Ph.D. Program FAQs

Please read these FAQs before applying.

We expect to admit three students for fall 2015. We admitted three students for fall 2014, four students for fall 2013, and five students for fall 2012.
We cannot prescreen candidates or provide indications of the likelihood of admission. Please see our profile of admitted classes to assess how competitive your application will be. All accepted candidates received strong recommendations by academics. We invite interested and qualified applicants to apply.
In no particular order or weight, we consider GMAT/GRE, grades, recommendations, information provided in essays, the rigor of prior academic studies, quantitative skills, verbal and written communication skills, and prior academic and professional achievement. Although not required, it is beneficial if at least one recommendation comes from a person who can assess the candidate's ability to conduct high-quality academic research.
Most students submit GMAT scores, but we will accept GRE scores.
Yes. All admitted students receive a Graduate Research Assistantship, which comes with a competitive stipend and a tuition waiver. Subject to suitable progress in the program, the student continues as a research assistant for three years. After that time, the student is paid to teach as a graduate teaching assistant. Students who are good teachers often receive appointments as temporary instructors in their fifth year.
No. The Ph.D. program requires a full-time commitment.
Most students take five years to complete their degrees. A few take a bit longer. It is extremely unusual to complete the degree in less than five years.
No, and the Ph.D. office will also waive TOEFL requirements for students with degrees from anglophone Canadian schools and British schools. Contact Adenike Brewington for details.
All applications material should be submitted online at the admission portal »

Please use the following address for mailing credentials:

Regular mail:
Adenike Brewington
Robinson College of Business
Ph.D. Program
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3988
Atlanta, GA 30302-3988

Express mail:
Adenike Brewington
Ph.D. Program
J. Mack Robinson College of Business
35 Broad Street, Ste. 831
Atlanta, GA 30303

Phone: 404-413-7070

The process is very competitive.

  • In 2014, we admitted three students out of 69 applicants.
  • In 2013, we admitted four students out of 87 applicants.
  • In 2012, we admitted five students out of 62 applicants.
  • In 2011, we admitted three students out of 62 applicants.
  • In 2010, we admitted four students out of 64 applicants.

The number of students that we admit depends on our needs, the budget, and the quality of the applicant pool. Based on our needs and the quality of the applicant pool, a student who is admitted in one year might not receive admission in the next, and vice versa.

No. Some students have master's degrees and some have only undergraduate degrees. If a student so desires, we can generally structure the program of study to allow him/her to earn a Master of Science in Finance as well as the Ph.D.
Nearly all students, even those with degrees in mathematics, the sciences or engineering, will benefit from taking additional mathematics courses. We recommend that students try to take classes in linear algebra, probability and statistics, and real analysis or advanced calculus to better prepare for the Ph.D. program. If you have never had a finance course or have only had elementary exposure to finance, we recommend that you read a good corporate finance textbook (e.g., Principles of Corporate Finance by Richard Brealey, Stewart Myers and Franklin Allen).
No. About half our students have a technical background (math, science or engineering) and about half have academic backgrounds in business or economics. One of the most successful finance academics of the last 40 years has an undergraduate degree in languages! Analytical ability, intellectual curiosity and work ethic are more important than a specific academic background.
Read more FAQs on the Ph.D. Program site