Below please find the program requirements for students 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 faculty coordinators to receive approval of their course selections.

Foundational Courses (2 courses)
  • Microeconomics Theory: A comprehensive two semester sequence on economic theory:
    • -Microeconomic Theory I (HBS 4010/Economics 2020a)
    • -Microeconomic Theory II (HBS 4011/Economics 2020b)
  • 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 (7 courses)

    Accounting and Management students are required to take seven 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 breadth courses
    • Two elective doctoral courses
    MBA Courses (2 courses)

    All students without an MBA degree are required to complete two case-based HBS MBA courses.

    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, doctoral 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.