Second Year

Details of Stages in Ph.D.-Finance Degree Program

The following is an outline of the coursework students can expect to complete during the second year of the Finance Ph.D. program. The coursework is subject to change due to the availability of classes. The Typical Course Sequence provides a sample schedule for the full four-year program. 

For details of the second year curriculum in our 
Ph.D.-Finance degree program, please scroll down or link below:


During the second year of the program, courses tend to be more specialized and are designed to introduce students to a number of different areas in which they potentially could do research. In the second year, courses could include:

  • Economics 522B, Econometrics II. The second course in the econometrics sequence studying the theory of econometric estimation of single and simultaneous equation models.
  • Finance 602, Dynamic Assets Pricing.  Financial models and empirical tests: asset pricing models, financial behavior; corporate financial decisions.
  • Finance 620A, Finance Markets and Corporate Finance. Financial models and empirical tests: asset pricing models, financial behavior; corporate financial decisions.
  • Finance 695A, Investments. The exchange of scholarly information and/or secondary research, usually in a small group setting. Instruction often includes lectures by several different persons. Research projects may or may not be required of course registrants.

Other courses could include:

  • Economics 697B, Applied Economic Analysis. The practical application of theoretical learning within a group setting and involving an exchange of ideas and practical methods, skills, and principles.
  • Economics 696E, Econometric Models. The development and exchange of scholarly information, usually in a small group setting.
  • Economics 696Q, Industrial Organization and Regulation II. The development and exchange of scholarly information, usually in a small group setting.
  • Finance 696G, Financial Theory. The development and exchange of scholarly information, usually in a small group setting.
  • Math 523A, Real Analysis. Lebésgue measure and integration, differentiation, Radon-Nikodym theorem, Lp spaces, applications.
  • Available Economics, Finance or Accounting seminars (695, 696 and 697 courses).
  • Available 500-level Mathematics courses.

Second Year Paper 

In addition to completing their coursework and qualifying examinations, all students must submit a second-year paper in order to continue in the program. This second year paper could be an extension of a paper discussed in FIN 601 or ACCT 682, a seminar paper presented during the first year, or a faculty member’s current research. The topic must be approved by the Ph.D. Faculty Advisor and the student’s “major professor” by the end of the summer after the first year. Approval will require that the student submit a literature review and hypotheses, and that these be deemed acceptable.

The preliminary second year paper must be presented to the faculty in February of the second year. Satisfactory progress on the second year paper is required in order for a student to take their written comprehensive exam. The completed paper must be presented to the faculty in the summer following their second year.

Summer Funding

Additional summer funding may be available to Ph.D. students and, if available, will be awarded on a competitive basis. This may take the form of summer teaching opportunities, guidance of MMF projects, or competitive research grants.

Plan of Study

"In conjunction with his/her major professor or advisor, each student is responsible for developing a Plan of Study during their first year in residence, to be filed with the Graduate College no later than the student's third semester in residence.

"The Plan of Study identifies (1) courses the student intends to transfer from other institutions; (2) courses already completed at The University of Arizona which the student intends to apply toward the graduate degree; and (3) additional course work to be completed in order to fulfill degree requirements. The Plan of Study must have the approval of the student's major professor and department head (or Director of Graduate Studies) before it is submitted to the Graduate College."

(For more information, read the UA Graduate College catalog at:

To access the Doctoral Plan of Study form, log in to UAccessStudent with a student UA Net ID and click on "GradPath." Note that dissertation hours are not included on the form as coursework. Hints for completing the form are also available.

Comprehensive Written Examination

In the beginning of the summer following the second year (usually in early June, shortly after classes end), students will take the comprehensive written examination covering the entire field of finance. Students are expected to be able to answer questions from all areas of finance, although the emphasis will be on topics discussed in the finance courses the students have taken during the first two years of the program and department seminars the students have attended during the same time. 

Students who do not pass the comprehensive examination may, at the discretion of the faculty, be given a second chance to pass the exam prior to the start of the following fall semester, be awarded an MS degree if they have satisfied the Master's requirements, and/or be dismissed from the Ph.D. program.

The Graduate Council and the Faculty Senate require that students must complete their degree within 5 years of passing the Comprehensive Examination. Should a student not finish within that time period, he or she may be allowed to re-take the Comprehensive Examination with permission of the program. 

Master of Science

Students in the doctoral program will not be awarded a master's degree in finance for coursework completed toward the Ph.D. program requirements. However, if a student does not pass the finance comprehensive written examination after the second year of study, the Finance Department Head and/or Ph.D. Faculty Advisor may elect to offer an alternative course of action and plan of study for the student to complete and earn an MMF degree.

For more information, please contact us.