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Program Requirements

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Program Requirements

Research Readiness Requirement

Accounting doctoral students will begin conducting research as soon as possible.  In the first year, students will complete a summer paper focused on extending prior research.  During the second summer in residence, accounting doctoral candidates will conduct an independent research project under the supervision of an accounting faculty member. Students will write a paper and present their research to the accounting faculty in a workshop during the following fall semester. Such papers are often submitted for presentation at conferences and, ideally, submitted for publication to an academic journal.

General Examination

As students near completion of the prescribed coursework, they will prepare for the General Examination. The General Examination is intended to test the student's understanding of the academic literature and the research process; mastery of a number of related fields; capacity for synthesis, sound generalization; and reasoning ability. It will consist of a written examination prepared by the faculty.


Upon successful completion of the General Examination, the student is admitted to candidacy. At this time, the student begins formulating the original research idea that will become his/her dissertation. The student should seek feedback and guidance from faculty members with expertise in his/her area.

The dissertation process consists of three milestones. First, the student presents a paper to the School of Accounting faculty outlining his/her dissertation idea that explains the research questions, prior research, data acquisition approaches, and the statistical methods. The student, his/her advisor, the Director of the SOA, and the SOA Ph.D. Coordinator, will select the Dissertation Committee members, ideally prior to the workshop. Second, the student will conduct a formal proposal for his/her Dissertation Committee. Third, the Dissertation Committee will conduct the final oral examination (dissertation defense). The dissertation defense is subject to rules from the Graduate College.