Department of Finance - Ph.D. FAQ

Ph.D. FAQ

Admission

How many applications do you typically receive in a given year and how many people do you admit?
We receive between 50 and 100 applications per year. On average we make offers to five students and three accept.

May I submit GRE scores rather than GMAT scores?
Yes, we accept both the GMAT and the GRE.

When should I apply?
You can apply beginning in mid-September until January 1. All your information must be received by the Graduate College by January 1 for you to be considered for admission to the program for the following summer-fall (beginning in the second summer session). There is no option for a spring semester start.

How do I apply?
The application process is completed online through the Graduate College. Please refer to the Graduate College for the online application as well as additional information about graduate studies at ASU. Do not send any documents directly to the Department of Finance. Please comply with the January 1 deadline for application and document receipt by the Graduate College. We cannot consider any applications received after this date. In addition, applications that are not complete (i.e., missing letters of recommendation, GRE/GMAT scores, TOEFL results for international students) by the deadline cannot be considered. The Department of Finance cannot provide any waivers for the TOEFL exam. Refer to the ASU Graduate College Admissions site for further information.

Can I transfer in credits from a master's degree?
Up to 30 hours from a relevant master's degree can be transferred into our Ph.D. program.

Can I apply to the program via a paper application?
No, all Ph.D. applications must be completed online.

How is my application evaluated?
Your application is considered by the Department of Finance Ph.D. committee. In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate College, the committee considers factors such as your letters of recommendation, scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and/or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), and personal statement of career objectives. Based on the committee's assessment, a recommendation is made to the Associate Dean (for Ph.D. programs) in the W. P. Carey School, who in turn makes a recommendation to the Division of Graduate Studies. The Division of Graduate Studies then either approves or denies your application and notifies you in writing.

When can I expect to hear whether I have been admitted?
Admission decisions are generally made in late March or early April. Applicants will receive written notification from the Division of Graduate Studies. Application decisions cannot be released by the Department of Finance via phone or e-mail.

Can I start the program at times other than the end of summer?
No. Students are required to take FIN 700 prior to their first fall semester in the Ph.D. program. FIN 700 is offered only once during the academic year (during the second summer session). Students are not accepted to start the program in the spring semester.

Is a master's degree required for admission to the Ph.D. program?
A master's degree is not required, but students with relevant graduate degrees will be more competitive in the application process.

What sort of previous coursework would make me a more competitive applicant?
Graduate coursework related to finance tends to make an applicant more competitive. Coursework in calculus, probability, statistics, economics and linear algebra tends to make a candidate more competitive, as well.

Does the Department of Finance provide waivers for the TOEFL exam?
No, only the Graduate College can consider or grant TOEFL waivers.

Program Information

What is FIN 700 and why do I take it in the summer (second summer session beginning in July) prior to my first year in the program?
FIN 700 is an intensive five-week summer-session course to help prepare you for doing research. An overarching goal of our program is to get you involved in the research process as quickly as possible and taking FIN 700 puts you in a position to do so from the very beginning of the program. Because we believe that getting involved in the research process as early possible is critical to the development of our students, FIN 700 is a required course in our Ph.D. program.

How many students are typically enrolled in the Ph.D. program?
Historically, our program has had 15 students enrolled at any point in time. We expect our program to grow to 16 students over the next few years, however.

How long will it take me to complete the program?
Although it is possible for a student to graduate in four years, the typical student takes five years to complete the program.

Where have recent graduates of the program placed?
That information can be found in the "Graduate Placement" section of the website.

Can I expect to teach while in the Ph.D. program?
Teaching experience has become an increasingly important component to competitiveness in the Ph.D. job market. Over the course of your enrollment in the Ph.D. program, you can expect to teach. Every attempt is made to defer teaching until the summer after the student's third year in the program, but staffing requirements may lead to students teaching prior to that time.

International Applicants

Do I need to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Spoken English (TSE) scores?
Most international applicants, particularly those for whom English is not their first language, are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency by providing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. The minimum TOEFL requirement is 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT). Some international applicants are exempt from having to submit TOEFL scores. For more official information, including the dates after which English Proficiency Test must be taken to be valid, refer to the English proficiency information.

All applicants for teaching associateships are also required to take the Test of Spoken English (TSE) or the ASU Speak Test. The minimum TSE score is 55. The minimum iBT SPEAK score is 24.

Applications will not be processed until official TOEFL scores have been received or waived by Graduate College Admissions.

We do not accept IELTS examination scores.
More information on the TOEFL and TSE can be found on the Internet at www.toefl.org or by e-mail at toefl@ets.org. The TOEFL and TSE are administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, PO Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA. ASU's Institutional Code is 4007.

If the Department Code is required for TOEFL, use 99.

Are foreign applicants eligible for federal aid?
Not necessarily. Foreign applicants may not be eligible for federal aid depending on visa status.