Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Finance (PhD)

Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

Overview

The PhD Program in Business Administration welcomes applications from individuals planning research-oriented academic careers.

As well as gaining access to a world of knowledge and opportunity, Sauder PhD students benefit from the individual attention they receive from faculty members - right from the outset of the program. Our faculty members devote extensive time, energy and effort to developing the research capabilities of all of our PhD students.

What makes the program unique?

Judging by the standards of research achievement, graduate placement, publications and research grants received, the PhD program in Finance at UBC stands at the top of Canadian business schools and among the first rank of North American programs. 

An active group of skilled junior and senior researchers is a distinguishing feature of the finance faculty at UBC. This translates into a rich and heterogeneous portfolio of research interests ranging from game-theoretic models of corporate finance, to applications of Bayesian analysis in empirical finance, to theoretical modeling of equilibrium asset pricing. The wide research interests of the Division allows substantial flexibility for the PhD student in selecting a thesis research topic. 

 

Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 100

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.

2) Meet Deadlines

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Finance (PhD)
The program will review research interests of applicants and recommend/match faculty members during the application/evaluation process. Applicants should not reach out to faculty members directly.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

We provide a financial package that includes tuition plus $30,000 per year for the first five years of the PhD Program.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 9 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research, academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $45,943.
  • 7 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 7 students was $3,810.
  • 8 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 8 students was $18,511.
  • 7 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 7 students was $6,424.
  • 9 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 9 students was $19,421.

Study Period: Sep 2022 to Aug 2023 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

102 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 100 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
Western University (Ontario) (5)
City University of Hong Kong (5)
University of Manitoba (3)
University of British Columbia (3)
Simon Fraser University (3)
University of International Business and Economics (3)
Arizona State University (2)
Boston College (2)
University of Toronto (2)
University of Ottawa (2)
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Banco de México (2)
Bank of Canada (2)
IBM Research
Ministry of Education - Guyana
Ontario Public Service
Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
Royal Bank of Canada
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Strategic ICT Specialist
Senior Economist
Research Scientist
Senior Financial Specialist
Economic Staff
Consultant / Analyst
Information Organization Manager
Deputy Executive Secretary
Assistant Chief
Head of Research
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
The data show all specializations in Business Administration combined. These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

Recent placements of students in the program have included schools such as Columbia Business School, University of Virginia, University of Utah, Arizona State University, University of Oregon, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California at Los Angeles, The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Toronto.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Finance (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

ENROLMENT DATA

 20222021202020192018
Applications75948410279
Offers54345
New Registrations22233
Total Enrolment1718161515

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 91% based on 12 students admitted between 2010 - 2013. Based on 8 graduations between 2019 - 2022 the minimum time to completion is 5.34 years and the maximum time is 7.17 years with an average of 6.18 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs.

Research Supervisors

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Finance (PhD)
The program will review research interests of applicants and recommend/match faculty members during the application/evaluation process. Applicants should not reach out to faculty members directly.
 
 

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Agarwal, Isha (Banking; International Finance; Corporate Finance; macroeconomics)
  • Baldauf, Markus (Financial Markets; Information Economics; Industrial Organization; Regulation; Market Microstructure )
  • Bena, Jan (Financial economics; Finance, n.e.c.; Stock markets; International economics and international finance; Economics of innovation and technical change; Industry economics and industrial organization; Innovation; Corporate innovation; Asset pricing of technological progress; Private equity; Corporate ownership structure; Frictions in raising external finance; Entrepreneurship; Ownership of startup companies; Finance and industrial organization; Product market interactions)
  • Bian, Bo (Empirical corporate finance; Productivity; Innovation; Bankruptcy)
  • Carlson, Murray (Introduction to capital markets, corporate finance, principles of finance, asset pricing)
  • Dias Saraiva-Patelli, Ella (Finance; Asset pricing and international finance)
  • Donaldson, R Glen (Risk management, Volatility forecasting, Asset valuation, Financial econometrics, Financial markets and price behavior)
  • Favilukis, Jack (Consumption and Production Based Asset Pricing; Heterogeneity and Inequality; Incomplete Markets; Real Estate)
  • Fisher, Adlai (Asset pricing, financial econometrics, volatility modelling, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions)
  • Garlappi, Lorenzo (Economics and business administration; Financial Economics; Asset pricing; Macro-Finance; Decision Theory)
  • Giammarino, Ronald (Financial management; corporate theory; bank regulation; real options)
  • Gornall, Will (Corporate finance ; Venture capital; Banking)
  • Heinkel, Robert Lee (Stock markets; Corporate Finance)
  • Lazrak, Ali (Finance and Accounting; Economic Phenomena on an Individual or Organizational Level; Asset pricing, Corporate Finance, Behavioral Finance, Household portfolio choice)
  • Li, Kai (corporate governance, CEO compensation, mergers and acquisitions, shareholder activism, gender in corporate decision making, board of directors, national culture, innovation, Finance)
  • Ortiz Molina, Hernan (Corporate finance and governance, executive compensations, industrial organization, interactions between real and financial decisions )
  • Pikulina, Elena (Institutional investors; Corporate finance; Experimental and behavioral finance)

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2023 Dr. Liu studied how AI affects intermediary agents' decision making in insurance markets. He found that AI prediction on consumer demand improves insurance agents' sales productivity, but also reduces agents' efforts in assessing consumer risk. His research advanced our understanding of the impacts of AI on workforce in financial services industry.
2023 Dr. Wang studied the role that the key stakeholders such as institutional investors and firm owners play within a firm's ecosystem, with a primary focus on understanding how corporate governance and ownership structures might influence firm policies.
2019 Dr. Knesl studied how technological innovations affect firms, households and stock prices. His work connects technological improvements to movements of stock prices by looking at how technology affects different types of labor. His empirical evidence shows a specific connection between macro economy and stock markets.
2019 Dr. Zhang studied how institutional investors, such as mutual funds, specialize in a different class of assets. Based on empirical evidence, he developed a model that relates an institution's investment horizon with the characteristics of its stock holdings. His work contributes to the understanding of the behavior of financial institutions.

Further Information

Specialization

Finance at UBC covers research interests ranging from game-theoretic models of corporate finance, to applications of Bayesian analysis in empirical finance, to theoretical modeling of equilibrium asset pricing.

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-CHI4
 
 
 
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