Carnegie Mellon University

Requirements for the Ph.D. in Financial Economics

Ph.D. students in Financial Economics must fulfill all of the general Tepper School Ph.D. requirements, in addition to any area specific requirements. 

The curriculum in financial economics reflects the close relationship between finance and economics. Students take most of the core economic courses, such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, dynamic competitive analysis, and economics of contracts.

In addition, they typically elect courses from the mathematics and statistics departments and take the doctoral seminars in finance. Students are also encouraged to take Empirical Methods for Finance & Accounting.

Students take qualifying exams at the end of the third semester. The required exams are:  microeconomics (choice of 2 out of 3 questions), macroeconomics (choice of 2 out of 3 questions), econometrics (choice of 2 out of 3 questions), and finance (all questions.  Typically, there are 4 questions).

Students with appropriate preparation prior to their entry to the program may choose to take the qualifying exams prior to the third semester, however, they must take the entire set of qualifiers as outlined above. For further information, visit the qualifying examinations page.

The purpose of the first and second year papers is to give students the opportunity to conduct original research. In many cases, these papers, and in particular the second year summer paper, lead to a thesis topic. Finally, you must attend the weekly Finance seminar. This is the only place where you can “see” research being done in public through the presentation and discussions. Also, attend seminars in economics, accounting, and others.  Explore!