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Thread: Ph.D. in Finance Profile Evaluation, Economics Background

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    Question Ph.D. in Finance Profile Evaluation, Economics Background

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    Hi

    I have started considering applying to Finance Ph.Ds as a diversification option for Econ phd applications or perhaps as a first choice given some of the advantages that business school phds seem to have. A profile evaluation is appreciated.

    All advice pointing out differences or similarities between the two application processes is welcome.

    Stats:
    University of Southern California
    Double Major in Mathematics and Economics
    Overall GPA: 3.88

    Math Courses:
    Calc 1-3: A
    Linear Algebra: A
    Probability Theory(MVC prereq): A-
    Mathematical Statistics: A
    Real Analysis 1+2: A
    Topology: A
    Advanced Linear Algebra B+

    Econ Courses (All A grades):
    Intermediate Micro + Macro
    Econometrics
    Advanced Econometrics
    Thesis course

    I've taken 3 programming courses for A grades.

    I was in the honors research program at my Economics department and have good contacts with the professors there if that is relevant.

    I have never taken a business or finance course.

    I'm currently working a finance job in a boutique asset management firm and plan on staying here for two years.

    Not sure if my profile is appropriate at all? Or if it is, where I should be applying.

    Thanks all.

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    Re: Ph.D. in Finance Profile Evaluation, Economics Background

    Even if you get into one, you’re going to be stuck doing remedial finance courses. Have you considered strategy instead, since it actually uses economics?

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    Re: Ph.D. in Finance Profile Evaluation, Economics Background

    Quote Originally Posted by Vyndian View Post
    Even if you get into one, youíre going to be stuck doing remedial finance courses.
    This is completely incorrect. I know a number of finance phd students who never took a class in finance before starting their PhD and never had to take a remedial finance class. Undergrad and MBA finance is close to useless for a finance PhD student. And if you work in finance for a couple of years you will anyways learn the few relevant concepts from undergrad finance.

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    Re: Ph.D. in Finance Profile Evaluation, Economics Background

    Quote Originally Posted by zshfryoh1 View Post
    This is completely incorrect. I know a number of finance phd students who never took a class in finance before starting their PhD and never had to take a remedial finance class. Undergrad and MBA finance is close to useless for a finance PhD student. And if you work in finance for a couple of years you will anyways learn the few relevant concepts from undergrad finance.
    I randomly pulled out of a hat for a program. Hereís UNCís requirements per their catalog page:

    Business Fundamentals. All Ph.D. students are expected to possess or to acquire a basic knowledge of accounting, finance, marketing, organizational behavior, and production. This requirement involves a level of competence roughly equivalent to the M.B.A. core courses on these topics. Most students entering with an M.B.A. or similar degree meet this requirement without additional coursework. Appropriate courses will be recommended for students who do not meet this requirement prior to beginning the program.

    I could be missing something, butÖ?

    Edit: I donít mean to sound hostileó Im open to learning whatever Iím not seeing.
    Last edited by Vyndian; 10-01-2021 at 12:28 AM.

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    Re: Ph.D. in Finance Profile Evaluation, Economics Background

    Quote Originally Posted by Vyndian View Post
    I randomly pulled out of a hat for a program. Hereís UNCís requirements per their catalog page:

    Business Fundamentals. All Ph.D. students are expected to possess or to acquire a basic knowledge of accounting, finance, marketing, organizational behavior, and production. This requirement involves a level of competence roughly equivalent to the M.B.A. core courses on these topics. Most students entering with an M.B.A. or similar degree meet this requirement without additional coursework. Appropriate courses will be recommended for students who do not meet this requirement prior to beginning the program.

    I could be missing something, butÖ?

    Edit: I donít mean to sound hostileó Im open to learning whatever Iím not seeing.
    Ignore anything writter in "official" university catalogs, those are created by administrators and are usually ignored by admissions commitees, and once you are in the program the DGS and department chair have huge latitude to exempt students from these type of pre-req requirements as they see fit. And this type of general business core requirement is uncommon for research oriented Business PhDs (though they are common for professionally oriented DBA's). Instead see what is actually written on the admissions page for the relevant program. That will tell you what they actually care about.

    I am a finance PhD student at a top 50 B-school and I know a number of other PhD students both at my school and at other schools who come from econ, math, stats and engineering backgrounds and have no formal coursework in finance but spent some time working in the financial industry after undergrad and got into good PhD programs, even top 10's. If you never worked in finance and have no formal coursework you will have difficulty getting in since the adcoms don't know if you really know what goes on in finance.

    OP here will have two years work experience by the time they apply which will be more than enough for this purpose. And if OP has good LOR's from well published econ profs at USC it should be good enough for admits at top 50 finance programs and possibly even top 20 programs. The truly top tier finance PhD programs are probably beyond OP unless they have stellar recs and the letter writers have finance department contacts. However, finance PhD programs in general place better than econ PhD programs (due to smaller size), and I know many people including myself would take a top 50 finance admit over a top 30 and possibly even top 20 econ admit for that reason.

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    Re: Ph.D. in Finance Profile Evaluation, Economics Background

    Thanks for the evaluation i appreciate it

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