What will I learn?

Doctoral candidates in accounting are expected to become familiar with theoretical structure, conceptual foundations, and research literature in financial accounting, managerial accounting, and auditing, becoming proficient practitioners of at least one research methodology in one of these subfields.

All students complete four doctoral seminars in accounting, two in each of their first two years in the program. A research paper, which is presented to the Accounting faculty, is required at the end of the first year.

Students also participate in Columbia’s Burton Conference, in which distinguished accounting scholars from other institutions join Columbia faculty members in a series of informal workshop sessions to review and evaluate current research. Furthermore, beginning in the first year of the program, each candidate has an opportunity to work closely with a member of the faculty.

Building on this foundation, doctoral candidates select a subfield as the focus of dissertation research - financial accounting, managerial accounting, or auditing. Financial accounting requires additional course work in financial market theory and econometrics; managerial accounting requires supplementary work in microeconomic analysis, management, management science, or information systems.


  • Accounting Theory I: Foundations
  • Economic Analysis
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Empirical Research in Accounting

Which department am I in?

Columbia Business School

Study options

Full Time (Two to three years)

Tuition fees
Advanced Residence (4th, 5th, and 6th year): USD $7,750 per Term; Extended Residence Unit (0 – 6): USD $19,344 per Term; Full Residence Unit (> 6): USD $38,688 per Term
Start date

Expected September 2022


Columbia University

116th Street, 2960 Broadway,

New York,

10027, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Other English Language Requirements:  The minimum TOEFL score expected is 600 (written) or 250 (computer version).

For international students

Concerning equivalency of international baccalaureate degrees are made by the Graduate School. In general, only those international students who (a) have the equivalent of the U.S. baccalaureate degree with a superior examination record and (b) can understand rapid idiomatic English and can speak, write and read English with a high degree of facility are eligible for admission. The Graduate School accepts applications from students who have earned or will earn 3-year bachelor's degrees; applicants whose native language is not English and who have received an undergraduate degree from an institution in a country where the official language is not English; applicants who have received an undergraduate degree from a non-English speaking country and are now studying at the graduate level in the U.S. or another English-speaking country; Applicants who have studied for at least two years at a U.S. institution or at an institution in a country where the official language is English and earned the undergraduate (or bachelor’s) degree at that institution are not required to complete the English proficiency requirement. The Graduate School requires the following minimum scores: 600 on the TOEFL paper-and-pencil test; Graduate School requires the following standardized tests: The Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE); GRE Subject Test scores, if required by the department or program; The TOEFL, IELTS, or ALP Essay Exam, in fulfillment of the English Proficiency Requirement. To determine if you must fulfill the English Proficiency Requirement

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.