Students in accounting Ph.D. programs develop research and critical thinking skills necessary to address current and future issues in the field. Programs study regular accounting methods, taxation, finance, decision theory and statistical data. Subjects can vary greatly in scope, but some examples related to taxation include the effect of tax-induced incentives on corporations and organizations and the economic impact of federal regulations on accounting information. Program specializations include financial reporting and information economics in accounting.
In a Ph.D. program for accounting, students typically complete a dissertation, which is often subject to faculty review and published upon completion. Graduates are prepared to contribute research in the areas of accounting and taxation.
Most accounting doctoral programs require that students complete an undergraduate degree before enrolling, although the completion of some type of additional 2-year graduate program is also encouraged. A common master's degree that works as a precursor to a Ph.D. in Accounting is a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Incoming students are expected to have an understanding of upper-level mathematics, including calculus, statistics, analysis and probability.
Ph.D. in Accounting
Much of the work conducted in a doctoral program in accounting is performed individually and pertains to specific research. Some required seminars, however, might address the following:
- Financial reporting
- Accounting research
- Research models
- Information economics in accounting
- Empirical methodology
Popular Career Options
Graduates of doctoral programs in accounting commonly enter positions in academia. Some options include:
- Corporate accounting consultant
- Government researcher
- University dean
- Economic consultant
- Financial analyst
A Ph.D. program in accounting allows students to specialize and research in an area that interests them and helps satisfy their dissertation requirement. Graduates most often work in academia as researchers, educators or consultants.