PhD Student Spotlight

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PhD in Management Science, Finance Concentration

The PhD in Management Science with a concentration in Finance degree is designed for students seeking training in the most advanced issues, both theoretical and applied, in the field of managerial finance and analysis.

Admission Procedures

Applicants should have at least a bachelor’s degree. Admission is based on grade point average, graduate examination test score (GRE or GMAT), letters of reference (at least three, with two from academic references), business and professional experience (if applicable), a written statement of personal objectives and compatibility with faculty research activities. Since the School of Management starts making first-round admission decisions on January 16th, it is best to complete the entire application process no later than January 15th. While applications will be accepted after that date, applying after January 15th may significantly lower your chance of acceptance. Applications for admission can be made using the UT Dallas Graduate Application Website.

  • Program Contact
  • Degree Requirements
  • Placements
  • Student Publications

Michael Rebello, PhD

PhD Area Coordinator, Finance

Students must complete at least 75 semester hours of approved graduate work before a degree may be conferred. Credit may be granted for courses taken elsewhere.


Calculus, matrix algebra, computer programming and statistics are prerequisites for the doctoral program – every admitted student is responsible for ensuring he/she has satisfied these prerequisite requirements before joining the program.

Master’s-Level Courses (12 hours)

Students entering the program without an MBA or equivalent must complete a minimum of four courses typically required of MBA students to provide them knowledge required of professional managers. In certain instances, a higher-level course approved by the PhD Finance advisor may be substituted for an MBA-level course. However, if a student enters the program with a prior business degree, the PhD advisor may require him to take additional courses in mathematical sciences to address any deficiencies in this area.

Advanced Master’s-Level Courses (3 hours)

  • FIN 6370 Theory of Finance and its Applications
  • FIN 6381 Introductory Mathematical Finance.

Research Methods Core

The Management Science PhD core curriculum consists of a minimum of 9 courses.

Please visit the Management Science Degree Plan page for core and secondary core course requirements.

Doctoral Seminars (12 hours)

  • Finance Theory Core (FIN 7330 Asset Pricing Theory and FIN 7340 Theory of Corporate Finance)
  • Finance Empirical Core (FIN 7310 Seminar in Contemporary Finance, FIN 7335 Empirical Asset Pricing and FIN 7345 Empirical Corporate Finance)

Additional Coursework (21 hours)

  • Electives may be from accounting, computer science, economics, finance, mathematics, statistics or other fields. Specific courses must be approved by the Finance PhD advisor.

Research Papers

Students in the program are expected to write research papers each year. Typically, they devote each summer entirely to research. Each fall, they present their research to faculty and their fellow students. Students are encouraged to both collaborate with faculty on research projects as well as develop research independently of faculty.

Written Preliminary and Qualifying Examinations

PhD in Finance students take a written preliminary exam at the end of their first year in the program over a set of core courses (ECON 6309 Econometrics I, MECO 6315 Statistics, MECO 6345 Advanced Managerial Economics, MECO 6350 Game Theory, OPRE 7353 Optimization). At the end of their sixth semester in the program, students take a written qualifying exam over research core and finance theory core courses, which they must pass before admission for candidacy for the doctorate degree.


The dissertation is written under the supervision of the dissertation committee. The student must identify a committee and a chairperson within one semester following successful completion of the written qualifying examination. Students must present and pass their dissertation proposal before they can proceed to their final oral defense. Twelve to 24 semester hours may be granted for the dissertation toward the minimum 75-hour requirement for the degree.

Responsive Table

Year NamePlacementLocation
2015Jong Min OhThe University of Central FloridaOrlando, FL
2015Alex HolcombThe Univeristy of Texas at El PasoEl Paso, TX
2015Paul MasonBaylor UniversityWaco, TX
2014Chongyang ‘Ben’ ChenUniversity of MemphisMemphis, TN
2014Seong-Kyu ByunUniversity of MississippiUniversity, MS
2014Wenyun ‘Michelle’ ShiShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghai, China
2013Zeng ‘Timothy’ FanShanghai UniversityShanghai, China
2013Yihua ZhaoTulane UniversityNew Orleans, LA
2013Yue ‘Layla’ YingZhejiang UniversityHangzhou, China
2013Yuqian ‘Jessica’ WangWinona State UniversityWinona, MN
2011Yin ‘Jay’ LiCity University of Hong KongHung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2010Michael KeefeVictoria University of WellingtonWellington, New Zealand
2010Xuying ‘Cathy’ CaoUniversity of Texas at DallasRichardson, TX
2009Lin ZouTexas Woman’s UniversityDenton, TX
2009Walter PohlUniversity of ZurichZurich, Switzerland
2009Jess CornaggiaIndiana UniversityBloomington, IN
2008Xin ZhouFudan UniversityShanghai, China
2008Mehmet GoktanCalifornia State University, East BayHayward, CA
2007Yiyu ShenGovernors State UniversityUniversity Park, IL
2006Qian ‘Joyce’ WangWashington State UniversityPullman, WA
2005Rabih MoussawiBarclays Global Investors
2005Zhengzheng ‘George’ LiNew Jersey City UniversityJersey City, NJ

Jess Cornaggia, Yifei Mao, Xuan Tian, Brian Wolfe, 2015. “Does banking competition affect innovation?” Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 115.

Itzhak Ben-David, Francesco Franzoni, Augustin Landier, Rabih Moussawi, 2013. “Do hedge funds manipulate stock prices?” Journal of Finance, Vol. 68.

Jess Cornaggia, 2013. “Does risk management matter? Evidence from the U.S. agricultural industry,” Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 109.

Jess Cornaggia and Kimberly Cornaggia, 2013. “Estimating the costs of issuer-paid credit ratings,” The Review of Financial Studies, Vol. 26.

Zhonglan Dai, Douglas Shackelford, Harold Zhang, Chongyang Chen, 2013. “Does financial constraint affect the relation between shareholder taxes and the cost of equity capital?” The Accounting Review, Vol. 88.

Itzhak Ben-David, Francessco Franzoni, Rabih Moussawi, 2012. “Hedge fund stock trading in the financial crisis of 2007-2009,” The Review of Financial Studies, Vol. 25.

Theodore Day, George Li, Yexiao Xu, 2011. “Dividend distributions and closed-end fund discounts,” Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 100.

Alexander Butler and Jess Cornaggia, 2011. “Does access to external finance improve productivity? evidence from a natural experiment,” Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 99.

Aleandar Butler, Jess Cornaggia, Gustavo Grullon, James Weston, 2011. “Corporate financing decisions, managerial market timing, and real investment,” Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 101.