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April 11, 2024

WPI launches the nation’s first fintech PhD program

A large building with walls of windows in front of a clear blue sky Image I Courtesy Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Unity Hall

Worcester Polytechnic Institute has announced the establishment of the country’s first PhD program in financial technology (fintech). With the university already offering both bachelor's and master’s programs in the field, this newest degree means WPI is the first institute in the nation to offer all three degree options. 

The university’s fintech PhD curriculum will offer a multidisciplinary education focused on bridging finance, mathematics, computer science, and ethics. The degree track will offer a range of related areas of study such as finance, mathematics, AI, and blockchain technology, while having students work to develop a nuanced understanding of regulatory and compliance landscapes, according to a press release from the university Tuesday.  

Included in the PhD program’s modules will be discussions on data privacy and financial inclusion to prepare students for the potential ethical challenges they may encounter in their careers in the industry, according to WPI’s website. 

“Introducing a doctoral degree program in FinTech exemplifies how WPI is a global innovator at the intersection of business and technology,” said WPI President Grace Wang in the release. “Graduates of this program will emerge as academic and industry leaders who will shape the future of financial technology education and the financial services sector.”

WPI cites the proliferating nature of the fintech industry as a driving need for its archetype PhD program, with its press release stating that Massachusetts alone is home to 357 fintech companies and 69 incubators/accelerators, making the state the third-largest innovation center in the nation. 

"We are witnessing an unprecedented convergence of academic advancements and industry needs in the FinTech sector," said Debora Jackson, Harry G. Stoddard professor of management and dean of the Business School at WPI in the release. "Our PhD program will provide students with the interdisciplinary skills and knowledge necessary to drive innovation and address the complex challenges facing the FinTech industry."

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