Emphasis in Finance

Details about the Penn State Smeal Ph.D. Emphasis in Finance.

Program Overview

The Finance Ph.D. program offers an intimate learning environment, close student-faculty interaction, exposure to different areas in the field of finance, and access to state-of-the-art computer software and financial data. Faculty in the finance department explore a wide range of issues including corporate finance, investments, derivatives, market microstructure, financial institutions, corporate risk management, real estate, and insurance. With a broad range of faculty expertise and a learning community that supports collaboration, you will be able to explore topics with professors whose interests match your own.


You can expect roughly two years of formal coursework, with courses in finance, economics, and statistics. Economics has typically been the supporting field for a Ph.D. Finance concentration. Taking a combination of econometrics and statistics courses generally satisfies the research methods sequence.

Areas of Study

As part of this program, students receive a rigorous background in finance economics and econometrics while focusing on the following areas of study:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Asset Pricing
  • Market Microstructure
  • Financial Institutions

About the Finance Department

The Smeal Finance Department provides students at all levels the opportunity to study investment analysis, management of banks and other financial institutions, and the financial management of corporations with a focus on real world experience. With state-of-the-art facilities like the Rogers Family Trading Room and resources such as the EY/University of Michigan Tax Panel Database, students are connected to a wealth of information to further their research pursuits.

Finance faculty provide research and teaching expertise in a variety of areas emphasizing corporate finance, international finance, investment management, and financial services. Ranked in the top 15 for research performance according to the Academy of Management Journal, Smeal Finance faculty members publish research in leading journals and earn international recognition from academic and professional organizations.

Learn more about the Smeal Finance Department.

Questions & General Information


Research Information Within the Smeal Ph.D. Program, Emphasis in Finance

Professor Matthew Gustafson
Associate Professor of Finance

Email: mtg15@psu.edu