15 Free PhD in Accounting programs (Residential)

Graduate degrees are expensive, and the pressure of earning a degree as intensive and demanding as a PhD in Accounting while also holding a job can be overwhelming. Most PhD students can only work on their degree; keeping a job is impossible if you want to finish the PhD in a reasonable amount of time. Other than living on student loans and creating a mountain of debt for your future self to deal with, what are your options? A fully funded PhD program is the answer.

Can I Get a Free PhD in Accounting?

For accounting students who discover they’re more excited by the research and academic environment than the day to day of a CPA or corporate accountant, the path runs through a PhD program. A PhD in Accounting is the standard for academic positions like professor or researcher, especially for major research universities, but it’s also an asset for accounting professionals who want to consult with universities, corporations, or government agencies. A PhD in accounting shows not only a command of theory and practice, but a commitment to excellence.

There are plenty of business PhD programs out there, but there’s a problem for many prospective PhD students – most business schools don’t see the PhD as a priority; they’re more focused on getting students corporate jobs or the entrepreneurial skills to start their own accounting firms. That’s why, if you’re interested in pursuing a PhD in accounting, it’s important to direct your search to the strongest programs, the ones with recognized reputations and connections that will help graduates get jobs. Fortunately, those are also the most likely to offer the best funding programs to make every student’s PhD a free PhD.

Ranking Fully Funded PhD in Accounting Programs

For students who are looking for a way to transform accounting education from the inside out, Online PhD Programs has ranked the Top 15 Fully Funded PhD in Accounting Programs. Each of these programs come from an accredited, highly respected university offering funding packages that make their PhD programs free for all students. These are institutions with the rigor, reach, and reputation to make sure their students not only get a high-quality education, but go out onto the academic job market with the confidence to find positions in the top universities in the world.

Programs are ranked according to ROI (based on Payscale mid-career salary rates for the school’s PhD graduates) and the comprehensiveness of the funding package provided (points for tuition, single plan health insurance, family plan health insurance, stipend and extra research funds). Most funding packages require teaching or research assistantships, so these free PhDs are necessarily campus-based programs.

Recommended Online Accounting Degree Programs

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology only needs three initials to be recognized around the world: MIT. Founded in 1861, MIT was an early adopter of the European polytechnic model of education, focused on practical, applied science and research. Eventually, that foundation would make MIT a prime location for everything from defense contracting and aerospace to hacking and open source programming. In addition to STEM, MIT’s Sloan School of Management has built a global reputation as one of the most innovative, entrepreneurial business schools around, easily combining business with technology to lead the way forward. From cutting-edge startups to international problem-solving, MIT Sloan demonstrates the best that business education can do.

MIT Sloan is known for supporting its students generously as well. MIT Sloan’s fully funded PhD in Accounting degree program is highly rigorous, exceptionally challenging, and incredibly rewarding. Students focus on the integration of finance, management, and technology, finding new solutions and new possibilities for the field. All MIT free PhD accounting students receive one of the most generous packages in the nation, including tuition waiver, a stipend, health insurance, and extra research and travel funding to present their findings around the world. Students even get a new computer in their first and fourth years. MIT means excellence, in every aspect.

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Stipend (Teaching or Research Required)
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When the Princeton Review asks students and parents to name their “dream college,” one name comes up more than any other: Stanford University. It’s no mystery why; Stanford is the center of Silicon Valley, the institution more directly responsible than any other for how we live now, and in the future. Stanford was founded in 1885 to be the West Coast’s premier research university, and it has more than lived up to that mission. After WWII, Stanford led the way in technology research, encouraging the entrepreneurial goals of its graduates and faculty and populating the early years of Silicon Valley almost all on its own. Today, Stanford is known for innovation in technology and business, and Stanford’s faculty and alumni are some of the world’s most recognizable and influential tech figures – a class that everyone with ambition and motivation wants to join.

Stanford’s fully funded PhD in Accounting degree program comes from the Graduate School of Business, and it’s designed for those who want to use technology and research to transform accounting and finance. By using the most current data and tools in finance, economics, statistics, and analysis, Stanford’s PhD students prepare to become shapers of the next generation. Stanford’s students all receive a free PhD package including tuition, a stipend (either from a fellowship, or from teaching/research assistantship), and health insurance. These benefits are key to getting students through their program and into their careers – careers that, with Stanford’s influence and connections, could change the world.

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From the very beginning, the University of California, Berkeley has been about innovation and value. UC Berkeley was California’s first comprehensive public university, founded in 1869 from the merger of a private university and a public agricultural and mining school. That combination – practical, applied sciences, alongside traditional liberal arts and professions – made UC Berkeley California’s flagship public research university. Today, Berkeley remains a leader, named as a Public Ivy (a public university with the status of the Ivy League) and long ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the top public university in the nation. Berkeley’s excellence, diversity, and adventurousness is celebrated in every field, including the Haas School of Business.

UC Berkeley’s fully funded PhD in Accounting provides students with all of the excellence and connections that Berkeley Haas has to offer. Haas is recognized as one of the top business schools in the nation, and has a tremendous influence over business in California and the West Coast. Accounting PhD students are immersed in a productive, inspiring environment dedicated to challenging the status quo, and graduates have moved on to faculty positions in some of the world’s most prestigious universities and business schools. Berkeley’s funding package provides students with an essentially free PhD, including tuition, health insurance, and a stipend for living expenses. This accounting PhD has the Berkeley touch.

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The University of Pennsylvania defines Ivy League education, with some of the deepest roots in the US and a historical reputation for pioneering programs. Started by Founding Father Benjamin Franklin in 1740, UPenn is one of just nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution, and from the beginning Franklin intended his university to be different. UPenn set standards for liberal arts and sciences education in America, and in 1881 created the nation’s first academic business school. The Wharton School remains one of the nation’s most prominent and influential business schools, regularly ranking as one of the top 10 in the world.

UPenn’s fully funded PhD in Accounting, from the renowned Wharton School, prepares students for academic research, teaching, mentoring, and consulting with the most current technology and knowledge. Students work closely with mentors in hands-on research to develop their dissertation and learn first-hand how to navigate modern accounting. Wharton’s excellent funding package makes for a free PhD from the world’s foremost business school, including tuition, health insurance, and a stipend for teaching and research. Wharton’s placement for graduates is second to none, with alumni in some of the world’s top business schools, making the UPenn Accounting PhD a highly in-demand credential.

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One of the most prestigious private research universities in the US, the University of Rochester has been named a New Ivy and regularly ranks in the top 50 national university, according to U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1850, Rochester’s roots run even deeper – Rochester was formed when a plan to move Colgate University to Rochester, NY fell through. This top-tier research institution has long been recognized for innovation and experimentation, with some of the highest-ranked engineering, economics, public policy, and music programs in the nation. The Simon Business School is recognized worldwide, and frequently ranks as one of the best business schools for placing graduates in their careers.

The University of Rochester’s fully funded PhD degree program is focused on research, preparing students to take on academic positions expanding the knowledge and possibilities of accounting. From microeconomics to analysis, students get a full grounding in finance, economics, and accounting so they can move the field further. Rochester offers numerous benefits for graduate students, including tuition waiver, fellowship stipends, and research and travel funding, resulting in a free PhD for Rochester’s accounting students. Rochester’s graduate placement is among the strongest in the US, making Rochester one of the best choices for accounting students who want to innovate in accounting research.

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Stipend (Teaching or Research Required)
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California’s oldest private research university, the University of Southern California is a center of learning, research, and commerce in the state and throughout the Pacific. Founded in 1880, USC is largely responsible for making Los Angeles what it is today, through some of the most influential, entrepreneurial programs and policies ever instituted by a college. USC’s economic footprint is huge – more than $8 billion in Los Angeles alone – and partnerships throughout California and the Pacific Rim make USC a business leader. The Marshall School of Business, unanimously ranked as one of the best business schools in the world, keeps that impact current.

USC’s fully funded PhD in Accounting degree program brings students to the highest level of expertise in accounting, finance, management, and auditing, preparing students equally well for academic or corporate careers. The emphasis is on research, making the program particularly suited to future academics, but a full grounding in all aspects of accounting can make graduates excellent consultants for USC’s many partners. Marshall’s program turns into a free PhD when tuition, health insurance, and a stipend all help provide for students’ needs while they focus and hone their skills and knowledge. Few names are as trusted in academic and industry as the University of Southern California.

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The University of Chicago is one of the nation’s most respected private research universities, from medicine and technology to business and the arts. Founded in 1890, Chicago’s roots go even farther back to the Baptist-affiliated 1856 University of Chicago (which folded in 1886), making the university a key foundational institution in Chicago’s development. Chicago has long been ranked in the top 5 national universities by U.S. News & World Report, and the Booth School of Business is the 2nd oldest business school in America, and a pioneer in business education. Surveys have shown University of Chicago graduates to be some of the most in-demand in the world.

The University of Chicago’s PhD in Accounting is one of the world’s most prestigious accounting degrees, with graduates going on to become some of the preeminent accounting researchers and scholars in the field. All students accepted into the PhD program at Chicago Booth receive full funding, including tuition waiver, student health insurance, and generous research and living stipends. Students at Chicago have also been among the most successful in securing external funding as well, such as from the Fulbright-Hays dissertation award. UChicago’s global reputation puts Booth PhD graduates at the forefront of their field.

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The University of Texas at Dallas was built for innovation, literally. Located in Texas’ metropolitan hub, UT Dallas began with a gift from Texas Instruments: their laboratory facilities in Richardson, TX. Beginning in 1969 with that unprecedented start, UT Dallas quickly grew into one of the nation’s top-tier research universities and a top-ranked public institution, using its location in Dallas to fuel innovations in technology and business. The Jindal School of Management, in particular, is one of the pillars of UTD’s success, with top rankings for quality, value, and graduate success.

UT Dallas’ fully funded PhD in Accounting degree program has all a student needs to prepare for an academic position at any of the nation’s top business schools. Students are steeped not only in accounting and finance, but economics, statistics, and even psychology, for a well-rounded, adaptable professional education. Taking both theoretical and applied, hands-on approaches, UTD’s accounting PhD comes from one of the most productive research business schools in the nation. A generous funding package includes both tuition and a stipend for teaching or research, making the Jindal School’s program a free PhD – all you need to supply is the hard work and ambition.

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The University of Michigan predates Michigan’s statehood, beginning in 1817 in Detroit, part of the Michigan Territory. UM grew with Michigan, then, developing alongside the state and helping shape Michigan’s government, business, education, and culture along the way. Among its pioneering programs, the Ross School of Business, dating back to 1924, has long been recognized as one of the most innovative business schools in the US. The Ross School’s many research centers and world-renowned faculty give students access to some of the most cutting-edge work being done in business, accounting, and finance, including several faculty and student-run investment funds for hands-on experience.

The Ross School is widely ranked as one of the best graduate business schools in the world, and the University of Michigan’s fully funded PhD in Accounting degree program shows why. This program is designed for future academic researchers, and students work closely alongside faculty as developing experts, taking part in active research and moving forward on their own. UM’s generous funding for graduate students make a free PhD in accounting a reality for students, including tuition, a stipend for teaching and research, and health insurance. Graduates have been placed at top-tier public and private research universities all over the world, demonstrating the payoff for a Ross School accounting PhD.

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Rice University is one of the elite schools often called the Southern Ivies – those select private research universities in the South that provide a level of excellence and reputation on par with the Ivy League. Founded in 1912, from the will of railroad and cotton baron William Marsh Rice, Rice University became central to learning, research, and culture in Houston. Over the 20th century Rice developed a reputation as Texas’ most selective and prestigious university. U.S. News & World Report ranks Rice in the top 50 national university, and the Jones Graduate School of Management in the top 30 national business schools.

William Marsh Rice’s vision included a free university, and Rice is still well known for its generous financial assistance. In fact, all students accepted to Rice’s fully funded PhD in Accounting degree program have their entire education paid through scholarship and stipends. All tuition is waived for accepted students, and a generous stipend is provided for research and teaching assistants. In addition, all PhD students receive a workspace, computer, and $1000 in additional research expenses, making Rice’s free PhD package a spectacular value. For students who want to enter careers in academia, whether as professors or researchers, the Rice reputation opens just about any door.

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Research Support

Boston was one of the nation’s first centers for business and finance, and the Olde Towne remains a commercial and banking hub. Boston University has made a significant impact in that area in its century and a half, growing from a Baptist college founded in 1839 to a top-tier, internationally known major private research university. The Questrom School of Business rivals any business school in the North or the US – including its neighbor at Harvard – with programs regularly ranking in the top ten nationally and internationally. From entrepreneurship to sustainability, Questrom is known for pushing forward to the next big thing.

BU’s fully funded PhD in Accounting degree program puts Questrom’s dominance to good use, providing students with the most current research, award-winning faculty, and access to a host of corporate partners in Boston and beyond. Students are not only prepared for academic research positions, but for adaptability to change with the times. Questrom’s free PhD is made possible with exceptional funding, including health insurance and a stipend along with a full tuition scholarship for every PhD student accepted. Not only do BU’s accounting PhD students pay nothing – they go out into the job market with the confidence only Boston can provide.

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The first university in the Arizona Territory, the University of Arizona helped steer the rough territory toward statehood (often against the protests of the gamblers, miners, and farmers who settled the territory). From 1885 to today, UA has been at the forefront of life, learning, and culture for the state, including government and business. The Eller College of Management in particular is central to UA’s history and influence; founded in 1913, Eller is one of UA’s most prestigious and competitive schools. Eller is ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top 25 national business schools, and widely ranked as a top 25 graduate school.

Eller offers the University of Arizona’s fully funded PhD in Accounting, one of the most forward-thinking and innovative accounting programs in the nation. Students not only work through highly rigorous, cutting-edge courses, but develop skills with specialized workshops and certification programs in technology and statistics. UA’s accounting PhD prepares students for academic positions at the highest levels, with previous graduates finding posts at top-50 national research universities. The University of Arizona’s funding package provides full tuition and a stipend for teaching, as well as numerous fellowship opportunities, so students get their free PhD in accounting without any debt.

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The Ohio State University is one of the finest examples of a major public research university in America, and the Fisher College of Business is one of its greatest achievements. Founded in 1830, OSU began as a land-grant agricultural college, but its commitment to STEM and business has helped it grow into the nation’s 3rd-largest university. The Fisher College has been ranked one of the top 20 business schools in the US by Bloomberg Businessweek, and many of its individual programs rank in U.S. News & World Report’s top 10. These are accomplishments no other public business school in Ohio can match.

OSU provides full funding for any student who is accepted into the Ohio State fully funded PhD in Accounting & Management Information Systems program. These two concentrations – either Accounting or MIS – prepare students for academic careers teaching and researching, and help students develop a deep expertise in analysis, theory, research, and technology. All PhD students receive tuition waivers, as well as stipends through University Fellowships, Research Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships, or some other funding source. This funding allows students to study without the burden of having to work outside of their program, giving them the freedom to focus on their free PhD.

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Iowa’s flagship public institution, the University of Iowa is an R1 research university and a globally-recognized leader in areas ranging from medicine and public health to law and business. Founded in 1847, UI was the first university in the new state, and helped form Iowa into the state it is today. Among Iowa’s top schools is the Tippie College of Business, named for alumnus Henry B. Tippie. Consistently ranked as one of the top 50 business schools in the nation by publications like U.S. News & World Report and Forbes, Tippie is a national model of business education, with top programs in entrepreneurship, management, and accounting.

Tippie offers the University of Iowa’s fully funded PhD in Accounting degree program, which prepares students for careers in the top tier of business schools. UI’s accounting PhD is focused on the changing landscape of accounting, from technology innovations to diversity, and students get a fundamental grounding not only in mathematics and statistics, but economics and business as well. UI’s program emphasizes collaboration and collegiality, preparing students for the modern academic environment. UI’s funding package promises students a free PhD, including tuition, stipend, and health insurance (for individual students as well as their spouses and children). Iowa cares about students, send out graduates proudly without debt.

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When it comes to accounting, few universities in the world can stand alongside Bentley University. Beginning in 1917 as a small accounting and secretarial school, Bentley was built on the expertise of founder Harry C. Bentley, an accounting professor at institutions throughout Boston. Today, Bentley draws not only on this long history of academic and research excellence, but on a deep connection to the business and finance sector of Boston for instructors, partners, and opportunities for graduates. Bentley is also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the two top regional universities for the North.

Thanks to the support of Bentley’s illustrious alumni and supporters, students are able to earn a fully funded PhD in Accountancy from Bentley at no personal expense. Bentley’s interdisciplinary PhD program is a deep dive into research, mathematics, and statistics, but also gives students a full preparation for the business and technology of accounting. All students accepted into the free PhD program receive full tuition scholarships, student health insurance, and a stipend to help with living expenses during the program, for a full yearly value of up to $36,000. In return, students work as research assistants in their first two years, and teach one course per semester in years 3 and 4.

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Stipend (Teaching or Research Required)
Health Insurance