Coursework Stage During the coursework stage PiF students achieve a broad knowledge in the frontier of financial research. Ph.D. candidates have to complete eight courses: two compulsory courses (asset pricing and corporate finance) and six core electives. As the compulsory courses are quantitatively very demanding, the programme offers a two-week intensive course in mathematics as preparation at the beginning of the Ph.D. studies (applicants without a strong mathematical background may be required to complete this course). At the end of the coursework stage students have to present a detailed research proposal for their Ph.D. thesis. The research proposal has to be accepted by the Ph.D. thesis commitee. The coursework stage lasts between two and four semesters.