Become an authority in a specific area of finance by conducting your own research.


  • The PhD in finance is an opportunity for high-level research into areas of interest such as corporate finance and investments.
  • The degree (Programme code: CDA00) is the School’s highest degree and is only offered through supervised research, to be conducted on an approved topic.  
  • The candidate must conduct original, empirical research on an approved topic.
  • The thesis can be a maximum of 100 000 words.
  • It is also possible to attain the PhD by publication. For more information, please contact the PhD Co-ordinator.
  • The PhD can be taken part-time or full-time and is by research only. Additional courses may be prescribed that assist the candidate in their research. 
  • It is important to note that the PhD in Finance offered by the School in Economics and Finance, is NOT the same as the PhD in Management, offered by the Wits Business School. Entrance requirements do differ and candidates are encouraged to contact relevant schools for more information. 
  • The Finance Division conducts research in the following broad areas (please note that this is not an exhaustive list)
    • The Statistical Properties of Security Returns
    • Behavioural Finance
    • Financial Data Science
    • Efficient Capital Markets
    • Portfolio Theory and Asset Pricing
    • Portfolio Management and Evaluation
    • Capital Flows, Leverage and Liquidity
    • Agency Theory
    • Capital Structure
    • Investment Banking and IPOs
    • Dividend Theory
    • Market for Corporate Control
    • Loan Syndication, CDOs and Default Risk
    • Risk Management
    • Derivatives

Entry Requirements

  • A relevant Masters degree or an equivalent qualification from Wits University or another university. Relevance is defined in the context of Corporate Finance and Investment, as offered in our Finance curricula.  
  • The overall average of the Masters degree should be above 65%.
  • For the purposes of completing the online application, it is useful to first only identify whether there are potential supervisors in the Finance division with expertise on your topic. You do not need to make contact with a potential supervisor at the application stage.
  • You will find a list of staff with their research interests on the School website. Please filter for those in the Finance Division. Your identified supervisor will then be approached by the Ph.D Co-ordinator to assist in screening the application, along with other panel members.  

Work experience is NOT a requirement, although it can assist the panel in deciding on an application.

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.