Description of Doctoral Program

Applications through the Postgraduate Office

At present, the doctoral program offers specialization in Finance. Students who wish to combine research interests in Finance with Accounting or Management Science should consult with the Ph.D. Program coordinators. The following description refers to the program in Finance.


Students are expected to complete at least 90 ECTS of coursework for the completion of the doctoral program.
Admittance to Doctoral Candidacy requires:

1. Completion of coursework

2. Successful completion of the comprehensive exams

3. Preparation of a research study

Doctoral students are expected to complete the above three requirements by the end of the fifth semester at the University of Cyprus. Under special circumstances, the Departmental Board may approve extension to the end of the sixth semester so that the above requirements for Doctoral candidacy are fulfilled, but the comprehensive exams must be successfully completed by the end of the fifth semester. The Ph.D. degree is granted after successful completion of a doctoral dissertation, which must be a new and substantial contribution to the relevant academic literature. The Dissertation must be defended orally before a 5-member faculty committee. The minimum time required for the completion of a PhD is three years, and the minimum time required for the completion of the doctoral dissertation is two years.

Doctoral Students Advising

After a student is admitted in the PhD Program, the Graduate Studies Committee and the Directors of the PhD Program provide guidance to the student regarding course requirements and preparation for the comprehensive exams according to the student's prior knowledge. Each student's program of studies may differ from other students since students may have different background in business, economics, statistics, etc. With the completion of the coursework (or most of it) the student may take the comprehensive exams. After the successful completion of these exams, the student must select the thesis advisor


The first 2 semesters of the doctoral program are similar to those of the M.Sc. program. The courses AFN 521 (Financial Theory), AFN 522 (Investments), AFN 525 (Options and Futures), AFN 526 (Financial Analysis and Capital Market Research) are required (28 ECTS). The PhD student will also select 38 ECTS from other master courses (of the department, or after approval of the economics, mathematics or statistics department, etc.) according ot his/her interests and research endeavors. It is expected that all students during their first and second year acquire knowledge (24 ECTS) in mathematics, in modeling, in optimization and mathematical programming, in probability theory and statistics (a graduate or two undergraduate courses), in stochastic processes and in econometrics (two econometric theory courses). It is also expected that all students will have sufficient knowledge of computer programming (like in C/C++).

Holders of a master degree in a field relevant to the doctoral program, may waive some coursework after the approval of the department council. It is expected that all doctoral students according to their previous graduate studies, to complete a minimum of 30 – 42 ECTS of coursework at the University of Cyprus.

Pre-Dissertation Research

During the first summer of studies, students are expected to prepare a research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The Department appoints the Advisor, according to the student-faculty common research interests. The results should be in the form of a written paper describing the original contributions of the student's work. The student should complete the project by the third semester of studies and submit it for approval to a three-member faculty committee. The Faculty Advisor will be presiding on that committee. The Department's Chairperson in coordination with the Advisor appoints the other two committee members. This project may be completed for fulfillment of requirements of another course, or an independent study. A student who has completed a master thesis may waive this requirement.


Comprehensive Exam

Before entering doctoral candidacy, students should demonstrate their potential to produce knowledge. They must demonstrate adequate knowledge of their main and related fields and the relevant academic literature by successful completion of the comprehensive exam.


This exam (completed the latest by the end of the sixth semester in the doctoral program) must cover the field of studies and methodology. According to international experience, this requirement is fulfilled by 3-hour exams in each of the following topics:
1. Financial Theory and Investments
2. Financial Analysis and Capital Market Research
3. Futures and Options
4. Econometrics
The Committee of Postgraduate Studies appoints the Academic Committee (that must be approved by the Department council) that administers the written exams. Every topic is graded by two faculty members. No faculty member may grade more than two topics for any student. A student has successfully completed the comprehensive exams if successful in all topics. If a student fails in more than one topic, must take again the exam in all topics. Doctoral students may sit for the exams at maximum two times. If a student fails on one topic may take the relevant exam on that topic once more.
The grading of the comps is on a Pass or Fail basis, according to the recommendation of the Academic Committee. Students who (through their comprehensive exams) fail to demonstrate ability for successful doctoral research, may be granted a masters degree (MA) following the Department's recommendation.


Doctoral Candidacy and Dissertation Requirements

After formal entrance in doctoral candidacy, students are expected to devote their efforts completely towards their dissertation research, which will initially result in a dissertation proposal in coordination with their Research Advisor. (Students wishing to change Research Advisor after the successful completion of their pre-dissertation research may apply to the Director of Postgraduate Programmes.)
Usually doctoral students remain in candidacy for a period of two additional years. At the start of this period they submit and defend their Dissertation Proposal, and at the end they submit and defend their completed dissertation before an approved academic committee.

The Dissertation Proposal

The dissertation proposal must be defended before a three-member academic committee. The Department Chairperson in coordination with the Research Advisor appoints this committee. The Research Advisor will be president of the committee. The proposal should contain a complete and detailed definition of the problem under investigation, a comprehensive synopsis of the relevant literature and the unanswered research questions, and should provide the relation between the existing literature and the proposed one as well as the expected new contribution. It should also provide evidence that the proposed project is feasible within a reasonable time frame, which can be demonstrated through partial completion of the proposed research and fulfillment of some intermediate goals.

The Dissertation

The completed dissertation must be original research with significant contribution to the academic literature. The dissertation should be defended before a five-member academic committee, appointed by the Committee of Postgraduate Studies in coordination with the Research Advisor. Three of the committee members (the Research Advisor included) should be faculty of the Department. Two of the committee members may belong to other departments of the University, and one may belong to the faculty of another University.

Doctoral Candidates/ Requirements

While a student takes the comprehensive exams, may register to AFN 890 (15 ECTS). While the doctoral candidate works on the dissertation research, must complete at least 120 ECTS in four research stages (AFN 895: 30 ECTS, AFN 896: 30 ECTS, AFN 897: 30 ECTS, AFN 898: 30 ECTS). There are also the partial research stages AFN 881, AFN 882, AFN 883, AFN 884, AFN 885, AFN 886, AFN 887, and AFN 888 (15 ECTS each) for the case that the student may select to take courses (beyond the required ones) during the dissertation stages, or the AFN 890 (comprehensive exams) during the first enrollment in a dissertation stage. In the case that after the completion of 120 ECTS of dissertation stages the doctoral dissertation is not completed, the student may enroll in writing stages of 30 ECTS (AFN 791, AFN 792, AFN 793, AFN 794) or 15 ECTS (AFN 781, AFN 782, AFN 783, AFN 784, AFN 785, AFN 786, AFN 787, AFN 788) each.

Sample PhD Program

Course Code Course Title ECTS
First Year Fall Semester  
  Like in the Master 30
First Year Spring Semester  
  Like in the Master 30
Second Year Fall Semester  
  Elective/depth and methodology courses, (from the department, econometrics, mathematics, etc.) 30
Second Year Spring Semester  
AFN 890 Comprehensive Exams 15
AFN 881 Research stage 15
Third Year Fall Semester  
AFN 882 Research stage 15
AFN 883 Research stage 15
Third Year Spring Semester  
AFN 884 Research stage 15
AFN 885 Research stage 15
Fourth Year Fall Semester  
AFN 886 Research stage 15
AFN 887 Research stage 15
Fourth Year Spring Semester  
AFN 888 Research stage 15
AFN 781 Writing stage 15

Coordinators of Doctoral Program: Andreas Charitou & Lenos Trigeorgis