PhD in Finance?
If you are interested in a career in academia–either in teaching at the postsecondary level or in conducting financial research to solve industry problems–a PhD in Finance might be right for you. Typically, other positions in finance, such as financial manager or chief financial officer (CFO) require a MFin or a MBA-Finance. Therefore, a PhD in Finance, given its time commitment, is best for those who aspire to be college or university professors and researchers.

What is the job outlook for PhDs in Finance?
According to the BLS, postsecondary teaching positions in business are expected to grow 12% through 2029, while postsecondary teaching positions in economics are expected to grow 5% over the same time period.3 Employment of postsecondary teachers as a whole is projected to grow 9% through 2029.

How should I apply for a PhD in Finance course?

  1. Complete your Masters in Finance or a related discipline.
  2. Obtain a good score in GMAT/GRE exam.
  3. Obtain a minimum percentile in English proficiency tests like IELTS/TOEFL.
  4. Write a Statement of Purpose.
  5. Collect essential documents like transcripts, LORs, etc.
  6. Apply to the university of your choice.

How competitive are top finance PhD programs
Finance is very difficult to get into.

Phd in Finance Vs Economics

A FIN is a more commercially minded creature, with a specialized set of Econometric tools.
An ECON PhD is a more statistically minded creature of the two.

FIN PhD is more commercially viable and scarce, while the ECON PhD is more genteel, scholarly, but available as a staple commodity in all fresh markets/universities on tap as many more are produced than absorbed in industry.

Final Thought

Pursuing a PhD in finance or in any other field of interest is a difficult decision to make, especially taking into account the number of years that you will be devoted to as well as the rigorous nature of the study. Take the assistance of Leverage Edu’s AI-enabled tool which suggests course and university combinations based on your personalized skills and abilities and assist you in finding an ideal degree and institution to pursue.

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