Main Content

Program Structure

Our Strength: Our Program

The Rotman's PhD program incorporates course work, independent research, comprehensive examinations, and a final dissertation. Find more information on program structure, course requirements and expected time-lines for completion below.

The main components for the successful completion of the program are:

A typical program of study takes four to five years. The bulk of the course requirements as well as the research project are completed during the first two years. The comprehensive examination is taken at the end of the summer of the second year. The last two to three years of the program are focused on the thesis research.

Prior to Entering Program

  • Students complete pre-qualifying requirements.

First Year

  • Students complete qualifying courses and courses in their two minor fields
  • Students demonstrate outstanding performance in their required courses in Finance.
  • Students complete the comprehensive exam requirements for microeconomics.
  • Students begin research (e.g. writing their second year paper and/or acting as a research assistant)

Second Year

  • Students complete course work in Finance, and take two optional finance area special topics elective courses.
  • Students successfully complete their comprehensive exam in finance. This entails first the successful completion of a second year original research paper, and second, successful completion of a written comprehensive exam in Finance.

Third Year

  • Students present their second year research paper in a Finance-area workshop.
  • Students take specialized courses, as needed, such as optional finance electives.
  • Students begin their dissertation proposal.

Fourth Year (or Fifth Year if needed)

  • Students present their job market paper in the Finance-area workshop.
  • Students take specialized courses, as needed.
  • Students complete their dissertation.