Best Online PhD Programs in Accounting

Enrolling in a PhD program isn’t an easy decision to make. By the time people decide to get a doctoral degree in accounting, they usually have a job that takes up a significant portion of their time. Going to an offline campus and participating in all the related activities is a time-consuming process that not all people are ready to handle.

That’s where online PhD in accounting programs comes in. Getting an accounting degree online is an excellent way to gain significant knowledge, get the much-needed degree, and enjoy a personalized program without a daily commute.

Universities and colleges that offer online PhD programs make sure that the quality is the same as for their offline doctorate opportunities. That’s why getting your PhD online can be an excellent alternative to time-consuming offline studies.

Let’s take a closer look at choosing an online accounting doctorate program.

Advantages of Earning a PhD in Accounting Online Degree

If you are still unsure about your plans for entering PhD in accounting online programs, you can consider the following benefits of making this choice.

Lower Costs

Within one university, online PhD don’t cost less than offline PhDs However, living on campus or traveling to the university every day can warrant extra expenses. Even if you are just taking the bus to campus, you still need to worry about food, clothes, and other expenses.

Since not all educational institutions offer doctoral programs, many people have to relocate to another city, state, or even country. This comes with significant expenses, stress, frustration, and many other downsides, especially for people with stable jobs and families who need attention.

A remote PhD can help you cut all of these costs while going about your life as usual.

Wider Choice

Since there is a limited number of places a person is usually willing to relocate, the choice of universities where you can get your PhD isn’t wide. With a remote program, you can choose from a wide variety of universities and colleges on a global scale.

While not all universities offer an opportunity to get an accounting PhD online, many major schools are exploring this option. During the COVID-19 pandemic, universities discovered many benefits of such programs. That’s why more and more schools are making a decision about implementing them.

Networking Opportunities

Just because you do the majority of studying remotely doesn’t mean you don’t get to network. Today, remote learning arrangements are highly comprehensive. You can network with faculty, alumni, and students. This can help you find new employment opportunities and learn from the best specialists in the field.

The key to reaping all the networking benefits is researching all the options offered by the school of your choice. Many remote students don’t explore the variety of opportunities because of the lack of on-site experience. With the right approach, it’s possible to reap all the same benefits you would with offline studying.

Flexible Schedule

The majority of online doctoral programs have flexible schedules. You can study and do research on your own time. While you may still need to schedule online sessions with supervisors, they take up a small percentage of your research time.

People who have jobs, children, and other obligations can benefit from the flexibility that an online PhD accounting program offers.

While the benefits of getting your PhD online are impressive, this approach comes with a few downsides. One of them is the lack of personal interaction with your PhD supervisor. Online sessions might be less productive than offline conversations.

Getting your PhD online requires impressive self-discipline. You would need to choose the time for your studies and stick to it no matter how many other things you have to do at home. Many people don’t have such experience and often worry about not being focused enough to get an online education.

PhD in Accounting Program Online: Learning Formats

When you talk about getting an online PhD in accounting, you can consider several learning formats. One option is a 100% online program, which means you can complete all the program requirements from the comfort of your own home.

Another one is a partially online program. It means that you can do some of the work online. The rest of the requirements may need to be completed on-site.

When it comes to online doctorates in accounting programs, in most cases, you can count on the 100% online format. However, some doctoral programs may require offline learning.

While the fully online format may seem more convenient, some students appreciate the opportunity to communicate with the faculty offline. Here are the pros and cons of these two common formats.

Full Online Format

For the fully online format, you get an opportunity to complete all the program requirements from anywhere you choose. All you need is a device with an internet connection. This format can come in two options:

  • Schedule – you need to tune in to online lectures according to the schedule set by the faculty. You would have to enter a virtual classroom at a certain time. This limits your choice of learning time. However, it allows you to interact with other students and faculty in real time.
  • Flexible – this format doesn’t require you to stick to a certain schedule. You get assignments online and complete them on your own time. Then you submit the assignment according to the set deadline.

When choosing your online PhD accounting program, make sure to check which format the school provides so it doesn’t come as a surprise.

Scheduled online meetings during the day may not be convenient for students who have full-time jobs and want to study in the evening. Meanwhile, a flexible program may not be the best choice for students who prefer real-time communication options.

Partial Online Format

A partial online format allows you to do some assignments online but come to the offline site to fulfill certain program requirements. This particular format also comes in two types:

  • The majority of classes and assignments are online
  • The majority of classes and assignments are offline

If you choose the first option, you may take the majority of classes online throughout the year but come to complete on-campus residencies once a term or once a year.

For many online programs, you may need to visit the campus to take exams or defend your dissertation.

Things to Consider Before Choosing To Pursue an Online Accounting PhD

By itself, getting a PhD in accounting is a serious decision that requires a comprehensive approach. When researching doctorate in account online programs, you need to consider a variety of factors. They include:

1. Accreditation

Whatever the goal of getting an online account PhD is for you, you don’t want to miss out on all the opportunities this decision offers. That’s why, it’s important to choose a program with the right accreditation.

Accreditation is a key to your degree program being accepted by the main employers in the relevant industry. Similar to traditional schools, online colleges and universities need to undergo a number of inspections and checks to show that they meet high standards. Only then, they can obtain a relevant accreditation.

In the majority of cases, you can find information about accreditation on the school’s website. If it’s not readily available, this should raise a red flag. Consider contacting the university and asking about accreditations.

If the university you choose is located in the United States, you can check its accreditation in the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

2. Reviews

An effective way to find out how the program you are considering works is to talk to students and alumni. Students can provide information that they can’t find on the website or get from the university’s officials.

Ideally, you can contact some of the alumni and ask them to share their experience getting an online PhD in accounting at their chosen university. You can find these people in groups on social media platforms. Many universities have social media accounts where alumni and current students interact.

Do some investigating by finding these people and asking them relevant questions? You can also source reviews from the university’s website. Questions to ask alumni include:

  • How satisfied are you with the program?
  • Did the program help you achieve your goals?
  • Did you get new salary opportunities after completing the program?
  • Are you satisfied with the faculty support?

While university alumni can share useful tips, their opinions can be highly subjective. Keep this in mind when making the final decision about choosing a particular program.

3. Value

When you receive an online PhD in accounting from a particular school, how likely are you to meet your goals? If you are planning to get a higher-paying job, you need to find out whether this degree is valuable to the recruiters.

You can do some research online to learn how demanded online accounting degrees are from the university you choose. You can also speak to recruiters to learn about their opinions about the program.

If you manage to find alumni, ask them about their salaries. Are they getting what they expected to get after obtaining a degree? If they had an opportunity to choose another school for getting a doctorate in accounting online, would they do it?

4. Admission Requirements

Each university sets its own admission requirements for online PhD accounting programs. However, the majority of them are similar.

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field from an accredited university
  • Master’s degree in a relevant field from an accredited university
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
  • English proficiency tests (for non-native English speakers)
  • Minimum work experience in the field (for some universities)
  • Local citizenship (for some universities)

Keep in mind that even if you don’t meet all of the school’s requirements, you still have an opportunity to get into the program. PhD students can get individual attention from the admission decision-makers if they have solid experience in the field.

Admissions requirements can also vary depending on the country where the university is based. In some over-the-seas colleges, you may need to provide the results of language tests.

Don’t give up on a suitable university simply because you don’t have a big GMAT score. Put all of your achievements and accolades on the application and work on the personal statement. Most likely, the committee will take them into consideration.

The college of your choice should also provide a list of things you need to prepare to apply. This list can contain:

  • An application – you can usually fill the application out and submit it online.
  • Application fee – the fee varies from university to university. In some cases, it’s possible to waive the application fee.
  • Transcripts – you need to provide all of your transcripts related to getting a secondary education.
  • Personal statement – a personal statement is your opportunity to shine and show your suitability for the program. It needs to demonstrate your understanding of accounting research and list your goals for the PhD program.
  • Resume – make sure your resume is filled out and up-to-date.
  • Letters of recommendation – the best letters of recommendation come from research-active faculty members. The goal is to give the admissions committee a full understanding of your potential.
  • Official GMA scores – there is usually a minimum score you have to demonstrate.
  • Official TOEFL scores (if your native language isn’t English) – there is usually a minimum score you have to demonstrate.

Pay close attention to these requirements. If you are missing something, it’s an excellent opportunity to obtain whatever the school is asking for before applying. It will be much harder to convince the university to accept you into the program if you don’t have all the required documents ready.

Top Programs for Getting an Online PhD in Accounting

The top universities that provide an opportunity to get a doctorate in accounting online include:

Capella University

Located in Minneapolis, MN, Capella University has a wide selection of online programs. With more than 30 years of successful operation, this university provides excellent support, boasts experienced faculty, and makes it easy to complete doctorate programs without leaving the comfort of your home.

In this university, you can get a PhD or DBA in accounting. Many students leave great reviews about their experience with Capella.

The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Liberty University

Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University is number 3 on the list of the best online colleges in the United States. You can obtain an online Doctor of Business Administration in Accounting without having to study offline. You can also choose a hybrid program, which is designed specifically for students who prefer some offline assistance.

During their time at Liberty, students have access to a sizable Liberty library online. By the end of their education, they complete a doctoral research project.

The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

George Fox University

Located in Newberg, Oregon, George Fox University is a private Christian school that offers an opportunity to complete your PhD program. In this school, you can become an online DBA in Accounting.

The school offers a hybrid program. The majority of studies is done online. It’s complemented by the on-campus residency that happens twice a year. You get an opportunity to learn from the best experts in the field and network with students and the faculty.

The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Trident University

Located in Cypress, California, Trident University provides an opportunity to earn a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business Administration. You can choose the Accounting/Finance specialization. The program is arranged entirely online. It is excellent for students who want to focus on economic growth and development.

You can learn in a flexible environment, without having to take online classes on a specific schedule or visit the campus for the offline residency. Each student gets significant individual support to streamline the learning process.

The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

University of South Carolina

Located in Columbia, South Carolina, the University of South Carolina is one of the oldest and largest schools in the state. The school offers a hybrid DBA in Business Administration with a specialization in accounting.

The program is hybrid. You can complete the majority of the courses online. However, you have to come to the offline location for orientation and practicum.

The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Online Accounting PhD FAQs

Is the online PhD in accounting expensive?

The cost of the program depends on the school you choose. Some programs may cost around $10,000, while others go up to $50,000. If the cost seems high, you can explore a variety of scholarship opportunities.

How long does it take to get an online PhD in accounting?

On average, it takes between 4 and 7 years to get a PhD in accounting. Some schools offer opportunities to complete the program faster.

Is an online PhD in accounting a good idea?

Yes. Accounting is one of the fast-evolving and high-paying fields. It boasts some of the highest salaries across industries.