Tony Li Accounting Ph.D. Student

Ph.D. in Business with a Specialization in Accounting

Start Your Next Chapter in Accounting

The Ph.D. program in business with a specialization in accounting lets students prepare to do research and teach at a Big Ten Institution. New entrants typically come to the Ph.D. program with strong technical accounting backgrounds and recent coursework in calculus and other quantitative methods.

Admission to our Program

When admitting students we consider a mix of attributes such as prior academic success, recommendations, past work experience and GMAT scores (650 or above is desirable). A minimum of 90 graduate credit semester hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required for the Ph.D. degree. Students often come to the program with a Master in Accounting or related area and these hours may be used to partially fulfill the requirements. Contact the School of Accountancy for the next class admission dates.

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Admission Requirements

School Admission Requirements

  • Academic transcripts that showcase excellent grades
  • GMAT score of at least 650, however we have made exceptions for exceptional students. We do not waive the GMAT exam requirement.
  • A statement of purpose discussing your area of interest in accounting, why you want to earn a Ph.D. and what you hope to accomplish with it. Your statement of purpose is to be submitted through UNL GAMES application system (Graduate Admission Management and Evaluation System).
  • Your resume is also submitted through GAMES.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required and submitted through GAMES.


We start reviewing files for fall semester admissions in early February. We do not admit Ph.D. candidates to start course work at mid-academic year (January). Our recommended date for receiving all application materials is January 1. When your file is complete in all respects, it will be reviewed by the School of Accountancy faculty for their decision. An on-campus interview is recommended. Final decisions on admission are normally made in mid-April.

Office of Graduate Studies Requirements

  • Apply online at the Office of Graduate Studies and submit the $50 application fee.
  • The next day students will receive an email from GAMES with instructions.
  • Please note: All application materials (except transcripts and financial resource certification) must be submitted electronically. Do not send paper recommendation forms or resume.


  • As part of the admission process, you are required to submit an unofficial transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended which lists courses completed, grades earned, as well as degrees conferred.
  • You will upload either an electronic or scanned copy of your transcript to MyRed. MyRed Upload Instructions
  • Please do not send paper transcripts to any university office as it may delay the timely processing of your application.
  • Once admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript that is sent directly from each institution you have attended either electronically or on paper to the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln
    Graduate Admissions
    1100 Seaton Hall
    Lincoln, NE 68588-0619
    Tel: (402) 472-2875
  • For more information, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website.

GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test

  • You must register to take the GMAT (preferred) or GRE and have the results forwarded to UNL (use institution code S40-HW-48). You must also submit your scores through GAMES.
  • The minimum GMAT score is 650 for admission, our average GMAT score of admitted Ph.D. students has been approximately 700 since we joined the Big Ten.
  • International Students with a degree outside the United States must also include:
    o TOEFL score (minimum score of 550 written, 213 computer based or 80 iBT) (Use institution code 6877)
  • The Office of International Affairs provides orientation, counseling and advising to international students, and serves as the official liaison between your sponsoring agency and the United States government. Staff members are also available to help you make contacts on campus and in the Lincoln community.
  • Guidelines for international students can be found at

Program Requirements

Program planning and course selection for entering students is administered by the Director of the Ph.D. Program.

First Year Paper and Presentation

A Ph.D. Student is required to complete a research project the first summer in the program. The work will be presented in the fall semester of the second year of the program.

Second Year Paper and Presentation

A Ph.D. student is required to complete a research paper during the second summer of their program. That research project must be approved by the Director of the Ph.D. program and presented in the fall of the third year.

Weekly Workshops

All Accounting Ph.D. students must attend the accounting research workshops. Students are expected to study the research paper prior to the presentation and make useful contributions during seminar discussions. Research presentations are most often held on Friday afternoons. It is important that scheduled classes do not conflict with this time.

Comprehensive Examination
When students have completed all the courses specified in their proposed programs they will be allowed to take a comprehensive examination which generally shall occur in the summer of the second year of their program. The examination is scheduled no more than twice a year. Students may sit for the exam twice.


The Dissertation is to be original research performed by the Ph.D. Candidate. The student’s Supervisory Committee has the final authority on the acceptance or rejections of the dissertation.


The maximum semester course load for students that are employed as teaching or research assistants is twelve hours though normally Ph.D. students take nine hours.


A tentative list of required accounting courses includes the following four Ph.D. seminars:

  • ACCT 916 Introductory Ph.D. Seminar
  • ACCT 99x Financial Accounting Research
  • ACCT 99X: Selected Topics-Auditing Research
  • ACCT 99X Selected Topic-Tax Research

A student is required to successfully complete a twelve graduate credit hours sequence of courses outside of accounting but related to their chosen accounting concentration area.

Analysis Tools

A Ph.D. student should have taken the equivalent of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Calculus I-III prior to entering the Ph.D. program. A program of study will include at least four tool courses from, for example, mathematics, econometrics, or statistics consistent with their chosen accounting concentration area (normally a total of twelve graduate credit hours).

Economic Theory

A Ph.D. student is required to successfully complete Economics 973 (Micro-economics). Students are encouraged to take Economics 873 (Micro economics). Once admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript that is sent directly from each institution you have attended either electronically or on paper to the Office of Graduate Studies.

At the time of admission, a registration hold will be placed on your account until official transcripts are received. Admission may be rescinded if discrepancies exist between uploaded transcripts and official transcripts. Students who received degrees from China must have their documents verified by the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) and mailed directly to Graduate Studies by the CDGDC. Documents held by the student will not be considered verified. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Studies website for more information.



All offers include graduate assistantships. A graduate assistantship compensates students for teaching and/or research appointments. The compensation includes a waiver of tuition, partial payment of the cost of health insurance and a monthly cash stipend. The work requirement involves 19-20 hours per week and no other outside employment is allowed during the assistantship commitment.

All assistantships are contingent upon available funding but the policy of the School of Accountancy has been to fund students with assistantships while pursuing the Ph.D. degree in residence. Assistantships are awarded on a year-to-year basis contingent upon satisfactory progress toward degree completion and satisfactory work performance. However, assistantships may be terminated during the academic year with a 30-day notice for unsatisfactory performance.

Health Insurance

All graduate students with appointments that qualify for full tuition remission may purchase basic coverage under the university's student health insurance plan. Dependent plans are also available on an optional basis.


Omer, Thomas
Professor and Delmar Lienemann Sr. Chair of Accounting


CBA 386
P.O. Box 880488
Lincoln, NE 68588-0488
Mailing Address
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Department of Accountancy
P.O. Box 880488
Lincoln, NE 68588-0488
Shipping Address
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Department of Accountancy
CBA 307
1240 R Street
Lincoln, NE 68588-0488