PhD degree requirements

The PhD in Business Administration program with a specialization in finance consists of a minimum of 72 semester hours of graduate-level course work beyond the bachelor’s degree and 12 semester hours of dissertation credit, for a total of 84 semester hours. Approved master’s degree-level coursework up to 30 hours beyond deficiency and prerequisite courses may potentially be included. A minimum of 42 hours of doctoral coursework and 12 hours of dissertation and/or research are required to be taken at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

The department offers a number of courses for doctoral students. View the complete list of courses offered by the Department of Finance.

The core — basic program

The courses in the basic program are intended to provide the foundation for advanced study in the finance concentration and supporting coursework. The W. P. Carey School of Business requires a minimum of 21 semester hours of credit in the Basic Program, distributed as follows.

  • A minimum of 9 semester hours of economics (i.e., ECN 712, Microeconomic Analysis I; ECN 714 Microeconomic Analysis II; ECN 716, Advanced Economic Theory I)
  • A minimum of 9 semester hours of quantitative methods (i.e., ECN 725, Econometrics I; ECN 726, Econometrics II, and ECN 770, Mathematics for Economists)

In addition to the requirements of the W. P. Carey School, the Department of Finance requires all entering students to take 3 semester hours of credit in FIN 700, Research Methods, and also ECN 594, Conference and Workshop, in the second summer session (starting in July) prior to the student’s first fall semester in the program.

Advanced program

The advanced program consists of at least 63 semester hours, 15 of which must be from the Department of Finance. [Research (FIN 792) or Readings & Conference (FIN 790) may NOT be used to fulfill this 15-hour requirement.] The W. P. Carey School requires a distribution of semester hours in the advanced program as follows.

  • A minimum of 15 semester hours of finance doctoral courses (e.g., FIN 781, FIN 791, FIN 793)
  • A minimum of 6 semester hours of coursework in “other courses” (e.g., ACC 791, MGT 791)
  • A minimum of 36 semester hours of research and dissertation
  • 6 semester hours from either “other courses” or additional research

Additional courses to fulfill PhD requirements

The W. P. Carey School of Business requires a minimum of 27 semester hours of additional graduate course credit. These remaining requirements can be met by taking elective courses. Students with previous related graduate coursework from approved master’s degree programs can potentially transfer up to 30 semester hours of credit to satisfy this requirement, as determined by the PhD coordinator for the plan of study.


The W. P. Carey School requires a minimum of 12 semester hours of dissertation credit (FIN 799) in which students work with a personally selected faculty committee to complete a major research-based dissertation of an original and creative nature.