PhD Admissions

Admission to the PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting is granted to applicants who present convincing evidence of high-order analytical skills, intellectual curiosity and the ability to work independently in pursuing scholarly research. Applicants should possess the intellectual curiosity and discipline required for original inquiry. The School of Accountancy PhD Admissions Committee reviews applications each spring for the students selected to begin the doctoral program each fall semester.

  • Admission is granted for the fall term only.
  • The online application deadline is January 15
  • The supporting documents deadline is January 15

Applications can be submitted beginning September 9, and the application deadline is January 15. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. The Graduate Education will notify all applicants in writing of the Admissions Committee decisions. There is no guarantee you will receive a response on or before a specific date. Offers of financial assistance cannot be deferred.

Doctoral program applicants must submit the following to the Graduate Education:

It is critical that you write your Document Reference Number on all materials prior to mailing. This number can be obtained from the Graduate Education Application Checklist on the last page of the online application.

Evaluation Criteria

While many of our accepted students have an MBA or M.S. in Accounting, others have a background in another area, such as engineering, economics or political science. Previous working experience in preferable. The evaluation for admission is on a competitive basis. The doctoral committee in the School of Accountancy will review each candidate's profile. Strong academic credentials, intellectual curiosity and commitment are important criteria for admission. A phone or campus interview is required for potential candidates.

Personal Statement

You should prepare your personal statement in advance to be uploaded into the online application. Be sure to carefully proofread your statement prior to submitting. Please note that special fonts and/or formats (i.e. italics, bold, etc.) may be lost during submission. Please be concise, yet thorough. The statement should be no more than two to four pages long. In review of your personal statement, the Admissions Committee will seek evidence of your maturity, leadership, strength of purpose, academic potential and ability to communicate clearly and professionally.

Distinguish Yourself

Submission of the personal statement allows you an opportunity to highlight the qualities and experiences that distinguish you as a prospective W. P. Carey doctoral student. Applicants are requested to provide information pertaining to the following areas as part of their statement:

  • Your name as it will appear on the graduate application
  • Your nine-digit ASU identification number, and/or the ASU application reference number assigned to you upon submission of your online application
  • Your personal background, including formative events and circumstances such as extracurricular activities, honors, achievements and community activities
  • Work experience, including credentials you have from your hands-on and professional experiences
  • Other personal attributes and qualities
  • Qualifications and reasons for interest in the W. P. Carey PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in accountancy
  • How obtaining a PhD will help you achieve your personal career goals and objectives

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Employment Summary

You should prepare your employment summary in advance to be uploaded into the online application. Please note that special fonts and/or formats (i.e. italics, bold, etc.) may be lost during submission. Provide the information in the format specified below. Your employment summary will serve as a resume.

Work experience will be one of several components in the evaluation of doctoral applicants. In your employment summary, be specific about the nature of your professional experiences. Start with your current or most recent employment information and include any military service. The Admissions Committee seeks prospective students who have relevant work experience and who possess research and teaching potential. Therefore, a minimum of two years of full-time (40 hours per week) work experience is highly recommended.

  1. Undergraduate degree(s)/major(s)
  2. Graduate degree(s)/major(s)
  3. Full-time paid work experience since completion of your undergraduate degree, beginning with your most recent work
  4. Part-time paid work experience, including work during your undergraduate and graduate study
  5. Internships, voluntary positions or other work experiences
  6. Awards, honors and special achievements received during your academic and/or work experiences
  7. Computer skills/computer languages in which you are proficient

For areas three through five, provide information in the following format:

  • Employer name - Employer address - Employer phone
  • Job start and end date
  • Hours worked per week
  • Annual salary (in U.S. dollars)
  • Job title
  • Job responsibilities
  • Reason for leaving job

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Letters of Recommendation

We request a minimum of three letters of recommendation to be submitted on your behalf. You will be asked in the Graduate Education application for the names and e-mail addresses of the three recommenders, which you will enter via the application tab titled "Supplemental."  Your recommenders will receive and e-mail with a link that will direct them to submit their recommendations electronically to the Graduate Education for your file.  Please inform your recommenders that the online submission process is the only method for submission. 

One letter should be from your current employer (supervisor or manager), and the remaining letters should be from individuals who can best evaluate your potential for graduate-level business study. These typically are faculty or other professional associates. They should know you personally and be familiar with your career, credentials, leadership strengths and professional aspirations. They also should know your personal qualities, current career focus and potential for success in a graduate business program.

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GMAT Score

The GMAT  is a computer-based standardized assessment, delivered in English that serves as a uniform standard of measurement for applicants. The exam measures basic verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills that you have developed in your education and work.

W. P. Carey School doctoral program applicants should plan to take the test no later than two weeks prior to the January 15 deadline. Official GMAT scores must be sent to the ASU Graduate Education. GMAT scores are only valid for a period of five years.

The W. P. Carey School of Business Doctoral Program Code is: 0GZ-1R-18

For detailed information on the GMAT, please visit