DBA in Finance


Master advanced research and analysis skills in finance to enhance your career trajectory and guide your organization to success in today’s unpredictable business environment.

The DBA in Finance program requires 72 credit hours of graduate coursework in finance-related topics. DBA students 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 within five to six years on a part-time basis.

Foundation Courses

Depending on your background, you may be required to take foundation courses upon entering the DBA in Finance program. These courses are offered during August and do not count toward your DBA degree. 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 provide you with basic knowledge in all major aspects of finance as well as microeconomics, financial statement analysis, and statistical and empirical methods. You must also fulfill teaching and communication requirements.

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

View the Finance DBA requirements.

Elective Courses (22 credits)

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

View the Finance DBA electives (PDF)

Research (24 credits)

Research credits finalize your DBA coursework. Independent Studies, Research Assistantships and Directed Readings 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 coursework (normally within two to three years). The examination committee is composed of your faculty advisor and two other faculty members. 

Doctoral Thesis

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

Finance Faculty and Research

WashU Olin’s Finance faculty members are active and renowned researchers dedicated to advancing understanding in the field of finance.

Their 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

Finance Faculty


Jeremy Degenhart

Jeremy Degenhart

Professor of Practice

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