Students applying to MBA programs can easily obtain program rankings from many well-known sources. In contrast, students considering applying to doctoral programs often have to rely on their own efforts to find objective information on PhD programs and to make relative comparisons. While there is clearly a positive correlation between MBA program rankings and the relative quality of schools’ doctoral programs, there are very important distinctions between MBA programs and finance doctoral program rankings. For instance, students considering finance PhD programs are primarily interested in the placements and research productivity of doctoral graduates. While most PhD programs mention recent placements on their web pages, the information is generally incomplete and is certainly selected to portray programs in the best possible light.
Fortunately, two finance professors at the University of Tulsa, Matthew Cook and Brian Walkup, recently produced a comprehensive and objective report on the research productivity of respective PhD programs’ graduates.|LS|1|RS| The methodology ranks programs over successive five-year periods between 1980 and 2014 to account for variation over time in graduates’ publishing success.
Collectively, graduates of the Katz finance PhD program ranked between 28th and 49thamong doctoral programs worldwide depending on the specific time interval during which productivity was measured. For the most recent five-year period, Katz graduates were ranked as the 17th most productive among finance graduates of U.S. public universities and as the 39th most productive among all programs worldwide.
This is an especially impressive achievement given that the rankings do not make any adjustments for differences in the number of graduates across programs ( i.e., productivity is measured on an aggregate basis not on a per graduate basis).
On average, Katz generally only produces two graduates per year. While small in number, our graduates clearly have an outsized impact in terms of producing research published in academic finance journals. The upside of our small program size is that it allows for frequent close interactions and collaborations among our faculty and our PhD students. As the rankings clearly attest, these interactions produce scholars who are able to independently identify important research questions and see them through to publication in the leading finance journals.
|LS|1|RS| Crook, Matthew D., and Walkup, Brian R., 2016. Rankings and trends in finance publishing: An iterative approach. The Journal of Financial Research 39, 291-322.