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Doctorate Degree

The program leading to the Ph.D. in Business with a major in Accounting and Information Systems permits the student to pursue advanced graduate studies in preparation for a career in college and university teaching and research. Though the entrance requirements are stringent, anyone interested in an academic career should seriously consider our program. Future employment prospects for Ph.D Graduates in Accounting and Information Systems is bright with strong continuing demand forecast by the AACSB and other leading professional organizations. Average yearly compensation for recent graduates has been in excess of $175,000.


The overall program comprises 90 semester hours, including 45 hours of course work and 45 hours of dissertation research. Course work is tailored to meet the demands of the student’s area of interest.

The first 2 1/2 years are devoted to course work – core course work in accounting and information systems and research methods, as well as course work in the supporting area. The remainder of the time is devoted to research and dissertation work.

The following courses are required:

  • ACIS 5974: Independent Study
  • ACIS 6004: Accounting and Information Systems Research Methods
  • ACIS 6014: Behavioral Research in Accounting Seminar
  • ACIS 6024: Financial Capital Markets in Accounting Seminar

The supporting area can be chosen from among the field options within the Pamplin College of Business or in an area outside the college, subject to approval by the student’s advisory committee.

Supporting area courses depend on a student’s area of emphasis but typically include selected graduate courses from one or more of the following areas: economics, finance, psychology, organizational behavior, computer science, and industrial systems engineering.

In addition to the required courses, each student is required to have course work in statistics.

I cherish my time at Virginia Tech because I was able to develop amazing mentor-mentee relationships and lifelong friendships that continue to foster my growth as an academic and as a person. These relationships, combined with a top-notch education in accounting and information systems, allowed me to secure placement at a premiere academic institution and have led to much success in both research and in the classroom. –-Eric Negangard, ‘14, Assistant Professor, University of Virginia

Eric Negangard

Each candidate must pass a written examination at or near the completion of course work, defend a dissertation proposal before the Accounting and Information Systems faculty, and pass a final oral examination after the dissertation is completed.

The program of study is approved by the entire Doctoral Committee, the Department Head, and the Graduate School. In accordance with Graduate School requirements, courses that are more than seven years old when the degree is to be granted cannot be included in the program of study. Such courses must be revalidated, which may entail retaking the written preliminary examination. Changes to a student’s program of study are made through a formal request to, and approval by, the Doctoral Committee, the Department Head, and the Graduate School.

Interested students can apply online at the Virginia Tech Graduate School website. The ACIS PhD program only accepts applications for Fall semester entry. Applicants are highly encouraged to apply early, and well before the deadlines. The deadlines are April 15 for Domestic applicants and April 1 for International applicants. The only additional ACIS Department application requirements beyond those required by the Virginia Tech Graduate School on-line application are the applicant must 1) send their required GMAT score to the ACIS Department, 2)  send a copy of their transcripts directly to the ACIS Department, and 3) if the student does not have a degree from an accredited United States university, the applicant must send their TOEFL score.

Documents with information on our Ph.D. Program: