UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Why UNC Finance

A key feature of the PhD program at UNC is its focus on collaboration between PhD students and faculty. At UNC, each PhD student is assigned to a faculty member and students learn the research process by working closely with faculty members on current research. Moreover, the environment at UNC encourages close collaboration between students and as a result, PhD students benefit from the mentoring provided by their classmates.

In addition, PhD students at UNC have the opportunity to take a wide range of classes, including courses at Duke. As a result of the large size of the UNC Finance department and the value it places on the PhD program, UNC is able to offer a large number of Finance courses that are specially designed to meet the needs of PhD students. Finally, UNC PhD students have the opportunity to attend regular research seminars given by some of the top faculty in the world. During the school year, research seminars are typically scheduled on Friday afternoons, and guest speakers regularly include faculty members from top business schools including Chicago, Columbia, Duke, Harvard, NYU, and Wharton.

Research Areas

Finance research can be broadly split into two main groups: asset pricing and corporate finance. Within these groups, research is often further divided into theoretical and empirical work. One of the unique features of UNC's PhD program is that the Finance department at UNC has strong faculty support in all major research areas. As a result, PhD students have a wide variety of research areas to choose from and they can count on faculty support regardless of their chosen research focus.

Fellowships in Finance

All admitted students are considered for financial support through Kenan-Flagler or University fellowships.  These fellowships typically require that students perform research and teaching duties during the course of the academic year. The finance area also provides some special fellowships for students in particular research areas.

Private Equity – The UAI Foundation Fellowship in Private Equity Research is available to students that have a demonstrated research interest and expertise in the field of private equity and venture capital.  Students interested in the fellowship should note this in their application as part of the research statement.

Real Estate – Thanks to generous funding from The Leonard W. Wood Center for Real Estate Studies, the Kenan-Flagler Business School is able to support a doctoral fellowship for students interested in specializing in real estate finance. This specialized program is unique in the academic world in that admitted students fulfill all of the requirements of our successful Ph.D. program in Finance and, in addition, are expected to complete rigorous training to prepare them to teach and do research specific to commercial real estate (a $20T global asset class – see https://goo.gl/K8QaLY).  This position is considered as a full-time, equivalent standing finance student, but is for those candidates with a specific interest in the growing area of research in real-estate finance.

Our aim is dual:

1.   Graduate highly qualified academics who are capable of producing research that is publishable in the best journals in economics and finance.

2.   Provide our graduates with the skills necessary to teach institutionally detailed courses in commercial real estate finance.

We are committed to providing our students with the benefits of training and mentorship by a world-class faculty. Successful applicants must meet all of the admissions requirements of the Finance Ph.D. program and demonstrate significant interest in real estate.  Students interested in the fellowship should note this in their application as part of the research statement.