Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Finance (PhD)
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.
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
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 7.0
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
3) Prepare Application
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.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Finance (PhD)
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
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,732.53||$3,043.77|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,052.34 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,126.20 (check cost calculator)|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
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.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
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.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
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 EducationWestern 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 EducationBanco de México (2)
Bank of Canada (2)
Ministry of Education - Guyana
Ontario Public Service
Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
Royal Bank of Canada
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationStrategic ICT Specialist
Senior Financial Specialist
Consultant / Analyst
Information Organization Manager
Deputy Executive Secretary
Head of Research
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThe 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.
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)
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 (Corporate finance, real options, market concentration)
Gornall, Will (Corporate finance ; Venture capital; Banking)
Heinkel, Robert Lee (Theoretical and empirical studies of corporate behaviour due to market imperfections and theoretical and empirical studies of instritutional investment management)
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)
Skoulakis, Georgios (Portfolio Choice; Asset Pricing; Computational Economics; Econometrics)
|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.|
Sample Thesis Submissions
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.