Texas Tech University

PhD in Business Administration Specialization in Finance

The academic finance field encompasses both theoretical and practical aspects, from understanding the basic principles of money management to the complex workings of international financial markets. As a discipline, finance focuses on the allocation of capital and other valuable assets within an economy.  

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Program Requirements

Completion of the program requires a minimum of 60 semester credit hours beyond a bachelor's degree, not including dissertation hours from BA 8000. Students with a limited background in business will also be required to take additional leveling courses. Required coursework includes core finance courses and research methods as a supporting field. Most students complete the program in four to five years, with the first two years focused on required coursework and the remaining years dedicated to the dissertation.

Typically, students complete all credit hours in residence at Texas Tech. Twenty-four semester credit hours must be taken in residence during a 12-month period. Generally, only three credit hours from outside institutions (provided there is an equivalent course at Texas Tech) may be counted toward the required 60 credit hours, if approved by the area's doctoral coordinator. There is no foreign language requirement.

As part of the required 60 credit hours, students must fulfill a mathematics competency requirement and complete Advanced Statistical Methods (ISQS 5347) and Practicum in Higher Education for Business (BA 5395).

Program Overview

To excel in the Area of Finance, students must possess scholarly competence and actively contribute to the advancement of the management field through research efforts. This implies a broad knowledge of the subject and its literature, as well as a detailed understanding of current research in a specific sub-area of management. Students will complete both core management courses and specialized courses, which can be tailored to meet individual objectives and interests with the guidance of a faculty advisor.

All students are expected to have adequate familiarity with the basic subfields within finance basics. These are defined by five seminar courses taught in rotation by finance faculty members. These courses focus on finance literature across a broad spectrum of finance, including both theoretical and empirical asset pricing, as well as corporate finance and other areas.

Students will also engage in the finance research workshop series each semester. Featuring distinguished faculty from various institutions, the series exposes students to a wide range of accounting issues that reach beyond their own specialization.

FIN 6331          Asset Pricing Theory

FIN 6332         Corporate Finance

FIN 6333         Empirical Asset Pricing

FIN 6036         Special Topics – Classics

FIN 6036         Special Topics – Empirical Corporate Finance

With the consent of their faculty advisors, students can choose a content-area concentration that matches their interests and career aspirations, such as getting hired, promoted or tenured. Typical concentrations include:

Asset Pricing: This concentration is a cornerstone within academic finance and examines what determines the value or price of various financial assets. The essence of asset      pricing revolves around understanding and quantifying the relationship between risk and expected return.

Corporate Finance: This concentration examines how businesses raise capital, allocate resources, and make investment decisions, aiming to maximize shareholder value.

Investment: This concentration examines the behaviors and decisions of investors, the management of portfolios, and the intricacies of equity, fixed income, and derivatives markets.

Financial Institutions and Banking: This concentration examines the functions, operations, and regulatory aspects of banks and other financial intermediaries.

Behavioral Finance: This concentration is an interdisciplinary approach that seeks to understand financial decisions by integrating insights from psychology to explain investor behavior.

To ensure advanced development of analytical and research skills, students must pursue research methods as a supporting field. A minimum of nine credit hours (three courses) of supporting field coursework in research methods is required; however, most students take 12-15 total hours.

Many doctoral students will take research method courses from other departments, such as econometrics in the agricultural economics department, depending on their interests and goals.

To help students develop research and time management skills, they must complete and present a summer research paper. The paper may also help students identify topics of interest and, in many cases, can eventually become a part of their dissertation. The paper is prepared during the summer following the first year of residence and presented in the fall of the second year.

To reach the 60-hour requirement, students will work with faculty to determine the appropriate mix of elective and/or independent research coursework. Enrollment in these courses is associated with a student's preparation for their doctoral dissertation proposal or other research projects. Because doctoral proposals and other independent research require substantial faculty resources, enrollment will reflect the time required of faculty.

Upon completion of coursework, students are prepared for intensive examinations. The Comprehensive Exam will cover material from all doctoral seminars, research seminar series and may also include material from the supporting fields. Students are expected to go beyond courses through intensive self-study of the research literature.

After successfully completing the comprehensive examination, students are admitted to candidacy.The dissertation represents the culmination of the doctoral program in which a student learns and demonstrates the ability to conduct independent research.

Students should select a Doctoral Dissertation Committee as early as possible during their studies. Generally, most dissertation committees are composed of three or four total faculty members. The committee must include a chair who is typically chosen before the completion of coursework once the student has identified an area of interest. The committee chair may assist in refining a topic, suggesting potential committee members, and establishing a timeline and structure for the dissertation. Additionally, the committee must include one additional tenured or tenure-track faculty member from the Area of Finance and a tenured or tenure-track faculty member from another academic area.

Catering to students with diverse backgrounds, interests, and expertise, our program offers flexibility and choice in curriculum, allowing students to choose courses that match their research interests.

The dissertation defense requires a student presentation that summarizes the research question(s), methods, results and conclusions. In a peer-review setting, doctoral candidates are expected to demonstrate mastery of finance research and show the capability to conduct ongoing independent research.


Our program aims to cultivate scholars who can conduct significant research in their chosen field. To enhance their research skills and develop strong competencies for conducting state-of-the-art research, students work closely with faculty in small classes, colloquiums, departmental workshops and seminars.

Students are also encouraged to interact with the professional community by attending and presenting papers at professional meetings. When possible, the Area of Finance will provide financial support for this purpose.

Recent Graduate Placements

Our alumni have secured competitive faculty positions at prestigious institutions across the globe.

The following is a detailed list of the initial placements and dissertation topics of our recent doctoral graduates over the last five years.

Current Students