Ph.D. and MSQ in Accounting

The Ph.D. program in Accounting provides students with a thorough knowledge of financial and managerial accounting topics, as well as econometric and analytical methods before beginning their own research supervised by our faculty.

The first year comprises core courses in accounting, econometrics, microeconomics, and mathematical methods. At the end of the year, students must pass qualifying examinations in accounting, econometrics, and microeconomics. In the second year, students choose field/specialization courses in two to three areas and start their own research. During this process, they are supported by faculty members, who help them transitioning from coursework to research and identifying suitable dissertation topics. By the end of their third year, students must have completed their first research paper. The dissertation shall be completed in the fourth year of the program. The dissertation consists of several research papers that have the potential for publication in international scientific journals.

First-year students in the corresponding Master Program enroll in the same set of courses as students from the Ph.D. Program. Those who complete their first year of studies with strong success are eligible and strongly encouraged to join the Ph.D. Program from their second year of studies onwards. Students who continue their education in the Master Program have the option to enroll from the second year on in concentration courses with an emphasis on selected issues in financial and managerial accounting. The Master Program in Accounting is completed with a Master thesis written in the final months of the second year of studies. The Master thesis cannot be a part of the dissertation.

Students who decide to take part in both programs may earn both an MSQ and a Ph.D. degree in a total of four years.

Ph.D. Structure

Pre-Semester: Mathematics and Statistics
Winter Term: Advanced Accounting 1 (8 CP), Advanced Econometrics 1 (8 CP), Advanced Microeconomic Theory 1 (8 CP), Mathematical Methods (8 CP)
Summer Term: Advanced Accounting 2 (8CP), Advanced Econometrics 2 (8 CP), Advanced Microeconomic Theory 2 (8 CP)
Qualifying Examinations
Winter Term: Field Courses, Workshop Attendance
Summer Term: Field Courses, Seminar, Workshop Attendance
Fields Offered:
Accounting (including Analytical and Empirical Research in Performance Measurement, Management Control, and Organizational Design, Incentive System Design, Research Design in Accounting, Financial Reporting, Corporate Governance, Auditing)
Econometrics (including Bayesian Econometrics, Dynamic Panel Models, Econometrics of Duration and Transition Data, Long Memory in Time-Series, Non-Parametric Econometrics)
Finance (including Asset Pricing, Corporate Finance Theory, Empirical Banking, Household Finance, Option Pricing, Taxes and Finance)
Law and Economics (including Epistemics of Law and Economics, European Cross-Border Business, Law of International Financial Institutions)
Marketing (including Bayesian Modelling for Marketing, Customer Management and Social Media, Pricing and Online-Advertising, Structural Models and Competition)
Microeconomics and Management (including Behavioral Auction Theory, Behavioral Economics, Decision Making under Risk and Ambiguity, Economics of Taxation, Empirical Labor Economics, Empirics of Contracts, Experimental Economics, General Equilibrium Theory: History, Incentives in Organizations, Intergenerational Economics, Modeling Group Behavior Using Game Theory, Taxes and Finance)
Workshop Attendance
Independent Studies Course (Teaching Skills)
Third-Year Research Paper
Workshop Attendance
Job Market Course
Thesis Defense

During either the third or fourth year in the program, students may spend one or two semesters abroad for a research stay at an internationally top ranked Ph.D. program. Such stays are facilitated by the faculty advisor.

First Year Courses

The following list summarizes typical first-year course contents but the details of the offerings may differ from year to year, depending on the faculty member teaching the course in question. For more details on these courses in any given year as well as the field courses, please consult the course syllabi typically retrievable on individual faculty members’ websites.

Mathematics and Statistics: real analysis, advanced calculus, linear algebra, static optimization, probability theory, estimation and hypothesis testing, linear regression model.

Advanced Accounting 1: financial accounting, financial reporting, corporate governance, disclosure, earnings management, value relevance, fair value of information, capital markets
Advanced Econometrics 1: fundamentals of linear regression (OLS, SUR, 2SLS, 3SLS, GMM, QML), cross-section regression models with limited dependent variables, static panel data models.
Advanced Microeconomic Theory 1: theory of the household, theory of the firm, decisions under uncertainty, market equilibrium, static and dynamic games under alternative information structures.
Mathematical Methods: probability theory, measure theory, stochastic processes, topology, difference and differential equations, dynamic optimization, numerical Methods.
Advanced Accounting 2: management accounting, decision-facilitating and decision-influencing role of accounting information, value of information, risk-incentive trade-off, incentives and job design, multitasking, performance measurement, management control systems.
Advanced Econometrics 2: integration and cointegration, single and multiple equation time-series models (ARMA, ARDL, VAR, VECM), spectral analysis, conditional heteroskedasticity
Advanced Microeconomic Theory 2: contract theory (moral hazard, adverse selection, mechanism design, incomplete contracts), general equilibrium theory, welfare economics, externalities.
Historical and Normative Foundations: history of economic thought (illustrated in the context of modeling economic growth and/or the modeling of financial crises), normative foundations.