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

The course of study for the Ph.D. in Accounting requires the completion of 16 graduate course units.1

Core Requirements
Complete the following:9
Accounting
Accounting Theory Research
Empirical Research in Accounting I
Empirical Research in Accounting II
Empirical Design in Accounting Research
Economics
Microeconomic Theory
Game Theory and Applications.
Econometrics/Statistics 2
Advanced Statistical Inference I
Advanced Statistical Inference II
Finance
Financial Economics
Additional Coursework
Select 7 course units of electives:7
Accounting Electives
Workshop Colloquium I
Workshop Colloquium II
Common Finance Electives
Empirical Public Policy
Economics and Law
Corporate Finance and Financial Institutions
Introduction to Empirical Methods in Finance
Financial Economics Under Imperfect Information
Empirical Methods in Corporate Finance
Other Electives
Applied Methods for Management Research
Academic Writing and Research Design in the Arts and Sciences
Introduction to Optimization
Total Course Units16

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 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
Financial Economics
Advanced Statistical Inference I
Econometrics/Statistics Elective
Spring
Empirical Research in Accounting I
Empirical Design in Accounting Research (when offered)
Game Theory and Applications.
Advanced Statistical Inference II
Research Assistantship
First Year Summer paper - Proposal Due: June 15th
First Draft Due: September 15th
Second Year
Fall
Accounting Theory Research
Finance Elective
Econometrics/Statistics Elective
Economics Elective
Spring
Empirical Research in Accounting II
Empirical Design in Accounting Research (when offered)
Two Electives
Field Exam - May of Second Year
Theory and Empirical sections required for all students
Second Year Summer paper - Proposal due June 15th
First Draft Due: September 15th
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