Accounting, PhD

The Accounting PhD program trains students to do rigorous research in accounting, a specialized area of financial economics. The program is highly analytical and quantitative. We look for strong undergraduate preparation in microeconomics and mathematics, while some prior accounting or finance training at the undergraduate or graduate level is an advantage. Institutional understanding of how accounting information is used by capital market participants and/or within firms is useful and best obtained through relevant work experience, but is not required of applicants.

Close working relationships with faculty members provide an excellent learning experience while at Wharton and can continue throughout the student’s career. Our program provides students with opportunities to interact with faculty and get started on relevant research early in the program. Required research elements include the first-year research assistantship and the first and second year summer research papers.

View the University’s Academic Requirements for PhD Degrees.

Required Courses 

Accounting
Accounting Core (required)
Accounting Theory Research
Empirical Research in Accounting I
Empirical Research in Accounting II
Empirical Design in Accounting Research
Accounting Electives
Workshop Colloquium I
Workshop Colloquium II
Economics
Economics (required)
Microeconomic Theory
Game Theory and Applications.
Economics Electives
Econometrics I: Fundamentals
Econometrics II: Methods & Models
The Economics of Agency, Information, and Incentives
Finance
Finance (required)
Financial Economics
Finance Electives
Corporate Finance and Financial Institutions
Introduction to Empirical Methods in Finance
Intertemporal Macroeconomics and Finance
Empirical Methods In Asset Pricing
Econometrics/Statistics
Select one of the following sequences: 1
Advanced Statistical Inference I
and Advanced Statistical Inference II
Econometrics I: Fundamentals
and Econometrics II: Methods & Models
1

A one-year graduate level sequence in Econometrics/Statistics is required. Accounting PhD students are encouraged to take STAT 515/516. Students may, with the approval of the Accounting PhD coordinator, satisfy this requirement with  ECON 705/706. In extraordinary cases, with approval of the Accounting PhD coordinator, a student may satisfy the Econometrics/Statistics requirement with other course sequences.


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2018 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
Summer
Basic Mathematics for Economists
Fall
Microeconomic Theory
Advanced Statistical Inference I
Financial Economics
Econometrics/Statistics Elective
Spring
Empirical Research in Accounting I
Game Theory and Applications.
Advanced Statistical Inference II
Empirical Research in Accounting II (when offered)
Second Year
Fall
Accounting Theory Research
Finance Elective
Econometrics/Statistics Elective
Economics Elective
Spring
Empirical Research in Accounting II
Empirical Design in Accounting Research
Two Electives
Third Year
Workshop Colloquium I
and Workshop Colloquium II
Directed Reading & Research
Admission to Candidacy
Formulation of Research Topic
Fourth Year and Beyond
Continued Research
Oral Exam
Dissertation