Ph.D. in Accounting

Ph.D. in Accounting

Develop expertise in accounting principles, quantitative methods, economics, and finance on your way to becoming a successful teacher and scholars. You will collaborate with both peers and faculty mentors, and be encouraged to present your work at conferences, as well as submit articles for publication in top research journals. 


Accounting Ph.D. students complete a program of study that begins with coursework in accounting, quantitative methods, economics, and finance. Through seminar courses, you will become fluent on the existing state of research literature, appropriate research methods, and proper management of the publication process.

Course requirements are typically satisfied in the first two years of the program. In addition to doctoral seminars, Ph.D. students will take courses in the departments of finance and economics, and are encouraged to explore inter-disciplinary pursuits.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination will be administered at the conclusion of the second year in the program. Satisfactory performance on the exam marks your transition from course-work to full-time thesis research.


Doctoral students begin engaging in the research process as early in the program as possible. A first-year summer paper, which can be a replication or an extension of an existing study, provides early hands-on experience in research design, programming, data management, and statistical analysis.

Students must then complete a second-year paper based on an original research idea and present this research in early December of their third year to qualify as a Ph.D. candidate.

In the spring of their fourth year, students submit and present their dissertation proposal, which should make a substantial, significant, and original contribution to the field. Input from faculty during the proposal process outlines the work that students need to complete over the summer for their dissertation proposals to become their job market papers for the fall of their fifth year.

Research and Teaching Assistant Requirement

Doctoral students at the Carroll School are expected to serve as research assistants, teaching assistants, and/or instructors throughout their studies. Students work for a set number of hours per week, throughout the duration of their Ph.D. programs. In exchange, the Carroll School provides financial support for doctoral students in the form of a stipend and tuition remission.

First Year

  Mathematics for Economists  
  Microeconomic Theory I  
  PhD Seminar in Asset Pricing Theory
  Financial Accounting Practice I*  
  Microeconomic Theory II  
  PhD Seminar in Accounting Research Part I
  PhD Seminar in Corporate Finance Theory
  Financial Accounting Practice II*
  Programming Skills

                *If required

Second Year

  PhD Seminar in Empirical Asset Pricing  
  PhD Seminar on Empirical Topics in Accounting  
  PhD Seminar in Accounting Research Part II
  Applied Econometrics  
  PhD Seminar in Accounting Research Part III
  PhD Seminar in Empirical Corporate Finance
  Comprehensive Exam

The following information reflects data for the entering classes of 2019–2023. Updated September 25, 2023.

Class Size

Overall Selectivity4.4%


Academic & Professional Profile

 Average GMAT Score
 GMAT 80th Percentile Range
 Average GRE Score327
 GRE 80th Percentile Range326-328
 Average Undergraduate GPA3.85
 Average Full-Time Work Experience
4 years
 Students Holding Master's Degree


Average Age25 years old
Age Range24-47 years old
International Students

Current Students

Learn more about current Ph.D. in Accounting candidates.  

Our faculty is on a mission to build an outstanding Ph.D. program, one that successfully places its candidates at top-tier institutions.
Amy Hutton, Professor and Ph.D. Program Director

Accounting Faculty

Accounting faculty take an active role in placing students in attractive academic positions. They will become your mentors and colleagues, and be invaluable resources for the duration of your career.

Ph.D. Admission FAQ

Are international students required to apply for a visa before they apply for admission to the Carroll School?
<p>No, international students do not need to submit visa-related materials at the time of application. However, once you confirm your enrollment, Boston College’s&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS)</a>&nbsp;will work with you to ensure that your materials are prepared in a timely fashion to complete your visa application and I-20 appointment.</p>
Are international students required to submit financial documents with their applications?
<p>No, international students do not need to submit financial documents during the initial application process. Financial documents are only required for enrolled students. You will need to submit your original financial documents after you’ve received the Declaration and Certification of Finances (DCF) form.</p>
Can I visit a Ph.D. class?
<p>Unfortunately, we do not offer Ph.D. class visits through the Graduate Admissions Office. If you would like to gain a better understanding of our Ph.D. programs and meet with current students or faculty members, please contact the&nbsp;Accounting,&nbsp;Finance, or&nbsp;Organization Studies&nbsp;Ph.D. director.</p>
Do I need to have an interview to be admitted into the Ph.D. program?
<p>Interviews for the Ph.D. program are available by invitation of the Admissions Committee only.</p>
How much funding will I receive from the Carroll School of Management to pursue my Ph.D. program?
<p>The current level of financial support for doctoral students is $38,000 per year in addition to full tuition remission. A student in good standing may receive this support for a maximum of five years. In return for this support, students serve as research and/or teaching assistants throughout the duration of their Ph.D. programs.</p> <p>This support is based on the fact that students are expected to devote their full energies to the Ph.D. program during the entire calendar year, not just the academic year.</p>
How selective is the Ph.D. in Accounting program?
<p>We aim to enroll two to four doctoral candidates each year. We receive around 75 applications to the Ph.D. in Accounting program each year. Please review our&nbsp;<a href="/content/bc-web/schools/carroll-school/graduate/phd-programs/phd-accounting.html">class profile</a>&nbsp;to see how your scores and grades compare to those of our current students.</p>
How selective is the Ph.D. in Finance program?
<p>We aim to enroll four doctoral candidates each year. We receive around 150 applications to the Ph.D. in Finance program each year. Please review our&nbsp;<a href="">class profile</a>&nbsp;to see how your scores and grades compare to those of our current students.</p>
How selective is the Ph.D. in Organization Studies program?
<p>We aim to enroll four doctoral candidates each year. We receive around 75 applications to the Ph.D. in Organization Studies program each year. Please review our&nbsp;<a href="/content/bc-web/schools/carroll-school/graduate/phd-programs/phd-organizational-studies.html#tab-class_profile" target="_blank">class profile</a>&nbsp;to see how your scores and grades compare to those of our current students.</p>


Application Link & Deadlines

Apply Now

Application Deadline: The deadline to apply for Fall 2024 is January 9, 2024.

Application Fee: All applicants are required to pay a nonrefundable application fee of $100 USD.

Interviews: If selected, applicants will be invited to interview in early spring.

Admission Decisions: Applications are generally reviewed after the final deadline has passed. There is no specific decision notification date for Ph.D. programs. Final decisions are typically available by mid-spring.

CV and Resume

Your current curriculum vitae should include your education, research, and professional information.

We also require a separate Employment History, using the form provided within the online application.


Recommendations from two individuals who can provide an objective appraisal of your capacity for intensive graduate study and potential for professional success.


All applicants must possess a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. You must submit transcripts from every institution where you were enrolled in a degree-granting program. At the time of application, only a self-reported transcript is required but if you are admitted, we will require an official transcript sent directly from your degree-granting institution. Transcripts should include:

  • Course names

  • All grades received (including transfer credits and study abroad programs)

  • Cumulative GPA

  • Degree conferral information

Graduates of non-U.S. institutions must possess a college or university degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree. If admitted, international students are required to submit an official English translation of all academic credentials, along with a third-party degree verification from an agency such as SpanTran or World Education Services (WES).

GMAT or GRE Scores

Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores from within the past five years. We accept both the GMAT Exam and GMAT Focus Edition. Our test codes are:

  • GMAT school code: 44x-J5-96
  • GRE school code: 3033

While Graduate Admissions does not have a preference between the GMAT or GRE, we encourage you to consult class profile data for average test scores in order to gauge where you stand.

English Proficiency

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you are required to submit an English language proficiency exam score with your application. We accept TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores. We do not accept the Duolingo English Test.

Scores must be from within the past two years, and applicants must meet the following minimum scores:

  • TOEFL, iBT, and TOEFL iBT Home Edition: 100

  • IELTS: 7.5

  • PTE: 68

You are eligible to waive the language test requirement if you meet either of the following criteria:

  • You have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree or a two-year master’s degree (or higher) at an institution where the medium language of instruction is English. You must have completed your degree in its entirety at the English-medium institution. The medium language of instruction must be indicated on your transcript or verified in an official letter from the institution.

  • You have worked in a full-time, post-degree position for at least two years in the United States or a country where English is an official language. NOTE: Working for a company that conducts its business in English in a country where English is not an official language will not qualify you for a language test waiver.

If you are eligible to waive the language test requirement, you do not need to submit a waiver request beforehand and can simply move forward with your application.

Required & Optional Essays

Applicants must submit a required essay discussing their research interests and career objectives. You may also submit an optional essay that addresses aspects of your candidacy that have not already been covered in other parts of the application.


If you have any further questions, please email us at, or schedule a phone call or Zoom appointment with a member of the Graduate Admission team.

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