The Ph.D. program in Business Administration with a specialization in accountancy
lets students earn a Big Ten degree while preparing them to conduct accounting research and to teach.
Our program particularly suits those interested in concentrating in audit or tax,
with field areas in finance or economics. New entrants typically come to the Ph.D.
program with strong technical accounting backgrounds and recent coursework in
calculus and other quantitative methods.
We consider a mix of attributes such as prior academic success, recommendations,
past work experience and GMAT scores (650 or above is desirable). Typically, prior
to admitting a new Ph.D. student, one of the current students must complete or leave
the program. This means that it is difficult to forecast admissions. We currently
expect to admit three -- four students every other year. The next class will be admitted
for the fall 2014 semester.
Program Hours: 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.
Initial course selection direction: Course selection for entering students is
administered by the Director of the Ph.D. Program. Students should arrange to see
the Director of the Ph.D. Program as soon as they arrive on campus.
Supervisory Committee: Supervisory Committees should be formed as early as possible.
The Ph.D. Program Director will assist students in the initial selection of this committee,
though the committee may be changed at anytime by the student (with the consent of the
Director of the Ph.D. Program). The committee directs the entire course of study and is
not obligated to accept any existing credits beyond the master’s degree. The committee
must include two members from outside of the School of Accountancy, one of whom is outside
the Business Interdepartmental Area. Students must file a Supervisory Committee Appointment
Form with the Director of the Ph.D. Program and the selections must be approved by the UNL
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.
Accounting: A tentative list of required accounting courses includes 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
Field Area: A student is required to successfully complete a twelve graduate credit
hours sequence of courses outside of accounting but related to his chosen accounting
concentration area. This requirement may be fulfilled, for example, by taking four Ph.D.
seminars in finance.
Mathematics and Econometrics Area: 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 (normally a total of twelve graduate credit
hours). These courses normally include Statistics 880, Econometrics 957, Econometrics 958,
and Econometrics 959.
Economic Theory: A Ph.D. student is required to successfully complete Economics 973 (Micro-economics).
Students are encouraged to take Economics 873 (Micro economics)
Second Year Paper and Presentation: A Ph.D. student is required to complete an individual
research paper prior to taking the comprehensive exam. By December 1 of the third year,
the Director of the Ph.D. Program must approve this completed research paper. Students are
required to present their papers in the Accounting research workshop.
Weekly Workshops: All Accounting Ph.D. students must attend the accounting/finance 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.
When students have completed all the courses specified in their proposed programs and
presented their second year papers to the faculty, they will be allowed to take a
comprehensive examination. The examination is scheduled no more than twice a year.
Students may sit for the exam twice. Students who do not pass by their second try will
be asked to leave the program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Office of Graduate Studies - Requirements
Apply online at the Office of Graduate Studies and submit the $50 application
fee. The next day you will receive instructions for the
UNL GAMES application system (Graduate Admission Management
and Evaluation System). Please note: All application materials (except
transcripts and finance resource certification) must be submitted electronically.
Do not send paper recommendation forms or resume.
Recommendation for Graduate Admission. Three letters of reference are required
and should be submitted through GAMES.
Professional Résumé. Your résumé should be submitted
Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). You should
register to take the GMAT and have the results forwarded to UNL (use institution code S40-HW-48).
also submit your scores through GAMES.
- International Students should also include:
- TOEFL score (minimum score of 550 written,
213 computer based or 80 iBT) (Use institution code 6877)
Guidelines for international students can be found at
Transcripts. Ask each college or university that you have attended to send
one official transcript to:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Graduate Admissions Office
1100 Seaton Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0619
Tel: (402) 472-2875
on Tuition and Costs.
If you would like more information regarding the Ph.D. Program in the School of