Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 481 / program Foreign:$ 1.16 k / program  
601–800 place StudyQA ranking:4406 Duration:60 months

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The program stresses high-quality research at the frontiers of knowledge. A majority of the student’s time in the program is dedicated to developing, refining, and applying their research skills. The defining achievement for each successful student is an original research dissertation on a topic of the student’s choosing. The faculty work closely with students in identifying, refining, and approving the dissertation topic. At the same time, the program has a proud tradition of producing high-quality teachers and promotes a strong emphasis on collegiality. Students work closely with faculty in an apprenticeship-type approach. The admission process is highly competitive. Ideal candidates possess a strong academic background including prior study of accounting at the undergraduate or graduate level. Standardized scores on the GMAT generally must show evidence of strong aptitude. Many of our strongest candidates have prior work experience in accounting or business-related careers. Top candidates are invited to campus for an interview to evaluate the individual’s fit with the program. Typically, two to four candidates are admitted per year out of 60-70 applications.


The program generally requires four to five years in residence to complete. The first two years are dedicated largely to coursework. Qualifying exams are taken during the second summer, with successful completion leading to the dissertation phase. Financial support is provided during the program in the form of teaching and research assistantships, grants, and scholarships. Most students engage in research with faculty that in early years involves working as an assistant and in later years leads to joint authored work. Students also get ample opportunity to lead teaching efforts in the classroom.Three seminars in accounting research (three credits each) are required.
  • Introduction to Accounting Research
  • Behavioral Accounting Research
  • Archival Accounting Research
Students in our program must develop a basic research background in both archival and behavioral empirical research. Most students ultimately specialize in the research area and methodology that best suits their skills and research interests. The program is one of the most balanced programs in the country in terms of support for different research methodologies and topics. The faculty is particularly strong in the fields of financial accounting, managerial accounting, and auditing. Both behavioral (including experimental economics) and archival methods are strongly supported.Students are also required to develop specialization in a related field such as economics, psychology, or sociology. Core courses include either AG ECON 635 or ECON 711 (Microeconomic Theory) and one economics elective. The electives should be chosen from the following: ECON 461, 464, 467, 501, 521, 548, 712, 713, 741, 743, 761.
Finally, students must build a foundation in statistics that supports their research interests. Methodology courses in economics or agricultural economics such as AG ECON 636/637 or ECON 709/710 or a course in psychology such as PSCH 610/710 will generally provide a strong foundation.


Admissions Requirements
  • A completed online application form
  • A statement of purpose
  • Two essays responding to the application questions and survey
  • Standardized Test Scores (GMAT or GRE; TOEFL or IELTS--International students only)
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from academics
  • All official transcripts, validating completion of a four-year degree
  • A current resume
  • $56 application fee

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 7.5 TOEFL iBT® test: 106


Academic departments within the Wisconsin School of Business make every effort to create the most competitive funding package available for each student they admit. Because the packages are comprised of funds from various sources (e.g., department, Wisconsin School of Business general scholarship funds, Graduate School fellowships and funds, and other grants and scholarships), they vary between departments and from year to year and may carry varying stipulations. Virtually all Ph.D. students in business are funded at a level that guarantees four years of the following:
  • Tuition and fee waiver
  • A monthly stipend
  • A comprehensive family health insurance plan
  • Departments may offer summer teaching, research appointments, or other forms of scholarship support to supplement the academic year package
  • Several departments offer funding for research presentations at major conferences
  • Additional funding may be available after four years

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