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The accounting doctoral program rigorously trains students to engage in scholarly academic research and university-level teaching.

Students are trained to think critically and creatively about real-world accounting problems, and tackle those problems with interesting and scientifically sound research. Our graduates go on to make outstanding contributions as professors at top universities.

Message from the Coordinator


Isenberg's accounting department is renowned as one of the top doctoral programs in the nation for judgment and decision making research in auditing and financial accounting. Our students have the opportunity to work with faculty who perform world-class research using experimental and archival research methods.

Students graduate as captivating and practiced scholars who are already well on their way to making meaningful contributions in their field. On every level, we give our candidates the support they need. In particular, we offer:

  • Outstanding faculty who rank #2 in the nation for auditor judgment and decision making research, #5 in the nation for financial accounting judgment and decision making research, #5 for all accounting judgment and decision making research overall, and tied for 8th for auditing research overall (source: 2020 BYU faculty rankings, top 6 accounting journals, past decade).
  • Ideal preparation for careers at leading universities. Our recent graduates have received offers to join the faculty of major research strongholds, including Cornell University, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech University, the University of Alabama, the University of Georgia, the University of Utah, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • A small program that allows students to interact closely with faculty to co-author research projects. Our students have excellent success publishing dissertations and other research in top accounting journals.
  • A personal and collaborative culture, where PhD students and faculty are colleagues. In all, Isenberg is the place to ask and answer pressing questions, to help make advances in the field of accounting, and to build and launch a career.

Elaine (Ying) Wang

James P. O’Connell Endowed Professor

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Academic Overview

The program is generally completed within 4-5 years. Students take 48 credits of coursework, which includes research methodology, statistics, major and minor area courses at the graduate level, and electives. They complete a qualifying and comprehensive exam, a research project, and teach at Isenberg for at least three semesters. Students will finally research, write and defend a dissertation.


Sample of our required accounting courses:

  • Archival Research in Accounting
  • Behavioral Research in Accounting
  • Experimental Research Methods
  • Statistics and Econometrics
  • Multivariate Statistics
  • Structural Equations Modeling
Degree Timeline

YEAR 1: Coursework, including foundation courses; Qualifying exam

YEAR 2: Coursework, including major and minor area courses; Directed research project

YEAR 3: Comprehensive exam; Directed research project; Dissertation proposal

YEAR 4: Dissertation


Accounting Doctoral Candidates