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University of Nebraska–Lincoln



Ph.D. students attend seminar

Interested in developing your research skills and opening the door to top positions in the field of accounting? The Ph.D. program in business with a specialization in accountancy will prepare you for success. Our small program allows us to give you a personalized experience, as well as the opportunity to develop and pursue academic strengths. If accepted, you will receive a competitive stipend, tuition remission and access to basic coverage under the university’s student health nsurance plan.


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Application is Open September 1 - February 1

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Admission Requirements


We start reviewing files for fall semester admission in early January. 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 February 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-March.

School Admission Requirements

Academic transcripts that showcase excellent grades. Transcript instructions for both domestic and international students can be found in the “Review Admission Process” tab above.

GMAT score or equivalent GRE. We do not waive the GMAT/GRE exam requirement.

Your resume
Three letters of recommendation
A statement of purpose
The statement of purpose should include:
- Your area of interest in accounting
- Why you want to earn a Ph.D.
- What you hope to accomplish with a Ph.D.

Your resume, three letters of recommendation and statement of purpose must be submitted through the graduate application.

GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test

You must register to take the GMAT (preferred) or GRE and have the results forwarded to Nebraska (use institution code S40-HW-48). You must also submit your scores through the graduate application.

International Students with a degree outside the United States must also include:

- TOEFL score (minimum score of 550 written, 213 computer based or 80 iBT) (use institution code 6877)

The International Student and Scholar Office 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

Admissions Process


Apply online and submit the $50 application fee.

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We do not waive the admission fee.

Upload Supporting Documents

All Supporting Documents including unofficial transcripts and test scores are uploaded directly via the graduate application.

You are required to submit an unofficial transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended during the application review process.

Submit Official Transcripts

If you are admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript sent directly from each institution you have attended to The Office of Graduate Studies. We recommend that you complete this task before your admitted term begins. A hold will be placed on your account if they do not receive your official transcripts by October 1 for the fall term, February 1 for the spring term and July 1 for the summer term. Students will have until that day to submit official transcripts or your admission will be rescinded.

Transcripts can be sent electronically to or by mail to

University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Graduate Admissions
1100 Seaton Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0619

International Student Transcript Submission

If you are an international student, please refer to the Nebraska Office of Graduate Studies for transcript and document information.

International Transcript Information

Additional information on Application Requirements can be found at Graduate Studies website.

Strength in Numbers

We consider a mix of attributes while admitting, such as prior academic success, recommendations, past work experience and GMAT or GRE score. We typically expect you to have a strong technical accounting background and recent coursework in calculus and other quantitative methods.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 90 graduate credit semester hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required. If like many of our students, you are coming into the program with a Master in Accounting or related area, those hours may be used to partially fulfill the requirements.

First Year Paper and Presentation

You will be required to complete a research paper the first summer in the program. Your work will be presented in the fall semester of the second year of the program.

Second Year Paper and Presentation

You will also be required to complete a research paper during the second summer of your program. This project must be approved by the director of the Ph.D. program and presented in the fall of the third year.

Weekly Workshops

All of our accounting Ph.D. students must attend the accounting research workshops. We expect you 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 you have completed all the courses specified in your proposed program, you will be allowed to take a comprehensive examination, which generally shall occur in the summer of the second year of your program. The examination is scheduled no more than twice a year. You may sit for the exam twice.


Your dissertation is to be original research, performed by you. Your Supervisory Committee has the final authority on the dissertation’s acceptance or rejection.

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Upon entrance, program planning and course selection is administered by the director of the Ph.D. program. If you’re employed as a teaching or research assistant, the maximum semester course load is twelve hours, though normally our 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 969 Empirical Tax Research
  • ACCT 991 Capital Markets Research
  • ACCT 99X Special Topics

You are encouraged to take additional elective graduate credit hours outside of accounting but related to your chosen accounting concentration area.

Analysis Tools

You 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 semesters of econometrics or statistics consistent with your chosen accounting concentration area (normally a total of twelve graduate credit hours).

Economic Theory

You will be required to successfully complete Economics 912A (Microeconomic Theory I). We also encourage you to take Economics 912B (Microeconomic Theory II).

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All offers include graduate assistantships. A graduate assistantship compensates you 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
If you hold an appointment that qualifies for full tuition remission, you may purchase basic coverage under the university’s student health insurance plan. Dependent plans are also available.

Tentative Course Sequence

Tentative Course Sequence

Year 1
Semester 1:
ACCT 916 Introductory Ph.D. Seminar
ECON 815 Analytical Methods in Economics and Business (math review)
ECON 912A Microeconomic Theory I
ECON 917 Econometrics I
Semester 2:
ACCT 99X Seminar in Empirical Tax Research, Financial Accounting, or Special Topics
ECON 918 Econometrics II
ECON 912B Microeconomic Theory II
Year 2
Semester 1:
ACCT 99X Seminar in Empirical Tax Research, Financial Accounting, or Special Topics
ECON 919 Econometrics III
Semester 2:
ACCT 99X Seminar in Empirical Tax Research, Financial Accounting, or Special Topics
ECON 920 Advanced Topics in Econometrics

Why Nebraska?

Home to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the city of Lincoln consistently ranks among the highest U.S. cities for livability thanks to a low cost of living, great schools and friendly, community-minded residents. Set amidst a big sky and open landscape, the city is simple to navigate with a nationally noted low crime rate, a wide range of housing choices and a reliable public transit system. As one of the fastest growing metro areas in the Midwest, Lincoln boasts a growing technology sector, more parkland per capita than all but a few U.S. cities, an extensive bike trail network and numerous options for recreational and personal interest activities. It’s easy to feel at home here.

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Kubick, Tom
Ellsworth L. Fulk Chair and Professor of Accountancy
HLH 435 T
P.O. Box 880488
Lincoln, NE 68588-0488