PhD of Accounting

The PhD program in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting is designed to produce leading scholars for accounting research and teaching. Our PhD students are historically placed in institutions where research, teaching, and service are encouraged and rewarded. Thus, the School of Accountancy (SOA) trains our PhD students to equip them with the capability to discover critical accounting research questions, coupled with the ability to address them effectively.  Students must master both empirical and/or behavioral methodologies, and be exposed to other research methodologies. The design of the coursework, the arrangement of graduate assistantships, and advisor/advisee relationships are aimed to achieve these objectives.

PhD students are required to pass their comprehensive examinations and defend their dissertation proposals and final dissertations. In addition, SOA also wants to ensure that our PhD students are capable of instructing graduate and undergraduate level accounting coursework. Finally, we expect our students to actively participate in the accounting community. Presenting, discussing and reviewing papers in conferences are some ways that students can serve our community. The tenure of our PhD student is four years with financial supports given satisfactory academic performance.

This page outlines SOA requirements for PhD Students. SOA's PhD student in accounting handbook provides more details. A separate SOA web-page under Resources provides a list of current PhD students with emphasis in accounting, and information on placement of our PhD graduates.

SOA Requirements for PhD Students

Besides meeting University and College requirements for the Ph.D. in Business Administration, students seeking an accounting emphasis have additional requirements from SOA. The PhD program with a focus on accounting requires coursework, participation in accounting research workshops, and a dissertation.

Accounting Research Seminars provide a solid framework for students to view research in an integrated way. Each accounting seminar has a final exam, in addition to any papers written as part of the class. The Ph.D. committee and SOA faculty work together to develop a curriculum for each accounting seminar. One seminar covers financial accounting. A second one covers behavioral, tax, management, auditing and other aspects of the discipline. A third seminar addresses accounting information systems and/or other aspects of the discipline. PhD students write a paper during their first and second summers. Each PhD student is also required to present the paper in a research workshop in the following year. Students are assigned to faculty for research support.

All students must take ACC 625 Accounting and Tax Research and ACC 616 Accounting Theory and Development. Students entering from a different field must also take various accounting classes. Students are also encouraged to take seminar classes in related fields, such as finance. Additionally, regular participation in research workshops is expected.

All students must first shadow a professor in an accounting course, before teaching that course. Efforts in improving teaching skills are highly encouraged such as attending seminars at the UH Mānoa Center for Teaching Excellence. Thus, students who are non-native English speakers are required to continue to improve their English.

A commitment to the accounting profession is expected. Each PhD student should commit to studying and passing one or more of the following professional qualifications: CPA (preferred), CMA, CIA or CISA. Membership in the American Accounting Association (AAA) is required for PhD students seeking an accounting emphasis. Each student is expected to attend at least one meeting (preferably the Annual Meeting) to show their commitment to accounting and build meaningful connections in the field during their first two years. The student is encouraged to join as many sections as appropriate (e.g FARS, Auditing, Management Accounting, AIS, ABO, & International). SOA attempts to sponsor PhD students to the AAA Doctoral Consortium.