University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Finance Ph.D

The objective of the PhD program in Finance is to prepare students for faculty positions at academic institutions or for professional careers in private industry and government.

Program Overview

During their course of study, students receive specialized instruction in the areas of corporate finance, investments, and financial institutions. The conceptual knowledge and methodological skills necessary to conduct independent research are acquired through individual apprenticeships with faculty.

Faculty Research Interests and Highlights

The faculty are actively engaged in research across a broad array of topics that include: corporate finance issues such as dividend and capital structure policy, acquisitions and mergers, distress and financial restructuring; regulation and rate of return setting process; investments and financial market issues such as stock market efficiency, credit risk and corporate bond ratings, portfolio diversification and derivative hedging strategies, exchange rate risk exposure, and mutual fund performance; as well as institutional issues such as corporate governance, executive compensation, corporate ownership, and shareholder voting rights.



Finance Ph.D Degree

Finance PhD

Finance Faculty
View faculty and research interests

Duration of Program: 4-5 years

Program Start Date: Fall

Application deadline
December 15

Curriculum Overview
View a Course Listing

Admissions Information
View Info and Requirements / F.A.Q.

Required Test: GMAT or GRE

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Program Structure

The program develops proficiency in classroom instruction by providing opportunities to teach, to design curriculum, and to attend regularly scheduled teaching workshops and seminars. The PhD program in Finance requires 42 credit hours of coursework. Five seminars in financial theory and research correspond to 15 credit hours. The remaining credit hours, distributed across two supporting areas, economics and research tools, are determined in consultation with the departmental doctoral program advisor. In addition, students must complete a research paper requirement, pass a written comprehensive exam, and successfully defend and conclude an approved doctoral thesis.

Finance PhD Curriculum

Research Tools(Choose 2 of the following courses.)

Students may take up to one research tool course approved by the Finance Department doctoral student advisor if the research tool course is not listed above.

Admissions Requirements for the PhD Programs

Applicants who wish to apply for the doctoral program in Finance must submit their application to the Graduate School of Business by December 15th.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Finance Department typically has ten to twelve PhD students, at differing stages of their program, at any one time.

The TOEFL is required. A spoken English test score is required of all international PhD applicants and the internet-based TOEFL is our recommended test. You may take the IELTS Academic or the PTE-A as an alternative.

Required Scores:

We require a minimum score of 79 on Internet-based TOEFL, a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS Academic, or a minimum score of 58 on the PTE-A.

We require a minimum score of 26 on the speaking section of the internet-based TOEFL, a minimum of 7.0 on the speaking section of the IELTS Academic, or a minimum of 71 on the speaking section of the PTE-A.

Effective for Fall 2014

Non-native speakers of English, regardless of citizenship, even if eligible for a TOEFL waiver, must demonstrate competency in both spoken and written English to be eligible for a graduate assistantship that requires direct contact with students in a teaching or tutorial role, in a traditional classroom setting or via distance education.

Competency in spoken English may be demonstrated by:

Submitting a test score of at least 7 on the IELTS Academic (speaking) sub-test, 26 on the Internet-based TOEFL (speaking) sub-test, 71 on the PTE-A (speaking) sub-test, or “pass” on the Spoken Language Proficiency Test (SLPT) and

Competency in written English may be demonstrated by:

a. Submitting a test score of at least a 6.0 on the IELTS Academic (writing) subtest, 26 on the Internet-based TOEFL (writing) subtest, a 4.0 on the GRE, a 4.5 on the GMAT (analytical writing) subtest, a 71 on the PTE-A (writing) sub-test, or a 75 on the English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT)


b. Concurrently enrolling in ELAC 2033 Reading and Writing II and ELAC 0011 Grammar OR ELAC 2033 Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers and ELAC 0011 Writing Workshop: Grammar through Editing. Course placement is determined by test scores (5.5 IELTS Academic writing sub-test, 23 Internet-based TOEFL writing sub-test, 3.5 GRE or 4.0 GMAT analytical writing subtest, 62 PTE-A writing sub-test, or 70 on the ELPT). The Graduate Coordinator or Department Chair must request this option.

The Finance department will accept late applications, but only on a space-available basis. However, please note that late applicants are not eligible for Distinguished Doctoral Fellowship (DDF) funding. We encourage you to apply as early as possible to ensure you are considered for all available funding. Application deadline is December 15th.

The Finance Department requires that all applicants complete the master’s degree prior to entry into the PhD program.

Students admitted to a Walton College PhD program may receive graduate assistantship funding which includes a full tuition waiver and an annual stipend of $17,800.

Highly qualified students may be nominated for fellowship funding up to $22,000 per year in addition to the assistantship award. For further details, see PhD Assistantships or email the Graduate School of Business at