• Schulich’s PhD Program in Accounting is all about groundbreaking research. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers on issues that concern the business community, the accounting profession and broader society. Through a combination of mentoring, coursework, seminars and a wide variety of research and teaching opportunities, you will learn the craft of academic accounting research.

    To be successful, you will have to go far beyond the basic program requirements. You will be expected to participate in research with faculty members, to develop your own research ideas into conference presentations and academic articles, and to submit those articles to leading journals for publication.

Specialization Details by Category

Study Options

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Student admission is restricted to full-time study exclusively for the first four years. It is not recommended to be working outside of the PhD program during your studies. Students must be able to participate in the PhD program in Toronto.

Choose a study option to view its details and requirements


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The minimal requirements of the PhD Program in Accounting include: the successful completion of two years of course work, a comprehensive examination, a research proposal, and a dissertation documenting independent and original research. If you don’t have the academic background of our usual PhD students, you may be required to take additional courses. Your dissertation will take between one and three years to complete, depending on your eventual topic and research methods.

As noted above, complete training in research requires you to exceed these minimal requirements. In particular, you must engage actively in research during your program. Throughout the program you will also be expected to participate in seminars, workshops, and conferences at the local, national, and international levels. It will be your responsibility to push as far as your skills and aptitude can take you. Frequent interaction with faculty members and fellow students is necessary in order that you develop intellectually and professionally.


Your coursework plan will be developed in consultation with the Accounting Area’s PhD Program Coordinator. The courses are typically one semester long (3.0 credits), and fall into six categories:

Required DCAD Courses:

You will be required to take the following DCAD core courses:


These DCAD courses are designed to ensure that all PhD students at Schulich acquire a basic competence in research methods, including quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, and the philosophy and methods used in the social sciences.

Accounting Core and Elective Courses

You will also be required to take four of the following doctoral accounting courses:



Two Elective Courses

These two courses are selected with the assistance of the Accounting PhD program director and will be from disciplines that are foundational to Accounting such as Economics, Finance and Organizational studies.

Additional course requirements for students with limited relevant backgrounds

Students who have no master’s degree are normally required to take two additional graduate level courses to improve their methodological training; these courses could be, for example, in statistics, econometrics, and psychometrics.


A typical student entering the PhD program with a Masters degree will take at least 10 courses (or 30 credit hours) comprised of four DCAD courses, four accounting core courses, two foundational courses, plus possible electives. At the rate of three courses per semester, a typical student will complete his/her coursework in four semesters (Fall / Winter / Fall / Winter).

A typical student entering the PhD program without a Masters degree will take at least 12 courses (or 36 credit hours) comprised of the above courses plus the two required quantitative methods courses. At the rate of three courses per semester, such a student will complete his/her coursework in four semesters (Fall / Winter / Fall / Winter).

Comprehensive Examination:

Students undergo a comprehensive examination after successfully completing all coursework. This examination is designed to demonstrate knowledge of the accounting
field, the chosen foundation field, and research methodologies. The comprehensive examination is set and administered by Accounting Area faculty members. It is
normally administered within 24 months of entry into the PhD program. A second and final attempt at this examination is allowed (within six months of the first examination) if the student is unsuccessful in the first attempt.

The program regards the comprehensive examination as a pivotal point for deciding whether students should be allowed to proceed with their studies or be

Dissertation Proposal and Oral Defence:

Candidates must prepare a written proposal to conduct original dissertation research carried out under the supervision of a supervisory committee, and must defend this to the satisfaction of the thesis supervisor and members of the supervisory committee.

Dissertation Proposal and Oral Examination:

Candidates must prepare a dissertation based on original research carried out under the supervision of a supervisory committee and submit the results in appropriate dissertation form. After the formal submission of the dissertation, an oral examination is held. It is expected that all or part of the dissertation will be published following professional or scientific review.


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Our faculty members do research that matters. We have substantial experience in a broad range of research paradigms and methodologies. We publish in pinnacle accounting journals on a variety of topics, including topics broadly related to the public policy and public interest consequences of accounting practice. Recent publications have examined topics such as corruption, ethics, executive compensation, international standard setting, and pensions to name but a few. A significant number of accounting area faculty members participate in the Schulich Public Interest Accounting Group, which is part of the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business.

Career Opportunities

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  • The demand for PhD graduates in accounting is very strong in Canada, the U.S., and across the globe. The Schulich PhD Program in Accounting will prepare you for a career in research and teaching at top business schools around the world. The program will give you a strong academic foundation in accounting, as well as an understanding of the relationship between accounting and other fields of management.

    Placement of Recent Graduates

    Errol Osecki Assistant Professor, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa
    John Kurpierz Tax Manager, Smith and Associates
    Xiaoran (Jason) Jia Assistant Professor, Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, Wilfred Laurier University
    Lei Zhang Assistant Professor in Accounting at IBSS, XJTLU (Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool U)
    Changqiu Yu Assistant Professor and CPA Research Fellowship,Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba
    Pier-Luc Nappert Assistant Professor, School of Accoutancy, FSA Ulaval
    Ziyao San Assistant Professor, Capital University of Business and Economics in Beijing, PR China
    Qiuju (Claire) Deng Assistant Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson
    Preetika Joshi Assistant Professor at Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University
    Christine Gilbert Assistant Professor, School of Accounting, University of Laval
    Gajindranath Maharaj Assistant Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University
    June Woo Park Assistant Professor, School of Economics and Business Administration, Saint Mary’s College of California
    Katherine Ruff Assistant Professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University
    Akhila Chawla Assistant Professor, University of New Brunswick
    Gregory Saxton Assistant Professor, Schulich School of Business, York University

Student Research

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  • Scholarly development is an integral part of student life at Schulich School of Business. Working on research topics with award-winning faculty, you will present your findings at industry conferences and publish them in key publications. Highlighted below are some recent accomplishments of PhD students in the Accounting area.

    Selected Publications

    Changqiu Yu (Forthcoming), “Valuation Uncertainty and Analysts’ Use of DCF Models,” Review of Accounting Studies (with Shengzhong H. and H. Tan, X. Wang)

    Lei Zhang (Forthcoming), “Climate Change Social Norms and  Corporate Cash Holdings,” Journal of Business Ethics (with K. Kanagaretnam and J. Gao)

    Christine Gilbert (2023), “Resistance, hegemony, and critical accounting interventions: Lessons from debates over government debt,” Critical Perspectives on Accounting

    Katherine Ruff (2023), “Impact valuations in social finance: emic and polyvocal stakeholder accounts,” Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 36(1), pp.295-322 (with Graham, C. and Nappert, P.)

    Pier-Luc Nappert (2023), “Impact valuations in social finance: emic and polyvocal stakeholder accounts,” Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 36(1), pp.295-322 (with Graham, C. and Ruff, K.)

    Pier-Luc Nappert (2023), “The assetization of baseball players: Instrumentalizing promise with signing bonuses and human capital contracts,” Accounting, Organizations and Society, 105, p.101402 (with Plante, M.)

    Pier-Luc Nappert (2023),  “The dissipation of corporate accountability: Deaths of the elderly in for-profit care homes during the coronavirus pandemic,” Critical Perspectives on Accounting, p.102595 (with Graham, C., Himick, D.)

    Pier-Luc Nappert (2023), “The professional responsibility of accountants as re-defined by the inclusion of the NOCLAR standard in the Code of Ethics,” Research Handbook on Accounting and Ethics (pp. 19-34). Edward Elgar Publishing (with Fiolleau, K. and Thorne, L.)

    Ziyao San (2023), “Executive extraversion and voluntary disclosure: evidence from management earnings forecasts,” Asia-Pacific Journal of Accounting & Economics,30:1,56-71 (with Liao, C., A. Tsang and Y. Miao Yu)

    Akhila Chawla (2022), “The oil price crisis and contagion effects on the Canadian economy,” Applied Economics, 54(13), pp.1527-1543 (with Gajurel, D.)

    Akhila Chawla (2022), “International Information Spillovers and Asymmetric Volatility in South Asian Stock Markets,” Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 15(10), p.471 (with Gajurel, D.)

    Christine Gilbert (2022), “The COVID-19 crisis and massive public debts: What should we expect?” Critical Perspectives on Accounting

    Christine Gilbert (2022), “The audit of public debt: Auditing as a device for political resistance in a neoliberal era,” Critical Perspectives on Accounting (Vol 85, 102263)

    Gajindranath Maharaj (2022), “Sanders Foods: Planning for Success—An Instructional Case,” Accounting Perspectives (with  Spraakman, and Nguyen, E.H.)

    June Woo Park (2022), “Firstborn CEOs and credit ratings,” The British Accounting Review (Vol 54 Issue 4)

    Lei Zhang (2022), “Relationship between Climate Risk and Physical and Organizational Capital,” Management International Review Volume 62, 245–283 (with Kanagaretnam, K. and G.J. Lobo)

    Akhila Chawla (2021), “Social audit, accountability and accounting–an Indian perspective,) Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, 11(1), pp.10-26

    Christine Gilbert (2021), “Debt,  accounting, and the transformation of individuals into financially responsible neoliberal subjects,” Critical Perspectives on Accounting (Vol 77 102186)

    Ziyao San (2021), “Board reforms around the world: The effect on corporate social responsibility,” Corporate Governance: An International Review Volume 29, 496-523 (with Liao, C., A. Tsang and Y. Miao Yu)

    Claire (Qiuju)Deng  (2020), “Do locally based independent directors reduce corporate misconduct? Evidence from Chinese listed firms,” Journal of International Accounting Research, 19(3), pp.61-90 (with Kanagaretnam, K. and Zhou, Z.)

    Katherine Ruff (2020), “Counter accounts of profit: outrage to action through “just” calculation,” Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 33(4), pp.699-726 (with Himick, D.)

    Preetika Joshi (2020), “Does Private Country‐by‐Country Reporting Deter Tax Avoidance and Income Shifting? Evidence from BEPS Action Item 13,” Journal of Accounting Research, 58: 333-381. doi:10.1111/1475-679X.12304

    Preetika Joshi (2020), “Does Public Country-by-Country Reporting Deter Tax Avoidance and Income Shifting?” Contemporary Accounting Research, 37 (4), 2357-2397 (with Vuong Persson, A. and Outslay, E.)

    Gregory Saxton (2019), “Do CSR messages resonate? Examining public reactions to firms’ CSR efforts on social media,” Journal of Business Ethics,†δ 155, 359-377. (2021 Impact Factor: 6.331) (with D., Gomez, L., Ngoh,* Z., Lin,* Y, & Dietrich,* S.)

    Recent Dissertation Topics

    2023: Errol Osecki – The Influence of Affect Regulation on Professional Skepticism

    2023: John Kurpierz – Citizen Use and Comprehension of Government Accounting Information: Applications of Design Science Research Methodology

    2023: Xiaoran (Jason) Jia – Three Essays on the Economic Impact of FinTech Lending

    2022: Lei Zhang – Three Essays on the Influence of Climate Change on Corporate Behaviors

    2021: Changqiu Yu – Analysts’ Risk Discussions and the Use of Valuation Models: A Content Analysis of Sell-Side Equity Analyst Reports

    2021: Pier-Luc Nappert – Accounting and Performance Metrics in the Sport Business

    2021: Ziyao San – Voluntary Disclosure and Corporate Innovation: Evidence from Management Earnings Forecasts

    2021: Claire (Qiuju) Deng – A Post-ANT Study of the Translation of a Performance Management System

    2020: Preetika Joshi – Global Tax Transparency and Tax Behaviour: Empirical Evidence for the Effects of Country-By-Country Reporting on Tax Avoidance and Income Shifting

    2020: Christine Gilbert – Debt, Neoliberalism, and Accounting

    2020: Gajindranath Maharaj – Accounting and Money Laundering

    2019: June Woo Park – The Incremental Information Content of Analysts’ Research Reports and Firms’ Annual Reports: Evidence from Textual Analysis

    2017: Katherine Ruff – Materializing Performance: The Interactions that Enact Inclusions, Exclusions and Arrangements in Charity Social Performance Reports

    2017: Akhila Chawla – Accounting and Accountability in the Field of Social Services – A Multi-level Investigation

    2016: Gregory Saxton – CSR, Big Data, and Accounting: Firms’ Use of Social Media for CSR-Focused Reporting, Accountability, and Reputation Gain

    Current PhD students in the Accounting Area:

    as of Fall 2023

    • Tahmina Ahmed
    • Nicolas Epelbaum
    • Mohammad Maruf Hasan
    • Sameera Hassan
    • Paulo Homero Junior
    • Patricia Jackson Farrell
    • Yongqi Ke
    • Minqi Liu
    • Makini McGuire-Brown
    • Leo Sheng
    • Leigh Ellen Walsh
    • Golazin Zarghami Parast
    • Haoyu Zhang
    • Shujie Zhang