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UTSA student in accounting classroom

Why Pursue a PhD in Accounting

Program emphasis is placed on developing a set of research skills for addressing research questions broadly related to financial reporting, managerial accounting, corporate governance and auditing. Students work closely with faculty in small classes, seminars, research projects and other assignments aimed at developing strong competencies for conducting state-of-the-art research in accounting. The Accounting PhD is full time, with completion averaging between four and five years.

Program faculty members serve PhD students as teachers, mentors, supervisors, advisors, co-authors, dissertation committee members and in several other ways that enhance the students’ research experience and productivity in the program. The faculty members also play a critical role in assisting the students to secure top positions in academia, industry or government.

Research Opportunities

The Accounting PhD program is currently ranked No. 9 nationally in archival auditing research. Program faculty are a critical resource for this program, staffing high-quality faculty members with broad-based knowledge in various areas of accounting. Faculty have published their research in top journals in accounting and business. These publications have appeared in The Accounting ReviewJournal of Accounting ResearchJournal of Accounting & EconomicsContemporary Accounting ResearchReview of Accounting StudiesJournal of Financial EconomicsJournal of Corporate FinanceJournal of Accounting Literature and Accounting Horizons among others.

Accounting professor instructing students.

Careers in Higher Education and Research

The primary focus of a doctoral program is to prepare qualified candidates for academic careers in higher education, teaching, and research. Data predicts a strong demand for business school faculty for the next 15 years. Becoming a university faculty member is a gratifying experience that offers collaboration with students and other faculty, as well as fair compensation.

When you earn your degree, you will be prepared to start your professional career as an assistant professor at an academic institution. Faculty mentors at UTSA can assist you with finding the perfect job upon graduation. Program graduates are also qualified to hold research positions in government and industry.

Students Attending an Info Session

Register for an Info Session

Interested in learning more about UTSA’s Carlos Alvarez College of Business Accounting PhD program? Register to attend an upcoming Information Session where you’ll have the opportunity to review application procedures, learn admissions requirements and ask questions.

Admission & Application Requirements

Applications are submitted through the UTSA Graduate Application. Please upload all required documents (listed below) on your UTSA Graduate Application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure completion and submission of the application, a nonrefundable application fee, and all required supporting documents are on file with UTSA by the appropriate application deadline.

Accounting (PhD)
Admission is only available for the Fall semester
  Required Degree Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution.
  Minimum GPA 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) Departments may consider GPA of last 60 semester credit hours
  Coursework 18 credit hours in an area related to this graduate degree and at least 12 hours must be at the upper-division level.
  Transcripts* Required from all institutions attended; international transcripts must be recorded/translated to English
  Credential Evaluation Required if you have earned university-level credit from foreign institutions. Submit an evaluation of your transcripts from Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) directly from the graduate admission application platform
  GRE/GMAT Required scores not older than five years.
  English Language Proficiency 550 TOEFL Paper / 79 TOEFL Internet / 6.5 IELTS / Duolingo 100
  Purpose Statement Required
  Resume Required
  Letters of Recommendation 3 academic or professional reference(s) demonstrating your attributes for successful completion of this program (you will request these through the Graduate Admissions Application; let your recommenders know of your deadline to ensure submissions are on time)
*Unofficial transcripts will be taken into consideration for admissions; however, if admitted into the program, you must submit official transcripts to the University.
Apply 2024-25 Application

Application Deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to have their admission file completed as early as possible. All applications, required documents and letters of recommendation, if applicable, must be submitted by 5:00 PM U.S. Central Time on the day of the deadline. Deadlines are subject to change.

Accounting (PhD)
Timing on Admission Decision: Students can expect to hear back on an admission decision within 4 to 6 weeks after May 15.
Application Deadlines for: Priority International Domestic
Fall 2024 February 1 February 1
Spring Not Available Not Available
Summer Not Available Not Available

Funding Opportunities

Early application is strongly recommended to be considered for scholarships, assistantships or other forms of financial support. Please note that admission into the program is not a guarantee of financial support. PhD students who are selected for funding typically receive a financial package for a period of up to four years.

For more information about graduate funding, click below.

Learn More

Career Options

UTSA prepares you for future careers that are in demand. The possible careers below is data pulled by a third-party tool called Emsi, which pulls information from sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, online job postings, other government databases and more to give you regional and national career outlook related to this academic program.

While in a doctoral program, a student may earn a master’s degree provided the following conditions are satisfied:

  • A student must be admitted to candidacy.
  • A student is eligible to receive a master’s degree upon completion of University-wide requirements and any additional degree requirements specific to the program.
  • The Doctoral Studies Committee, Department Chair, and the Graduate Associate Dean of the College must recommend students for the degree.
  • The student must apply for graduation by the published deadline the semester prior to awarding the doctoral degree.
  • All required coursework in the doctoral program at the time of admission to candidacy must have been taken within the previous six years.
  • If the master’s degree requires a thesis, the degree cannot be awarded on the basis of the doctoral qualifying examination.
  • Students will not be approved for an additional master’s degree in the same field in which an individual has previously received a master’s degree.

This is a full-time program and most courses are offered during the day. Students must enroll for nine hours in the fall semester, nine hours in the spring semester and three hours in the summer semester.

This program is does not offer a hybrid or fully online modality. All PhD programs in the college are in-residence and admitted students are expected to complete the program in-person.

PhD students normally serve as either a teaching assistant or research assistant throughout the program. These experiences are an important part of the training and overall doctoral experience. It would be difficult for someone to manage both a full-time job and the doctoral program’s requirements; therefore, it is not recommended.

  • Auburn University
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Texas State University
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of Houston-Victoria
  • University of Maine
  • University of Nevada-Reno
  • University of Portland
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key factors on which admissions are based, and who decides?

Admission is based on

  • Undergraduate transcripts (and graduate, if applicable)
  • Standardized test scores
  • Recommendations from former professors or employers who can speak to your ability to do doctoral-level work at UTSA

The admission committee is looking for evidence that you understand the specific nature of the program that you are applying for, that you can articulate your scholarly intentions that fit with the research interests of current faculty and that you are academically prepared to succeed in the program.

The most important part of your application is your statement of purpose. Although outstanding grades and test scores are important, you should construct a clear, persuasive, well-written statement of purpose in order to be competitive.

I am completing an undergraduate degree. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes; however, you must take additional leveling courses and complete any graduate coursework where your academic background is insufficient. The catalog states that the PhD requirement is “66 hours beyond the master’s degree.” Therefore, the time required to complete a PhD will most likely be much longer for a candidate without a master’s degree than for a candidate with a master’s degree.

When are admission decisions made?

Admission decisions are typically made in March; however, exceptionally qualified candidates are considered earlier.

Can I submit GMAT/GRE test scores after the application deadline?

No. All application documents must be received by the application deadline and incomplete applications will not be considered. You will be required to upload unofficial copies within the Graduate Admissions Application.

Can I wait to submit the foreign credential evaluation (ECE transcript) until after I am accepted to UTSA?

No. Foreign credential evaluations must be received by the application deadline for your application to be processed. Processing time may take up to three weeks, and students should plan accordingly with the admission deadlines of the programs for which they are applying.

Do you accept WES transcript evaluations?

All NACES accredited evaluators are accepted.

What should I expect as a doctoral student?

Your role and the expectations will change as you progress in the program. Initially, your role will be as a student with the expectation that you attend and participate in doctoral seminars with other students. Expect to read a great deal and write papers.

To prepare to become a university professor, you will work closely with faculty members to learn how to teach. You will start as a teaching assistant and work toward teaching classes independently.

Conducting research is another area of focus where you will work closely with faculty on research projects. Under the direction of a faculty committee, you will conduct original research that will be the basis for your dissertation.

How long does this program take to complete?

Most students will need four years. Plan for at least two years to complete the coursework. Add another year to pass the comprehensive exams, develop a dissertation topic and defend your dissertation proposal. Dedicate your final year(s) to dissertation research.

Are PhD students required to teach?

Teaching is crucial to your academic career and job prospects. Every PhD student should gain teaching experience before graduating. Initially, students may work as research assistants for faculty members and may also assist in teaching various courses. For students who receive stipends, they will most likely teach an undergraduate course at the Carlos Alvarez College of Business during their program.

What are the research requirements of the PhD program?

The PhD program requires students to research while they complete formal coursework and during the summers. As research assistants, students work with faculty members in joint research activities and pursue their research objectives under the supervision of faculty members. The goal is to create papers to present at academic meetings and submit to research publications by the time the student is ready to begin their dissertation research. To be competitive in the academic job market, students should prioritize producing papers and publications while in the program.

As a PhD student, who will advise me?

Your program admission will identify an initial PhD advisor. However, as your interests and research agenda develop toward preparing a dissertation proposal, a different faculty member may emerge as the appropriate advisor for your dissertation research. Your initial advisor will help you assemble a program committee of faculty, who will advise you regarding your dissertation.

Can you waive my application fee?

You may request an application waiver if

  • You are a McNair Scholar
  • Active-duty military or a veteran of the US Armed Forces
  • If you are an applicant who has attended a PhD Project Conference

Please complete the Request to Waive Doctoral Application Fee if you meet one or more of the above criteria.

Approved applicants will receive a single-use coupon code to enter into the payment field of the online application.

Can you waive the GMAT/GRE test score requirement?

We do not offer waivers for standardized test scores.

Is there a waiver for the TOEFL/IELTS exam requirement?

TOEFL scores may be waived for international students from countries where English is the official language or for non-citizens of the United States who have earned a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree or higher in the United States (or other countries where English is the official language) as indicated in the Graduate Catalog (

Graduate Advisor of Record

Jennifer Yin, PhD

(210) 458-7090