Questions Frequently Asked by Applicants to the PhD Program
(updated May 2012)
Q. How many students are currently enrolled in the program?
A. At present there are about 35 students in the Ph.D. Program in Finance. Our intention is to admit about five or six new students each year.
Q. How many people apply to the program each year, and how many are accepted?
A. In the most recent year, we admitted 14 out of 243 applicants (5.8%).
Q. How many students get financial aid and how much?
A. All applicants who have requested financial aid and are accepted into the program will be offered financial aid. In recent years, fellowships have been awarded that cover tuition and pay a stipend for four years; such awards usually require service as a teaching or research assistant after the first year.
Q. How long does it take to get through the program?
A. It is expected that a student can complete the degree in four years although many students (perhaps most students) take five years. The first two years are devoted primarily to course work, and the following years to work on the dissertation.
Q. What parts of the application does the admissions committee look at most closely?
A. The admissions committee looks closely at an applicant’s GPA, the quality of the applicant’s previous educational institution, letters of recommendation from previous instructors, test scores and the applicant’s personal statement for indications of significant academic achievement and research potential.
Q. Should applicants take the GMAT, or should they take the GRE?
A. Applicants may take either the GMAT or the GRE.
Q. What is the academic background of students in the program?
A. Admission to the program requires a solid educational background with a strong preparation in quantitative skills. While most students enter with undergraduate degrees in finance or economics, others have backgrounds in math, physics, operations research and engineering. Schools previously attended include a wide range of universities both within the United States and abroad.
Q. What is the possibility of transferring credits from other graduate programs?
A. It is possible to transfer up to eight courses from other graduate programs if they are approved as being relevant by the Ph.D. Coordinator
Q. Is there a non-English language requirement?
A. There is no non-English language requirement.
Q. When is the deadline for applications?
A. The deadline for application for the upcoming Fall semester admission is December 15th, of the prior year (there are no Spring admissions). The application must be complete by that date. Late applications are not considered. Please visit https://doctoral.wharton.upenn.edu/ for admissions and application information.
Q. What are the goals of the program for placing graduates?
A. It is our goal to place graduates at top academic and research institutions worldwide.
Q. Where have graduates of the program been placed in recent years?
A. In recent years we have placed graduates from the PhD program at The University of Chicago,The University of Rochester, McGill University, New York University, and Carnegie-Mellon University, among others. We also have distinguished alumni at MIT, London Business School, The University of Minnesota, Case Western Reserve University, and Tulane University, among others.