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Accounting Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management

School of Business and Technology


Capella University's online PhD in accounting program maximizes your ability to affect change and play a pivotal role in businesses and organizations. Designed for students who wish to gain the skills and knowledge to teach, consult, or lead—the curriculum focuses on research, scholarly writing, ethical theory, a global perspective, accounting technology, and a systems-thinking approach.

Dissertation Research Seminar Requirements

Your PhD program requires the completion of three dissertation research seminars (BMGT-R8925, BMGT-R8926, and BMGT-R8927). The goal of the three PhD dissertation research seminar tracks is to prepare you for your dissertation early and continue throughout your learning experience. 

Each Dissertation Research Seminar has Three Steps:

  • In the courseroom, your instructor will lead you through a set of rigorous activities, assignments, and assessments designed to help you develop a first draft of your dissertation research plan.
  • Next, you will attend a residency where you will engage in an intensive, iterative process with faculty and peers to further develop your research plan.
  • In this last step, you incorporate the feedback you receive in the final session of the residency to refine and submit your research plan.

Dissertation Research Seminars: Your Roadmap to Success

Dissertation research seminars are designed in an optimized, sequential format that allows you to work extensively on your dissertation topic, methodology, literature review, and research plan from the beginning of your program. The experiences give you the time and resources to focus on your project as you build the skills and confidence required to steadily move toward your goals.

Each dissertation research seminar begins with an online course, including modules, assignments, and assessments. Next in the process is an in-person residency experience, followed by completion of a final assessment and development of a preparation plan for your next dissertation research seminar track.

When it comes to your dissertation research seminar requirements, timing is key. Your coursework builds the foundation for your dissertation research seminar and your experience at residency will keep you on track in your program. Your dissertation research seminar tracks are scheduled so you can create quality work and complete all tasks for each track before moving on to the next one. On time completion of the three dissertation research seminar tracks can significantly decrease your time to graduation and overall cost of your degree.

What You’ll Learn—and When

Find out how each track fits into your overall program plan by viewing a sample course sequence.

Track 1

Goals:  Throughout the course, you’ll focus on identifying a theory, topic, and research problem appropriate for your specialization. In track 1, you must also complete PhD dissertation milestone 1 (Research Ethics Education). Following the weekend residency, you’ll complete a final assessment that demonstrates track 1 learning outcomes. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

Track 2

Goals: Throughout the course you’ll apply skills necessary to develop a research question and to select an appropriate dissertation topic. In track 2, you’ll complete PhD dissertation milestone 2 (Topic Approval). Following the weekend residency, you’ll complete a final assessment that demonstrates track 2 learning outcomes. Prerequisite: BMGT-R8921 or BMGT-R8925. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

Timing: Find out how each track fits into your overall program plan by viewing a sample course sequence.*

Track 3

Goals:  Throughout the course, you’ll apply the research skills necessary to develop a methodological design, sampling plan, and strategy for data analysis. In track 3, you’ll complete PhD dissertation milestone 5 (Research Plan Approval). Following the residency, you’ll complete a final assessment that demonstrates track 3 learning outcomes. Learners must complete track 3 prior to beginning the comprehensive examination. Prerequisite(s): BMGT-R8922 or BMGT-R8926. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

Dissertation Research Seminar Competencies

As you advance through the dissertation research seminar tracks, you will gain mastery in each of these critical areas:

Scholar-Practitioner Development

Identify and cultivate the skills required to professionally execute your research design.


Develop questions that align with an identified problem, study existing literature, propose research methodology, analyze data, and apply ethics and academic integrity to research.

Critical Thinking

Apply advanced critical thinking skills to synthesize ideas and concepts from previous research, as well as guide and support new research methods and designs.

Scholarly Communication

Cultivate academic communication skills in verbal and written interactions necessary to advance scientific research.

Residency Costs and Financing

Residency is part of the three-credit dissertation research seminar and follows the per credit pricing of the program. Included are academic sessions, as well as continental breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks on each full day of the in-person residency. Additional costs include airfare, lodging, evening meals, and miscellaneous personal expenses.

Degree Outcomes

With your PhD in Accounting from Capella, you'll evaluate evolving conceptual models, theoretical frameworks, and technological and organizational systems and their implications for accounting theory and practice. You'll also assess ethical, legal, and regulatory frameworks that guide accounting theory and practice. 

Career Outcomes

Common jobs with an online PhD in Accounting include: business researcher, chief financial officer, controller, dean or associate dean of business and/or accounting program, full-time faculty, senior auditor, and senior accountant. Potential workplaces include: accounting firm, community college, consulting firm, corporation, government, and self-employed.

Detailed Program Information

Get all the details about cost, courses, requirements, and more.

Classes Start January 8th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future. 

Admission Requirements »  | $50 Application Fee

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one size fits all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it.  We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$925 per credit $5K Quarterly Tuition Max, 90 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Transfer Credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. 

Employer & Association Discounts

Many employers and organizations partner with Capella to offer tuition discounts. Talk to an enrollment counselor to learn more. 

Scholarships for New Students

Capella scholarships, available for qualifying students, aren’t need-based and never have to be repaid. 

Sample Courses

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Description
BMGT8110 Advanced Research in Accounting
BMGT8112 Financial Reporting
BMGT8114 Accounting in the Global Era
BMGT8116 Forensic Accounting
BMGT8118 Advancing Accounting Theory

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  


Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now.

Doctoral Advising

A doctoral degree takes special effort. It's why we offer expert support at every step to keep you moving forward toward your goal.

Dissertation Mentors

During your dissertation, you’ll be matched with an experienced mentor who will help you to succeed. 

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.