Laurent Frésard

Laurent Frésard is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. His research interests are mainly in empirical corporate finance, with a focus on the interactions between product market competition and corporate policies, and the determinants and consequences of international cross-listings. His work has recently been published the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, and Review of Finance. Professor Frésard’s teaching interests include corporate finance, and valuation.

Michael Faulkender

Michael Faulkender’s research focuses on empirical corporate finance in the areas of capital structure, risk management, corporate liquidity, and executive compensation. His work has been published in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, and Review of Financial Studies and has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Gurdip S. Bakshi

Professor Bakshi's research interests include asset pricing, international finance, term structure of interest rates, default risk, and pricing of derivative securities. His works have been published in theAmerican Economic Review, Journal of Business, Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Management Science, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, and Review of Financial Studies. His recent work focuses on studying the valuation structures of technology stocks, risk premiums, investor irrationality, probability of stock market crashes, and credit risks.


  1. Aysun Alp(2010, expected), Structural Shifts in Credit Rating Standards, Assistant Professor of Finance, Sabanci University, Turkey.
  2. Nitish Sinha(2010, expected), News Articles and Momentum, Assistant Professor of Finance, University of Illinois Chicago.
  3. Tanakorn Makaew(2010, expected), A Dynamic Model of International Mergers and Acquisitions, Assistant Professor of Finance, University of South Carolina.
  4. Minwen Li(2010, expected), Selection of Star CEOs and Firm Performance, Assistant Professor of Finance, Tsinghua University, China.
  5. Yun Liu(2009), Has received offer, Assistant Professor of Finance, University of California, Riverside.
  6. David Hunter(2008), Unmapped Holdings and the Performance of U.S. Equity Mutual Funds, Assistant Professor of Finance, University of Hawaii.
  7. Carl Ullrich(2006), Essays in Financial Economics, Visiting Professor of Finance, Penn State University, currently Assistant Professor of Finance at Virginia Polytechnique, (Virginia Tech).
  8. Liu Yang(2006), Essays on Asset Purchases & Sales: Theory & Empirical Evidence, Assistant Professor of Finance, Anderson School of Management, UCLA
  9. Tracy (Yue) Wang(2005), Securities Fraud: An Economic Analysis, Assistant Professor of Finance, University of Minnesota
  10. George Panayotov(2005), 3 Essays on Volatility Issues in Financial Markets, Assistant Professor of Finance, Georgetown University
  11. April Knill(2005), Foreign Portfolio Investment & Financing: Constraints on the smaller firm, Assistant Professor of Finance, Florida State University
  12. Kristina Minnick(2005), Empirical essays on corporate write-offs, Assistant Professor of Finance, Bentley College
  13. Oghenovo Obrimah(2005), Essays on Law, Finance & Venture Capitalists Asset Allocation Decisions, Assistant Professor of Finance, Virginia Commonwealth University
  14. Meghana Ayyagari(2004), International corporate governance: A study of complementarities & convergence, Assistant Professor of Business, George Washington University
  15. Levent Guntay(2003), Pricing Defaultable Callable Coupon Bonds Assistant Professor of Business, Indiana University
  16. John Guo(2003), Understanding Consumers’ Online Information Retrieval & Search: Implication for Firm Strategies, Millennium Partners, New York.
  17. Hernan Ortiz-Molina(2003), Assistant Professor of Finance, University of British Columbia, economics Ph.D. student, co-chair Gordon Phillips.
  18. Solomon Tadesse(2002), Assistant Professor of Finance, Penn State University.

Current Students

Kyoung-hun Bae

Office: 3330J Van Munching Hall

Kyoung-hun joined the Smith finance PhD program in 2010. He received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in finance both from Seoul National University in Korea. Before joining the program at the University of Maryland, he was a doctoral student in economics at the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in industrial organization. His current research interests include financial economics and corporate finance.

Don Bowen

Office: 3330J - 32 Van Munching Hall
Student Profile:
Personal website:

Don Bowen joined the finance program in 2012 after taking graduate courses in the finance department at the University of Rochester. He received a BS in economics and a BS in finance from Arizona State, where he minored in mathematics and wrote his honors thesis on treasury auctions. His current research focuses on the intersection of IO and corporate finance.

Wen Chen

Office: 3330 Van Munching Hall

Wen Chen joined the Robert H. Smith finance PhD program in 2011. She received her bachelor’s degree in physics from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), and a PhD in physics from University of California San Diego (UCSD). Her current research interests include market microstructure and asset pricing.

Peter Dixon


Peter joined the Smith finance PhD program in 2012. He received a master's in statistics-econometrics from the University of Utah where he was the 2011 econometrics student of the year. He also holds a bachelor's degree in financial economics from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Prior to joining the Smith School he worked as a financial analyst for Intermountain Healthcare in Utah. His current research interests are empirical corporate finance and empirical asset pricing.

Anne Duquerroy

Office: 3330 Van Munching Hall

Anne Duquerroy joined the Robert H. Smith finance PhD program in 2011. She received an MS in management from Audencia Nantes School of Management (France) and a master’s degree in economics from Sciences Po Paris (France). Her current research interests include risk management, systemic risk and financial regulation.

Xiaoyuan Hu

Office: 3330 Van Munching Hall

Xiaoyuan Hu joined the Robert H. Smith Finance PhD program in 2011. She received a BA in economics and finance from Tsinghua University in China in July, 2011. During her undergraduate study, she attended a full-time exchange program in the University of Manchester, UK. Her current research interests include empirical corporate finance, corporate governance, law and finance, and financial institutions.

Nitin Kumar

Office: 3330 Van Munching Hall
Phone: 301-314-9152

Nitin studied at the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur), India, for his bachelor's and at the Indian Statistical Institute (Calcutta), India, for his master's degree. His current broad areas of interest are mutual funds, institutional investing and financial markets.

Jeongmin Lee


Jeongmin Lee is a Finance PhD candidate at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. Her research focuses on financial institutions and financial stability. Specifically, she works with models of collateral circulation in the shadow banking system and studies the systemic fragility that stems from it. Her research interests also lie in asset pricing, general equilibrium, information economics and market microstructure. Prior to her time at the Smith School she earned Masters degree in Management Engineering and Bachelors degree in Mathematics at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Pohang University of Science and Technology respectively. She was a dissertation intern at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in the summer of 2012.

Wei Li

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Wei Li joined the program in 2008. Prior to Maryland, he obtained graduate and undergraduate degrees in engineering and statistics from Purdue, Tsinghua, and Zhejiang University. He is interested in both theoretical and empirical research on asset pricing and market microstructure.

Danmo Lin


Prior to joining the Finance program in 2009, Danmo studied economics as an undergraduate student at the Central University of Finance and Economics (China), and later as a PhD student at Stony Brook University. Her previous professional experience includes organizing for the 18th and 19th International Game Theory Festival and teaching game theory at Stony Brook University. Danmo has a joint paper "Dividends and Capital Gains Taxation under Incomplete Markets" forthcoming in the Journal of Monetary Economics. Her current research interest is in corporate finance combined with an IO perspective.

Benjamin Munyan


Benjamin joined the PhD program in 2009. He received dual BS degrees in mathematics and in economics from Arizona State University. There he was involved in many undergraduate research programs for the mathematical sciences - some of which were published or presented at undergraduate research conferences. His current research interests include market structure and theory, risk management, and corporate and international finance.

Olya Rachtchinine

Office: 3330 Van Munching Hall

Olya joined the Smith finance PhD program in 2011. She received a specialist degree in mathematics from Omsk State University in 1999 and MS in finance from the University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith Business School in 2011. Her current research interests include financial regulation and systemic risk.

Anshuman Sinha

Office: 1308E Van Munching Hall
Phone: 301-314-9024

Anshuman Sinha's research interest include asset pricing theory, debt and renegotiation, real estate economics, survival and price impact and general equilibrium theory . He has bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from Delhi University. He has taught an upper level undergraduate course in international finance at the Robert H. Smith School of Business and won a top-15% teaching award in 2010.

Austin Starkweather

Office: 3330J Van Munching Hall
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Prior to joining the finance PhD program, Austin Starkweather spent several years working in corporate finance, mostly focused on buy-side corporate acquisition analysis, internal financial planning and credit agreement management. Before this, he spent time in China teaching English and working with a microfinance non-profit. He completed his BA in 2004 from Princeton University, majoring in economics and minoring in east Asian studies and Chinese. He speaks both Spanish and Mandarin with decent proficiency, though always appreciates opportunities to improve either. His research interests include international and corporate finance.

Onur Tosun

Office: 3330J Van Munching Hall
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Onur Tosun joined the finance department in 2008. Prior to the Smith School of Business, he received an MBA degree from Bogazici University, Turkey, where he taught statistics and statistical analysis courses at the department of management. He attended Istanbul Technical University, Turkey for his undergraduate studies, attaining a bachelor of science in industrial engineering. During his undergraduate and graduate education, Onur conducted research in the fields of logistics, marketing, and finance and participated in various international conferences. He also published one of his works with the Journal of Global Optimization. Onur was awarded a full graduate assistantship and a dean's summer research fellowship for his PhD studies at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. His current research interests include empirical corporate finance: executive compensation, capital structure and corporate governance.


Admission into most finance PhD programs is pretty competitive and Smith is no exception. We usually get about 150 applications and admit between 2 and 5 students.

Admission Mechanics: To apply for admission, please click here. Completed applications are forwarded to the finance department and considered for admission. All admitted students are offered a financial aid package that covers tuition and offers a generous living stipend.

Successful applicants: It is important to realize that the finance PhD program is not just a turbo-charged MBA degree. The PhD program focuses on independent research of an academic nature, while the MBA program is intended to train managers who must make the day-to-day operating and strategic decisions confronting businesses. The skill sets required in the PhD program are quite different.

Successful applicants tend to have intellectual curiosity, academic accomplishment, and an abiding interest in finance. We judge these attributes by having several faculty read your application packet, including past academic credentials, recommendations, statement(s) of intent, and test scores. We donot require applicants to have backgrounds in any particular fields such as economics, finance, or mathematics. What matters is the willingness and capacity to acquire the math, computational or statistical skill sets as needed during the PhD program.

Admission FAQ

Do you provide feedback about admission chances before the application is complete?

No. We do not prequalify or otherwise screen applicants. We can only review applications that are handed to us once the admissions office deems them to be complete.

Can you waive the application fees, GRE/GMAT test scores, the requirement for three letters of recommendation, or any other part of the application?

No. The finance department does not have the authority to do any of these. We only evaluate completed applications forwarded to us by the admissions office. Thus, all questions about credentials to make an application complete are best directed to the PhD admissions office.

Is there an English proficiency requirement?

Yes, for foreign applicants. The admissions office can inform you about these.

Is there a minimum GRE or GMAT score cutoff?

While many successful applicants have good test scores, perhaps in the upper 90th percentiles, we do not have minimum cutoffs. We have admitted students with lower test scores and we have also rejected applicants with excellent test scores. These scores form only one portion of your overall application package. We take all aspects of an application into account.

Do I need to have an MBA or undergraduate degree in finance or business?

No. Many successful applicants have no prior background in finance or business. They may be drawn from such areas as economics, engineering, or math. Creativity and intellectual potential matter more than particular prior backgrounds.

I can pay some or all of my way through a program. Is there a special track for me to apply to the PhD program?

No. We have a financial need-blind admissions process and for good reason. Financial constraints matter but are by no means the critical determinant of our program size. Successful PhD students require research mentoring and considerable interaction with faculty through the program. We keep the program small to ensure that each student gets sufficient attention from faculty.

What are the parameters of the financial aid that I would receive?

The exact details of the package vary from year to year and what is stated here is just indicative. Your financial aid package covers the entire academic year’s funding needs, including summer. For students entering in 2008/2009, the package includes free tuition and about $32,000 through a graduate assistantship and fellowship to cover living expenses. There is plenty (of exciting research) to do while in the program. Students are not required to work and are expected not to work outside the graduate assistantship duties while in the program.

How long does my financial aid last?

Students can expect to be supported for four years in the program, contingent on satisfactory performance and progress. A fifth year of support is often available for students who have made sufficient progress towards their dissertation. If there are exceptional personal or other circumstances, support could be considered beyond five years, but most students should expect to graduate by then.

Student-Run Funds

The Smith School sponsors three student managed investment funds, the Mayer Fund, run by second-year MBA students, the Senbet Fund, managed by senior-level undergraduate finance majors and the Global Equity Fund managed by students in the school’s part-time MBA and Master of Science in Business: Finance programs.

Note: The Senbet, Mayer and Global Equity Funds are the only investment funds run by students that are officially associated with the Smith School of Business. While Smith students might participate in other investment clubs, these are in no way affiliated with or sponsored by the Smith School or the University of Maryland. Investment clubs are subject to federal and state laws and regulations.


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