Simon Business School

Joanna Wu Teaching 730 x 400


The Simon Business School PhD Program in Accounting provides students with the opportunity to make substantive contributions to the literature by taking advantage of the Simon School's strong economics and quantitative training. At Simon Business School, accounting is not viewed as a separate academic discipline, but rather is perceived as an integral part of applied economics. By studying accounting and accounting phenomena from the perspective of an applied financial economist, an accounting researcher can provide evidence that potentially affects such diverse areas as the theory of the firm, corporate finance, the economics of regulation, and capital market efficiency.

First Year Outline

The first year is designed to give students solid training in microeconomics and econometrics and to introduce them to the basic issues in accounting and finance. The Accounting and Finance Seminars introduce students to the current research topics. Students are required to take courses offered by Simon Business School as well as University of Rochester's Economic Department. First year students are required to take the Core Exam, which is given in June, and complete  a First Year Research Paper, which is due by November 15 of the student's second year. The paper will be presented in AEC510 or in an Accounting Workshop by the fall of the student's second year.

Second Year Outline

In the second year, students are expected to take PhD level courses in Accounting and Finance. In addition, participation in Accounting, Finance, and Applied Economics seminars is required. This training provides the foundation from which to develop research topics/ideas in general, and a thesis topic in specific. Students are required to submit a paper by September 1 of their third year. This paper will be presented in AEC510 or in an Accounting Workshop the fall of the student's third year and serves as the student's Accounting Qualifying Exam.

All students are required to pass a qualifying exam in their minor field of study by the fall of their third year. The exam varies based on the minor chosen but may consist of either a written exam, completing specific courses and/or submitting a research paper in that area.

Third Year and Beyond

In the third year students move from course work to active research with the primary objective being identification of a viable thesis topic. In addition, continued participation in all Accounting and Applied Economic Seminars is required.

Advancement to Candidacy

This is achieved at the end of your fourth year after completing 90 credit hours, and passing the Core and Qualifying Exams. These credit hours include research credits for GBA595 and GBA999. Students become PhD candidates by receiving a recommendation from the Accounting Area Coordinator.

Thesis Proposal and Defense

An initial Thesis Proposal must be presented in AEC510 or in an Accounting Workshop by April 1 of the student's third year. By the start of the fourth year, the student must schedule and pass their Thesis Proposal Seminar. Students fulfilling all requirements would schedule their Thesis Defense by June 30 of their fourth year.


All students must declare a minor field of study and pass a qualifying exam in their chosen minor field. The exam varies based on the minor chosen; it may consist of either a written exam, completing specific courses, and/or submitting a research paper.