This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program accreditation
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Program goal

The Ph.D. in Business program is designed specifically for individuals intending to fill positions at institutions that require a balance of scholarly training, teaching and practical application of the appropriate field of study. With its small size, the program allows for extensive one-to-one interaction between students and faculty. Three concentrations are offered: accounting, information systems and management.

A basic tenet of the Ph.D. in Business program is that the classic trilogy of research, teaching and service typically invoked in university mission statements is synergistic. The program strives to develop graduates who share this perspective and aspire to well-rounded individual roles within universities, colleges and other learning organizations. For this reason, the program provides instruction in both research and teaching.

Instruction in basic and applied research is the cornerstone of the program. To fulfill the requirements for the degree, students must demonstrate successful completion of prerequisite and advanced courses, comprehensive examinations, and completion and defense of a dissertation. The advanced courses provide coverage in basic theories, methodologies and techniques needed to conduct research. The dissertation demonstrates the student’s competence in conducting independent research.

Enhancement of teaching skills is emphasized in the program. It provides students with mentoring and teaching experience. Formal instruction designed to augment student teaching skills is also required. Mentoring involves teaming a student with a faculty member with the goal of augmenting student self-awareness and self-confidence in the classroom. Classroom experience is required to insure that the Ph.D. graduate enters the job market with certifiable teaching experience. The formal courses are designed to provide substantive instruction on teaching the adult learner.

A third aspect of the Ph.D. program is its emphasis on practical application in the area of study for students concentrating in accounting. In accounting emphasis is placed on projects based on real-world experience, and students are encouraged to develop papers around topics that address practical application of accounting concepts.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to apply general principles of scientific research and methodologies to critically review published research papers.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to (a) design a research study, (b) select the appropriate methodology and (c) develop the study into a research proposal. 
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to identify ethical dilemmas in the major area of study and know how to respond ethically to such issues.
  4. Students will demonstrate an understanding of current knowledge in the major area of study.  
  5. Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate and teach knowledge in the major area of study.
  6. Students will demonstrate the ability to develop and conduct research in the major area of study (i.e., complete an independent doctoral-level research project pertaining to the state of the art of the student’s major area). 

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

School of Business policies and procedures for graduate students are available on the school’s website.


Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
Ph.D. Fall Jan 1 GMAT

Note: Accounting majors are admitted for the fall of odd-numbered years.

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants to the doctoral program in business must submit an up-to-date resume.

Degree requirements

Upon admission to the Ph.D. program, faculty will evaluate students to determine if they have attained a basic competency level in general business disciplines. Students who have already completed a master’s degree in business will likely have met all foundation/prerequisite requirements.

Students who enter the Ph.D. in Business without an education in business will be expected to meet the foundation requirements for the intended concentration area of study as determined by their advisers.

In addition to the VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, Ph.D. in Business students must complete a minimum of 53 graduate credit hours, including core, concentration and elective course work, and a minimum of 12 credit hours of dissertation research. Each student must also complete a teaching portfolio and take a written comprehensive examination in the concentration area.

Curriculum requirements

Course Title Hours
Ph.D. in Business core
BUSN 700Principles of Scientific Inquiry in Business3
BUSN 701Research Methods in Business3
ECON 501Introduction to Econometrics3
GRAD 602Teaching and Learning in Higher Education2
Concentration courses
ACCT 790Research Methods Seminar3
ACCT 791Managerial Accounting Seminar3
ACCT 792Financial Accounting Seminar3
ACCT 794Behavioral Research Seminar3
ACCT 795Auditing Seminar3
Research tools elective
Research tools elective, as approved by concentration coordinator3
Four additional courses, as approved by concentration coordinator12
Dissertation research
ACCT 898Dissertation Research (minimum of 12 credit hours)12
Total Hours53

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 53.

Students who complete the requirements for this concentration will receive a Doctor of Philosophy in Business.

Myung S. Park, Ph.D.
Accounting coordinator
(804) 828-3161

Additional contact
Austen Gouldman
Graduate Studies
(804) 828-4622

Program website: