Students studying together

All over the world

Find our graduates at universities and organizations all over the world

See where our Research Master graduates work

Research Master in Business: Finance track

2 years English Starts end of August

The Research Master and PhD program in Finance aims at nurturing ambitious academics trained in cutting-edge research, who will contribute to advance the frontiers of finance research.

On Campus if we can | Online because we can
in the Netherlands, #26 worldwide in Finance
Average number of students per year

Small classes, personal guidance and active involvement in our international research community

Top 100
Graduate placements at top 100 worldwide universities

Excellent track-record in graduate placements at top universities worldwide

The Research Master in Business is a "Top rated program"  in the Dutch Keuzegids Masters ranking 2019

The Finance Track is the largest Business PhD program at Tilburg, and one of the largest in Europe. Each year we typically admit half a dozen RM students expecting them to move on to the PhD phase. We currently have over 10 RM students and over 20 PhD students. These students come from various countries, and have different interests and backgrounds. English is the working language on the floor, as it is on the whole campus.

Collaboration with leading experts

Our faculty is also highly international, and includes scholars at the top of their fields. Faculty/student interaction is among the highest among competing programs. Students are encouraged to approach any member of faculty to discuss ideas or to ask for advice. That's why, even with a large program, we can offer very close individual supervision. Each RM student is mentored by one faculty member per quarter. PhD student offices are back to back with those of faculty, and interaction is strong. Both RM and PhD students are closely overseen by the Graduate Program Coordinator.


Supervision during the PhD phase is very intense: students often co-author papers with their supervisors and write at least one single-authored paper under their supervisor’s guidance. This paper will be their job market paper.

Seminar series

Our seminar series hosts over 30 leading scholars from the US and Europe each year, exposing students to cutting-edge research in all areas of Finance. Our weekly brown-bag lunch seminar allows PhD students and faculty members to discuss their work in progress in a vibrant and challenging environment.

Research Master and PhD program in Finance

The program is structured in two phases:

  • a two-year Research Master (RM)
  • and a three- to four-year PhD phase

Research Master Year 1

The first year of the RM is largely devoted to rigorous training in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics to provide students with strong basis in economic and econometric theory and methods.

Research Master Year 2

The second year of the RM brings students to profoundly explore core finance research areas: asset pricing, corporate finance, and banking. Students can also choose some elective courses from all business and economics areas in order to acquire the skills needed to write their RM Thesis.


At the end of the RM students will be able to read and discuss state-of-the-art research papers, and to generate ambitious research questions. The PhD phase of the graduate program lasts three to four years, and consists of completing a dissertation under the supervision of two faculty members.

More on the program

What kind of students are we looking for?

The Tilburg PhD in Finance aims to attract ambitious, inquisitive, and hard-working students who want to excel in academia. Applicants should have a strong quantitative background in economics or business and (preferably) a MSc-level degree. We look for students with aptitude to critical and creative thinking, able to envision new research questions that address the continuously evolving issues in financial economics, and to answer them conclusively.

Students with a particularly strong quantitative graduate background may be exceptionally admitted to the second year of the RM, while still taking several classes from the first year.

If you have achieved outstanding results in your academic career so far and have an ambition to become an accomplished finance scholar, we strongly invite you to apply.

Meet our students and staff

Our placement record

Our placement record reflects the strength of our approach. Most of our PhDs find jobs in Academia. We have a very successful history of placements at top universities and institutions in Europe, Asia, and North America, including:


  • Pranav Desai (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
  • Emiel Jerphanion (Alliance School of Business, University of Manchester)
  • Zhaneta Tancheva (BI Oslo)


  • Peter Brok (Copenhagen Business School)
  • Ekaterina Neretina (Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California)


  • Andreas Rapp (Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System)
  • Emanuele Rizzo (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
  • Cara van Steekinste  (New South Wales University)


  • Ferenc Horvath (City University of Hong Kong)


  • Elisabeth Kempf (Chicago Booth)


  • Hao Liang (Singapore Management University)
  • Larissa Schaefer (Frankfurt School of Management)


  • Elena Pikulina (University of British Columbia)
  • Peter Cziraki (University of Toronto, Economics Department)
  • Christophe Spaenjers (HEC Paris)
  • Kim Peijnenburg Bocconi University (currently at EDHEC)
  • Juan Miguel London-Yarce (Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System)

  • Ralph Koijen (Chicago Booth)

Our graduates also show an excellent record of publications, many of them publishing chapters of their theses in top finance and economics journals shortly after graduation. Some PhD students even managed to publish in top journals before graduating.

Main publications of our Ph.D. alumni

More on your career prospects

Become an integral part of the Finance department

We want our students to share the faculty’s passion for research.

  • Students are an integral part of the Finance department, benefiting from the many workshops, conferences, and visitors and overall lively, informal but intellectual culture.
  • We encourage students to work together with faculty on their research ideas and students have easy access to all the department’s research resources.

Short overview of the Research Master's track in Finance

Language English
Start End of August
Duration 2 years (a reduction to 1 year of doctoral course work is possible for people with one or two MSc relevant degrees with excellent grades)
Title Master of Science with a Master of Philosophy supplement
Tuition fee Tuition Fees
Specifics Specialized program to prepare for a PhD or for a professional career in a (international) research-based environment
More information Graduate Officers:


Interested in the Research Master in Business?

Check your eligibility and the deadlines for application