Program Timeline & Resources
Connect with current students, alumni, and faculty from Questrom’s PhD Program.
BU provides generous support to its PhD students. This support includes a full-tuition scholarship, fully covered student fees, payment of the premium for you to participate in BU’s student health insurance plan, and a stipend to cover living expenses.
After matriculation into the PhD Program, a candidate for the degree must meet certain milestones within specified time periods, and complete all degree requirements within five years of the date of first registration. Those who fail to meet the milestones within the specified time, or do not complete all requirements within five years, will be reviewed by the PhD PDC and may be dismissed from the program. A leave of absence does not extend the time frame for degree completion.
There may be variations. Please check with your respective departments. Upon completion of each milestone: Summer Paper, Comprehensive Exam, Dissertation Proposal, Dissertation Defense, students are required to submit a completion form to the Specialty Master’s & PhD Center.
*Timing depends on area teaching needs and discipline-specific recruiting cycles.
** PhD milestones that will be documented.
The Questrom PhD Program is a 12-month residential program and the terms of the Questrom fellowship forbids external work (such as an internship or external teaching) while you are receiving the fellowship. This general rule is designed to avoid unnecessary distractions away from your coursework, research or dissertation. However, in some cases additional work or internship experience may serve to enhance your research and academic work. In these rare situations, you may seek approval of your faculty advisor, PhD PDC liaison for your department and the PhD Program Director for these activities by completing the Internship Approval Form.
If you obtain approval, you may take on the experience. During the academic year, your work may not exceed 5 hours per week (in addition to the 15 hours you are fulfilling for your fellowship). During breaks and summer, you may work on a part-time or full-time basis. If you accept a full-time opportunity, your fellowship stipend will be suspended for the duration of the full-time work.
If you are an international student, you are required to consult ISSO to ensure you are meeting all of the guidelines provided by them as related to your additional work.
The minimum course requirement is 17 courses (64 credits).
|COURSE CATEGORY||NUMBER OF COURSES||TOTAL CREDITS|
(Including DS906 Philosophy and Science of Research)
|The Art and Craft of Teaching||1||0|
The minimum course requirement is 16 courses (48-64 credits). Students’ course choices must be approved by the Mathematical Finance Director prior to registration each semester.
|FALL 1ST YEAR||SPRING 1ST YEAR|
|Microeconomic Theory (EC 701)||Microeconomic Theory 2 (EC 703)|
|Doctoral Seminar in Finance (FE 918)||Advanced Capital Markets (FE 920)|
|Probability Theory I (MA 779)||Probability Theory II (MA 780)|
|Real Analysis (MA 711)||Advanced Stochastic Processes (MA 783)|
|FALL 2ND YEAR||SPRING 2ND YEAR|
|Derivative Securities (FE 919)||Dynamic Asset Pricing (MF921)|
|Partial Differential Equations (MA 776)||Macroeconomic Theory (EC 704)|
|Advanced Mathematical Finance (MF 922)||Spring 2 elective I|
|Fall 2 elective I*||Spring 2 elective II**|
*Fall Electives: choose one
**Spring Electives: choose two
PhD students who take courses outside of BU are encouraged to complete the below form. You may view a list of course reviews, but note that this is internal information for the use of Questrom PhD students only. It is strictly prohibited to share the password to this page or course review links. You may contact the Specialty Master’s & PhD Center for the password to this page.
All PhD students are required to complete the Boston University training for RCR for Doctoral or Postdoctoral Researchers.
There are two steps to complete. The first step is to complete the online RCR Training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The second step is to complete the a 10-week, 1-credit, non-tuition bearing course through the College of Engineering. Both steps must be completed prior to the start of year 3. Completion of this training is a graduation requirement for all PhD students. Please consult the website for more details and timeline on when training is offered.
*The Fall 2023 course meets on Wednesdays from 4-4:50pm for 10 weeks, taught by Sarah Hokanson alongside faculty co-instructors. Sign up here to be added to the Fall 2023 roster.
Once you have completed both steps of the training, please submit the RCR Requirement Completion form to confirm that you have met your RCR requirement.
Your PhD Profile is frequented by prospective students, employers, etc. and is a great way to market yourself, your research as well as your department. Learn how to set up your PhD Profile, and make sure to review this yearly for updates.
All PhD Students can have a profile page for them that displays their public data, publications, short bio, website, etc. It will take at least a day for new information to show up on your directory. If you just made an edit, it will show up on your profile the next day. However, each student must OPT-IN to have the profile created.
PhDs will be shown in two directories:
2) bu.edu/questrom/faculty-research/academic-departments (under your department)
Photos: Students will be contacted by Questrom marketing to have headshots taken
In order to track progress, manage the funding process and plan curriculum needs, it is important that each doctoral student, regardless of year in the program, meet with their Faculty Advisor and report their status, accomplishments, and plan going forward to the Faculty Director of the Doctoral Program prior to the beginning of each year.
After meeting with your faculty advisor, you are required to submit the Doctoral Yearly Report. Students will not receive their stipend if this report is not received. Once the Specialty Master’s and PhD Center receives your Yearly Report, a copy will be sent to you, your faculty advisor, and the Faculty Director of the Doctoral Program.
Students must successfully complete their comprehensive examination by the end of their second year.
Once exams are complete, the Comprehensive Exam form must be completed by faculty and returned to the Specialty Masters and PhD Center to be added to your student records.
NEW Process as of Fall 2023 (no more pdfs!)
By the end of fall of the fourth year, students must have a dissertation committee with at least 3 members, a committee chair, and a dissertation topic. Students must have defended their dissertation proposal by the end of their fourth year, and completed their dissertation by the end of their fifth year. Please complete the following steps to ensure you are on the right track.
It is important you complete the following requirements to graduate.
Graduation Application Complete a Graduation Application at least 5 months in advance of your anticipated graduation date. All Doctoral students must be registered for two credits of dissertation in the semester preceding graduation. Students graduating in May must be registered for dissertation in the spring semester, students graduating in January must be registered for dissertation in the fall semester, and students graduating in September must be registered for dissertation in the Summer II term.
May Commencement Requirements If you will be attending the May commencement ceremony, you must notify your academic advisor in the Specialty Master’s and PhD Center by March 1st. We will need to know your planned dissertation title, your dissertation chair, and the two faculty members who will be hooding you on stage during the ceremony.
Conference Reimbursements & Research Funding Report Conference and research funding from the PhD Program expires two weeks prior to your graduation date, and all reimbursement and payment processing should be concluded before this date. Recipients of research funding must submit a Research Funding Report no later than two weeks before graduation.
BU Exit Survey In an effort to better the state of graduate education at Boston University, the administration asks that you take 10 minutes to complete the Boston University Doctoral Exit Survey. The results of this survey will be used to review the policies and practices of graduate programs and departments to improve the graduate education experience at BU. Additionally, select information will be shared with the Association of American University Data Exchange members. The exchange of data with peer schools allows the administration to compare graduate education here at BU to that of other schools. All responses to this survey will be kept strictly confidential. The survey data are reported only in aggregate form or in a manner that does not allow individual responses to be identified. Upon completion of the Boston University Doctoral Exit Survey, you will be re-directed to the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates. The university requires that you take action on both the BU and the NSF surveys. At the completion of each survey, an email will be sent to your department or college verifying your participation. You will also have the opportunity to print a hard copy of the participation verification.
Mugar Library Certification In order to be certified for graduation, you must submit your final version of your Dissertation electronically with the Mugar Library. Brendan McDermott will sign off on it and the Specialty Master’s and PhD Center will be notified electronically.
Office Check Out Doctoral student offices should be cleaned and left in good condition. All personal belongings should be removed.
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Requirement All PhD students are required to complete the Boston University training for RCR for Doctoral or Postdoctoral Researchers. Once you have completed all modules, please submit the RCR Requirement Completion form to confirm that you have met your RCR requirement.
DS999 Grade At the conclusion of the semester in which you successfully defended your dissertation, the instructor of record for your department’s section of DS999 needs to enter in a grade of “P” (pass). All past semesters of DS999 will automatically change from a J to a P. Only once this happens can the Specialty Master’s and PhD Center certify you for graduation.
Questrom’s PhD Program enrolls students from around the world who are bringing innovative thinking to business. The Specialty Master’s and PhD Center would love to highlight your research and accomplishments to the community on our social media and building TV screens.
Electronic portfolios/websites are your place to show your best work, reflect your experiences, and, should you choose, present yourself to the world. View our Foliotek quick guide to get started.
PhD students are displayed on bu.edu/questrom. For updates and questions, please reach out to Susan Leyva (617.358.5506). We make every effort to do quick copy changes in a day or two if a request comes during the work week. Depending on the nature and scope of a large request, it will probably take more than a day or two. Susan will certainly discuss that with the requestor.
If you are a current Questrom PhD student in years 1-5 and have the opportunity to participate in a TA or RA role at Questrom beyond your fellowship obligation, you may do so for up to an additional 5 hours per week during the academic year and possibly more during the summer. This can only be done if you have prior approval from your Faculty Advisor and the Director of the PhD Program. If you have obtained that permission, please follow these steps:
Please note that we cannot help you secure a TA or RA position. You may obtain a TA or RA role in one of these 2 ways:
If you have any additional questions about the process, please contact the Questrom Payroll Office.
The Questrom Doctoral Association is a student-lead club that plans social events for Questrom’s PhD students.
Ankita Shirahatti – QDA President
The Frederick S. Pardee Management Library has compiled a custom list of Selected Library Resources for our Questrom PhD students.
Starting a graduate degree program means a lot of changes for you but also for your family. Check out BU’s family resources to help make the transition easier for your family.
Check out this list of campus resources that support all aspects of your well-being. From a list of all-gender bathrooms, to lactation spaces, food insecurity resources, spiritual resources, and much more.
Rafik B. Hariri Building
595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
For Residential MBA Students:
Fall & Spring
Appts: M-Th 9am – 6:30pm, F 9am – 5pm
M-T 9am – 5pm, W-Th 9am – 6:30pm, F 9am – 1pm
M-F 9am – 5pm