Program Overview

The Ph.D. in Business Administration – Finance and Real Estate program prepares students to engage in productive scholarly research and teaching in the broad area of financial and real estate economics. Graduates of this program typically are placed with major universities in the United States, although some students choose to work in research positions at non-academic institutions. The focus of the program is corporate finance, investments, financial intermediation, and market microstructure.

The Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate is primarily interested in placing students at research institutions to write papers in top-tier publications (Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, and Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis). This is the main, if not the only, goal. If you are getting a Ph.D. to teach, then we’re not the place for you. If you’re getting a Ph.D. to go to industry or do consulting, then we’re not the place for you. If you are getting a Ph.D. to go to a lower-level school that emphasizes the number of publications and not the quality of publications, then we are not the place for you. Not every graduating finance Ph.D. student from Florida places at a research institution, but when they started the program, this was their intention.

The Department is somewhat unusual in how we treat students. We treat them as colleagues and look forward to working with them on research projects as their skills develop. Most faculty maintain an “open door” policy regarding visits. Our biggest shortcoming at Florida may be that we don’t put enough pressure on students. Our turnover rate is very low—almost zero. We don’t admit a large group and expect to flunk out x% of them. Accordingly, the more successful students are those with the greatest degree of effective self-motivation. We are working on ways to increase pressure subtlety, to encourage all students to take more responsibility for their research careers (after courses are finished).

Our eminent scholars:

  • Mark Flannery
  • Chris James
  • Jay Ritter

Our chaired professors:

  • Joel Houston
  • David Ling
  • Miles Livingston
  • Andy Naranjo
  • Mahendrarajah Nimalendran

A Career in Academia

Being a professor is a pretty good job, but being a business school professor is much better than being a professor in another discipline.

Even if you are not planning on a career teaching in a business school, it may be a good place to start. Consulting firms, money management firms (including hedge funds), investment banks, and government agencies all are willing to pay more for people who are experienced. They have found that people who are good teachers are usually good at making client presentations, and that people who do successful academic research also tend to be good at coming up with strategies for making money or writing good consulting reports.