Texas Tech University

Concentration in Finance - Major Field (Comprehensive) Exam

Upon completion of the coursework, the student must pass a comprehensive examination in his or her major area of study (Finance). This comprehensive exam will cover material from all of the Finance doctoral seminars, the research seminar series (FIN 6122), and may also include material from the supporting fields (e.g., statistics and economics). Students should also study other financial concepts not specifically taught in their seminar courses. The expected level of knowledge for these additional concepts is what would be expected of a master's-level Finance student.

Suggested Study Resources

To assist in studying for the comprehensive exam, and to also supplement Ph.D. course material, the Area of Finance recommends the following master's- and Ph.D.-level textbooks.

Brealey, Myers, and Allen, 2017, Principles of Corporate Finance.
Copeland, Weston, and Shastri, 2005, Finance Theory and Corporate Policy.

Bodie, Kane, and Marcus, 2014, Investments.
Back, 2010, Asset Pricing and Portfolio Choice.
Cochrane, 2005, Asset Pricing.
Campbell, Lo, and MacKinlay, 1997, The Econometrics of Financial Markets.

Financial Markets and Institutions
Van Horne, 2001, Financial Markets Rates and Flows.
Mishkin and Eakins, 2015, Financial Markets and Institutions.

Market Microstructure
Harris, 2003, Trading and Exchanges.

Structure of the Comprehensive Exam

The comprehensive examination comes in two parts: a written exam and an oral exam. Failure of either the written or oral exam constitutes a failure of the Finance comprehensive exam. Students who fail the comprehensive exam may petition the Doctoral Committee for permission to take the exam a second - and final - time. Students who fail the comprehensive exam a second time will be dismissed from the Ph.D. program.


The comprehensive exam is offered once a year in May or June and would typically be taken after the completion of the second year of course work. The written portion of the exam is given over one day.The oral exam is usually scheduled about one week after the written exam.

Supporting Field Exam

Although not required, students may (at their option) take a supporting field exam (generally in statistics and/or economics). The supporting field exam is typically taken at the end of the second year.

Admission to Candidacy

Upon successful completion of the required coursework and major field exam, the student will be admitted to candidacy.

Ph.D. Program Links
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