The curriculum in financial economics reflects the close relationship between finance and economics. Students take most of the core economic courses, such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, dynamic competitive analysis, and economics of contracts.

In addition, they typically elect courses from the mathematics and statistics departments and take the doctoral seminars in finance.

Students take qualifying exams at the end of the third semester. The required exams are:  microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and finance. Students with appropriate preparation prior to their entry to the program may choose to take the qualifying exams prior to the third semester, however, they must take the entire set of qualifiers as outlined above. For further information, visit the qualifying examinations page.

The faculty reviews each student's progress and performance in the program at the end of the third semester.

Students are also required to write a summer paper in each of their first two years of the program. The purpose of the summer papers is to give students the opportunity to conduct original research on their own. In many cases, the summer papers lead to a thesis topic.  Students are also strongly encouraged to attend the weekly Finance seminar.