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Finance and Economics
Doctoral students at the finance and economics division typically specialize in financial economics.
The first year of the program is dedicated to core courses that include a two-semester microeconomics sequence, a two-semester econometrics sequence, and one-semester courses in accounting and finance. During the second year the students take required courses in corporate finance and asset pricing – and a one-semester course in macroeconomics.
Students are encouraged to begin developing thesis proposals during their second year. During the second and later years they are also encouraged to participate in a wide range of workshops and seminars on current research. Faculty research interests cover most aspects of financial economics. They include asset pricing, corporate finance, continuous-time models in finance, information economics, economics of resources and the environment, econometric models in finance, international finance, the intersection of macro economics, and finance and banking.
For more information, visit the Finance and Economics Division.
Sample Finance and Economics courses:
The courses we offer regularly; all are required unless specified otherwise:
Mathematical Methods for Economists (at the economics department, recommended)
Foundations of finance
Macroeconomics 2 (At the economics department, recommended)
The economics department offers a math camp intended for the entering doctoral class a month prior to the first year. Participation is an excellent preparation for the first year course work.
Elective courses will be offered to augment the required ones. The offerings may change from one year to the next.
In May of their first year the students will take the certification exams in microeconomics and in econometrics. To take the certification exams the students will have to complete at least six courses.
A student who performs well in the first year courses but fails a certification exam will be given a second chance to pass it in late August or early September. A student who fails the certification exam for a second time will be asked to leave the doctoral option. He will be given an option to complete a second year of coursework at the end of which he will receive a Master degree if he performs well in his courses.
At the end of their second year the students take the field exam in finance.
In late May or early June of their second year the students will take a finance field exam. A student who fails that exam will be given a second chance in late August or September. A student will be given at most two opportunities to write the finance field exam.
To take the field exam the students will have to take at least twelve courses in their first two years of studies. To receive a Columbia degree (a Master or a PhD) the students will have to complete successfully sixteen courses if he entered the program with a Master degree. If he did not enter with a Master degree he will have to complete at least twenty courses.
The finance field exam typically covers the following courses:
· Foundations of asset pricing
· Corporate finance
· Asset pricing theory
· Empirical asset pricing
· Empirical corporate finance
A partial list of elective courses
Computational Bayesian Methods
Empirical Asset Pricing II
Seminar in International Finance
Contract Theory (at the economics department)
Applied macroeconomics and finance
Advanced derivatives/computational finance
Monte Carlo Methods
Computational Bayesian Methods
Advanced econometrics courses (at the economics department)
Advanced statistical inference, probability theory and stochastic processes courses (at the statistics department)
International finance (at the economics department)
International money and finance (at the economics department)
A student who wishes to exempt out of some first year courses will approach the director of the PhD program. A student who exempts out of courses will still have to take the first year certification exams.
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Top Ten Doctoral Program Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions about the Doctoral Program.
The Program takes a minimum of four years to complete. Most students complete the process in five years.
We do not require a business undergraduate degree or masters to apply or be accepted to our Doctoral Program. We have had several students from degree programs including: Economics, Statistics, Psychology, Sociology, Mathematics, and Engineering, among others.
Unlike an undergraduate or master level program, where individual courses are incorporated with a highly structured learning experience, the doctoral education places an emphasis on self-directed learning and close relationships with a select few faculty in a particular area of specialization. Programs typically involve intense reading of academic journals and writing original research. Doctoral students usually grow close relationships with their faculty mentors. These advisors work closely with the students to define a course of research and help provide guidance in the dissertation process.
You can study in one of our five divisions: Accounting, Decision, Risk and Operations, Finance and Economics, Management, or Marketing. A more nuanced understanding of these fields can be seen in the areas of expertise of the Business School’s faculty research.
Unfortunately our Doctorate is available only as a full time, in residence program.
Apply using our online application. We ask that you do not send any documents directly to the School, all materials can be submitted online. Please comply with the posted application deadlines, being sure to include all required components of the application.
The aim of our Program is to accept 23 students per year (Accounting: 4, DRO: 4, Finance: 6, Management: 5, Marketing: 4).
While we have no prerequisites for application, students with limited quantitative backgrounds may benefit from taking accounting, mathematics, econometrics and statistics before enrolling. We encourage you to explore each Division’s requirements before applying the Analytical thinking and quantitative tools have a significant influence on success in the program.
No, the goal of the Doctoral Program is to place graduates in academic institutions as top researchers and instructors. If you have a different goal in mind we encourage you to investigate our MS Programs which combine the Doctoral level coursework in a masters package.
A full financial aid package is offered to most admitted students, this includes tuition, fees, and stipends. Our living stipend is provided in the form of a fellowship. Students are not required to secure jobs as teaching or research assistants. However, most students do during their careers as a way to supplement their funding package.
Profiles: PhD Students
When asked about why he chose Columbia Business School Matt says: “It’s easier to stand on the shoulders of giants if you’re passing them in the halls.”
When asked about the Program's sense of community Shiri says: “There is a tight-knit community amongst the marketing students, and the relationships I have formed have been both professionally and personally rewarding.
"I chose Columbia because I wanted to receive a state-of-the-art education from a renowned university."
DId you Know?
countries are represented in the doctoral application pool
students are admitted in any given year
MS Financial Economics
Doctoral Program News
Rivas Wins Fellowship
The PhD program is proud to congratulate Miguel Duro Rivas, who was awarded the Nasdaq Eudcational Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.Read More about Miguel Here
2013 Job Market Candidates Announced
We would like to introduce our PhD job market candidates for 2013 with a range of specialties including asset management, corporate liability, capital markets and performance optimization.See the full list of candidates
2014 PhD Application Now Available
The application for the PhD Program is now available online. Click on the link below to begin your application.Apply Now
The PhD Program Congratulates John YaoLearn More About John
Honigsberg Named Postdoctoral Fellow
The PhD program is proud to congratulate Colleen Honigsberg, who was named the Postdoctoral Fellow in Corporate Governance at the Millstein Center at Columbia Law School in October 2013Read More about Colleen Here