PhD in Accounting


The PhD specialization in accounting prepares students for careers as future faculty at research universities. Broadly speaking, research questions in accounting address the economic and psychological effects of accounting information on financial markets, managerial settings and contracting.

Ke Feng

"The best part of this program is that we are a small program; right now we have around 10 tenured track or tenured professors in our department, but their research interests are very diversified."

Students complete their coursework in the first two years of the program. The coursework requirements include accounting specialization courses, research methods courses and courses from a cognate discipline. 

  • The accounting specialization courses cover analytical, behavioral, empirical and experimental research in accounting and related fields. 
  • The research methods courses consist of additional PhD-level courses in areas important to the student's research interests, such as economics, finance, mathematics, and psychology. 
  • The cognate discipline assures that students develop scholarly breadth. It typically consists of three PhD-level courses from a single field outside of accounting. 

After completing their coursework, students take comprehensive examinations based on the accounting specialization courses.

Students begin developing original research in the summers after the first and second years. After passing the comprehensive examinations, students focus predominantly on their research. By the end of the third year, students take their candidacy examination, in which they present their dissertation research proposal. The remainder of the program is dedicated to completing the dissertation.

Throughout the program, students work closely with faculty. Upon entry, each student is matched to a faculty advisor. The advisor or another tenured faculty member becomes the student's PhD supervisor by the end of the first year. At that time, the student's supervisory committee is also appointed.

A core strength of the program is the scope of the faculty's methodological and substantive interests. We have research-active faculty whose work uses analytical modeling, behavioral economics, empirical/archival research methods and experimental economics.

Substantive areas of faculty research include auditing, capital markets, contracting, corporate governance, disclosure, earnings management, information design, managerial accounting and performance evaluation. We presently have 10 tenured research-active faculty members. Since 2011, all have published in top journals in accounting, finance, or economics.

Our student placements include leading universities in Canada and globally. Since 2011, our student placements have included: assistant professorships at Tulane University, HEC Paris, City University of Hong Kong, University of Waterloo, Brock University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Lancaster University.