PhD Program

Dissertation Areas
Proposals and Defenses


The PhD Program at Chicago Booth is one of the preeminent PhD programs in accounting, with a list of graduates who have played a central role in the evolution of modern accounting research. The American Accounting Association periodically awards a prize for seminal contributions to the accounting literature. Of the five times this prize has been awarded, Chicago PhD graduates have won four times. Prominent graduates include Ray Ball, Bill Beaver, Philip Brown, Joel Demski, Anthony Hopwood, Charles Horngren, Mark Lang, Baruch Lev, Stephen Penman, Katherine Schipper, Bart Simpson, George Staubus, Gregory Waymire, and Ross Watts. More information on this history of the program is provided below.


Research faculty are the most important resource for doctoral students. These are the people who will teach you, advise you, mentor you, co-author research papers with you, supervise your thesis, help place you in an outstanding job, and be your colleagues throughout your career. As measured by research productivity and impact, Chicago Booth has one of the best accounting faculty groups in the world. The group includes Ray Ball, Phil Berger, Merle Erickson, Christian Leuz, Haresh Sapra, Douglas Skinner, and Abbie Smith, as well as an outstanding group of research-active junior faculty. The school is committed to maintaining the quality of this group. 

In addition to an outstanding accounting faculty, Chicago Booth (and the university more generally) is fortunate to have some of the world’s most prominent researchers in economics, finance, and other related disciplines, including a number of Nobel Prize winners. 


The accounting faculty at Chicago publishes the Journal of Accounting Research. JAR is the oldest private research journal in accounting. It is generally considered to be one of the top tier accounting research journals in the world. 


Recent graduates (with employment) include Meng Li (UT Dallas), Anna Costello (MIT), Robert Davidson (Georgetown), Alon Kalay (Columbia), Jonathan Milian (Florida International University), Pepa Kraft (NYU), Jeff Ng (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Ningzhong Li (London Business School), Eugene Soltes (Harvard Business School), Yu Gao (Minnesota), Steve Crawford (Rice), Xue Wang (Emory), Frank Zhang (Yale), Regina Wittenberg-Moermen (Wharton), Gil Sadka (Columbia), and Feng Li (University of Michigan). 

For more details about the PhD Program in accounting at Chicago Booth, see General Examination Requirements - By Area in the PhD Program Guidebook (PDF).

To learn more about research being done by current PhD students, please view a listing of proposals and defenses across dissertation areas.

For accounting faculty, please access our faculty directory to sort by academic area.

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