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Doctoral Program



6 The Doctoral Program in Finance is a two to seven-year program offered by the Graduate Institute of Finance (GIF) of the NTUST School of Management that qualifies students for careers in academia or in the international finance industry. Our research strengths are financial engineering, corporate finance, investment, behavioral finance, and quantitative analysis.
A Master's degree in a relevant area is an admission requirement. Fast-track PhD-programs that allow the admission of Bachelor Degree holders ("Direct Pursuit of the PhD") are currently not offered by the GIF. Our doctoral program also requires coursework (30 credits), and a Qualifying Exam has to be passed within the first three years of enrollment in the program. Although courses need to be attended during the program, our PhD education can be characterized as an individual doctorate, i.e. research and the writing of a dissertation under the supervision of one professor. The GIF encourages all PhD students to attend domestic and international academic conferences
to become familiar with the academic career environment at an early stage. Students are required  to publish at least one  paper in a relevant scientific journal during their PhD studies. As Taiwan Tech is part of the NTU university system, an alliance of the three neighboring national universities NTUST, NTU, and NTNU, GIF doctoral students will have access to the resources offered by the alliance universities. International students can apply for scholarships (full or partial) from various sources, prior to their arrival in Taiwan or after.


Graduation requirements

Doctoral Program   in Finance 
Credit requirements

 Required Courses 
 Two Courses: Financial Theory and 
  Research Methods
 6  18
  Other core courses  12
  Seminars on Special Topics  0
  Academic Research Ethics  0
 Courses from SOM departments   12  12
 Free electives   /
 Total 30

The Doctoral Program  in Finance requires 30 credits towards graduation:
1) 18 credits must be earned from required courses, i.e. core courses offered by the GIF 
2) 12 credits must be earned from electives, i.e. graduate level courses offered by departments and institutes of the Taiwan Tech School of Management or by the business faculties of NTU system universities 

Further requirements for graduation
a)  Doctoral dissertation (0 credits)

b) Four Seminars on Special Topics
c) Seminar (3 hours) on Academic Research Ethics within the  first year of the program

d) Passing of the Qualifying Exam for the Advancement to PhD candidacy (or exemption) 
d) At least one publication in an indexed scientific journal
e) Presentation at a domestic or international conference 

At the School of Management, each course is normally worth 3 credits and meets 3 hours per week over 18 weeks (one semester).


Program Structure

Doctoral students have to gain 18 credits through compulsory courses (core courses) which are offered by GIF faculty. It is recommended to complete the course work within the first two years of the doctoral program to lie a solid foundation for the work on your dissertation. Also, by taking courses, you will get to know instructors who could be the future advisors of your PhD thesis. 12 credits have to be earned through electives which have to be subject-related, i.e. from business, finance, economics etc.

The following two core courses (6 credits) are obligatory for all doctoral students
► Financial theory (3 credits)

One course from module 1 "Research Methods" (3 credits)

The remaining 12 credits (i.e. 4 courses) of required  courses have to be selected from modules 2 - 6,  with not more than one course to be chosen from each module.

  • Modul 2:  Financial Institutions
  • Modul 3: Financial Products and Pricing
  • Modul 4:  Corporate Finance
  • Modul 5: Investment Management
  • Modul 6:  Other finance related courses

Please note that not all courses are offered every semester or academic year, some might only be taught every two years. Please check the current course catalogue.

  Modules   Courses (Each course bears 3 credits ; Red = currently taught in English)
  1. Research Methods

  ► Econometrics (FN 5303)
  ► Regression Analysis
  ► Linear Models
  ► Times Series Analysis
  ► Quantitative Research Methods 
  ► Financial Analytics 
  ► Research Methods and Methodology in Accounting and Finance 

  2.  Financial Institutions   

  ► Investment Banking and Mergers & Acquisitions (FN 5506)
  ►  Financial Risk Management
  ► Financial Institution Management
  ► Financial Institution Risk Management

 3. Financial Products and Pricing

  ► Futures and Options (FN 5741)
  ► Stochastic Processes and Financial Applications
  ► Mathematics for Financial Engineering 
  ► Open Pricing Theory

 4. Corporate Finance 
  ► International Finance Management (FN 5601)
  ► Corporate Governance 
  ► Business Strategies and Entrepreneurial Finance 

 5. Investment Management   ► Financial Statement Analysis (FN 5201)
  ► Fixed Income Securities
 6. Other Finance Related Courses

  ► Asset Securitization (FN 6752)
  ► Managerial Economics (FN 5101)
  ► Behavioral Finance
  ► Macroeconomic Theory
  ► Seminar on Banking and Finance 























Download: Required core courses doctoral program (Pdf)

As for electives (12 credits), only subject-related, graduate level courses are accepted. Students can choose from a wide range of courses offered by other SOM departments and institutes. It is also possible to take courses offered by the business faculties of  the NTU system universities (National Taiwan University and National Taiwan Normal University) . If, exceptionally, a student wishes to take an elective that is offered by another faculty than a Business School, the advisor will have to give his/ her approval.  
When planning your studies, please keep in mind that the list of elective courses keeps changing. Some courses might be offered only once per academic year or irregularly.


Academic Research Ethics Seminar

As a requirement by the Taiwan Ministry of Education, all graduate students enrolled at universities in Taiwan have to complete seminars in Academic Research Ethics (ARE) which usually consist of three teaching units, where the first two units are lectures, while the last unit is a test. All Taiwan Tech PhD-students are required to attend at least one research ethics seminar before the end of the first year of studies, and to pass the ARE-exam. 

ARE seminars are not credit-bearing, but will appear in academic transcripts as PASSED with a passing grade of 70%. A successfully completed ARE seminar is a requirement for taking the degree examination of the MBA program.
Every semester, the Taiwan Tech Centre of General Education offers eight or more ARE seminars which are taught by different instructors and focus on different aspects. The schedule and topics of ARE seminars will be announced here.


Seminars on Special Topics

"Seminars on Special Topics" are semester-long, small-group research colloquia where current issues in finance research are explored in depth. Often, instructors invite experts from the finance industry to hold lectures. As most lectures are given in Chinese, international students will have to contact the instructors of the course to discuss the requirements for taking and passing this course (e.g. special assignments, term papers etc.).



Doctoral students have to find an advisor for their dissertation by the end of the first year of the PhD program. During the first year of the PhD program, when students have not yet selected their advisors, the Department Chair and the Curriculum Committee will be responsible for the supervision and guidance of GIF doctoral students. Advisors have to monitor the performance and progress of their students throughout their doctoral studies, approve of their course selection, guide their research work, and supervise the thesis- writing process. Only full-time members of the GIF faculty (assistant professor level or above) can be advisors for PhD students. However, if required by the field of research, students may wish to choose a co-advisor from GIF, or another Taiwan Tech department, or even another institution (i.e. another domestic or international university, Academia Sinica etc.). An application for co-supervision needs to be signed by both advisors and the form has to be submitted to the GIF secretariat.
Also, students who want to change their advisors, must apply to the GIF office after their request is approved by the current advisor (or department chairman) and the new advisor.
If the thesis advisor wants to terminate the supervision of a student, the advisor should inform the department office as soon as possible. The department office will help the student finding a new advisor. The application procedures will be the same.

Download: Dissertation Advisor Consent Form
Download: Application for Thesis Co-Supervision Form

Download: Changing Thesis Advisor Form


Qualifying Examination

Doctoral students at Taiwan Tech have to pass a written Qualifying Examination (QE) by the end of the 3rd year of the program to advance to PhD candidacy. The QE can be taken twice a year, once in the spring semester and once in the autumn semester. Doctoral students have to apply with the GIF secretariat for the arrangement of the QE by submitting a QE application form. The QE Committee, whose members are selected from the GIF full-time faculty, will decide on the date and the topic of the exam, as well as on the format and content of the exam questions. 
Doctoral students may be exempted from the written QE exam 1) if they have published in recognized scientific journals or 2) if they have passed an oral exam to substitute for the written QE exam. The QE Committee will review and evaluate the application for exemption, and has authority to make the final decision on the student's advancement to PhD candidacy.

1) Exemption from QE by publication of journal paper(s)
Exemption from the QE is granted if the doctoral student has published at least one paper in an indexed scientific journal within the first three years after enrollment for the doctoral program. The following requirements have to be fulfilled:
a) The paper has to be published or accepted for publication in an SCI, SSCI, TSSCI, ABI/INFORM or EI-indexed journal
b) The paper must have been published/accepted after enrollment in the GIF PhD  program
c) The student must be the first author or the second author, and the paper has to be published under NTUST institutional affiliation. If the student is the second author, the first author has to be a full-time faculty member at the GIF.
d) Paper published in predatory journals (cf. Beall's List of  Potential Predatory Journals and Publishers) will not be accepted.
The QE Committee will review and evaluate the application for exemption. If the student’s publication is evaluated as qualified, the score of the QE will be 80 (or A).
Please note: The paper(s), that are submitted for the purpose of exemption from the QE, will not be counted as publications needed to meet the graduation requirements.

2)  Exemption from the written QE by passing an oral exam

Doctoral students can apply to take an oral exam during their first three years of their doctoral studies to be exempted from the written QE. An application for exemption of the QE has to be submitted to the GIF secretariat, including supporting documents such as submitted/ accepted or published  journal paper(s), a dissertation progress report etc.). The topic of the oral exam will be suggested by the doctoral student, as a rule it is related to the topic of the dissertation. The Qualifying Evaluation Committee will review and evaluate the application, and hold the oral exam. Students can only apply only once for an exempting oral exam within the first three years of the doctoral program.  If the student passes the oral exam, the QE will be marked as "passed" on the transcript.

Please note: Students who are exempted from the QE by passing an oral exam, have to submit at least two journal papers as a requirement for graduation. The criteria for the journal papers required for graduation are the same as those listed under 1) a -d above.

Download: Doctoral Qualification Examination (DQE) Exemption Form


Dissertation and Defense
By the end of the first year of the program, students have to choose an advisor for their dissertation (thesis) who will closely supervise their research and monitor their progress. Students will usually start working on their thesis in the second year of the program, and have to hand in a first draft of their thesis for the Doctoral Degree Oral Examination ("defense"). After the defense, students will have several weeks to revise their dissertation following the suggestions of the Defense Committee, before it will be finally submitted. 

The defense is an important exam at the end of the doctoral program the organization of which involves several administrative levels. Thus, preparations of the defense have to start at least four weeks before the planned defense date. The defense can only be held during the term, i.e. during the winter semester (between 1 October to 31 January) or during the spring semester (between 1 April to 31 July). 
After a successful defense, students have to revise their dissertation according to the feedback given by the committee members. The deadline for submitting the final version of the dissertation (both paper and digital copies) is in the beginning of the following term/ academic year as marked in the NTUST academic calendar. One printed copy has to be submitted to the NTUST library, and one to the GIF department( to be forwarded to the National Central Library). Finally, students will have to complete the “School Leaving Procedures” to obtain the doctoral degree certificate.
All procedures, from the application for the defense to the school leaving procedures, are explained in detail in the information sheet "Timeline for the Doctoral Degree Oral Exam (“Defense”)". Please read through it carefully. All application forms can be downloaded here

Download: Timeline for the Doctoral Degree Oral Exam (“Defense”)

Last update: 22 Jan 2022