PhD in Accounting

The Katz PhD in Accounting Program provides students with the foundation to excel as faculty members at leading universities. Our faculty uses both archival and experimental methods to conduct research across a broad range of accounting areas including managerial accounting, financial accounting, and auditing. We have a collaborative environment in which students work closely with faculty to develop their research skills. While the program is primarily research-focused, we also provide mentorship to prepare doctoral students to become excellent teachers.

Collaborative Research

We have an excellent history of doctoral student/faculty collaboration, which often results in articles that are published in top journals. Our faculty members develop relationships with our students that result in a research collaboration that often lasts well beyond the doctoral program experience.


We are one of the best programs in the country with respect to our placements. We usually accept two new students per year so that we are able to give them a great deal of one-on-one faculty attention.

Distinguished Alumni

Some of our alumni are now chaired professors in top schools including:

  • University of Southern California
  • Northwestern University
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Miami
  • University of Delaware
  • Tulane University


Year 1 Curriculum: Fall Term (10.5 credits)

An exploration of critical thinking.

Course Credits
BACC 3001 Introduction to Accounting Research 3
BACC 3014 Experimental Research in Accounting 3
Research Methods Choice 3
BACC 3050 Critical Thinking Seminar 1 1.5

Year 1 Curriculum: Spring Term (10.5 credits)

A thorough examination of research methods.

Course Credits
BACC 3021 Archival Research in Managerial Accounting 1.5
BACC 3019 Archival Research in Auditing 1.5
Research Methods Choice 3
Minor Course 1 Choice 3
BACC 3052 Critical Thinking Seminar 2 1.5

Year 1 Curriculum: Summer Term (3 credits)

Research paper with faculty guidance.

Course Credits
BACC 3017 Accounting Workshop/Summer Paper 3

Year 2 Curriculum: Fall Term (10.5 credits)

A continued study in critical thinking and research methods.

Course Credits
BACC 3025 Capital Markets Research in Accounting 3
BACC 3053 Critical Thinking Seminar 3 1.5
Minor Course 2 Choice 3
Research Methods Choice 3

Year 2 Curriculum: Spring Term (10.5 credits)

A further dive into major concentrations, critical thinking, and research methods.

Course Credits
BACC 3031 Behavioral Research Topics 1.5
BACC 3054 Critical Thinking Seminar in Accounting 4 1.5
Minor Course 3 Choice 3
Research Methods Choice 3
Major Course: Choice based on student interest 1.5

Year 2 Curriculum: Summer Term (3 credits)

A comprehensive independent study.

BACC 3010 Independent Study in Accounting: Comprehensive Exams

Year 3 Curriculum

Fully concentrated work on dissertation and service as teaching assistant.

Course Credits
BUSADM 3199 Dissertation Credits 9
FTDF 0000 Full Time Dissertation Study  

Years 4 and 5 Curriculum

Teach and enter the job market to defend your dissertation.

FTDF 0000 Full-Time Dissertation Study


I love the doctoral program because the kind of mentorship I receive is above and beyond any kind of advising relationship I have ever had. I feel like I can go to my advisors about anything and everything, and that they will take the time to listen and give me feedback that is both kind and brutally honest. I don’t know what I would do without them, and I kind of want to be them when I grow up.

Daniya Kamran Morley

PhD, Organizational Behavior and Human Resources.

I came to Pitt because of its reputation for educational excellence and its top-tier research faculty. The reputation of the faculty for being not only great researchers, publishing in top journals, but also as effective and available mentors made my decision easy. I have never once second-guessed my decision to come to Pitt. The level of mentoring I receive at Katz is beyond what I ever imagined. The faculty are legitimately invested in my success, and devote an inordinate amount of time to helping me grow and develop as a scholar and a researcher. I know this is not the case at all institutions, as I have family members in Ph.D. programs at other top institutions, and they are in awe of the level of mentoring I receive. 

Jesse Burton-Nicholson

PhD, Strategy and Entrepreneurship