GSF is the national PhD program in Finance in Finland and a joint effort of six Finnish universities; Aalto University, Lappeenranta University of Technology, HANKEN School of Economics, University of Oulu, University of Turku and University of Vaasa. The main objective of the GSF is to develop and improve Finnish finance post graduate education and to improve finance doctoral education in Finland by

  1. Organizing systematic, diverse and high-quality PhD courses and seminars
  2. Improving research supervision availability
  3. Promoting cooperation between different universities and finance departments
  4. Promoting international contacts and networking (especially in the Nordic countries) between finance departments and PhD programs
  5. Maintaining and encouraging connections and cooperation between different research institutions, related subjects and other research schools

The teaching language of the program is English and approximately eight new students start their studies each year. The GSF offers a well-structured program for gaining a Doctoral (Ph.D.) degree in Finance for PhD students of the participating universities. The GSF organizes PhD courses and workshops, and it also offers supervision of doctoral students. Doctoral degrees, however, are granted by the participating universities themselves.

The GSF’s rigorous coursework equips students with a state-of-the-art PhD education in Finance that prepares them to pursue high-quality academic research. Close contact and interaction with the GSF faculty ensures high-quality research supervision in the several expertise areas of the faculty members. Weekly Finance Research Seminars and interaction with the teaching faculty provide students with an exciting and international research environment. The ultimate test of any successful PhD program is the placement record, which is very encouraging; the GSF program provides a solid basis for starting an international academic or a business career. Recent placements include Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, University of Miami, Imperial College London, University of St. Gallen, Catholic University of Lisbon, Stockholm University, London Business School ja Audencia School of Management in Nantes.

Doctoral studies comprise of intensive coursework and a doctoral dissertation. One and a half years at the beginning of the studies are devoted to intensive coursework that is followed by a research phase leading to a PhD dissertation. The GSF coursework builds on five compulsory Finance courses and other courses e.g. in Economics, Research Methods and Statistics. Local PhD courses are complemented by intensive PhD courses provided by the Nordic Finance Network (NFN). The NFN also provides funding for GSF students to attend intensive doctoral courses in Finance arranged in other Nordic countries. From the spring term of the second year onwards until the PhD dissertation is completed, students are expected to participate actively in GSF workshops and to present their own research there.

The interested students should be accepted as a doctoral student at one of the participating universities. The application deadlines and procedures are specific to the universities and are likely to differ from university to university. The minimum requirement is a Master’s Degree in Finance or in a closely related field. Once students are accepted to any of the participating universities as PhD students they can attend GSF courses and workshops. Additional information on GSF can be found on the GSF website

The organization of GSF comprises of a supervisory board, the director and the secretary. The Board of the GSF is:

Mikko Leppämäki
Director, Ph.D. (LSE)
Graduate School of Finance, Aalto University