Accountancy

Global Leader in Accounting Education

Coursework Requirements


Background knowledge prerequisite to taking PhD program courses includes: the equivalent of an AACSB accredited undergraduate business degree with a major in accounting, an intermediate undergraduate course in microeconomics, and undergraduate courses in calculus (differential, integral and multivariate) and linear algebra.

Program coursework comprises two general categories: core studies and advanced study within an area of specialization. The current program coursework requirements are presented here. To register for courses, the student must have the approval of his/her faculty mentor (or coursework advisory committee if one has been established). 

Core Studies (non-thesis course requirements)

Core studies represent the common knowledge that should be possessed by all individuals who earn a PhD degree in Accountancy. The objectives of these studies are to provide the student with

  1. A thorough understanding of the essentials of the scientific method of inquiry, both in concept and in practice,
  2. A basic understanding of the major research paradigms (both theories and methods) currently employed within accountancy,
  3. The ability to analyze critically the strengths and weaknesses of accountancy research and an appreciation of the skills and processes required to conduct accountancy research, and
  4. Presentation and argumentation skills required for effective contribution as an accountancy educator.

The course work portion of the PhD program requires the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 64 hours of graduate coursework. The minimum non-thesis course requirements include:

Economics:
  • Microeconomics at the graduate level
  • Another course at the graduate level from an approved listing
Statistics:
  • A two-course introduction to mathematical statistics and probability theory
Accountancy Core:
  • Research methodology in accounting
  • Contemporary research in accounting
    • Topics in behavioral sciences applied to accounting
    • Topics in economic theory applied to accounting
    • Topics in empirical finance applied to accounting
  • Research project in accounting
Area of Specialization:
  • Specialization generally involves the application of an acceptable research paradigm to one or more functional areas within the accounting discipline. Students, either through prior work experience or course work, must have adequate knowledge of the institution within which accounting, as it relates to their areas of specialization, is performed
  • Programs of specialized study should include both the theoretical foundations of and research methods appropriate to the student's specialized area. These programs contain a minimum of six units of graduate study, at least four of which are in a supporting field (e.g., economics, finance, psychology) outside of accounting
  • Doctoral research seminar in accounting

Specialty Areas

Specialization generally involves the application of a research paradigm to one or more functional areas within the accountancy discipline. Students, either through prior work experience or coursework, must have adequate institutional knowledge of accountancy practice as it relates to their specialty area. The student’s coursework advisory committee determines the student’s need for additional institutional coursework.

In addition, programs of specialized study must provide both a theoretical background and research methods appropriate to the student’s chosen specialty. The objectives of this requirement are to provide the student with

  1. Advanced knowledge of his/her chosen research paradigm as it relates to accountancy,
  2. The skills and abilities necessary to conduct research within the chosen area of specialization, and
  3. Guidance and direction in developing his/her doctoral dissertation proposal.

The student, with the advice and consent of their coursework advisory committee, develop a program of specialty coursework. In addition to the requirements considered necessary for an adequate institutional knowledge, such programs are composed of a minimum of six graduate study units, at least four of which are outside of accountancy.

Coursework Advisory Committees

A coursework advisory committee consists of at least two Graduate College members from the Accountancy faculty, at least one of whom has current research expertise in the student’s intended area of specialization. The student, in consultation with his/her faculty mentor and other faculty advisors, petitions the Director of the PhD program for the appointment of a coursework advisory committee, nominating members and briefly describing the intended area of specialization. The student is encouraged to form a coursework advisory committee as soon as he/she has identified an intended area of specialization and desires to begin taking courses from the area of specialization (but not later than the term the student successfully completes the Accountancy core preliminary examination). Prior to the formation of a dissertation supervisory committee, the coursework advisory committee should

  1. Ensure that the student is progressing satisfactorily and annually review such progress, submitting a summary of such review to the Director of the PhD program.
  2. Evaluate the student’s knowledge of the institution within which accounting, as it relates to his/her specialization, is performed, and develop a program to eliminate any deficiency.
  3. Advise the student with respect to courses that would constitute an appropriate area of specialization and ensure that these courses are taken in a timely manner.
  4. Maintain the program advising worksheet in the student’s file that outlines the coursework to be taken for the student’s area of specialization, revised as needed to be kept current, and approve the student’s course registration (program request form and/or change of program form) each term.
  5. Advise the student with respect to the selection of an appropriate dissertation topic and the formation of a dissertation supervisory committee.