The doctoral program in finance at McGill prepares students for careers in research and teaching at top universities. Because the faculty's interests span a wide variety of subfields of finance, students enjoy a lot of freedom in the choice of their dissertation topic.
The modern study of finance is characterized by a quantitative approach and therefore prospective students should preferably have a solid background in mathematics and statistics.
The moderate size of the program and the low student-to-faculty ratio make it possible for the students to abundantly interact with the faculty and to benefit from personalized attention and support. In addition to the weekly seminars that take place within the department, students can take advantage of the wide variety of resources that are available within other institutions in Montreal and enjoy a wide variety of seminars, conferences, as well as a large number of elective courses taught in other Montreal universities.
The first two years in the program are devoted primarily to taking courses, in finance as well as supporting disciplines (economics, mathematics and statistics). Other requirements include: a comprehensive exam taken at the end of the first year and covering the required first-year finance classes (Financial Economics and Corporate Finance); and a research paper completed during the Summer following the second year in the program.
The students' performance during their first two years in the program is monitored by a committee consisting of three faculty members. Once the course requirements, comprehensive exam and second-year paper are completed, students enter the dissertation phase of the program. The program is normally completed in four or five years.
Numerous required and electives doctoral courses are offered by the finance faculty. For example, during the 2003-2004 academic year the these are: Financial Economics, Corporate Finance, Empirical Methods in Finance, Continuous-Time Finance, International Finance, Fixed-Income Securities, and Derivative Securities.