Finance PhD FAQ


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 ASU Graduate Education 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 ASU Graduate Education. Please refer to ASU Graduate Education 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 ASU Graduate Education. 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 Education 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 PhD program.

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

How is my application evaluated?
Your application is considered by the Department of Finance PhD committee. In addition to the general requirements of tSU Graduate Education, 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 PhD 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 PhD 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 PhD 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 ASU Graduate Education can consider or grant TOEFL waivers.

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 26.

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

We do not accept IELTS examination scores.
More information on the TOEFL and TSE can be found on the Internet at or by e-mail at 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.