Programe Structure and Curriculum

PhD in Accounting

Program Structure and Curriculum

The minimum duration of the program is three years. Most students, however, are expected to take about five years to complete the program. The maximum registration duration of the program is five years, unless special approval for a longer duration is given by SMU.

The curriculum consists of

  • Coursework courses (14 course units)
  • First-Year Summer Research Project
  • Completion of PhD Dissertation (28 course units)

Total graduation requirements = 42 course units

Besides the above requirements, the students are required to attend all accounting research workshops and annual research symposiums hosted by SOA.

The details are listed below.

Program Schedule (Sample)

Year Course
1 & 2

Foundation courses (Economics, Finance, and General Business)

  • Microeconomics (I)
  • Econometrics (I)
  • Investments
  • Corporate Finance
  • Introduction to Business Research

Foundation courses (Accounting)

  • Introduction to Accounting Research
  • Accounting Research Seminar (I) (Theory and Empirical)
  • Accounting Research Seminar (II) (Financial Accounting)
  • Accounting Research Seminar (III) (Auditing & Taxation)


  • Five PhD level courses, in fields of Economics, Finance, or other relevant fields

Summer Research Project (First Year)

PhD Qualifying Exam (End of Second Year)


Work on Dissertation

Complete Teaching Requirement (1 full UG Section)

Attend high-quality accounting conferences


Work on Dissertation

Overseas Exchange Program (for top students)

Complete Dissertation Proposal & present the proposal

Attend at least 2 high-quality accounting conferences (Year 3 & 4)


Complete Dissertation (submit written report of dissertation)

Oral Defense


Last updated on 25 Sep 2017 .