Ph.D. in Finance Concentration

Ph.D. in Business Administration - Finance concentration

The Ph.D. in Finance program provides you with a working knowledge of the theory of corporate finance, investment and financial decision-making. You will also gain research and teaching experience through the mentorship program.



Concentration Requirements

Courses in the finance concentration focus on relevant areas in the field including financial decision-making, corporate finance, investments and more.

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The mentorship program in Finance prepares Ph.D. students for their eventual transition to professional careers in academia and industry by fostering the acquisition and development of teaching and research expertise through individual apprenticeship with the faculty. 

In teaching, Ph.D. students initially assist faculty in classroom instruction. They observe the teaching styles of faculty, participate in the discussion and creation of teaching materials, provide tutorial aid for undergraduate and graduate students and otherwise immerse themselves in the teaching experience. Upon successful completion of this initial assignment, Ph.D. students are given pedagogical responsibility for their own section of undergraduate courses under appropriate faculty direction and supervision. In research, students learn how to conduct research by doing a guided independent study the with faculty of their choice.  


Students of our Ph.D. finance program have gone on to accept positions at Heidelburg University, The University of Central Missouri, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Queens University of Charlotte, Quinnipiac University, Kent State University and Central University of Economics and Finance in China. 

Research Faculty


Lei Jiang

Lei Jiang, Ph.D.

Research Interests: 

  • Empirical Asset Pricing
  • Investments
  • Empirical Household Finance
  • Fintech
  • Real Estate Finance


Lei Jiang was an Associate Professor of Finance in the Finance Department in the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University. He graduated from Emory University in 2011. His research focuses on mutual funds, stocks, real estates and cryptocurrencies, using financial econometrics, textual analysis and other methods to explain and predict key characteristics of these assets (e.g., expected returns and liquidity). He has published 20 papers and his publications appear in Management Science, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Econometrics, Review of Finance, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics." 

Learn more about Dr. Jiang


ling pu photo

Xiaoling Pu, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • Credit Risk
  • Credit Derivatives
  • Credit Markets
  • Investments


Xiaoling Pu received a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2008. Her current research interests include credit risk, credit derivatives, credit markets and investments. Her research articles are published in journals such as the Journal of Financial Economics and the Journal of Banking and Finance.

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Lindsay baran

Lindsay Baran, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Board of Director Characteristics 


Lindsay Baran received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2010. Baran teaches Intermediate Business Finance and Financial Policy to undergraduate finance majors and minors as well as Research in Corporate Finance to doctoral students.

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Shynkevich, Andrei

Andrei Shynkevich, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • Investments
  • Fixed Income
  • Financial planning


Andrei Shynkevich, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in Finance at Kent State University where he has taught courses in Financial Markets, Portfolio Analysis, and Financial Risk Management on undergraduate level, courses in Fixed Income, Real Estate Finance, and Financial Markets on Master’s level, and a doctoral seminar in Investments. He has taught courses in Financial Markets and Real Estate Finance in a traditional face-to-face format as well as online.

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Steve Dennis

Steven Dennis, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • Design of debt contracts and reputation
  • Corporate governance effects in loan syndications


Dr. Steven A. Dennis is the Firestone Chair of Corporate Finance at Kent State University, joining KSU in 2014. He has previously held positions at several universities, including the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, Cal State Fullerton in Los Angeles, and most recently, the University of North Dakota.  Dr. Dennis received his Bachelors in Finance, Masters in Economics, and Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Kentucky.

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Jeremiah Harris

Jeremiah Harris, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • Mergers
  • Acquisitions
  • Repatriation Taxes
  • Multinational Corporations
  • Innovation


Jeremiah Harris received his Ph.D. and Master's degree from Purdue University in 2014 and 2012, respectfully, and a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance from Utah State University in 2009. He joined Kent State in 2014 as an assistant professor of economics before moving to the finance department in 2019. His research and teaching interests focus on corporate finance topics, primarily mergers and acquisitions, repatriation taxes, multinational corporations, and innovation.

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Saiying Deng

Saing Deng, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • Banking
  • Empirical corporate finance
  • Financial accounting


Saiying Deng is a Professor of Finance at Kent State University. Her research has been published in premier finance and accounting journals such as The Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, and Contemporary Accounting Research. Deng obtained her Ph.D. in finance from Temple University. Prior to joining Kent State in 2019, she was an Associate Professor of Finance at Southern Illinois University.

Learn more about Dr. Deng