Below please find the 2015-2016 program requirements for a DBA in Accounting & Management. Students in Accounting and Management generally complete the program in four to five years.


A minimum of 13 semester courses at doctoral level are required. Each semester students will consult with the Accounting & Management DBA faculty coordinators to receive approval of their course selections.

Foundational Courses (4 courses)
  • Perspectives on Research in Organizations: This one semester course exposes students to cutting edge research across a spectrum of management functions and demonstrates how various types of research contribute to important management questions. Students are introduced to a range of vibrant scholars and are encouraged to foster a research community across the first year cohort.
    • Perspectives on Research in Organizations (HBS 4008)
  • Microeconomics Theory: A comprehensive two semester sequence on economic theory.
    • Microeconomic Theory I (HBS 4010/Economics 2020a)
    • Microeconomic Theory II (HBS 4011/Economics 2020b)
  • DBA Research Workshop: This year long course provides a structured research experience in which students can work on both the substance of a project and learn about the process of research. The course also provides a continual stimulus to completing a required second-year paper.
    • DBA Research Workshop (HBS 4006)
Research Methods Courses (4 courses)

All Accounting and Management students are required to have completed one undergraduate or graduate course in introduction to Econometrics. If this requirement has not been fulfilled prior to matriculation, then an equivalent course will be required in the first term of the student's doctoral program.

Courses meeting this requirement include:
  • Introduction to Econometrics (Econ 1123)

Students must take four research methods courses, including one course in research design.

Courses that fulfill this requirement include, but are not limited to:
  • Introduction to Applied Econometrics (Econ 2120); (Econ 2110. Introductory Probability and Statistics for Economists may be a required prerequisite)
  • Econometric Methods (Econ 2140)
  • Topics in Applied Econometrics (MIT 14.387)
  • Advanced Applied Econometrics (Econ 2144)
  • Computational Economics (Econ 2149)
  • Time Series Analysis (Econ 2142)
  • Seminar in Applied Statistical Methods (HBS 4809)
Research methods courses that meet the research design course requirement include, but are not limited to:
  • Advanced Quantitative Research Methodology (Gov 2001)
  • Empirical Methods in Corporate Finance (HBS 4220)
  • Matched Sampling and Study Design (Stat 240); (Stat 140 or Econ 1127 are strongly recommended as prerequisites)
  • Design of Field Research Methods (HBS 4070)
  • Experimental Methods (HBS 4435)
Additional Doctoral Courses (5 courses)

Accounting and Management students are required to take five additional doctoral courses.

  • Management Control and Performance Measures (HBS 4403)
  • Empirical Research in Financial Reporting and Analysis (HBS 4250)
  • Doctoral Seminar in Accounting (MIT 15.539)
  • Two elective doctoral courses
Business Education for Scholars & Teachers
  • Business Education for Scholars and Teachers – Organizations: This two-week, full day immersion course introduces students to basic functions an operating organization, including accounting and management, marketing, management, finance, and operations. 
  • Business Education for Scholars and Teachers – Markets: This two-week course introduces students to how operating organizations deal with external markets, such as having a strategy, understanding capital markets, and thinking broadly about markets from a multidimensional viewpoint, through case-based classes at HBS and field work.
MBA Course (recommended 1 course)

It is recommended that all students complete one case-based HBS MBA course.

Research Seminars

Students are strongly encouraged to attend and participate in seminars throughout their program. In the third year, students are required to attend Accounting & Management Unit Seminars.

Good Academic Standing

To remain in good academic standing, DBA students are expected to maintain a B+ grade point average.


Students are required to complete a teaching engagement of one full academic term that includes at least 8 hours, or 3 class sessions, of front-of-class teaching experience and at least 16 hours of teaching preparation time.

Special Field Exam

Students are required to pass the Special Field Exam at the end of the second year or beginning of the third year. This exam has two parts: a written exam and an oral exam based on the course syllabi from any relevant doctoral research seminars in financial or managerial accounting undertaken by students in the course of their studies.

Dissertation Proposal

By the end of their third year, all students are required to obtain approval of their dissertation proposal by their Dissertation Chair.


Students are required to write a dissertation, which typically takes the form of three publishable papers, to the satisfaction of their Dissertation Committee. The dissertation defense is oral and open to the public.