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 and six core electives. 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.