An online doctorate program in Quantitative Finance prepares students for the research and application of quantitative financial models and risk management they will need to pursue top level and management careers in the business and finance industries. The online PhD in Quantitative Finance is an interdisciplinary degree requiring extensive understanding of mathematics, economics, statistics, engineering and computer science. The program generally takes students about 4 years to complete and is research intensive with courses in financial theories, mathematical analyses, statistics, and finance. Most candidates for an online doctorate in Quantitative Finance have prior work or research experience in statistics, computer science and financial engineering. Throughout the course of earning an Online doctoral degree in Quantitative Finance, students will be responsible for conducting research on finance theories and models, observing practices in the field and recording them for future reference, and learning concepts and practices in finance accounting, calculus and economic settings. Students in online PhD Quantitative Finance programs will also be responsible for completing a dissertation on a topic that must first be approved by professors in the field. A dissertation is a book type analysis and findings of theories explored including financial, price, corporate, and computational theories, experiences gained in the field, and opinions of experiences and practices in the field.
About Online PhD Programs in Quantitative Finance
The online PhD program in Quantitative Finance is designed to allow students to build a strong foundation and understanding of financial theories, statistics, applied mathematics, investments, and finance, as they will need a strong background in these areas to pursue some of the best careers in the field. In order to understand these theories and learn the concepts, students in online doctoral degrees in Quantitative Finance will be responsible for completing research assignments, major collaborative papers, and projects. For example, a online Quantitative Finance PhD professor may require students to submit a research assignment on a statistical or financial theory or critique a research article on a financial model.
- Foundations for PhD Study. In this course, students will learn about PhD studies and what will be expected from them throughout the course of the program.
- Research Theory, Design, and Methods. This course will teach students to conduct research at the doctoral level and has topics in producing knowledge, developing research plans, research processes, and the importance of theory in research.
- Management in Human and Societal Development. This course will allow students to understand the purpose of questioning and to utilize the wide variety of resources that individuals have available to them.
- Financial Decision Making for Individuals and Firms. Students in this course will examine the concepts of time value of money, making decisions in uncertain conditions, valuation, capital budgeting, and the legal, ethical, and global dimensions of economic decision-making.
- Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis. In this course students will explore quantitative research designs, common statistical tests, quality assurance, and the ethical and socials changes in conducting research.
- Management of Decision-Making. Students will examine the concepts associated with individual and group decision-making as well as research related to behavioral processes behind making decisions and their impacts on ethics, group dynamics, and risk assessment.
- Financial Analysis, Planning, and Forecasting. Time series analysis, cash flow, inventory, supply chains, and sales forecasting are all topics covered in this course.
- Financial Markets. In this course students examine the roles, impacts, and limitations of financial markets in society as well as information asymmetries and market behavior.
- Corporate Financial Management. This course covers corporate finance, corporate risk management, deployment of capital, short- and long-term financing, and product market interactions.
- Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis. This course provides students with specialized and advanced knowledge for designing quantitative research including data analysis and applying advanced statistical concepts.
- Valuation of Assets, Entities, and Opportunities. Students in this course examine the valuation elements of mergers and acquisitions, options, international asset pricing, valuation of intangible assets, and capital budgeting.
- Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis. This course emphasizes integrating different elements into mixed-method studies, practice in data analysis, and integration of different types of data into research.
Students working on online doctoral degrees in Quantitative Finance will also be responsible for successfully completing exams administered by their professors. Many PhD professors administer comprehensive exams, which test students on material learned throughout the entire semester or year. Exams in online PhD Quantitative Finance programs can also be administered in different formats- with some professors choosing to administer standard exams, while other professors prefer to administer a research project or assignment as an exam grade. For example, some professors may choose to assign students a major research paper on financial markets or practices. A dissertation is the final step to earning the PhD and is a generally lengthy compilation of data and research learned in the field and should include visual aids and methods of investigation. Some examples of past dissertations in Quantitative Finance PhD online programs include fundamental theorem of asset pricing and its extensions, capital structure, and the risks associated with conditional value.
Value and Criticisms of a PhD in Quantitative Finance
Earning the online doctorate in Quantitative Finance can be earned during non-work hours so candidates can continue current employment opportunities and advancement, which provides a beneficial edge when pursuing postgraduate careers. Earning the Quantitative Finance PhD program online can also be beneficial because it allows students to develop advanced research skills using the Web, will familiarize students with Web and Internet tools and browsers, and will give them insight on how to use web programs and computer software. Because many businesses and organizations today have advanced technology and computer databases and systems, it is extremely important for leaders in the field to have this type of knowledge. A possible downside to earning Quantitative Finance doctorate degrees online may be that they are specialized and relatively new and not offered at many universities online. It may also be hard for students that need tutoring or extra help in advanced finance classes to get help online if they do not work well with telecommuting. If you feel that you will need extra help and feel uncomfortable with getting assistance or tutoring through email, online chat forums, or video lecturing, then this may be something to consider when deciding whether or not this is the right program for you.
Application & Admission Requirements
While admission requirements are likely to vary between learning institutions and PhD program, there are some general PhD admission requirements that interested individuals should keep in mind. Most online PhD degree in Quantitative Finance programs require that candidates have a bachelor's and master's degree and at least three years of work experience in finance, computer science, statistics, or a closely related field. The bachelor's and master's degree must have been awarded by a learning institution that is accredited and should be in the statistics, economics, financial engineering, finance, or computer sciences field or in a discipline that is closely related. Most programs also require that individuals have three letters of recommendation with other requirements being school specific. For example, Capella University also requires that students have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA on graduate school transcripts. Interested individuals should fill out an application form and send the required paperwork to the appropriate department to be considered for approval into the online Quantitative Finance doctorate degree program.
Career Options & Job Market
Graduates of online doctoral programs in Quantitative Finance are prepared to pursue a number of careers in various fields and industries. Some of the fields graduates can look to find jobs include (but are not limited to): finance, education, government, operations strategies, business, or investments. Some of the particular careers that online Quantitative Finance PhD graduates can pursue include (but are not limited to): investment trader, finance consulting, product developer, risk management professional or actuary, operations research analyst, academic researcher, quantitative analyst, or finance analyst. Graduates should have favorable job opportunities as quite a few of finance related jobs are in high demand. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of Operations research analysts is expected to grow much faster than the average occupation, adding more than 13,000 new jobs to the field by 2018. The Bureau also reported that the employment of Financial analysts is expected to grow much faster than the average occupation, adding more than 49,000 new jobs to the field by 2018.
Where to Find Information
- International Association of Financial Engineers is a not-for-profit professional society devoted to fostering the profession of quantitative finance by providing platforms for individuals to discuss innovative ideas and cutting-edge issues in the field.
- MIT Open Coursewareoffers a course with plenty of material to learn more about finance and the quantitative methods of finance.
- Stony Brook University's Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics offers individuals more information on the degree.
- Wilmott is an online forum and resource compiled by a finance professional in an effort to provide knowledge and updates to individuals and professionals interested in the field.
How to Get Funding
As many undergraduate and graduate students rely on financial assistance to help with tuition costs, PhD students also have financial aid options available to them, as tuition costs vary between schools. Tuition at University of Phoenix is $770 per credit hour. Students in online PhD programs in Quantitative Finance have the option of applying for federal student loans, but can also apply for grants and scholarships, which award money for tuition but do not need to be repaid.
- FinAid. This site serves as a resource for students of all types that are looking for scholarship and grant opportunities. There is a specific area for graduate students that are pursuing financial aid assistance through awards.
- Fielding Scholarships and Grants. This site offers students the opportunity to browse through numerous organizations and award programs that are dedicated to providing students with scholarship awards.
- Student Grants. This site is devoted to giving students interested in applying for grants information on the process, as well as serves as a resource to students to help find and apply for grants and scholarships.
- If you are still undecided whether or not this program is the right fit for you, seek the advice of a current or past online PhD Quantitative Finance student to get more detailed information about the program.
- Be sure to conduct plenty of research on trends, salary, job descriptions and responsibilities, and industry demand of careers in the area to ensure that those careers are something you wish to pursue once you complete the program.
- Remember that this program is rigorous and will require hard work and about 4 years of time dedicated to research and studying. If you have just completed a master's degree or have other commitments that require a lot of time, you may want to consider holding off on the online doctoral program in Quantitative Finance until you have the proper time.
- Once you decide this is the right program for you, be sure to seek a reliable and knowledgeable advisor and/or mentor that can help you explore courses, career and intern options, research studies, and any other aspect that you may need help with along the way.