Business Ph.D.


The PhD program In Accounting at the University of Kansas prepares students for research and teaching careers at major universities.  As a PhD student in Accounting, you will have the opportunity to work with internationally known faculty members on a variety of research projects. Our faculty are ranked in the top 10 in archival audit research and in the top 20 in archival tax research, and our PhD program graduates are ranked 4th in archival audit research (source: BYU Accounting rankings).  Faculty research interests include the economics of the auditing profession, the impact of regulation on auditors and clients, corporate tax aggressiveness, the causes and consequences of financial reporting failures, and many other topics.    

The doctoral program in Accounting at the University of Kansas includes a combination of formal coursework, informal interaction with faculty and other students, and hands-on experience in both teaching and research. Currently, the University of Kansas program trains students in three areas of accounting: archival audit, financial, and tax research. Students receive financial support including tuition waivers and a portion of subsidized student health insurance. Students have access to a wide variety of databases typically available only at premier doctoral granting institutions. The small size of the program ensures extensive faculty and student interaction.

We look for two primary characteristics in our applicants: i) outstanding academic performance demonstrated by prior degrees, GPA, and GMAT scores; and ii) professional experience.  That being said, not all of our current students have professional accounting experience. We are looking for people we believe are most likely to succeed, rather than following a fixed formula. While successful candidates for admission are expected to have a background in accounting, applicants without such background will be considered provided they agree to undertake additional coursework in accounting as part of their doctoral program.

Area Coursework

1. DSCI 920: Probability for Business Research
2. DSCI 921: Statistics for Business Research
3. BE 917: Advanced Managerial Economics
4. ECON 715: Elementary Econometrics
5. DSCI 922: Advanced Regression

Area of Concentration (Major):

6.  ACCT 928: Introduction to Accounting Research
7.  ACCT 929: Seminar in Archival-Based Accounting Research
8.  ACCT 930: Seminar in Auditing Research
9.  ACCT 932: Seminar in Financial Accounting Research
10. ACCT 934: Seminar in Empirical Tax Research

Program Requirements and Information

Area of Concentration
Most students admitted in accounting typically will select that area as their concentration. However, an aspirant, with the assistance of his or her faculty advisor and the area faculty, may propose an interdisciplinary area of concentration. The aspirant must take at least five advanced courses in the area of concentration. These courses may include those offered outside the School of Business.
Supporting Areas
Coursework in the area of concentration is supplemented and strengthened by study in one or two supporting areas. A supporting area is one that supplements and complements the area of concentration. The aspirant will satisfy the supporting area requirement by taking at least four advanced courses in the supporting areas (at least two courses in each of two supporting areas, or at least four courses in one supporting area). Courses recommended for preparation for the qualifiers may not be included in satisfying the supporting area requirement.
Research Methodology
For successful qualifier assessment, the student's program of study should include adequate preparation in research methodology.
Degree Completion Timeline
Years 1-2: Coursework* Year 3: Comprehensive Exams Year 4: Dissertation Proposal Year 5: Dissertation Defense (Some students can complete the program in four years.)
Graduates of our program rank 4th among all PhD graduates in the area of archival audit research.  Over the past several years, our PhD graduates have been placed at schools such as the University of Pittsburgh, University of Waterloo, Iowa State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Rutgers University.  A complete list of placements can be found here.

Faculty Research
The school and accounting program are accredited by AACSB International, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
Our Finance Scholars travel to Wall Street every year
Students in Applied Portfolio Management class manage a fund valued at $1 million
Business students get hands-on experience valuing and analyzing investments
Top 20 undergraduate accounting program —Bloomberg Businessweek
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today