a PhD after a CFA. Is Masters degree a must?

Just want to have the idea by forum members. Almost all universities I looked up require a Master’s degree for a PhD program. Wondering how would they treat a CFA? I personally think we should be granted an exception for Masters.

PhD in Finance? possibly

in any other discipline? No

However many PhD programs bypass masters anyway

you don’t have the right idea about these degrees.

You can enter a Ph.D. program without a master’s degree in the discipline, but they will make you take the courses and get a master’s degree before they let you write a dissertation.

My advisor once said: To get a Ph.D., you have to demonstrate that 1) you know enough to teach a good course in the discipline, and 2) you are able to write a good book / or publishable quality scholarly articles.

Both of these basically require that you be fluent in “the literature” of the discipline. I.e. you know what concepts they use, how they are used properly, spot when they are used impropertly, you don’t repeat research (unless you are deliberately trying to replicate something or apply it in a new context), etc…

Master’s level coursework is designed to ensure that you have exposure to those things. Stuff like comprehensive examinations, orals, etc. are designed to test that…

Only then are you left to go write a dissertation. And because lots of people drop out of a program without completing the dissertation, they’ll give you a master’s degree so that you have something to show for all the studying you did beforehand.

So in most disciplines, the CFA is not going to be relevant. In finance, it’s not going to be quantitative enough, at minimum. You may be able to argue for an abbreviated master’s program that fills in the gaps, but seriously, it’s probably just better to let them teach you what you need to know to do the Ph.D. and be taken seriously.

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have yet to meet a cool PhD guy. most are weirdos with alot of issues. dunno why

it’s an interesting question, there is no right answer. The approach to PhD applications can vary wildly depending on country/institution/discipline and numerous factors are considered. It’s far too simple to expect an exemption of any kind but equally the CFA is likely to be recognised and given credit (certainly for PhD finance applications). You will need to research any institution thoroughly before you applied in any case to ensure research match etc. - it’s probably best to speak to people within the academic community who would be familiar with the institutions you intend to apply to and who can relate the typical requirements to your specific background.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t CFA considered a “masters equivalent” in the UK? If so, I would think you could enter a PhD program there.

Yes it is in principle, but I have not heard of anyone using it to get into higher education. I have seen some job adverts that require CFA and Masters in Finance (i.e. two similar qualifications), but this could be down to dumbass recruiters.

From a professional perspective, it makes sense to think of it as a Masters’ equivalent, but from an academic point of view, I doubt it will pass muster in reputable doctoral programs. The best it will do is perhaps let a Charterholder pass out of certain course requirements, but not others (econometrics, for example).

it really depends, many masters degrees nowadays are not overly difficult and the standards vary hugely - the CFA curriculum stands up pretty well in comparison to many masters in finance in terms of content. The issue is that you need a range of skills for most finance PhD programs, for example, quantitative skills and ideally a bit of research experience - the CFA gives you none of these. However, if in addition to the CFA, you did your undergrad in maths at a good university and scored 800 on the GMAT then you could well be fine. Another issue is that recommendation letters are key in PhD applications and the CFA cant give you any of these since it is self-taught (yet a masters can via your interaction with professors).

If you want to do Phd you must have an master degree all universities requires a master degree to do your Phd course.

100% untrue

You may or may not need to upgrade on coureses. It will certainly be more quantitative than CFA exposure.

I have a friend who went undergrad straight to top US phd. He took math classes during undergrad and also the crash course in math that is offered a few weeks before the program begins.

A lot of it depends on referrals from finance profs and math profs.

Unsure of how much the GRE counts towards it…

greenman is correct. masters is NOT a requirement for a phd

Many just get the masters degree along the way to earning phd.

In Canada, it is preferred to have a master first, but also not a requirement.

Not that people on this forum care for Canadian phd…

In some universities, if you do a certain amount of work on the PhD, but don’t finish it, they’ll give you a master’s degree in the field and send you on your way.

^ Consolation prize.

and if you realize you just can’t hack it for the PhD, at most you may to take 1 or 2 courses more to land the masters.

the simple fact is, once you have a PhD in say statistics, no one will give a crap if you have or don’t have a masters in statistics

master degrees are quite expensive as compared to generally funded phds…so if i decide to do phd from a reputed university and than drop out after few years…will i get the masters without paying the fees for it??Seems like a arbitrage opportunity.