PhD in Accounting Information Systems

Offered by the Department of Accounting and Information Systems of Rutgers Business School, this program prepares students for scholarly research and teaching. The department includes a number of world renowned scholars and is the home of the Rutgers Accounting Web – one of the oldest and largest accounting Internet sites in the world. A recent study showed that the department ranks 15th in the world in research productivity. Among public universities in the United States, it is 4th, behind only the universities of Michigan, Texas at Austin, and California at Berkeley. In another recent study, the department was ranked number one in the world in the specialty of Accounting Information Systems.

Students who aspire to doctoral study in accounting information systems but need to strengthen their background may wish to consider our Master in Information Technology program, which admits both part-time and full-time students.  Students in this program take many of the same courses as our doctoral students in accounting information systems and may use these courses towards their doctoral degree if they are later admitted to the doctoral program.

Characteristics of students most likely to be admitted
Some undergraduate or master's level work in information systems. Some knowledge of accounting.



Course work, the qualifying examination, and the dissertation

A total of 72 credits is required for the doctoral degree. These must include:

  • at least 18 credits in dissertation research.
  • at least 36 credits in degree courses.  (This can be reduced only if some course requirements are waived.)
  • 6 credits in the early research requirements.


Additional enrollments may also be required:

  • Students are sometimes required to enroll in non-degree courses to improve their English or their writing. They may also need to enroll in the non-degree course Teacher Training Seminar as part of their preparation for teaching. These enrollments require payment of tuition, but they do not count towards the 72 credits required for the degree.
  • Students must enroll in 26:010:689 every semester until they have defended a dissertation proposal.  This registration requires their attendance in the ABEIS department’s weekly Rutgers Accounting Research Forum. A grade is given, but the enrollment is for zero credits and no tuition is charged.


Even after they have defended a proposal, students are expected to attend the weekly Rutgers Accounting Research Forum. Applicants and potential applicants are also welcome.

During the first two years, students are expected to take at least three courses for degree credit each semester. They should then take the qualifying examination in May at the end of their second academic year. The last two years of the program should be devoted primarily to completing the dissertation, but students may be advised to take some additional courses. For more details concerning rules and requirements that apply to all RBS doctoral students, see Policies and Procedures.


Methodology requirement (4 courses)

All students must take these two courses:

  • 26:620:557 Social Science Research Methods
  • 26:960:577 Statistical Linear Models


Two additional courses in statistical methodology or information technology should also be taken.  Recommended courses include:

  • 26:198:644 Data Mining
  • 26:198:645 Privacy, Security, and Data Analysis
  • 22:198:603 Databases

Students who do not have a background in databases should take 22:198:603 or NJIT CIS 631 as soon as possible.


Major (5 courses)

  • 26:198:621 Electronic Commerce (taught in the AIS department)
  • 26:198:622 Machine Learning (taught in the AIS department)
  • 26:198:641 Advanced Database Systems (taught in the MSIS department)
  • 26:198:643 Information Systems Security (taught in the MSIS department)

The fifth course, in information systems or computer science, must be approved by the departmental coordinator.


Minor (3 courses)

  • 26:010:651 Accounting Theory I: Theory of Corporate Disclosures, Control, and Governance
  • 26:010:652 Accounting Theory II: Empirical Analysis of Financial Reporting
  • 26:010:653 Auditing


First early research requirement (equivalent to one course): Full-time students should prepare for the early research requirement by taking Statistical Linear Models and Research Methods in the first year. Then they write a paper (usually a literature review) with a faculty member, to be presented to the department during the fall semester.


Second early research requirement (equivalent to one course): Write a paper (ideally a dissertation proposal) with a faculty member, to be presented to the department during the fall semester.


Preparation to teach:  Students who enter the program with financial support may need to be ready to teach an undergraduate course in their specialty in order to be sure of having an employment opportunity from RBS during the Summer.  Those who do not already have teaching experience may want to consider the non-degree course in Teacher Training Seminar that is offered each spring semester.


Other rules and requirements: For details of rules and requirements that apply to all doctoral students in RBS, see Policies and Procedures.


Scheduling of courses

Since students are admitted to the program every year, each course usually has both first and second year students, as well as students in the Masters of Information Technology program.

Many other courses in information systems and computer science are available at Rutgers and NJIT.

For information concerning the scheduling of doctoral courses in accounting, see the requirements for the accounting major.