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Risk Analysis and Decision Making Doctoral Program

Overview

The concentration in Risk Analysis and Decision Making combines the areas of economics, decision analysis, management science, mathematics and statistics into one Ph.D. Program focused on managing financial risk. The theme of this concentration is the importance of developing "application-driven theory" in which new methods are developed in response to real-world problems. The IROM Department has an outstanding faculty in the areas of risk management, quantitative finance, decision analysis and management science with a record of research that has been accorded national and international recognition. Additional faculty involved in the concentration come from the economics, finance and mathematics departments.

There are three tracks in the concentration in the areas of decision analysis, quantitative finance and risk management. Students can choose to focus in any of these areas. Upon entering the concentration each student takes a rigorous set of core courses to develop a broad array of quantitative modeling and analysis skills as well as a thorough understanding of important concepts in microeconomics, game theory and asset pricing theory. The core courses are then followed by an in depth sequence of courses in the students chosen track. In subsequent years the student will acquire deep knowledge of a particular area while working with a faculty member in a manner that will lead to the writing of the dissertation that is an original contribution to knowledge.

Structure & Requirements

Given the quantitative nature of the Risk Management and Decision Analysis concentration, Ph.D. students need a strong mathematical background. Thus, each entering Ph.D. student should demonstrate knowledge in the following areas through previous course work (at UT or elsewhere). These prerequisites should be satisfied prior to the completion of the core courses. The student will be required to demonstrate in his or her program of study that these requirements are met by the indicated courses or their equivalents, or else by a letter from the student's advisor explaining any discrepancies.

  • One year of advanced calculus
  • One semester of linear algebra
  • One semester of probability theory
  • One semester of programming
Students are expected to gain theoretical knowledge and research methodology training through the first and second year core courses. Specific track courses are selected by the student to delve more deeply into a specific area and to develop expertise that leads to dissertation research.