The School

The Vienna Graduate School of Finance (VGSF) was founded in 2005 as a joint initiative of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), the University of Vienna, and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna), with the financial support of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

These three institutions joined forces to create a hub in Vienna that is large enough to produce internationally recognized research and provide a competitive PhD education.

The well-structured, five-year PhD program in Finance trains students to become ambitious researchers in the field of finance, suitable for placement at international academic institutions or at research-friendly institutions in the financial sector. VGSF faculty members conduct research and teach in areas such as corporate finance, financial intermediation, and market microstructure, and collaborate with renowned experts and academics, who are often invited to VGSF as guest lecturers or to hold seminars. Rigorous supervision and structured coursework, together with a stimulating and international environment, define the character of the program.

In 2013, the school’s headquarters moved to the new campus of WU Vienna. In 2017, an external committee of international reviewers rated the school as “excellent” for its education, research, impact, and visibility. In 2018, the school successfully applied for funding provided by the FWF and was selected from forty-five applications as one of only seven programs to benefit from the funding.

VGSF logos: IHS, University of Vienna, WU Vienna, FWF


The VGSF mission is to generate, expand, and disseminate knowledge; to embody and deliver meaningful education and research in the field of finance.


  • To become a leading institution for scientific research and education worldwide
  • To train the next generation of researchers and academics
  • To provide an educational curriculum that equips students with profound disciplinary knowledge and the problem solving, leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills required to pursue their ambitions
  • To establish a European center for research-oriented education in finance
  • To contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence

Core Values

  • Excellence: to provide a competitive education, generating innovative and exemplary researchers
  • Independence: freedom of thought and expression
  • Encouragement: inspire students to think outside the box and to take the initiative in research