Doctoral Study in Accounting: Costs and Financial Support

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1994


This study analyzes the costs of doctoral study and the financial support available to accounting doctoral students. This information should be useful to prospective students and to faculty who advise them. Accounting chairpersons and doctoral students at the vast majority of U.S. doctoral programs responded to two surveys. The main findings are: (1) the direct costs of pursuing a doctorate are low (approximately $1,500 per year), while the total estimated opportunity cost of obtaining a doctorate is high (over $90,000); (2) doctoral students have average income of approximately $15,700 per year and average total support (including loans, savings, and spousal support) of approximately $22,500 per year; (3) approximately 55 percent ($12,500) of the students' total support comes from the university, and almost all students receive university financial support during the first three years of the program; and (4) financial support packages are more generous at "first tier doctoral programs.

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