The Department welcomes applications from superior students who have a strong interest in and are committed to accountancy research, scholarship and teaching. To maintain excellence in our program in light of available faculty resources, the Department limits the program to approximately twenty PhD candidates. Normally, three to six candidates are admitted to the program each year.

Background knowledge prerequisites for the Ph.D. program include: the equivalent of an AACSB accredited undergraduate business degree with a major in accounting, an intermediate undergraduate microeconomics course, and undergraduate courses in calculus (differential, integral and multivariate) and linear algebra.

Students ordinarily are admitted to the doctoral program for the fall semester, but, if possible, we encourage starting course work during the preceding summer semester. The due date for applications and all supporting materials is December 1.

How to Apply

The department must receive all of the following for a complete file

  1. Graduate College Admission Application.  You can submit your application on-line at the Graduate College.
  2. Graduate College Application Fee
  3. All transcripts
  4. Personal Statement
  5. Resume
  6. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from research-active faculty members.
  7. GMAT Score (institution code VKR TK 03) or GRE Score (institution code 1836)
  8. TOEFL iBT Score (institution code 1836) (only required for applicants whose native language is not English)

Applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT). Our Department requires a total score of ≥ 102 and a speaking score of ≥ 26. There are no exemptions for this requirement.

Applicants must also meet the minimum entrance requirements of the Graduate College at the University of Illinois.

Evaluation Criteria

The PhD Program Committee evaluates applications for admission to the PhD program and recommends to the Director of the PhD program actions on such applications. These recommendations are made in a manner that is consistent with the Department’s objectives concerning the size, student mix, and quality of the PhD program. In addition, the committee analyzes each student’s academic background with respect to the program requirements and determines the coursework necessary for a student to remedy any deficiencies.

The Ph.D. program seeks individuals who;

  • articulate on their personal statements their interest in accounting and their motivation to pursue a Ph.D. in accounting, as well as an informed understanding of [the general nature of accounting research].
  • have demonstrated an ability to excel in a challenging and rigorous curriculum through their prior education.
  • have a well rounded skill set, including quantitative, written, and verbal skills.
  • have a solid GMAT or GRE score on all sections. The average GMAT score of students who enrolled in 2015 is 745. Over the last three years, the average GMAT of new students has been 737.
  • letters of reference, ideally from research-active faculty, that give insight into the applicant’s potential as an accounting researcher and teacher.
  • are curious, hardworking, and persistent.