Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the deadline for submitting the application materials?

There are three deadlines. The first deadline, February 15, guarantees that you will be eligible for financial aid from both the University and from our department. The second deadline, March 15, guarantees that you will be considered for financial aid from our department only. The last one, July 1, is the final date to apply for admission. There is virtually no chance of financial aid at this point.

2. Can I see a checklist of things I need for applying?

The graduate school web site has all the information you need and provides downloadable (pdf) versions of all of the materials you might need.  There are checklists for domestic and international students. Please bear in mind that you must apply both to the University and to the department.  If you request forms from our department, we will send you both sets; however, if you request forms from the University they will only send you their checklist.

Graduate School
Financial Economics Application list
3. What exams do I need to take? What minimum score do you require on them?

We accept either the GRE or the GMAT exam. The minimum combined verbal and quantitative score is 300 on the GRE and 550 on the GMAT. The TOEFL or IELTS exam is required if you did not graduate from a U.S. university, or an approved foreign university. 

4. I took an exam a while ago. How long are my scores good for?

We will accept scores that are up to five years.

5. Does it make a difference if I take the GRE or GMAT exam?

No, it makes no difference to us.

6. I have difficulty paying the application fee. Can you a) waive the application fee or b) consider my application and I will pay the fee if I am accepted?


7. I sent in my application. Now what?

All the materials you submit must first be evaluated by the University's Office of Admissions.  They will not process your application until all materials required by the University have been received. When they are done they forward your paperwork to us.  We will not consider your application until all materials required by the department have been received.  Then, we recommend that you be offered or denied admission. After that, you will be contacted by the Office of Admissions by regular mail. They send everyone who is admitted notification of any additional documents that will be needed. All of the above will take place over the span of about four to six weeks.  This will take longer in the Spring (when most applications are processed) and less time at other points during the year. If you are an exceptional candidate, we may contact you "unofficially" in March or April to notify you that you have been recommended for financial aid. Later, the Office of Admissions will notify you "officially" if you are to receive any financial aid. If you were not awarded financial aid, you will receive no notification about financial aid - there is no "financial aid denial" letter, there is only a "financial aid award" letter. 

8. I sent in my application but haven't heard anything. Should I contact you?

There probably is no need to contact us.

9. I've been accepted but didn't receive financial aid. I cannot attend your institution without aid. Would you please reconsider my financial aid request?

All applicants are always under consideration for financial aid.  However, all applicants are ranked from most to least promising.  Requests to reconsider the ranking will only be honored if you have significant new information to present to us. Typically, this only happens if you retake the GRE or GMAT exam and score much better.

10. What is your department's ranking?

We were ranked 76 by a recent article in the Journal of Finance : Borokhovich, K.A., Bricker, R. J., Brunarski, K. R., and Simkins, B. J., "Finance Research Productivity and Influence," Journal of Finance , 1995, 50 , 1691-1717. The department also publishes a journal recently retitled as the Review of Financial Economics.  Another recent Journal of Finance article ranked this journal (under its old title the Review of Business and Economic Research ) as the 11th most influential journal in the field: Zivney, T. L., and Bertin, W. J., "Publish or Perish: What the Competition is Really Doing," Journal of Finance , 1992, 47 , 295-329

11. Can I complete your program part time?

Probably not. Our program, like most Ph.D. programs is designed for the full time student.  There is no regulation that the program can not be completed part time.  However, we have had people try to do this and their rate of success is near zero. 

12. Can I complete your program at night?

No. There are no night courses in the Ph.D. program.  All classes are one or two days a week, usually in the morning, but sometimes in the afternoon.

13. How long does it take to complete the program?

You will take 6 semesters of classes - 3 Fall semesters, 2 Spring semesters, and 1 Summer semester.  After that we allot 3 semesters for you to complete your dissertation. That makes 4 years.  We do not require you to complete the dissertation in three semesters, and many students take extra time.

14. How does our program differ from "pure finance" programs?

Our program is closer to one in "pure finance" than one in "pure economics". In most programs the first year courses of "pure finance" majors are similar to those of "pure economics" majors - students from "pure finance" often take several economics classes with "pure economics" majors.  The first year of our program is consistent with this approach - about 70% of the work is in economics or econometrics - so there is little difference from a "pure finance" program at this level. Our program differs from a "pure finance" program in the course work done after the first year.  In a "pure finance" program, a student would take all finance courses after the first year.  Our students may take between 1/3 and 2/3 of their upper level courses from finance.

15. How does our program differ from "pure economics" programs?

Our program is closer to one in "pure finance" than one in "pure economics" (see question 14). Our students take a minimum of 1/3 of their courses in finance - most take more.  So, the minimum finance content that we offer is comparable to a student in a "pure economics" program taking a (substantial) minor/concentration in finance.

16. Where do our graduates get jobs?

Our program is designed to produce graduates primed for work in joint economics and finance departments, like our own. Most of our students want jobs in academia, and get them when they graduate.  Those who want to work in business or government have been able to find jobs there as well. Our placement rate is 100%.

17. Does our department offer a master's degree?


18. Does our department offer any other graduate degrees?


19. Can I complete the program any faster by transferring credit from my MBA course work?

MBA courses are designed to deliver knowledge that can be applied in private business. Ph.D. courses are geared to prepare you to do research.  This makes it unlikely that any MBA class would be considered for transfer credit. 

20. Can I transfer credit from other programs?

Sometimes.  The best possibilities are from Master's level programs (from major universities) in economics and finance. Graduate level work in mathematics or statistics might also be considered.

21. Will it matter if I apply before completing a degree?

No, not as long as you finish the degree you're working on before starting our program.

22. What's an I-20 form?

An I-20 is a form an admitted international applicant must bring to their local embassy to get a visa to enter the United States. It requires the applicant to demonstrate that they have enough money to support themselves.

23. My university is not on a 4 point GPA system. Is that a problem?

No, not really. The Office of Admissions converts these scores to our scale.

24.I was accepted, but I would like to defer my admission for one year?

To "officially" defer admission, you must contact the Office of Admissions directly. "Unofficially" it helps us if you send us a note the following January or February indicating that you would like to be reconsidered for financial aid.

25. Can I start in the Spring semester?

Probably not. Occasionally we will let a transfer student start in the Spring semester, but even this is not feasible sometimes. Also, we will sometimes let an undergraduate or master's student start in the Spring - but only in the rare event that they've already done some Ph.D. level class work. 

26. What do our faculty do their research on?

This information is not located in one place. There are links to each of the individual professors at the Department Staff page that list some of their recent publications.

26. What do our faculty do their research on?

This information is not located in one place. There are links to each of the individual professors at the Department Staff page that list some of their recent publications.

27. At some time, I am required to commit several continuous months or years to military, national, or religious, service. Should I complete that before I start your program, or after?

One should never plan on fulfilling a continuous service obligation after completing a Ph.D. By continuous, we mean at least several consecutive months of full time service. If your obligation is more along the lines of a month every year for sever on you. A Ph.D. is not like other degrees.  With most degrees one learns skills that are applicable in many different jobs. In a Ph.D. program one learns highly specialized knowledge which is exceptionally useful when doing work at the frontier of understanding of business research.  Further, a Ph.D. requires full time work that lasts (usually) four or more years. At the time you finish, and for a few short years afterwards, you will be at your peak training and ability.  This is the time when you must exploit your abilities for the next few decades.  You should not consider taking a chance that you will be unable to exploit that opportunity. Don't worry - we'll still consider you after your service obligation is made up.

28. Can I get my out-of-state tuition waived?

You just might be able to get it waived. There is a program run by the Southern Regional Education Board called the Academic Common Market.  It will allow you to pay only the in-state tuition only, as long as you are coming to UNO from another university in the southern U.S.  We have had one student from Arkansas successfully exploit this program, and we have an applicant from Florida who is in process.