Accounting PhD Plan of Study


Coursework and Research by Program Year

Typically, students finish the Doctoral Program in Accounting in five years, with four years being a possibility conditional on a student’s dissertation progress and pipeline of other research.

Prior Coursework and Boot Camps

See the doctoral handbook for classes expected to be completed before starting the doctoral program.

A few weeks prior to starting the fall semester, all students benefit from a “Math Boot Camp” along with “SAS® Programming Boot Camp.”

Years One, Two and Three and the Comprehensive Exam

Coursework typically takes place over the first and second years of the program. Students are expected to consume as much knowledge as possible on various research areas, disciplines and methods. Students are expected to work on a summer paper that includes a replication and extension in the summer after the first year. 

A written comprehensive exam is normally taken at the end of the second year. Please refer to the PhD handbook for the year-by-year overview of the program.

Years Three and Four: Dissertation and Research

The third and fourth years of the program are largely spent on producing (i.) a high quality dissertation and (ii.) a pipeline of research close to or submitted to top research journals. The student is required to present a co-authored study by the end of the third year and present their dissertation proposal in the fourth year. The student will arrange for a tenured faculty member to serve as dissertation supervisor. The student and dissertation supervisor work together to form a dissertation or examining committee, which provides timely input to the student and ultimately is responsible for approving the dissertation. The oral comprehensive exam is typically completed in the fourth year.

Year Five: Recruiting, Dissertation Completion and Final Oral Defense Examination

The fifth or final year of the program is largely spent on progressing the dissertation, research pipeline and the job market recruiting process targeted to earn a full-time tenure-track research appointment. Upon completion of the dissertation, the student must take a final oral defense examination that focuses on the dissertation.