Finance (Ph.D.) program

Finance (Ph.D.)

Develop sophisticated quantitative skills and expertise in finance for research-based careers in financial institutions, academia, and government.

The Ph.D. in Finance program at Stuart School of Business is both practice and research oriented, preparing you to initiate advanced techniques and research to solve problems in investment and corporate finance, to address regulatory issues in risk management and market functions, and to take on roles in finance in both industry and academia.

You will be immersed in industry-leading techniques and applications of financial technology, financial economics, quantitative finance, business finance, and applied statistics. The curriculum emphasizes mastery of both applied research methods and strategies needed for high-level research positions in industry, as well as the advanced techniques and statistical tools required for high-caliber research in a variety of jobs.

This program is selective and small, offering a high degree of mentorship and interaction between faculty and students, with ample opportunities to conduct cutting-edge research alongside faculty experts.

After completing all the required courses and the Ph.D. qualifying and comprehensive exams, students often gain practical experience through internships, which creates new opportunities to analyze data, and case studies that are potentially useful for pursuing a doctoral dissertation. Students are also encouraged to serve in teaching and research assistant positions.

Our doctoral students gain relevant, cross-disciplinary experience that prepares them to be business innovators and leaders in academia, industry, government, and consulting. Students benefit from a legacy of curricular innovation at Stuart and Illinois Tech, spanning more than 125 years of economics and business education, including offering the world’s first postgraduate program in quantitative finance and establishing the academic discipline.

STEM-Designated Program

This is a STEM-designated program, and international graduates of the program are eligible to apply for an extension for Optional Practical Training, which allows selected students to stay and work in the United States for up to three years after graduation.

Program Overview

Stuart’s Ph.D. in Finance program focuses on applying cutting-edge practice and techniques in financial technology, financial economics, quantitative finance, business finance, and applied statistics to solve problems in investing, corporate finance, risk management, and regulation. Our graduates are prepared for a wide range of careers in industry, research, academia, and government.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Ph.D. in Finance program have a wide choice of careers.

  • For those seeking a career in industry, this program can lead to senior research positions and other roles in investment management, risk management, trading, corporate finance, commercial banking, think tanks, and government policy and regulation.
  • For those interested in a traditional academic career focused on teaching and research, the program can lead to tenure-track positions.

The program’s learning content is designed to fulfill expectations of potential employers worldwide in all of these sectors. Stuart doctoral graduates hold positions at companies and universities such as:

  • Amazon
  • BMO Harris
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • City University of New York
  • Discover Financial Services
  • East China Normal University
  • Beijing Normal University
  • Envestnet Asset Management, Inc.
  • Federal Home Loan Bank
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
  • Kean University (New Jersey)
  • St. Mary’s University (Texas)
  • Morningstar
  • Morgan Stanley
  • State Street Global Advisors
  • Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Union Bank of Switzerland
  • Wells Fargo
  • Zacks Investment Research

Stuart faculty developed the Ph.D. in Finance curriculum in collaboration with the program’s advisory council, who are practitioners and major employers in the financial services industry. Building on the curriculum of the M.S. in Financial Economics degree, the doctoral program provides significant tools and theory beyond the master’s degree and adds the component of an original research-based dissertation.

The Ph.D. program requires successful completion of at least 72 credit hours. Students who enter with a completed master’s degree from Illinois Tech or elsewhere may apply to have their course requirements reduced by up to 12 credit hours.

View details

  • Completed online application
  • Official transcript submission with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • GMAT or GRE scores are required
  • A one-page statement of purpose, with goals and objectives
  • Three to four letters of recommendation from professors or employers
  • English proficiency exam, if required

Given the prescribed sequence of required courses, new students are only admitted in the fall semester of each year.

Claire Johnson, Stuart School of Business

Have Questions? Connect with Us

For any questions about Stuart School of Business degree programs or the application and enrollment process, contact our Director of Student Recruitment Claire Johnson.


The Stuart Doctoral Scholarship is available for select students pursuing a Ph.D. in Management Science and Analytics. Scholarship values vary; in academic year 2023–24 the maximum award is $25,500 ($425 per credit hour, with a maximum of 60 credit hours of coverage) and the Doctoral Scholarship may only be applied toward Stuart tuition charges. Read more about Stuart scholarship opportunities and tuition and fees:

Stuart Scholarships   Tuition and Fees

Sang Baum Kang

Mentors and Colleagues in Research

Stuart School of Business faculty are not just research mentors for doctoral students. Frequently they are colleagues with their students and recent graduates on research papers published in top scholarly journals. See a list of recent research collaborations and use the link below to learn more about the vibrant research community at Stuart.

Research at Stuart

Experiences to Build Your Career Path

  • Assistantships with Stuart faculty members provide opportunities for Ph.D. students to take on roles in the classroom, research, or academic program administration.
  • Program Director Ricky Cooper works closely with doctoral students interested in academic careers to arrange adjunct teaching positions at universities and colleges in the Chicago area.
  • For students looking toward careers in industry, nonprofit organizations, and government, Illinois Tech’s unique Elevate program guarantees opportunities for internships and other hands-on experiences.

Featured Faculty

Ricky Cooper
Director, Ph.D. in Finance Director, M.S. in Finance Director, M.S. in Financial Economics Associate Professor of Finance
Haizhi Wang
Professor of Finance
Yiwei Fang
Associate Professor of Finance
Ben Van Vliet
Assistant Program Director Associate Professor of Finance Director, Center for Strategic Finance
Li Cai
Associate Professor of Finance
Sang Baum Kang
Assistant Director, Undergraduate Programs in Business Associate Professor of Finance
Priyanka Sharma
Associate Professor of Economics
Siva Balasubramanian
Associate Dean Director, Management Science Programs and Faculty Review Harold L. Stuart Endowed Chair in Business Professor of Marketing

Flexibility to Pursue a Master’s or Doctorate

Students’ career objectives can change while they are in graduate school and Stuart School of Business has designed the Ph.D. in Finance program to be a stackable degree on top of the Master of Science in Financial Economics degree in order to provide flexibility for students.

  • A Ph.D. in Finance student who has completed the 33 graduate credit hours in the program that comprise the M.S. in Financial Economics degree may choose to graduate with that degree instead of completing the Ph.D. in Finance.
  • Students who are currently enrolled in the Stuart M.S. in Financial Economics, M.S. in Finance, or M.S. in Management Science and Analytics programs may apply to transfer into the Ph.D. in Finance program provided they meet certain criteria.

Stuart Stands Out


Career Placement Rate

—Stuart School of Business 2022 master’s and Ph.D. graduates reporting

AACSB logo

Stuart is AACSB Accredited. Only 6% of Business Schools Globally Are.

—Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International


Your Choice: Complete Your Ph.D. Full-time or Part-time

Move Your Career Forward

Alumni relations

A global network of accomplished Illinois Tech alumni is available to engage with and support our students.

Career development

Stuart’s Career Management Center offers individualized career counseling, resources for job and internship search, and opportunities to network with industry professionals.