Accounting Concentration

Ph.D. in Management

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.

Characteristics of students most likely to be admitted:

  • Some knowledge of accounting and a strong academic preparation.


Course work, the qualifying examination, and the dissertation

Additional enrollments may 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 Accounting and Information Systems 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 and Information Systems 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, though they 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.


Most doctoral students in accounting either investigate financial or managerial accounting, using methods from economics and econometrics, or investigate the behavior of auditors and other accountants using methods from statistics, psychology, or sociology. Other minors, including information systems and ethics, are also encouraged. Students can also major in accounting information systems, with a minor in accounting.

Course Information

Methodology requirement (4 courses)

  • 16:220:600 Mathematical Methods for Microeconomics (New Brunswick)
  • 16:220:601 Microeconomic Theory I (New Brunswick)
  • 16:220:607 Econometrics I (New Brunswick)

Recommended based on your own level of preparation prior to entering program:

  • 16:960:580 Basic Probability and Statistics (New Brunswick) or equivalent 26: 960: 575 Probability (if you need an introductory-level course to prepare you for Econometrics I)
  • 26:223:655 Time Series Econometrics

Major (6 courses)

  • 26:010:651 Accounting Theory I
  • 26:010:652 Accounting Theory II
  • 26:010:680 Accounting Theory III
  • 26:010:685 Survey of AIS Research
  • 26:010:653 Current Topics in Auditing
  • 26:390:572 Corporate Finance

Minor (3 courses):

The minor may include additional methodology courses or substantive courses from fields such as economics, psychology or information systems – based on your specific interests. These courses may be from the Business School or from other Arts/Sciences departments as long as the content is relevant to preparing you for research (to be decided by discussion with your academic advisor). Here are some recommendations. Please note that these courses may not be offered every year; it is your responsibility to contact the departments/faculty and verify. To decide, please consult (i) PHD Program Course Schedules published by RBS; (ii) Course Schedules from Statistics, Economics, Psychology, and other relevant Arts/Sciences departments.

  • 16:220:602 Microeconomic Theory II (New Brunswick)
  • 16:220:604 Macroeconomic Theory I (New Brunswick)
  • 16:220:605 Macroeconomic Theory II (New Brunswick)
  • 16:220:608 Econometrics II (New Brunswick)
  • 16:220:609 Applied Econometrics for Microeconomics (New Brunswick) –highly recommended for those interested in archival empirical research in accounting/ corporate finance-related topics

First early research requirement (equivalent to one course): 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.

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

Course Descriptions

26:010:651 - Accounting Theory I

Spring 2006 and every second spring thereafter.

Analysis of selected major concepts and issues in financial accounting theory and practice and their managerial implications. Topics include methodological issues.

26:010:652 - Accounting Theory II

Fall 2005 and every second fall thereafter.

Topics include activity-based costing and management, agency theory, budgetary control systems, behavioral research in management accounting, compensation and incentive systems, efficiency and productivity measurement, decentralized performance evaluation systems, and quality control and measurement issues.

26:010:653 - Current Topics in Auditing

Fall 2006 and every second fall thereafter.

Advanced review of auditing literature covering both internal and external auditing. Topics include development of modern auditing theory, disclosure problems, principles of managerial control, and operational auditing.

26:010:666 - Accountants' Judgment and Decision Making

Theoretical and methodological issues in behavioral research in accounting. Attention is devoted both to individual factors, such as memory, knowledge, and expertise, and to contextual features of accounting decision making, such as accountability, the review process, and information characteristics.

26:010:680 - Accounting Theory III

Spring 2007 and every second spring thereafter.

Discussion and review of selected topics in accounting research implementation, and empirical testing in major fields of accounting.

26:010:685 - Special Topics in Accounting

Topic: Game Theory for Causality and Prediction

Topic: Business Ethics Seminar

Topic: Survey of Accounting Information Systems Research

Topic: Theory of Evidence

Topic: Decoding of Textual Corporate Communication

  • 26:010:686 First Early Research Seminar in Accounting
  • 26:010:687 Second Early Research Seminar in Accounting
  • 26:010:688 Independent Study in Accounting
  • 26:010:689 Rutgers Accounting Research Forum
  • 26:010:799 Dissertation Research in Accounting

Please note: Links to recent syllabi are provided where possible. In some cases, the link goes to the web site for the individual faculty member, where the syllabus is maintained. In other cases, the link allows you to download the syllabus. Other syllabi are available in the Program Office.

These syllabi are provided as information to potential applicants. They should also help current students make their individual study plans. But they are subject to change. Students should not buy books or make other plans related to a course until they have confirmed with the instructor that they have an up-to-date syllabus for the semester in which they are taking the course.