This PhD specialisation provides candidates with an in-depth and intensive training programme at the cutting edge of both theoretical and empirical research in finance.

General information

Through course work, participation in seminars, presentations, and supervised research, the program focuses on developing the candidates' theoretical and empirical skills to enable them to contribute to the advancement of research within the field of financial economics.

The PhD degree is a 4-year programme and requires completion of a minimum 10 courses (minimum 60 ECTS credit points), a supervised research project, and a doctoral dissertation. Candidates must also pass a pre-doc defense in good time prior to submission of the final dissertation.

Course work takes up all of the first year and part of the second year. A list and detailed description of the courses can be found in the menu on the right hand side. The finance and economics departments at BI collaborate closely and offer a joint first-year course programme in core courses (microeconomics, macroeconomics, asset pricing, statistics, and mathematics). Hereafter, candidates take specialized finance courses taught by faculty at BI in their respective areas of research or at other universities. BI is a member of the Nordic Finance Network that offers advanced doctoral courses and workshops.

Submission and a public defense of the dissertation complete the PhD programme. Completion of the dissertation takes three years and candidates work closely with research faculty in the department and, potentially, faculty at other institutions. En route to completion of the dissertation candidates participate actively in weekly research seminars with visiting scholars and present their dissertation work in a departmental workshop at the end of each year. Candidates work in all areas of finance.

The department has access to a wide range of international databases available for candidates' research, including CRSP, Compustat and Datastream. In addition, the department has a unique data set of portfolio holdings of all Norwegian investors, ownership structure of all listed and non-listed firms in Norway, and accounting and market information on listed and non-listed companies though the Centre for Corporate Governance Research (CCGR).

The work in the PhD programme is demanding and only highly qualified candidates are accepted into the programme. The candidates join a selective group of candidates from world class institutions around the globe. All PhD candidates receive financial support when accepted onto the programme. Continuation of the support through the four years of the program is dependent on good standing and regular progress towards completing the programme's requirements.

The department graduates have an excellent placement record at international and Norwegian universities and institutions, including London Business School, University of Melbourne, University Nova de Lisboa, University of Stavanger, Storebrand Capital Management, and the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway.

"The Department of Finance consists of highly skilled and passionate academics, thus making it an excellent environment for studying finance. There is a close and enriching interaction between the faculty members and the PhD candidates. The focus is to turn the candidates into good teachers and good researchers with a high intellectual honesty and good work ethics. The course portfolio, the weekly seminars along with the inspiring and supportive community are key ingredients which make this process successful."


BI PhD alumna, Assistant Professor of Finance at Toulouse Business School

The Department

The department currently has about twenty faculty members. The department recruits faculty internationally from some of the world's best schools (University of Chicago, University of Southern California, Berkeley, UCLA, Brown University, among others). Based on the number of publications in top-tier academic finance journals, the department was ranked in the top five in Europe and number 78 in the world (University of Dallas UTD ranking, 1996-2007).

Faculty publish their research regularly in the top journals of finance as well as in top field journals, such as the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal Financial Economics, and Journal of Political Economy. Faculty actively participates in international scientific conferences and invited seminars at universities around the world.

The department runs an active research seminar series where academics from the worlds' top schools are invited each week to present their research giving faculty and PhD candidates an opportunity to discuss their ideas and current research with speakers and visitors.

The department is host to the Centre for Corporate Governance Research (CCGR) which undertakes research in many areas of corporate governance and corporate finance, both for listed and non-listed firms.

BI Norwegian Business School

Department of Finance

Samuli Knüpfer

Associate Dean for Specialisation in Finance

Specialisation in Finance

Course Plan




PhD candidates are hired as full-time employees by BI Norwegian Business School on a four-year contract. As such, PhD candidates are entitled to full parental leave, health insurance and are part of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. The workplace is BI Norwegian Business School, campus Oslo.


Learning from the best

Contact us

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like further information about our PhD programme.