Financial Economics PhD
The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, general degree requirements and the policies on Satisfactory Progress, Probation and Exclusion of The Graduate School, and additional requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress of the Department of Economics and the Finance Department.
Total Required Units: 18
Other Ph.D. Degree Requirements
Examinations: preliminary examinations in economic theory (microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics); oral examination for approval of dissertation prospectus
Research/Projects: two research papers presented in the student seminar (ECON 501) or equivalent. Out of these, one paper is the second-year summer paper detailed below
Finance Comprehensive Exam: Students must pass a Finance Competence Requirement. This can be done by achieving a 3.6 GPA across the six finance doctoral courses (FINC 585-1,2,3 and FINC 586-1,2,3), or by passing a comprehensive Finance exam. The Exam takes place at the beginning of the summer quarter of the second year, typically in June.
Second-year Research Paper and Advisors: Students need to complete a research project to be presented to the department in the first week of September at the end of the summer quarter of the second year. The research project must be supervised by an individual faculty advisor (who can be the same as, or distinct from, the Academic Advisor) selected by the end of the winter quarter. The second-year advisor need not be the same person as the eventual main dissertation advisor.
Ph.D. Dissertation: original, independent research
Final Evaluations: oral dissertation defense
Supervised Teaching Experience: All doctoral students are required to act as a teaching assistant for at least one quarter. As part of these duties, the student must lead a weekly discussion section. Teaching experience is an essential part of graduate training. Foreign students must demonstrate acceptable English proficiency as prescribed by The Graduate School. Evaluations are made and kept as part of the students' record.
There are two points of entry into the joint graduate program in Financial Economics.
- The first is to apply directly when applying to graduate school at Northwestern. Admission to the joint program at this stage requires the application being approved by both the Economics and the Finance admissions committees.
- The second way to get into the PhD program in Financial Economics is to apply for entry into the financial economics degree after the student has satisfied all of the Department of Economics requirements for entry into the second year. This rule applies equally to students initially enrolled in the Economics PhD program and to students initially enrolled in the Finance PhD program. Students should initiate the process by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department they are currently enrolled in. Applications must be approved by both the Economics and the Finance admissions committees. If the application is approved, the student initiates a degree transfer request to The Graduate School.