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Accounting Ph.D.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Expect?

The following link is to an article in the Journal of Accountancy by Jason Bergner (March 2009).

Likewise, this link is to an article in The CPA Journal by Thomas Noland, Bill Francisco, and Debra Sinclair (March 2007).

Additional Scholarship and Funding Opportunities:

Doctoral students are encouraged to apply for other forms of financial assistance offered by the University, the College of Business and Economics, and various non-university sources. One potential source of funding is the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program (ADS), which may be reached through the following link:

  • Minority Accounting Doctoral Scholarship program Sponsor:  KPMG
  • Doctoral Fellowship Sponsor: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Recipient: Doctoral program students with five or more years professional accounting experience. Amount: $12,000 per year for up to 5 years Information: 212.596.6221
  • Doctoral Fellowship Program Sponsor: Deloitte & Touche Foundation Recipient: Doctoral program accounting student at an accredited university who has completed two or more semesters or the equivalent. Amount: $20,000 per year for two years Information: 203.761.3000
  • Fellowship Program in Accounting Sponsor: American Accounting Association (AAA) Recipient: Student entering a doctoral program Amount: $2,500 Information: 941.921.7747
  • John L. Carey Scholarship Sponsor: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Recipient: Liberal Arts degree holders pursuing graduate studies in accounting. Amount: $5,000 per year Information: 212.596.6221

Research, Exams, and Dissertation:

Students will begin their research in their first year and will be paired to a faculty member with similar research interests, and each student will meet individually with the Ph.D. program director each semester to evaluate progress in terms of coursework and research.

Comprehensive examinations that cover accounting and the student's collateral area are required of each person seeking candidacy for the Ph.D. The purpose of the two-day exam is to test whether the student meets the required hurdle of competence in both analytical and empirical approaches to accounting research and has a thorough knowledge of the seminal literature. The written comprehensive exams are generally administered after the second year after all accounting seminars and course work has been completed. Successful completion of the written comprehensive examination is required for continuation in the doctoral program.

The student's proposal for research specific to their dissertation will occur early in their third year. The student must complete a dissertation embodying the results of original research that demonstrates the ability to conduct independent investigation and to do scholarly writing. The dissertation must show mastery of the literature and research techniques, be written in creditable literary form, and represent a contribution to knowledge. The dissertation will take one of two forms: one form is a traditional dissertation in chapter format, and the second form is the three essays format which would require three publishable papers written on a theme consistent with the individual's research area, creating a stream of research. The specific form taken will be jointly decided by the PhD candidate and his/her dissertation committee. Regardless of which form is taken, the dissertation must be consistent with prevailing standards in the student's field of research and must be defended to the satisfaction of the student's dissertation committee.