Accounting Ph.D. Program


The University of North Texas's College of Business offers a rigorous four-year Ph.D. program in accounting designed to prepare students for successful careers as academic scholars. Students are trained to conduct independent research in a wide range of areas, including tax, financial, managerial, systems, and audit. Our faculty and doctoral students use both archival and behavioral approaches.

Our program is demanding, broad in scope, and provides opportunities for close interaction between students and faculty. Students are required to demonstrate a high level of proficiency in quantitative areas (such as mathematics and statistics), and scholarly writing. Our program has been changing rapidly, reflecting the growing emphasis on rigorous research at the University of North Texas.

Why UNT?

UNT is an ambitious, growing university that is making a strong commitment to expanding and improving its doctoral programs. Accounting doctoral students at UNT now benefit from working with nationally recognized faculty in a wide variety of specialties in a new, exceptionally well-equipped building with cutting edge technology.

UNT is the largest university in the fast-growing Dallas/Fort Worth region. The College of Business enjoys strong alumni support and close relationships with a dynamic business community. Our Institute of Petroleum Accounting is one of the leading academic centers specializing in the oil and gas industry.

The UNT Department of Accounting offers an exceptionally collegial environment with a strong tradition of close student-faculty collaboration. The accounting faculty and administrators are committed to strongly supporting doctoral students and doing everything possible to enable their success.

Accounting Ph.D. Coordinator Contact Information

Mary Curtis
Horace Brock Endowed Professor and Accounting Doctoral Coordinator
University of North Texas
College of Business
Department of Accounting
1155 Union Circle #305219
Denton, TX 76203-5017
Tel: (940) 565-4366 Fax: (940) 565-3803

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is the desired educational background of the students entering your Ph.D. program?

A master's degree in accounting, an MBA with an accounting concentration, or the equivalent is generally required. Students must demonstrate proficiency in calculus1 and microeconomics (master's level) before they begin their doctoral studies.

2) What type of work experience, if any, is required or recommended before admittance into your program? Are you willing to consider well prepared students who have little or no prior work experience?

Professional work experience is strongly recommended. We will sometimes consider exceptionally strong students who have little prior full-time professional work experience.

3) What is the average GMAT score for your entering Ph.D. students? What minimum criteria do you specify for a Ph.D. student? What are your English language proficiency requirements?

We require all applicants to submit GMAT scores. The mean GMAT score of our current Ph.D. students is 695.

We consider only those students who demonstrate excellent English language writing and speaking skills.

4) What qualities do you look for in students that are applying to your school?

We look for a very strong academic background with a record that suggests the ability to become a successful scholar. Intellectual curiosity, enthusiasm, and a very strong work ethic are essential for success in our program.

5) Do you invite/require applicants in for campus or phone interviews?

We invite the strongest applicants to visit our campus for personal interviews. With some applicants we may conduct phone interviews instead of personal interviews.

6) How many new Ph.D. students have you admitted and plan to admit from 2013 to 2016?
Fall 2014 2
Fall 2015 4
Fall 2016 3
Fall 2017 3-4
7) What is your annual tuition and the typical financial package made available to new Ph.D. students in terms of cash stipends, tuition breaks, and any other benefit provided?

Annual tuition and fees: Roughly $7,500 per year during the first two years, and about $3,200 per year in later years. These items are waived for almost all students.

Average annual cash stipends: At least $20,000.

Other financial assistance provided: Variable.

8) How many full-time (FT) and part-time (PT) Ph.D. students do you currently have in your program in each of the following years of study?
Full Time
1st year 2
2nd year 3
3rd year 2
4th year 1
Part Time
We do not offer a part time program.
9) Over the past years, how many Ph.D. students have graduated from your program annually?
2012-2013 1
2013-2014 2
2014-2015 3
2015-2016 3
10) What percentage of your entering Ph.D. students graduate and how many years of study does it take on average to complete your Ph.D. program based on recent graduates?

90% Graduate. It takes an average of four years to complete the program.

11) Do you expect your students to teach during their Ph.D. program? If so, what is the expected number of classes per year?

Yes, most students teach one section per semester, one preparation during most of the student's Ph.D. program, starting in the second semester of their first year. We offer flexibility in teaching assignments.

12) List the schools where the last five Ph.D. graduates from your institution accepted employment.

Clemson University, San Francisco State University, University of Nevada-Reno, TCU, Babson College, and Monmouth University

13) Of your current Ph.D. students, how many anticipate graduating with a research focus on each of the following areas?
Topical Area
Financial 5
Managerial 0
Tax 2
Audit 2
Information Systems 0
Undecided 0
Research Methodology
Behavioral 4
Archival 5
Analytical 0
Experimental 0
Undecided 0
14) Of your current accounting faculty, how many are directly involved in supporting your Ph.D. students in research in each of the following areas?
Topical Area
Financial 5
Managerial 1
Tax 2
Audit 3
Information Systems 2
Undecided 0
Research Methodology
Behavioral 5
Archival 6
Analytical 0
Experimental 0
15) What is the url to your web site?

16) What is your application deadline?

Students should submit their applications as early as possible. Jan. 15 is the formal deadline for admission in the following fall, but students should apply sooner. The program might become full before the deadline. International applicants are especially urged to apply early, since application processing at the university level for international students can require many weeks.

17) Do you offer a part-time program?



College of Business prerequisites

The UNT College of Business PhD Handbook for Doctoral Students states that a student entering the doctoral program upon completion of a bachelor's degree must complete the MBA core requirements and take 12 additional hours in the major and/or minor areas. (This statement assumes that the entering student does not already hold an MBA.)

A student who holds a master's degree that does not contain courses equivalent to the MBA background courses must take these courses as "deficiencies" outside the doctoral program. The Accounting Department can make exceptions to the above requirements on a case-by-case basis.

Accounting Department prerequisites
  • Two semesters of calculus for behavioral track students. Three semesters of calculus up to and including vector-valued functions, multi-variable functions, partial derivatives, and multiple integrals for capital markets students (This is the equivalent of UNT's three semester calculus sequence (Calc I [Math 1710], Calc II [Math 1720], and Calc III [Math 2730]).
  • Intermediate microeconomics – 3 credits. (upper level undergraduate or master's level).
  • Linear algebra – strongly recommended but not required.

Although we generally require that incoming accounting doctoral students have the equivalent of an MS in Accounting, we evaluate incoming students' academic backgrounds on a case-by-case basis. We generally require the equivalent of the following UNT College of Business accounting background courses:

  • ACCT 3110 - Intermediate Accounting I
  • ACCT 3120 - Intermediate Accounting II
  • ACCT 3270 - Cost Accounting
  • ACCT 4100 - Accounting Systems
  • ACCT 4300 - Federal Income Taxation
  • ACCT 4400 - Auditing – Professional Responsibilities

Example Course Plans

Course Plan for Behavioral Students
Fall Winter/Spring Summer
First Year Capital Markets Research Seminar I (core course) Behavioral Research Seminar I (core course) First Year Independent Research Paper (core course)
Applied Regression Analysis Applied Multivariate Statistics
Business Research Methods Tools or minor course
Tools or minor course
Second Year Capital Markets Research Seminar II (core course) Behavioral Research Seminar II (core course) Second Year Independent Research Paper (core course)
Structural Equation Modeling Experimental Design
Tools or minor course Tools or minor course
Course Plan for Archival Students
Fall Winter/Spring Summer
First Year Capital Markets Research Seminar (core course) Behavioral Research Seminar (core course) First Year Independent Research Paper (core course)
Mathematical Economics Advanced Econometrics
Multiple Regression Mathematical Statistics
Probability Theory
Second Year Capital Markets Research Seminar (core course) Behavioral Research Seminar (core course) Second Year Independent Research Paper (core course)
Applied Econometrics Minor Course
Minor Course Minor Course

Research Interests of UNT Accounting Faculty

Teresa Conover
Financial and international accounting.

Mary Curtis
Judgment and decision making, oriented towards improving the performance of professionals by helping them made more optimal judgments and decisions through reduced biases and improved processes.

Jared Eutsler
Auditing; Audit Regulation (including PCAOB); Audit Inputs (including hiring and training of individual auditors); and Fraud.

Don Finn
Behavioral judgment and decision making related to ethics, budgeting, and managerial effectiveness.

Carol Ann Frost
Financial reporting, disclosure, and credit rating agencies in global capital markets.

Paul Hutchison
Cash flow management, governmental accounting, environmental accounting, disclosure, accounting systems, and research methods.

Govind Iyer
Tax policy analysis, tax compliance, and behavioral research on the role of affect and biases on actions and decisions.

Theresa Lightner
Dividend taxation, the effects of taxation on corporate distributions, and state taxation.

Jesse Robertson
Auditor judgments and investor perceptions of financial disclosures.

Lili Sun
Financial accounting and auditing.

Neil Wilner
Managerial accounting and behavioral methodology.

Please email Dr. Curtis ( for a sample of publications from our Faculty.

1 Two semesters of calculus and an upper level microeconomics course are required for the behavioral track, and three semesters of calculus and an upper level microeconomics course are required for the capital markets (archival) track. Prerequisite course work must be completed before the start of fall classes.