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INSEAD Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Dec 
International :15 Dec 

PhD Finance

 Course Level
Full Time

5 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

60000 EUR
60000 EUR

Application fee

International 50 EUR
National 50 EUR
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)105
TOEFL-PBT (min)620
GRE (avg)325
GMAT (avg)702

World B-School Ranking

About this course

The Finance area is committed to producing first class theoretical and empirical research, while maintaining teaching quality and entrepreneurial spirit in the development of new teaching programmes.
Our goal is to be innovative in developing a truly international group with no dominant national culture.
The Finance area group consists of 20 resident faculty members, 13 residing in Fontainebleau and seven residing in Singapore, who regularly teach on both campuses.
We run an active seminar series, inviting scholars from around the world. We also devote significant resources to an internationally recognized PhD Programme.

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Eligibility Criteria

Selection Criteria

  • Proven academic record - irrespective of subject background.
  • Creativity and Independent thought - necessary to become a great researcher.
  • Motivation, Determination and Drive - to follow through with goals.
  • Ability to work in English - as English is the sole medium of instruction at INSEAD

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Course Modules

Finance studies the workings of the financial system in an economy, and its role in channeling financial resources from suppliers of capital to its final users, and in allocating risk among investors. More specifically, finance examines the determinants of investment, portfolio, and financing choices of firms and individuals, and their mutual interactions. These issues are examined both from a theoretical and an empirical perspective, employing a variety of tools ranging from game theory and stochastic calculus to econometrics and statistics.

The general area of finance can be divided broadly into three main fields: investments, corporate finance, and financial markets and institutions. The field of investments examines the determinants of portfolio allocation decisions of individual investors, and the implications for the pricing of financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, and derivative securities. Corporate finance examines the criteria that firms use in their capital expenditures decisions, and their choice of the financial instruments that are issued to finance these expenditures. Finally, the study of financial markets and institutions focuses on the role of financial intermediaries and organised securities exchanges in facilitating the funding of corporate investments, as well as the secondary market trading of financial instruments.

The Finance area at INSEAD comprises a diverse group of faculty who are actively involved in research in several of the areas outlined above. Their current research interests include:

  • Banking regulations after the crisis
  • Managing for value
  • Conflicts of interests in the exchange-traded fund (ETF) industry
  • Portfolio management and strategies of mutual funds
  • Microstructure and trading of fixed income: the role of CDSs
  • Legal investor protection and corporate control
  • Institutional ownership, block-ownership and family firms around the world
  • The effect of equity lenders' preferences on the shorting market and asset prices
  • Currency risk
  • Effect of media on financial markets
  • Costs and benefits of financial misrepresentation
  • Maximising shareholder value
  • Currency premia
  • Liquidity and asset pricing

The Finance faculty is well-recognised for its excellence in research and has consistently produced articles in top finance and economics journals, such as the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial Economics, and the Journal of Political Economy, among others.

The aim of the PhD Programme in Finance is to produce highly-trained individuals who will conduct first-class research at top academic institutions in the world. PhD students are required to undergo a rigorous training that will endow them with the fundamental tools needed to conduct high quality research, and will expose them to a variety of topics in the faculty's current areas of research.

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How to Apply

Supporting Documents

All supporting documents should be in electronic format and uploaded through our online application platform. Only selected candidates for admission will be asked to provide original copies to the PhD Office to secure their admission in the programme. Thus, no originals or hard copies of transcripts should be sent to the PhD Office prior to admission to the programme.

1. Photograph (passport sized) in JPEG or GIF format, uploaded to your profile.
2. Application fee (non-refundable) of 50 €, which is paid online by credit card. Your application will not be considered until the correct fee is received. 
3. Electronic copy of CV/Resume
4. Electronic copy of Official Transcripts of Grades and Diploma / Degree Certificates with certified translation in English, where applicable
5. Electronic copy of official GMAT or GRE score report
6. Electronic copy of original TOEFL score report. (Note: We do not accept IELTS score in lieu of the TOEFL; if any of your degree's medium of instruction is in English, the TOEFL requirement is automatically waived. Your transcripts from this degree will suffice as proof of waiver)
7. Supplementary information survey form that is accomplished and submitted online (part of your online application form, found under the Supporting Documents section).

Recommendation Letters

A maximum 3 Letters of Recommendation are required coming from faculty, scholars or individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s academic ability and potential for research and teaching. When requesting recommendations, candidates are asked to use the appropriate online forms. Only 3 electronic recommendation letters are required to complete the application.

On the section of Letters of Recommendation, applicants are requested to enter the details of referees, including the 'official' email address (official email addresses do not include gmail, yahoo, or hotmail email clients). Once done, applicants need to click on the link 'Send an email to your recommenders now'.

Important: Refrain from clicking more than once the 'Send an email to your recommenders now' link, to avoid unnecessary email requests sent to your referees.

Applying Online

All applications to INSEAD are fully electronic and must be submitted online. To successfully access the application, you must download or upgrade your browsers to the following minimum requirements: Internet Explorer 9 and above, Firefox 8 and above, Chrome 10, Safari 5 and above, and Opera 10 and above.

A complete application includes the following: duly accomplished online application form, e-copies (e.g. PDFs) of supporting documents and application fee of 50€. Incomplete applications (missing documents or pages of documents, information or payment) will not be considered by the PhD Admissions Committee.

The application form is comprised of:

1. Your Profile: personal information, test results, academic background, professional background, proficieny in the English language and other languages, international exposure and activities and interests.
2. Statement of Purpose or letter of motivation (1500 essay), stating current goals, career plans, reasons for being interested in the PhD Programme. In as much depth as possible, discuss study plans and intended area of specialisation. 
3. Statement of Integrity (by agreeing to the terms and conditions when submitting the application form)

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