PhD in Business Administration: Accounting Emphasis

Research in Accounting and Finance

The UIC PhD in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting educates and trains future scholars to establish successful careers as productive researchers, scholars, and teachers at leading universities and research institutions.

The primary emphasis is on producing accounting scholars who have developed the technical skills and understanding of the research paradigms necessary to ask interesting and relevant research questions and develop appropriate answers.

The program benefits from active research faculty who consistently publish in leading accounting and finance journals, as well as from a diversity of research interests among the faculty spanning both analytical and archival/empirical areas of research. Doctoral students receive the full support of a department dedicated to training the next generation of researchers.

Department and Program Highlights

As a Carnegie R1 research university, UIC Business Accounting faculty are supported and encouraged to perform cross-collaborative research. Currently, UIC faculty and researchers are conducting $267 million of sponsored research. In 2019, the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education ranked The University of Illinois at Chicago on the top 10 “Best Values” list and within the Midwest region, the university placed 12 out of 212 institutions.

Program Requirements

In addition to the minimum requirements stipulated by UIC’s Graduate College; applicants must meet the following program requirements:

Baccalaureate Field: Prior academic work that includes basic calculus and statistics is encouraged.
Grade Point Average: At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate/ graduate study.

Standardized Test Requirements

  • GRE or GMAT All applicants (Domestic and International) must submit official GMAT scores. The Department requires that you have a minimum GMAT score of 650. Equivalent GRE scores will also be acceptable.
  • English Proficiency for International Students All applicants whose native language is not English must submit valid English proficiency test scores. Applicants must submit official TOEFL Internet-Based Test (IBT) Scores. Successful applicants  would be expected to have  a total score of ≥ 95 and a speaking score of ≥ 23. English proficiency test scores are considered valid for two years following the test date and must be valid at the time of application.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. While current or past supervisors can provide such letters, it is recommended that at least one of the letters is from a former teacher/professor. In any case, the letters should speak to the applicant’s ability to think independently and creatively as well as their ability to engage in open-ended research.

Personal Statement

A personal statement of no more than 250 words explaining why the applicant is considering a PhD in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting is required.


Coursework in the program includes a series of required courses and seminars in economics, finance, statistical methodology, and other areas relevant to the pursuit of research in accounting. Our curriculum relies heavily on the research our faculty produces.

Additionally, UIC’s location in the heart of Chicago and partnership with neighboring research universities allows students to take coursework for credit at nearby Northwestern University and The University of Chicago.

Explore the UIC Catalog

Funding and Research

  • Funding

    PhD students receive a tuition waiver and a competitive stipend for four years in exchange for work as a graduate research or teaching assistant provided they are making satisfactory progress towards obtaining their degree.

  • Faculty Research Interests

    Empirical Archival Accounting: Financial Reporting, Capital Markets, Asset Pricing, Disclosure, Management Control, Executive Compensation, Taxation, Security Analysts, Auditing, etc.

    Accounting Theory: Information Economics, Financial Reporting, Auditing, Tax, Voluntary Disclosure, Contracting, etc.

  • Research

    Research Seminar Series

    Weekly research seminars

    Reciprocity invitation process for junior faculty

    Seminar series exchange programs with peer schools

    Annual Research Conference

    2019 marked the 7th annual UIC Business Accounting Research Conference. Invited guest speakers were welcomed to campus to share their research with approximately 70 participants drawn from across North America.

    Past speakers include scholars from reputed universities and institutions such as Berkeley, Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, Southern California, Stanford, Toronto, and Yale.

Meet Our Current Students

Learn more about our program through our current students. Read about their backgrounds and see their current research interests. Click here to see all of our current doctoral students.