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Financial Technology PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Financial Technology

Introduction to Postgraduate Study

Join us on 13th December for a general introduction to on-campus postgraduate study at Edinburgh.

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Research profile

As part of a world-renowned University, triple accredited ( AMBA , AACSB , and EQUIS ) and ranked 5th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, 2022) within Business and Management, our Business School provides a dynamic and supportive research environment for our large and diverse graduate community.

The Business School's research mission is to produce theory-led, practically relevant research that addresses contemporary organisational and management challenges faced by businesses, public organisations, regulatory bodies, and policy-makers.

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The School has significant research expertise in the following disciplines:

  • Accounting and Finance
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  • Management Science and Business Economics
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Staff across these six disciplinary subject groups work together to carry out research under the following themes:

  • Climate Change and Sustainability
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Interdisciplinary research

The Business School has capitalised on opportunities afforded by our Edinburgh location and cultivated links with other parts of the University to develop and lead new areas of expertise, in financial services and FinTech, creative industries, and digital tourism.

The School has links with other schools at the University, including Social and Political Studies, Mathematics and Law, allowing students with cross-disciplinary interests to find expertise, support and supervision.

Your research

As a doctoral researcher, you will have the opportunity to pursue original research and make a significant contribution to your chosen field.

The strength of your application for our programme depends on the fit of your proposal with the School’s research mission and themes, and particularly how it fits with the research interests of our academic staff.

We therefore strongly recommend you make contact with a potential supervisor before applying. Check out the links to our research disciplines and themes above to find one of our academic colleagues you would be interested to work with, who would have the expertise to support your studies.

When approaching a potential supervisor please ensure you give them an up-to-date CV and a draft research proposal. If you are not sure who to approach, please contact our admissions team (contact details can be found in the ‘Further information’ section).

  • Guidance on writing a research proposal

Programme structure

The PhD in Financial Technology is 3 years full-time with an additional year at the end to allow you to complete the writing up of your thesis.

You will take taught courses during your first year to build your research skills and the knowledge required for your area of study: you will take one compulsory introduction course and up to 100 credits of option courses, depending on your area of research and topic.

To be awarded a PhD, you will need to defend your written thesis in an oral examination called a viva.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

Training and support

Your supervisory team will be made up of at least two members of academic staff who will meet with you regularly to discuss your research progress and plans.

You will be assigned to one of our research subject groups as relevant for your topic, who will host regular research activities.

Our doctoral training programme will allow you to pursue research and professional skill training alongside your subject-specific taught courses.

There will be a variety of seminars and workshops delivered by international experts throughout the year, providing further opportunities for advanced learning and networking.

Another way the Business School supports your individual development is through dedicated funding. Doctoral researchers can apply to use this funding for further opportunities such as attending international conferences or professional body membership fees.

The Business School's location right in the heart of Edinburgh means you will be based close to the city’s cultural attractions, including a wealth of libraries, archives, museums and galleries.

As a doctoral researcher at the Business School, you will have access to our PhD study spaces, as well as the staff lunch room and kitchen.

The Business School has its own postgraduate library and study centre (The Hub), a Finance Computer Lab, and Librarian who can help you find the information you need throughout your studies.

Our world-class research programmes offer:

  • supervision from acclaimed academic faculty within a wider range of subject areas
  • courses designed to expand your knowledge base and develop your research strategies
  • dedicated, modern facilities with state-of-the-art databases and specialist resources
  • a peer network of students and inspiring alumni from across the globe
  • a vibrant research environment with regular seminars, masterclasses, and events allowing you to connect and learn from experts across the business world

Career opportunities

The Business School offers training events and support for all our postgraduate research students in both academic and professional skills – we support a diversity of career pathways.

There are opportunities for doctoral researchers to be employed as our Research Assistants and Teaching Assistants.

Graduates from our postgraduate research degrees often pursue further careers at internationally renowned universities or become senior consultants for private and public bodies.

Why choose a PhD at the University of Edinburgh Business School?

Entry requirements.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

Entrance to the Business School PhD programmes is competitive. While academic credentials are important for a successful application we also pay great attention to the fit of students with the proposed project and to the research expertise and interests of our academic faculty.

Minimum academic requirements

For entry to the PhD programme applicants must meet the following minimum academic qualifications.

A postgraduate masters degree from an accredited institution in the UK or overseas showing evidence of above-average academic achievement. This includes:

a degree classification with a mark of 70% or more overall (University of Edinburgh level, or overseas equivalent)

normally a masters dissertation at the distinction level (University of Edinburgh level, or overseas equivalent) in finance, economics, informatics, physics, mathematics, engineering and other relevant programmes with significant quantitative elements.

Applications may be accepted from those still currently studying for a masters degree; however, any offer will be conditional on the successful completion of the degree at the required standard.

Applicants with a Bachelor's degree in finance, economics, informatics, physics, mathematics, engineering or other relevant programmes with significant quantitative elements will be given due consideration on a case-by-case basis, providing they have significant finance and technological industry experience, or relevant professional qualifications.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

  • Entry requirements by country
  • English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced ( CAE ) / C2 Proficiency ( CPE ): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE : ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS , TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE , in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

  • Approved universities in non-MESC

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Fees and costs

Living costs.

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

Scholarships and funding.

There are various scholarship opportunities. For those joining in September 2023, the Business School scholarships will be advertised late 2022 on our School website.

  • Business School scholarships and funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

  • UK government and other external funding

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Search for funding

Further information

  • Postgraduate Research Admissions
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5337
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Director of Research Degrees, Dr Ben Marder
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • PGR Support Team
  • 29 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Programme: Financial Technology
  • School: Business School
  • College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.

PhD Financial Technology - 3 Years (Full-time)

Application deadlines.

Supervisors can accept students on a first-come, first-served basis and the programme may close early if it reaches capacity.

  • How to apply

You must submit two references with your application.

Please find guidelines on how to apply for this programme on the Business School website.

  • Applying to PhD Financial Technology

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

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PhD Program

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Wharton’s PhD program in Finance provides students with a solid foundation in the theoretical and empirical tools of modern finance, drawing heavily on the discipline of economics.

The department prepares students for careers in research and teaching at the world’s leading academic institutions, focusing on Asset Pricing and Portfolio Management, Corporate Finance, International Finance, Financial Institutions and Macroeconomics.

Wharton’s Finance faculty, widely recognized as the finest in the world, has been at the forefront of several areas of research. For example, members of the faculty have led modern innovations in theories of portfolio choice and savings behavior, which have significantly impacted the asset pricing techniques used by researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. Another example is the contribution by faculty members to the analysis of financial institutions and markets, which is fundamental to our understanding of the trade-offs between economic systems and their implications for financial fragility and crises.

Faculty research, both empirical and theoretical, includes such areas as:

  • Structure of financial markets
  • Formation and behavior of financial asset prices
  • Banking and monetary systems
  • Corporate control and capital structure
  • Saving and capital formation
  • International financial markets

Candidates with undergraduate training in economics, mathematics, engineering, statistics, and other quantitative disciplines have an ideal background for doctoral studies in this field.

Effective 2023, The Wharton Finance PhD Program is now STEM certified.

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The field of finance covers the economics of claims on resources. Financial economists study the valuation of these claims, the markets in which they are traded, and their use by individuals, corporations, and the society at large.

At Stanford GSB, finance faculty and doctoral students study a wide spectrum of financial topics, including the pricing and valuation of assets, the behavior of financial markets, and the structure and financial decision-making of firms and financial intermediaries.

Investigation of issues arising in these areas is pursued both through the development of theoretical models and through the empirical testing of those models. The PhD Program is designed to give students a good understanding of the methods used in theoretical modeling and empirical testing.

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All students are required to have, or to obtain during their first year, mathematical skills at the level of one year of calculus and one course each in linear algebra and matrix theory, theory of probability, and statistical inference.

Students are expected to have familiarity with programming and data analysis using tools and software such as MATLAB, Stata, R, Python, or Julia, or to correct any deficiencies before enrolling at Stanford.

The PhD program in finance involves a great deal of very hard work, and there is keen competition for admission. For both these reasons, the faculty is selective in offering admission. Prospective applicants must have an aptitude for quantitative work and be at ease in handling formal models. A strong background in economics and college-level mathematics is desirable.

It is particularly important to realize that a PhD in finance is not a higher-level MBA, but an advanced, academically oriented degree in financial economics, with a reflective and analytical, rather than operational, viewpoint.

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Doctor of FinTech

  • Introduction
  • Students & Graduates

Entrance Year Jan 2024

Programme Code 02014

Mode of Study Part-time

Normal Duration 3 years

Credits Required for Graduation 51

Local Application Deadline 30 Nov 2023

Non-Local Application Deadline Closed

Programme Director Prof. Kai Lim BS, MA, PhD

Deputy Programme Director Dr Steven Wei BSc, MA, MSc, PhD

Duration of Study: Students who wish to extend their studies beyond normal duration should submit an application via eStudent to Research and Postgraduate Studies Section of the Faculty for consideration.

Aims and Characteristics


Special Features

  • Pioneering FinTech doctorate in the world
  • Benefit from pooling resources from different faculties of the university
  • Integrate academic study, applied research and management practice
  • Embrace digital transformation and technological innovations
  • Explore the potentials and promises of digital technology in business
  • Become part of an elite network of over 600 alumni and students

Programme Aims

The DFinTech Programme aims to educate top executives and business entrepreneurs who are interested in understanding the FinTech impacts on various industries. It has been designed to integrate academic study and management practice in a way which will form a significant part of an individual’s business career.

On completion of the programme, students will be able to advance their knowledge, skills and intellectual abilities as defined in the broad learning outcomes which are underpinned by specific learning objectives below:

General Business Knowledge Learning Objective: Acquire a solid understanding of the impacts of digital transformation and technological innovations on the business world today with ethical implications.

Specialist Knowledge Learning Objective: Acquire an in-depth knowledge of digital technologies in the financial industry.

Applied Research Learning Objective: Acquire the ability to conduct original applied research in tech-related business areas.




International Collaborations


Technological Element in the Curriculum

To help students embrace technological changes and digital transformation, five elements, namely Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Data Science, and Entrepreneurship, have been embedded across a wide range of subjects.

Our curriculum is aimed at fostering awareness about the impact of technology innovations in addition to enabling students to handle data and adopt technology to tackle business and organizational issues while enhancing management and leadership.

News & Upcoming Events

January 2024 admissions now open

PolyU Info Day for Taught Postgraduate Programmes

DFinTech Sample Lectures

“Scholar-leaders” speak at DBA and DFinTech webinars 工業轉型 迎新機遇 理大DBA及DFinTech「學者型領袖」網上講座系列第三講:再工業化

“Scholar-leaders” speak at DBA and DFinTech webinars 智慧城市 今天展現 理大DBA及DFinTech「學者型領袖」網上講座系列:智慧城市

DFinTech Residential 2 (online)

DBA and DFinTech Scholar-leaders Webinar: Digital Transformation in Hong Kong Conventional Business by Dr Derek Chung and Dr Edwin Lee

“Scholar-leaders” speak at DBA and DFinTech webinars 拓展視野 貢獻社會 理大DBA及DFinTech「學者型領袖」網上講座系列

Doctorate programme prepares leaders for a FinTech future

DFinTech Residential 1 (online)


30 Oct 2021


22 Jul 2021


09 Jun 2021


21-22 May 2021


14 Apr 2021


08 Apr 2021


22 Jan 2021

Academic Team

Ir CHENG T.C. Edwin


CHENG Zhuo June


CHO Vincent


JIN Yong Jimmy


LUO Xiapu Daniel


SHI Jieming


SHI W.Z. John


SIN Charleston


TONG Wilson


PolyU Doctor of FinTech: Digital Finance and Beyond


DBA and DFinTech Scholar-leaders Webinar: Reindustrialization


PolyU DBA and DFinTech Scholar-leaders Webinar - Smart City


PolyU DBA and DFinTech Scholar-leaders Webinar - Digital Transformation in Hong Kong Conventional Business


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What are you looking for?

digital finance phd

Popular Search

  • Scholarships
  • Knowledge Transfer

PhD in Financial Technology

Building on our established PhD in Management programme, we have developed an innovative new doctoral programme in the field of Financial Technology.

PhD in Financial Technology allows students to pursue their own research topic in the area of Financial Technology or apply for specific industry projects, where students will be able to address complex industrial challenges to gain real-world experience.

This programme aims to prepare students for a diverse array of careers in finance. Approximately 50% of students who pursue the industry pathway, can expect to build on the networking opportunities available to them from studying at the international partners' premises during their study and move into a permanent career in that company, or the industry after graduation.

PhD in Financial Technology at a glance

  • Study over three years full-time or six years part-time, with an additional 'writing-up' year available to all.
  • Develop advanced techniques and in-depth knowledge in the field of Financial Technology.
  • Study an independent research topic or participate in fully funded opportunities working with leading industry partners.
  • For those on the industry pathway, study both at the University of Edinburgh campus and at an industrial partner's location, with guidance from academic colleagues and industry specialists at all times.
  • We encourage our students to aim higher, presenting papers at prestigious conferences and submitting articles for publication.
  • Access to a wide range of professional and personal development opportunities during your studies.
  • While we invite students from around the globe to join our community, we don't offer this programme online or by distance learning.

Entry requirements

Find out our academic, English language, and application requirements for the PhD in Financial Technology.

Programme overview

View the learning outcomes and a typical training course schedule for a first-year student.

Fees and living expenses

When budgeting please consider associated administration fees and expenses as well as our funding support.

Ready to apply?

Review our application checklist and make your application to the PhD in Financial Technology.

January and Spring Term 2024 course registration is now open!

Finance Master’s Degree Program

Online Courses

11 out of 12 total courses

On-Campus Experience

2 weekends or a 3-week summer course

$3,220 per course

Build the skills and network you need to advance your career in finance.

In our online course curriculum, you’ll dive into the fundamentals of finance and enhance your financial skillset. Through the brief on-campus experience at Harvard, you’ll bridge financial theory and practice while connecting with faculty and high-achieving peers.

Program Overview

Ready to deepen your financial expertise and enhance your career potential? Develop the advanced knowledge and practical skills you need to take on greater professional responsibilities or make a career pivot.

Our Finance Master’s Degree Program offers a wide range of courses that cover essential financial topics — from microeconomics to investment theory to business valuation. Under the instruction of expert faculty, you’ll learn to make complex financial decisions. And you’ll examine issues in finance through a local, regional, and global lens.

Program Benefits

Customizable path, stackable certificates, & experiential learning

Instructors who are academics and professionals at the top of their fields

Personalized academic & career advising

Entrepreneurial opportunities through the Harvard Innovation Labs

Paid research options

Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation

Customizable Course Curriculum

Our curriculum is flexible in pace and customizable by design. You can study part time, choosing courses that fit your schedule and align with your career goals. In the program, you’ll experience the convenience of online learning and the immersive benefits of learning in person.

In core finance courses, you’ll deepen your knowledge of essential finance concepts, tools, and strategies. Through elective coursework, you’ll build upon that foundation — focusing on the specialized areas that are most important to you, such as corporate finance, investments, or financial accounting.

11 Online Courses

  • Synchronous and asynchronous
  • Fall, spring, January, and summer options

You’ll complete 1 degree requirement in person at Harvard, at an accelerated or standard pace:

  • 2 weekends in fall or spring
  • 3 weeks in the summer

The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.

First, you’ll register for and complete 3 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.

As an alternative, you may choose to earn one of the following credentials as part of your admissions path: HBS Online CORe Admissions Pathway or the MITx MicroMasters® Program Pathway .

Getting Started

We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.

Earn a Stackable Certificate

As you work your way toward your master’s degree, you can take courses that also count — or “stack” — toward a graduate or microcertificate . It’s a cost-effective, time-saving opportunity to build specialized skills and earn a professional credential along the way to your degree.

Here are a few examples of stackable certificates and courses. 

Business Economics View More

Through courses taken for this graduate certificate, you’ll learn how to integrate economic principles and business concepts.

Sample Stackable Courses

  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Behavioral Economics and Decision Making
  • The Economics of Financial Markets
  • Strategy, Conflict, and Cooperation

Corporate Finance View More

Gain the knowledge and tools needed for corporate financial analysis and decision-making in this graduate certificate.

  • Managerial Finance
  • Emerging Markets: Investment Theories and Practice
  • Mergers, Acquisitions, and Restructurings

Data Analytics View More

Deepen your analytics knowledge to inform strategic business decisions with this graduate certificate.

  • Introduction to Computer Science with Python
  • Data Mining for Business
  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Economics and Finance
  • Introduction to Statistical Modeling

Principles of Finance View More

Learn to use financial information to make business decisions through this graduate certificate.

  • Foundations of Real-World Economics
  • Monetary Policy After the Financial Crisis
  • Financial Technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrencies
  • Private Equity

Real Estate Investment View More

Develop practical, real-world knowledge and skills for investing in real estate with this graduate certificate.

  • Financing Community and Economic Development
  • Urban Development Policy
  • Principles of Real Estate
  • Real Estate Finance and Investment

A Faculty of Finance Experts

Studying at Harvard Extension School means learning from the world’s best. Our finance instructors are renowned experts in their field and bring a genuine passion for teaching, with students giving our faculty an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.

Peter Marber

Chief Investment Officer for Emerging Markets, Aperture Investors

Gregory Sabin

Instructor in Accounting and Finance; Preceptor, Harvard Extension School

Teaches Managerial Accounting, Principles of Finance, Corporate Finance

Our Community at a Glance

Students in our Finance Master’s Degree program are experienced financial professionals seeking to advance their careers at their current companies, level up at different organizations, and even make total career changes.

You’ll join a network of talented peers who are committed to developing deep expertise in banking, investments, and economics. By the time you’ve completed your studies, you’ll likely have lifelong friends and professional contacts.

Average Age

Work Full Time

Have Experience in the Finance Field

Average Years of Professional Experience

Would Recommend the Program

Career Opportunities & Alumni Outcomes

With a graduate degree in finance, you can prepare to advance in a variety of roles. Our finance graduates work in a range of finance-related industries, including accounting, banking, biotechnology, information technology, investment and asset management, and financial management consulting.

Roles held by recent graduates include: 

  • Hedge fund analyst
  • Credit analyst
  • Compliance analyst
  • Corporate strategy manager
  • Vice president of mergers and acquisitions

Alumni work at a variety of organizations, including:

  • Bain Capital
  • Bank of America
  • Citizens Bank

Career Advising and Mentorship

Whatever your career goals, we’re here to support you. Harvard’s Mignone Center for Career Success offers career advising, employment opportunities, Harvard alumni mentor connections, and career fairs like the annual Finance and FinTech Fair on campus at Harvard.

Your Harvard University Degree

Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will receive your Harvard University degree — a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Finance.

Expand Your Connections: the Harvard Alumni Network

As a graduate, you’ll become a member of the worldwide Harvard Alumni Association (400,000+ members) and Harvard Extension Alumni Association (29,000+ members).

From start to finish, Harvard has given me a lifetime of experience for a fraction of the cost of similar programs. I am forever grateful I made the move.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.

After admission, you may qualify for financial aid . Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.

What is a Master’s in Finance?

A master’s degree in finance can help financial professionals deepen their knowledge and technical skills in the financial field. Students who choose to get this degree are often already working in finance or a related field. Core courses can provide a solid foundation in the principles of finance, while electives can help you specialize your degree.

What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree in Finance?

A master’s degree in finance gives you foundational knowledge and practice skills to help your organization better manage its finances and investments. Whether you specialize in mergers and acquisitions, real estate investment, sustainable finance, or monetary policy, a master’s degree will give you the skills and tools you need to keep your career moving forward. It may even help you advance into mid- or even senior-level positions or start a new career in finance.

For more information on how a master’s degree in finance can help advance your career, read our blog Corporate Finance Career Path: How to Keep Your Growth on Track .

Is a Degree in Finance Useful?

A degree in finance is a great way to supplement and expand the real-world experience you’ve developed in the office.

Our curriculum offers the theoretical and academic knowledge you need to solve problems and develop solutions in creative and practical ways. You’ll find yourself applying the tools you learn in class right from the start.

Is a Career in Finance a Good Career?

The outlook for careers in finance is strong.

Careers in finance tend to be stable, even during economic downturns. And the job market for experienced finance professionals is likely to continue to grow over the next decade. The potential for a high-income career — especially for individuals with an advanced degree and several years’ of experience — is excellent.

How Long Does It Take to Complete the Finance Graduate Program?

Program length is ordinarily anywhere between 2 and 5 years. It depends on your preferred pace and the number of courses you want to take each semester.

For an accelerated journey, we offer year round study, where you can take courses in fall, January, spring, and summer.

While we don’t require you to register for a certain number of courses each semester, you cannot take longer than 5 years to complete the degree.

How Will This Finance Master’s Degree Program Help My Career?

A master’s degree in the field of finance demonstrates your mastery of the key knowledge and critical skills to build and advance a successful career in finance.

In the program at Harvard Extension School, you’ll gain an understanding of core elements of organizational finance decisions, including accounting and financial statement analysis, principles of finance, investments, corporate finance, and business valuations.

You’ll build advanced knowledge of economic theory, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, international markets, and risk management.

Whether you are seeking to advance your career in finance or taking the first step in a career change, you can gain the knowledge you need to prepare for roles such as account manager, cash manager, financial analyst, financial risk analyst, or financial auditor. You may also qualify for senior financial management positions such as controller, treasurer, or even chief financial officer.

Harvard Division of Continuing Education

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) at Harvard University is dedicated to bringing rigorous academics and innovative teaching capabilities to those seeking to improve their lives through education. We make Harvard education accessible to lifelong learners from high school to retirement.

Harvard Division of Continuing Education Logo

Study With Us Partner With Us


Industry PhD Scholarships

Collaborative industry-based research programs like the Digital Finance CRC offer students a highly engaging, practical, applied setting to undertake higher degree research. Our program offers unique opportunities to work in a multi-disciplinary setting in building the fundamental transformation of the finance industry to a new digital economy.

Our research program has four high-impact research streams outlined below:

digital finance phd

Research Stream 1

Dynamic registers for instant exchange

digital finance phd

Research Stream 2

Advanced securitisation – turning more things digital

digital finance phd

Research Stream 3

Distributed trading – commoditisation of marketplaces

digital finance phd

Research Stream 4

RegTech with algorithmic real-time enforcement

PhD scholarships are AUD 70,000 per annum and are funded for 3 years in duration

As a PhD scholar you will be linked to industry-driven research topics and embedded for a significant portion of your time with industry partners throughout your candidature.

Successful candidates will be enrolled at one of our university partners and will have full access to all graduate research facilities and resources available from both your host university and the Digital Finance CRC to support your research efforts. You will be supervised conjointly with research organisations, industry and government participants in the CRC.

Our university partners are:

  • Curtin University
  • Macquarie University
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of Wollongong


Applications are invited from high-calibre graduates in related fields and career industry professionals interested in returning to higher degree studies (full-time or part-time) are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Top 10 Cheapest Online Doctorate in Finance Degree Programs for 2023

Find your perfect school.

digital finance phd

This article profiles the top 10 cheapest online PhD finance programs.

Up until recently, online PhD degree programs were limited, and traditional programs were the norm. In recent years, reputable and accredited public and private universities started offering online doctoral programs, including the online PhD in finance program or online DBA in finance. We reviewed several schools to find the top 10 cheapest online PhD in finance programs.

Top 10 Cheapest Online PhD in Finance Programs Methodology

We looked at approximately 30 colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered online PhD in finance programs or closely related doctoral programs, such as Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) with finance courses or specializations. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: Offerings of at least one online PhD in finance or closely related degree, school and/or program reputation with rankings from U.S. News and World Report, and affordable graduate tuition and fees less than $20,000 per year. Some of the schools on our list offer stipends and tuition waivers. However, for the sake of clarity, we listed the school according to raw affordability based on graduate tuition presented by NCES.

Below is our list of the top 10 cheapest online PhDs in finance.

Note: This ranking/article was originally published in July 2019 and was last updated in June 2022. The 2022 tuition updates may affect the ranking order, but the list has not been re-ordered.

#10 – New England College of Business

Online doctor of business administration in quality systems management, boston, massachusetts.

New England College of Business - logo

The New England College of Business offers an affordable online DBA in finance program focusing on systems management. The program is designed for working professionals wanting to maintain their current professional and personal obligations while pursuing a PhD in finance program online. Completion of the program readies graduates for top executive positions within nearly all business contexts and industries that value leadership, analytical thinking, and complex problem-solving. Courses may include:

  • business analytics and decision making
  • business operations and supply chain management
  • financial management and fiscal leadership
  • organizational development and change management

U.S. News and World Report ranks the New England College of Business #147 in best online MBA programs.

Editor’s Note: The New England College of Business became a subdivision of Cambridge College in 2020.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $16,442

#9 – Northcentral University

Online phd in financial management, la jolla, california.

Northcentral University logo

Northcentral University offers an online PhD in finance designed for working professionals seeking the rigor and flexibility of a PhD program. Graduates go on to positions as college or university faculty or a variety of research and private positions in investment banking, financial planning/analysis, and more. The program consists of 60 credits divided into 20 courses that require 45 months to complete. The program blends rigorous research with practical application. Students engage in:

  • advanced financial statement analysis
  • financial business decision modeling
  • investment selection techniques
  • earning and risk management

U.S. News and World Report ranks Northcentral University #57 in regional colleges Midwest.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $18,411

#8 – Creighton University

Online dba in finance, omaha, nebraska.

Creighton University logo

Creighton University offers an online doctor of business administration in finance that is two-thirds online and one-third residency. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International and draws students from over 26 states. The program is designed for working professionals to complete over a three-year period. The program embeds seven residencies per year for the first two years and zero residencies in the third year. Courses may include:

  • applied behavioral research design and methods
  • applied finance research
  • applied information systems research
  • survey of innovative business pedagogy

U.S. News and World Report ranks Creighton University #1 in regional universities Midwest and #20 best online graduate business programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $19,096

#7 – Franklin University

Columbus, ohio.

Franklin University logo

Franklin University offers an online DBA in finance designed for working professionals seeking a doctorate degree to increase their skills and knowledge and prepare them for the highest occupational levels within their organizations. The PhD in finance online can be completed in just three years and allows students an entire year to complete their dissertation. Additionally, upon approval, students can transfer up to 24 credits of previous coursework from other programs or institutions. In addition to advanced business concepts such as accounting, finance, and management, students also dive deeply into the political, cultural, and ethical issues that drive and impact business decision-making.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $16,080

#6 – California Baptist University

Riverside, california.

California Baptist University logo

California Baptist University provides an online DBA in finance that can be completed in just three years including the dissertation. The 50-unit program is designed to blend advanced theory with a praxis that develops students into outstanding business executives and leaders within a wide variety of organizational contexts. The structure of the program allows students to work on only one course at a time every eight weeks. Strategic residencies are placed in the program that allows students to network with peers and faculty. Courses may include:

  • applying economic theory to business
  • ethics in organizations and management
  • financial analysis for decision making
  • orientation to the doctorate in business administration

U.S. News and World Report ranks California Baptist #32 in regional universities West.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $14,320

#5 – Johnson & Wales University

Online doctor of business administration, providence, rhode island.

Johnson & Wales University logo

Although not a PhD in finance online, Johnson & Wales offers an online Doctor of Business Administration that provides advanced courses in finance and financial management. These courses include contemporary issues in finance and accounting and business analytics and intelligence. Other courses include advanced strategies in organization development, contemporary leadership issues, and problems and methods in marketing management. The program is divided into eight-week courses with an expected completion of three years. Students are provided a lock-step dissertation model that they begin working on at the end of the first year. Johnson & Wales is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. U.S. News and World Report ranks Johnson & Wales #104 in best online graduate business programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $14,706

#4 – Atlantic International University

Online phd in finance, honolulu, hawaii.

Atlantic International University logo

Atlantic International University offers a cheap online finance doctorate to prepare graduates for a variety of occupations in private industry, higher education, and more. Additionally, the program focuses on key research areas in computer science within the context of financial decision making and modeling. Students choose from a wide list of courses to tailor the degree according to their career trajectory and personal interests. Featured finance courses include:

  • financial economics
  • economic statistics
  • empirical applications in finance
  • linear statistical methods
  • time series analysis

The program is completed entirely online and is designed for working professionals who are unable to attend traditional on-campus classes due to work and personal obligations.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $13,000

#3 – Kansas State University

Online doctorate in personal financial planning, manhattan, kansas.

Kansas State University logo

Kansas State University offers an affordable online finance PhD focusing on personal financial planning. Graduates go on to careers in academia and private industry. The hybrid program blends online learning in the fall and spring semesters along with 10-day summer experiences. The institution is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The program is housed within the School of Family Studies and Human Services. The program is designed to be completed in five years or less and includes courses such as:

  • advanced research methods
  • clinical research and applications in financial counseling and planning
  • estate planning for families
  • financial therapy theory and research

Kansas State is ranked #147 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $11,069

#2 – Liberty University

Lynchburg, virginia.

Liberty University logo

Liberty University offers an online DBA in finance for individuals possessing an MBA from a regionally or nationally accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 GPA. The Liberty DBA in finance is completed entirely online, making it an excellent option for working professionals seeking to advance their skills and knowledge through the attainment of the highest academic degree. Finance courses include:

  • business valuation
  • investments and derivatives
  • managerial finance
  • mergers and acquisitions

Graduates of go on to careers as financial managers, chief sustainability officers, chief financial officers, and corporate treasurers. U.S. News and World Report ranks Liberty University #98 in best online graduate business programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $8,630

#1 – William Howard Taft University

Lakewood, colorado.

William Howard Taft University logo

Similar to online PhD in finance programs, William Howard Taft University provides individuals with an online doctor of business administration focusing on business leadership and financial management. The program is conducted entirely online, with no campus visits or residential requirements. The flexibility and 100% online model make the degree a viable option for mid-career professionals seeking to increase their knowledge and skills along with furthering their career options. Courses may include:

  • conceptual foundations of accounting and finance
  • global business practices and challenges
  • global strategic management
  • negotiations and dispute settlement

William Howard Taft is accredited by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $5,590


Frequently Asked Questions

What can i do by earning a cheap online finance doctorate.

An individual with an online PhD in finance has a wide range of occupational options considering the transferability of skills and knowledge learned throughout the degree program that apply to most organizational contexts. Graduates can pursue careers as:

  • accountants and auditors
  • budget analysts
  • financial managers
  • financial researchers
  • financial economists
  • personal financial planning and management
  • college and university faculty

Additionally, individuals with a PhD in finance may be qualified for executive-level positions such as:

  • chief financial officer
  • chief executive officer
  • similarly related positions that oversee entire departments and organizations

It is common for investment banks, hedge funds, and private equity firms to hire finance PhDs as research associates performing quantitative analysis of financial organizations and instruments. Many research associates start off their careers performing finance research for a specific industry or sector such as biotechnology, software, and energy.

Finance PhDs are also employed by the government as economists. Specifically, the federal government hires individuals to perform economic research measuring and analyzing how economic activity impacts local, regional, and national economies both domestic and abroad. These positions pay well, but typically less than those in private industry. The research conducted by individuals with these positions helps to inform and influence government policy.

Along with applied work as private researchers and economists, many finance PhDs work as college and university faculty. The main charge for academic jobs include conducting and publishing research and teaching classes.

What is the job outlook for individuals with an online doctorate in finance?

The job outlook is expected to remain very strong for financial managers and researchers across all sectors of the economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupational growth rate for financial managers is expected to be 19% during the time period 2016-2026. This is a much higher growth rate compared to the average occupation. For context, the average growth rate for all jobs during this same time period is expected to be 7%.

Job growth is driven by several factors. Specifically, in the fall out of the economic and financial crisis, organizations are seeking individuals with expertise in regulatory reform and risk mitigation. As financial institutions seek stability and profit, individuals with these skills will be in high demand.

As organizations increase cash reserves both domestically and abroad, individuals with financial management skills including cash and risk management will be sought after as organizations seek professionals who know how to manage finances in a global economy involving foreign markets.

As online money management continues to increase, banking institutions will continually need to adapt to the changing landscape where internet money management is the norm compared to traditional in-person banking. As such, finance PhDs with knowledge of online money management and IT platforms will be in high demand.

How much money can I make with an online finance doctorate?

According to the United States Government Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary (median pay) for a financial manager is $127,990 per year. Compare that to the median salary of $38,640 for all occupations and it is easy to see that individuals with an online finance PhD make attractive salaries. As with other occupations, variables such as industry, years of experience, and geographic location all play salient roles in determining pay. Financial managers working in professional, scientific, and technical contexts earn the highest average pay of $151,610 annually. Government financial managers earn the lowest of any sector with a median annual salary of $112,830.

Financial and budget analysts earn wages ranging from $101,410 for investment-related jobs to $81,420 for credit intermediation (online banking) occupations. Fund managers may make far more than the above stated salaries as many of these analysts earn bonuses based upon investment performance. It is not uncommon for high-yield analysts to make in the high six-figures and even seven-figures on an annual basis based on strong investment performance.

Individuals living in high-population metropolitan areas will find the highest paying jobs and the most job openings. California and New York employ the highest numbers of financial managers and also pay the highest salaries. New York-based financial managers earn an average salary of $210,510 annually.

What is the difference between an online finance PhD and a DBA?

There are several differences between an online finance doctorate and an online DBA (Doctor of Business Administration). Read on to find out the distinctions between the two degrees.

A PhD in management is generally for individuals seeking to become academics. These individuals work as professors, instructors, and researchers within academic institutions or think tanks where researching theory and publishing in peer-reviewed journals are the main objectives of the occupation. Research is primarily conducted as a means to contribute to the field of existing knowledge within the discipline. Additionally, PhD students are typically recent graduates with little professional experience. The DBA degree is designed for the seasoned professional seeking to gain practical knowledge and skills needed to succeed on the job. While research is an important part of the curriculum, DBA students engage in more applied research to directly integrate it into their careers. DBA students are typically older, non-traditional students with several years of experience.

The Doctor of Business degree is relatively new compared to the PhD. The PhD is universally recognized by academic institutions whereas the DBA is still developing. As such, students enrolled in PhD finance programs may be required to teach as well as publish their dissertation in a peer-reviewed academic journal. While DBA students complete dissertations as well, they can be applied projects and may not be required to publish in academic journals.

How long does it take to earn an online doctorate in finance?

Graduate degrees require a lot of time and dedication. A PhD is a well-respected and universally known degree that propels the graduate to the highest level of academic distinction. The time to complete an online PhD in finance is largely dependent on the student and the programmatic structure. Typical online programs take between 3-5 years to complete. The advantage of online programs is their ability to cater to students with full-time careers and other outside obligations that inhibit them from taking full-time course loads.

Because Doctor of Business Administration programs are designed for working professionals, there is an abundance that allows students to take courses on a part-time basis. Part-time coursework typically means taking one course at a time per term. For many graduate programs, including full-time PhD and DBA programs, full-time enrollment requires two courses per term, which can be taken concurrently or one at a time. It is common for DBA degrees to take approximately three years to complete, with PhD programs taking longer. In addition to minimum completion times, it is critically important that students know the maximum time allowed to finish the degree. Some programs give students up to ten years or longer to finish provided they have everything done but the dissertation.

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This concludes our list of the top 10 cheapest online PhD in finance programs.


The Top 5 Best Online Doctor of Finance Degree Programs

Find your perfect graduate degree.

Best Online Doctor of Finance - featured image

The Doctor of Finance degree is considered a terminal degree or an advanced degree that represents the highest and finest academic credential in the finance sector. Doctoral students engage in an intensive program of study culminating in advanced knowledge and skills in business research, particularly in finance-related matters.

While the learning outcomes in doctorate in finance degree programs differ, their courses train students in the practical applications of economic theory in financial markets. Students use theoretical models and empirical testing methods in the exploration of contemporary issues in personal and corporate finance, business management, and other related subjects. 

Quick audio summary:

There are two major types of doctorate degrees in finance – a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Both finance programs require prospective students to possess a comprehensive background in finance, economics, and mathematics. Both finance programs have similar coursework, major examinations, and a research component culminating in a doctoral dissertation. 


A Doctor of Finance program provides graduates exclusive access to some of the best executive-level, often research-intensive, opportunities in the finance and business industries. That said, selecting the most appropriate doctoral school truly matters!

Our recommended Doctor of Finance graduate schools make excellent choices because:

  • The Finance doctorate is largely a hybrid program that features a rigorous academic environment while providing convenient learning for students and candidates,
  • Core doctorate courses that feature the principles of management, marketing, analysis, leadership, and all other Finance-related concepts, theories, and applications, to prepare students for highly challenging Finance work,
  • Sharpens the numerous skills required of a Finance professional, including problem-solving, critical thinking, and research skills, as well as knowledge of the ethics and laws associated with Finance from a local or global perspective,
  • Online teaching staff or personnel consisting of Finance doctorate holders and Finance professionals, who impress with their experience and credentials,
  • Financial assistance, career guidance, and other student and graduate services that benefit the student or graduate,
  • Proper and updated accreditation status.

Please read the Methodology we employ in our ranking process.

The Best Online Doctor of Finance Degree Programs

Liberty university.

Liberty University - Online

Online Doctor of Business Administration in Finance

The Doctor of Business Administration – Finance program at Liberty University has the prestigious accreditation awarded to the best business schools and programs worldwide – the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Accreditation is a guarantee that students receive the best doctorate-level education in finance. 

The 100% online DBA in Finance program features 8-week courses that make it possible for students to maintain a good work-life balance. Students expand their master’s level education, particularly their business research and financial management skills. The Doctor of Business Administration in Finance curriculum emphasizes leadership and excellence, too. 

Students complete 60 credit hours in the doctoral degree in finance online program. Finance students may also transfer up to 30 credits. The business administration-centric program features core courses in: 

  • Managerial Finance 
  • Mergers and Acquisitions 
  • Business Valuation 
  • Investments and Derivatives 

The Doctor of Business Administration – Finance program can be completed in three years, on average. Graduates acquire practical business knowledge and skills considered valuable in the corporate world, particularly in financial decision-making. Many become top-level financial managers and executives. 

Prospective doctoral students in the online DBA in Finance program must possess a master’s degree in business administration, business management, or finance, among other related disciplines. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.0 and in good standing. 

Liberty University, a private evangelical university, is a regionally accredited institution by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Walden University

Walden University

Online Doctor of Business Administration – Finance

The Doctor of Business Administration – Finance, offered at Walden University, has earned programmatic accreditation from the ACSBP. Students learn advanced business administration principles and practices that enable them to assume leadership positions. Working capital management, international finance, and capital asset pricing models are among the skills gained. 

The DBA in Finance program has an 8-year maximum time-to-completion except in approved petitions for an extension. Students are usually registered on a continuous basis until the completion and approval of their capstone project. 

Doctoral students in the finance program tackle courses in business administration and strategy, research methods, and doctoral writing courses. Completion of the doctoral degree program requires two on-campus residences. 

Online students in the Doctor of Business Administration in Finance program pay a technology fee in addition to the per-credit tuition fees. The tuition fees are separate for coursework and research credits. 

Financial aid options make the Doctor of Business Administration in Finance degree more affordable. Federal financial aid, institutional scholarships and grants, military discounts, and partnership savings are available.  

Walden University, a well-known private online for-profit university, has active regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

National University

National University

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Financial Management

If you’re looking for a Ph.D. in Finance program with an emphasis on academic research, you should consider National University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Financial Management program. Students gain advanced financial research knowledge and skills while in the program. 

Doctoral students in the online Ph.D. program benefit from the professional experience and guidance of NU’s faculty members. The Ph.D. program boasts that 100% of its faculty members with doctorate degrees, too. The Ph.D. students benefit from one-on-one engagement with their professors, too, and each student is usually assigned a finance professor as a mentor. 

The finance Ph.D. program consists of 20 courses for a total of 60 credit hours. Students can complete the Ph.D. program in 45 months, on average. 

Graduates are eligible for leadership positions in financial institutions, colleges, universities, and government agencies, as well as nonprofit and community organizations. Their business and financial research skills are among the best in the country, too! 

National University, a non-profit online university that accepts students from across the United States, is regionally accredited by the WASC – Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Rutgers University

Rutgers University - Business School

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Management – Finance Concentration

Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick’s Department of Finance & Economics offers a world-class Ph.D. in Finance program. Students get opportunities to participate in research projects at the Whitcomb Center for Research in Financial Services and Rutgers Financial Institutions Center, among others. 

Prospective doctoral students in the Ph.D. program may be required to enroll in non-degree courses in English and teacher training. Students complete 72 credits to earn a Ph.D. degree.  

Once admitted, Ph.D. students should take a minimum of three courses every semester for the first two years. There’s a qualifying exam at the conclusion of their sophomore year, followed by two years of dissertation work. The doctoral degree program requires the successful defense of a dissertation proposal. 

Courses include: 

Microeconomic Theory

  • Optimization Models in Finance 
  • Corporate Finance
  • Accounting Theory 
  • Advanced Econometrics 

Elective courses include macroeconomics and game theory. The first fall semester requires a technical paper written by a faculty member. Students in the online Ph.D. program must also attend a faculty seminar series. 

Applicants should have a strong financial background, and those with a master’s degree in math, computer science, or economics may have an advantage. 

Rutgers University, a prestigious public land-grant research university, is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). 

Kansas State University

Kansas State University - Online

Online Doctor of Personal Financial Planning

The personal financial planning doctorate program at K-State is touted as the first in the nation with a largely online format. This is also one of just four doctorates in finance degree programs registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Most of its students are working professionals. 

Note that the personal financial planning doctorate program has a hybrid format. Students take online classes in the fall and spring semesters and then attend 10-day seminars in the summer semesters. The seminars are intended to build camaraderie and connections between students, faculty members, and K-State. 

This is a unique finance program, too, because students travel abroad during their final summer semester. Students learn the impact of international financial markets and their workings. 

The partly online doctorate degree program has affordable tuition, too, at about $635 per credit hour. Students complete coursework totaling 90 credits to earn the degree. But up to 30 credit hours can be transferred. 

  • Research Application 
  • Ph.D. Research 
  • Survey of PFP Research and Theory
  • Retirement Planning
  • Financial Planning Case Studies

Elective courses include Introduction to Financial Therapy, Financial Ethics and Mediation, and Applied Behavioral Finance. 

Admission to the doctoral degree program is on a competitive basis, with a comprehensive assessment of applications being performed. 

Kansas State University has regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

About the Doctor of Finance Program

The difference between a Doctor of Business Administration and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) lies in their underlying philosophy and approaches toward finance and its related topics. 

The Ph.D. in Finance degree programs are more focused on academic research and, thus, on contributing original ideas to the current body of business knowledge. Every Ph.D. program has its specialized research areas, too. Graduates usually pursue careers as finance faculty members. 

The DBA in Finance degree is considered a professional degree that focuses on practical knowledge in finance, economics, and business. Students learn practical applications of theory, including research studies to real-world scenarios in the finance and business industry. Individual programs also have their specific research interests. 

Admission Requirements

Most, if not all, doctorate in finance programs require the following academic credentials and documents for admission purposes: 

  • A bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in finance, business administration or management, or economics (Applicants without the recommended academic background may be required to complete prerequisite courses before admission) 
  • Minimum cumulative GPA on the highest degree earned, usually 3.0 on a 4.0 scale 
  • Satisfactory GRE scores 
  • Letters of recommendation 
  • Personal statements, including a statement of research interests 
  • Current résumé

Applicants to finance degree programs must possess a solid foundation in mathematics, too. Finance programs usually have a competitive admissions process. 


Full-time doctoral students in finance degree programs can earn an online DBA or Ph.D. in Finance in 4-5 years. Part-time doctoral students can take an extra 3-4 years. 

Take note of the maximum time-to-completion, a program-specific requirement ranging from eight to 10 years. Leaves of absence are allowed. 

Format, Curriculum, and Courses

Doctoral students in online DBA and Ph.D. in Finance degree programs must familiarize themselves with the features and functions of their learning management systems (LMS). Collaboration and productivity tools are embedded in these online learning platforms, too. 

Major Examinations

Graduate students must earn satisfactory scores on three major examinations, namely: 

  • The qualifying exam, which can have written and oral components, is intended for formal admission 
  • The preliminary exam covers the dissertation phase and signifies candidacy status  
  • The final exam is for the oral dissertation defense

Doctoral Dissertation

Students pursuing doctoral degrees must conduct research in finance-related matters and produce original dissertations. The finance Ph.D. degree has more emphasis on theoretical research, while the DBA doctoral degree focuses on practical applications. 

Students usually work with financial faculty members as their advisors. Many also collaborate with financial institutions to complete their dissertation. Research areas include corporate finance, labor and finance, big data, and social impact investments. 

Doctoral Coursework

The coursework that doctoral students tackle includes core, research, and elective courses. Earning a doctorate in finance degree requires competency in calculus, optimization, and linear algebra, too, among other subjects.

Students explore the theories of microeconomics, including competitive analysis, general equilibrium, and individual optimization. 

Theory of Quantitative Methods in Economics

Students learn advanced statistical methods in the study of economics. 

Financial Decision Making

Students explore financial economics in its applied and theoretical aspects. Research projects may be part of the course, too. 

Teaching Methods in Finance and Economics

Students develop their teaching skills in preparation for academic careers in colleges and universities. The coursework also includes topics in portfolio management, asset management, and international finance. 

Residency Requirements

Online finance students may also be required to participate in on-campus program activities. The most common finance degree programs are the research and teaching fellowships with activities primarily performed on the school’s campus. These fellowships train students to perform professional-level research, present their research findings, and teach post-secondary courses. 

Every finance program has its specific policies on research and teaching fellowships. These can include a number of hours, approved workplaces, and timing. 

Skills and Competencies Gained

Finance students pursuing doctoral degrees usually have more advanced knowledge and skills than undergraduate students. But their skill sets get a boost from their education and training in doctorate programs! Successful professionals in the finance sector possess these skill sets. 

Technical Skills

  • Corporate finance and valuation 
  • Financial analysis and modeling 
  • Leveraged buyout modeling 
  • Mergers and acquisitions analysis 
  • MS Excel application use 

Transferable Skills

  • Problem-solving and analytical thinking skills 
  • Organizational leadership skills 
  • Project management skills 
  • Communication skills 

Note that these skill sets are interrelated instead of independent of each other. 

Tuition and Financial Aid

Prospective finance students must be aware of the average cost of a doctorate in finance degree. This can range from $98,000 to $114,000 and above for the entirety of the finance program. 

Fortunately, financial aid is available for doctoral students! Federal financial aid is the first option, as well as institutional scholarships, grants, and fellowships. Indeed, there’s a higher number of scholarships and grants available for students in doctorate degree programs than in master’s degree programs. 

Professional Certifications

DBA and Ph.D. students should consider finance certifications, too, if they don’t possess these professional credentials yet. The popular certification choices are Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA), and Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA). 

Best Online Doctor of Finance - fact

Overview of Doctorate of Finance Prospects: Duties, Pay, and Career Advancement

With a terminal degree comes high expectations! Professionals with a DBA in Finance or a Ph.D. in Finance degree are expected to possess advanced knowledge and skills in a wide range of finance-related matters. Thus, their most popular occupations are as financial managers and analysts in financial institutions in the private and public sectors. 

Roles and Responsibilities of Finance Professionals

Every finance professional with a doctorate degree has their own set of roles and responsibilities depending on their position and industry. In general, however, financial managers and analysts perform these functions. 

  • Study business and economic trends with possible impact on their clients or organizations 
  • Evaluate past and present financial data, including financial statements and projections 
  • Recommend financial actions for their clients or organizations (i.e., portfolio management or asset management) 
  • Lead a team that oversees the financial health of their clients or organizations 
  • Prepare written reports 

Professors teaching finance subjects obviously have different roles and responsibilities. However, every finance professional possesses technical and transferable skills that distinguish them from other professionals. 

Average Salary and Occupations

Being a holder of a Doctor of Business Administration in Finance or a Ph.D. in Finance degree can open doors of opportunities that may have been closed before. These career advancement opportunities come not just with leadership roles but also with better pay! 

The median annual wage for financial professionals with work experience and advanced education can range from $91,000 to $100,000 and above! The overall growth in employment is also high – the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9% increase during the 2022-2032 period for financial analysts.

The stable demand for finance professionals is due to a confluence of factors, including recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and big data and technology advancements in the financial sector. 

College Professors

Being a finance professor with a successful academic career is a popular choice due to its rich rewards. College professors not only teach students but also conduct, publish and present research projects; attend conferences; and promote finance as a discipline. 

Research Scientists

Yet another popular career path for professionals with a Ph.D. in Finance degree is becoming a research scientist. Their work requires the presentation of research findings during conferences and in publications. 

If you’re interested in pursuing public sector work, consider becoming an economist in government. The main duties of government economists include the collection and analysis of socioeconomic and financial data, the conduct of research into economic issues, and the recommendation of possible solutions. 

Chief Financial Officers

The best degree for aspiring chief financial officers (CFO) is the Doctor of Business Administration in Finance degree. The CFO position is involved in corporate governance, which includes financial reporting and analysis – and it’s considered the highest financial position in the business world. 

Should you consider an online PhD in Finance or a DBA in Finance degree? 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you consider an online phd in finance or a dba in finance degree.

Yes, you should since an online degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning is recognized by the finance industry and its employers. 

What can be done to afford a Ph.D. in Finance or a DBA in Finance degree?

You should consider public universities first since these institutions tend to have more affordable tuition. You must look into the financial aid options, too, and other ways to save (e.g., transfer credits and employer reimbursement). 

What can you do to increase your chances of earning a Ph.D. in Finance or a DBA in Finance degree?

Aside from your personal commitment, you should also adopt effective organization and time management habits. Your network of support, such as your family and friends, academic advisors, and classmates, is also crucial to your academic success. 

Key Takeaways

  • Getting accepted into a DBA in Finance or a Ph.D. in Finance program is only half the battle! Students must also tackle rigorous coursework, pass major exams, and submit an original dissertation as part of the program requirements. 
  • Earning the online doctorate degree isn’t just about adding another feather to your cap – it’s also about gaining advanced knowledge and skills that will advance the finance sector and your career in it.

Additional Information:

  • The Highest Paying Accounting Jobs and Salaries
  • The Ultimate Accounting Career Guide
  • The Best Online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Degrees


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