Accounting research involves the systematic and scientific study of accounting systems, institutions, standards and regulations for the purpose of understanding and characterizing their decision-facilitating and decision-influencing roles within organizations, in product and capital markets, and across economies. For instance, financial reporting systems play many roles in publicly held organizations characterized by separation of ownership from control. They help investors in valuing their claims to firms in financial markets (valuation role), are essential for corporate control and managerial performance evaluation (auditing, governance and stewardship roles), and impact how firms allocate their resources and make financial decisions (real effects). In a similar vein, management accounting systems facilitate planning and control within organizations. Often, these many roles of accounting information interact, posing challenges for system designers, policy makers, and standard setters. 

The main goal of the accounting doctoral program is to train students to do high-quality research, and become influential scholars in top academic institutions. The accounting group has world-class senior faculty and young, talented scholars with considerable expertise in the above topics and a vibrant research environment. In addition, the program leverages the resources and excellence of Rice University in related fields such as finance, economics and statistics. Students will be required to take courses in economics, statistics, econometrics, finance, and a rigorous set of cutting-edge research seminars covering the essentials in theory, research methods, and contemporary accounting issues. 

Program features: 

  • World-class faculty
  • Engaging research environment
  • Highly competitive financial package
  • Resources of a premier research university
  • Personal attention and mentoring in the Rice tradition

For questions about the accounting doctoral program contact: K. Ramesh 


Financial economics studies how investors determine the value of assets in financial markets (asset pricing), how firms allocate their resources and make financial decisions (corporate finance), and how financial institutions and markets facilitate financial transactions (financial intermediation). Topics in finance include: portfolio management, pricing of assets and contingent-claims, the theory of the firm, financial risk management, the role of financial markets and institutions, corporate investment and financing decisions, and others. The main goal of the finance doctoral program is to train students to do high-quality research in any of these areas and to prepare them for careers as professors of finance at top academic research institutions. To achieve this goal, Ph.D. students are required to take courses in economics and finance, and to write research papers examining important and relevant issues in financial economics.


The doctoral program at the business school at Rice University is designed to provide students with the training necessary for a successful research and teaching career. This training revolves around attaining expertise in the foundational areas and using this as a basis to address important marketing issues. The training components involve selecting courses to meet individual needs and interests, working closely with faculty members on joint research, and conducting original research projects which ultimately lead to a dissertation that advances the field. 

Marketing is naturally interdisciplinary in nature and therefore draws theory and methodology widely from a variety of fields, including economics, statistics, psychology, anthropology, sociology and neurosciences. Research in marketing encompasses three broad overlapping areas: quantitative modeling, consumer behavior and strategy. 

The quantitative modeling area is rooted in microeconomics, econometrics, psychometrics, sociometrics, statistics and industrial organization. Some of the major objectives include creating models to probe competitive marketing strategies that explain and predict consumer choices and understand market structure. Examples of topics investigated by researchers at Rice include how to detect underlying trends using google data, how consumers allocate their time and discretionary income across competing products, services and activities, how product assortment impacts customer retention, why prices in the internet vary widely even though customers can easily search, and why digital piracy might not be bad for firms. 

Consumer behavior primarily focuses on explaining why consumers behave the way they do. Traditionally, psychology and sociology have been used to understand factors that explain consumer behavior. More recently, empirical modeling, survey methods, and neuroscience have provided important insights about consumers. Examples of the research conducted at the business school include why consumers purchase extended service contracts, how different identities (political, gender, moral) affect consumer decision making, studying lending decisions in peer-to-peer sites like Kickstarter and Kiva, developing strategies to encourage consumers to save more, why being on online communities fosters more risk taking, and why just surveying customers makes them more satisfied. 

The marketing strategy area deals with issues that focus on understanding and improving the strategy of the firm, and with strategic decision making of managers. Today, researchers in this area use a variety of tools including quantitative modeling, experiments, and surveys to answer questions related to a variety of topics. Topics researched at the business school include understanding the financial impact of marketing-mix decisions by managers, estimating customer-lifetime value and its impact on a firm’s financial performance, developing and measuring the impact of strategies that affect customers in terms of their satisfaction, brand-connection, brand equity, and commitment and measuring marketing outcomes such as brand-equity, customer satisfaction and corporate-social responsibility based on secondary data

Strategic Management

The Ph.D. program in strategic management provides course work in the base theories in strategic management. The field of strategic management studies big-picture issues facing managers of firms, such as deciding what markets and industries to enter, how to enter and exit various markets, how to position the firm in the market in order to gain competitive advantage, and the timing, sequencing and orchestration of competitive initiatives. Topics in strategic management include: Competitive strategy, resource allocation and corporate strategy, strategic decision processes, international and emerging market strategies, knowledge and innovation management, strategic entrepreneurship, corporate governance, and environment and non-market strategies. The main goal of the strategic management doctoral program is to train students to do high-quality research in any of these areas and to prepare them for careers as mainstream professors of strategic management at top academic research institutions. To achieve this goal, Ph.D. students are required to take courses in strategic management, research methods and statistics, as well as possible disciplinary elective courses in economics, psychology and political science, and to write research papers examining important and relevant issues in strategic management.