Accounting PhD Program


Preparing You to Excel

The University of Arizona is a premier research institution. Our goal is to prepare you to excel as an accounting researcher/educator at a top-50 accounting research institution. Our PhD graduates have placed at University of Chicago, University of Washington, Penn State University, University of Rochester, University of Texas at Austin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Ohio State University, Texas A&M University, University of Georgia, University of Notre Dame, University of Illinois, University of Southern California, Rice University and Washington University at St. Louis, among other institutions. Our expectation is that, as you near completion of the program, you will earn tenure-track research offers from comparable institutions. View recent placements.

Rigorous Coursework, Research and Resources

To meet this expectation, we provide you with a unique opportunity to acquire intellectual skills through rigorous coursework and augment your learning with specialized workshops (e.g., SAS® and Perl training) and research assistantships. The objective is to prepare you to succeed in conducting cutting-edge research on substantive accounting issues.

As a doctoral student, you will have access and exposure to the best in class resources available to academic accounting researchers.

Doctoral students focusing on archival research have access to the University of Arizona’s data subscriptions with the Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS®). WRDS provides its users with one location to access data across multiple disciplines. This significant data investment allows our doctoral students the opportunity to empirically examine accounting questions that include, but are not limited to, the following topics: Auditing, Corporate Governance, Executive Compensation, Financial Accounting and Tax.Doctoral students seeking rigorous training in experimental data analysis team with our accounting faculty and doctoral students in the Economic Science Laboratory (ESL). The ESL is the home for cutting-edge experimental business research at the Eller College of Management. Much of the research that earned Vernon Smith the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was conducted at the University of Arizona between 1976 and 2002.

Highly Competitive Admissions

It is difficult to characterize the applicants admitted into the Doctoral Program in Accounting with a “cookie cutter” statement since every circumstance and qualification set is unique to each applicant. However, recently admitted classes averaged a 708 GMAT, 3.8 GPA and three-to-four years of work experience. Admission is highly competitive where no more than four students are admitted from many applications. We accept and review applications on a rolling basis. Applications received by the early deadline date of January 15 will received full consideration for the upcoming academic year. There is a final application deadline of May 1. The final deadline may expire sooner conditional upon the number of offers already extended. Overall, it's in an applicant's best interest to apply on or before January 15 whenever possible. Applicants are well served by taking a GMAT review course and allowing for time in the application process to educate themselves on requirements and deadlines. View admission requirements and materials.

Many students underestimate the quantitative rigor of research methods courses. Prior to starting a doctoral program, we strongly encourage you to take ECON 517 or an equivalent course that covers the basic mathematical statistics topics necessary for a deep understanding of applied econometrics. From a programming standpoint, SAS and STATA® are common software packages that support statistical data analysis. A SAS Boot Camp is offered to doctoral candidates; however, accepted candidates are also encouraged to take a SAS programming course or programming courses that provide exposure to SQL (Structured Query Language).

Areas of Accounting Research

Accounting research may be classified on three dimensions:

  • Substantive area
  • Source discipline
  • Method

The key substantive areas are managerial accounting, financial accounting, auditing and tax. The common source disciplines are economics, finance, management and psychology. The typical research methods are analytical modeling, archival data analysis and experimental data analysis.

Our faculty and students have sustained a proven track record of publishing in the top accounting journals across all substantive areas utilizing archival and experiment data analysis.


Our esteemed faculty work closely with doctoral students throughout their coursework and research, mentoring them and guiding them to become successful researchers and teachers.

Meet Accounting PhD Faculty

Current Students

While our students’ interests and backgrounds vary greatly, our recently admitted classes average a 708 GMAT score, 3.8 GPA and three-to-four years of professional experience. They form a tight-knit community spanning many areas of accounting research.

Meet Current PhD Students

PhD Job Market Candidates

Check out our impressive Accounting PhD job market candidates.

Meet PhD Job Market Candidates

Start Your Journey to the Top of Your Field

Small class sizes. A great faculty-to-doctoral-student ratio. Incredible research resources. A stellar track record. And you.

Contact us with any questions, or if you're ready to apply to the Eller Doctoral Program in Accounting, start your application below. We look forward to making breakthroughs together.

Apply Now