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DBA in Finance

The completion of the DBA in Finance program requires 72 credit hours of graduate course work in finance-related topics. In addition, as a DBA student you must maintain satisfactory academic progress; pass examinations and paper requirements; and write, submit, and defend a doctoral thesis. All students are expected to finish the program within four years on a full-time basis, or five to six years on a part-time basis.

Required studies include course work and a written doctoral thesis as follows:

  • 48 credit units for course work
  • 24 credit units for a doctoral thesis

Foundation Courses

Depending on your background, you may be required to enroll in foundation courses upon entering the DBA in Finance program. Credits for these courses will not be counted toward your DBA degree. These courses are offered during August to entering Master of Science in Finance students. The foundations courses are:

  • FIN 5201 Finance I (1.5 credits)
  • ACCT 5001 Introduction to Financial Accounting (1.5 credits)
  • ACCT 501B Financial Accounting B (1.5 credits)

Required Courses (26 credits)

Required courses will provide you with basic knowledge in all major aspects of finance:

  • Investments and asset pricing of equity, fixed income, and derivatives
  • Corporate finance (valuation and financing)
  • Financial intermediation

These courses also provide basic knowledge in microeconomics, financial statement analysis, and statistical and empirical methods. You will also be asked to fulfill a teaching and communication requirement.

Elective Courses (22 credits)

Elective course work includes seminars from various graduate programs at Olin Business School as well as other graduate-level Arts and Sciences courses authorized by the program director and approved by the course instructor. After successfully passing the finance qualifying exams (or field exams), you will write an extended research paper under the guidance of a faculty member in preparation for your thesis proposal. The faculty member will advise you throughout the stages of the thesis – proposal, research, writing, and defense – as well as serve on the thesis and defense committees.

Research (24 credits)

Research credits finalize the course work for your DBA degree from Olin Business School. Course work inclusive of Independent Studies, Research Assistantships, and Directed Readings will account for 12 credit units and doctoral thesis work accounts for 12 credit units.

Qualifying Exams

Comprehensive field examinations should be completed within six months of the conclusion of required course work (normally within two to three years). Examination committee will be composed of the faculty advisor and two other faculty members.

Doctoral Thesis

After completion of 48 units of DBA course work and passing the qualifying exams, you will begin research for your doctoral thesis. As a DBA student, you will prepare your thesis proposal in consultation with your faculty advisor and the approval of the research advisory committee and program director. Once complete, you will defend your doctoral thesis in an oral presentation to your advisory committee. The committee will either assign a passing grade, a failing grade, or ask for revisions to be made in order for you to receive a passing grade.

Finance Faculty and Research

Faculty members at the Olin Business School are active and renowned researchers dedicated to advancing understanding in their fields of study.

Faculty research interests encompass many areas of finance, including both empirical and theoretical topics. Some areas of current interest are banking and financial intermediation, corporate finance, corporate control and capital structure, mergers and acquisitions, asset pricing models, investments and portfolio allocation models, and market microstructure.

Research papers by faculty members have recently been published in well-respected journals such as:

  • American Economic Review
  • Journal of Finance
  • Review of Financial Studies
  • Journal of Economic Theory
  • Journal of Financial Economics
  • Journal of Financial Intermediation