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PhD in Accounting

CoordinatorDr. Steve Lin | School of Accountancy (SOA) PhD Handbook

The PhD is a research degree and is not a direct continuation of masters' level studies; that is, candidates learn to extend the frontiers of knowledge through original investigation and publication of findings. University faculty members also communicate knowledge through teaching and are expected to perform service to their institution, profession, and community. The relative weights of these assignments vary across institutions.

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Specifically, the program intends to:

  • provide candidates with an advanced level of knowledge in accounting and non-accounting topics as well as an emphasis in a chosen accounting specialization;
  • prepare candidates to conduct independent research;
  • enable candidates to communicate their research findings effectively;
  • aid candidates in developing interpersonal and technical skills in teaching.
  • The Accounting concentration emphasizes empirical research. This program is eclectic in nature with the premise that a candidate should possess:
  • broad knowledge of past and current theoretical and methodological accounting issues;
  • in-depth knowledge of a supporting area; and
  • proficiency in statistics, economics, and quantitative methods of analysis.

These skills will allow a candidate to conduct significant research and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in accounting. The PhD program is a learning process in which a candidate gains an understanding of and the ability to do scholarly research. This process is holistic as it involves clearly linked interactions among faculty and students in courses, in workshops, in teaching, and in individual research projects.

The PhD faculty have earned a strong national reputation. Research by current faculty members scheduled to teach in the program has appeared in leading journals, including The Accounting Review; Journal of Accounting Research; Journal of Accounting and Economics; Contemporary Accounting Research; Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting; Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory; Accounting, Organizations & Society; Journal of Taxation; The Journal of Accounting Education; and Issues in Accounting Education.

Choosing to enter a PhD program typically signals a substantial career change, and requires one's full professional attention. Accordingly, part-time students will not be accepted in the Accounting program. In order to become engaged in the research and teaching environment, students who are admitted normally will qualify for a graduate assistantship.

Doctoral Program of Study

For the PhD program in Accounting, 72 credit hours of coursework beyond a Bachelor's degree (63 credit hours beyond a Master's degree) must be completed including the following:

Research Methods Core Courses (12 credits)

ECON6810 – Quantitative Economics Analysis
ECON8125 – Applied Statistics
ECON8810 – Econometrics I

Any seminar in methodology in Economics, Finance, BIT, Management, Mathematics, Computer Science, Sociology, etc. per advisor approval. For example:

ECON8120 – Advanced Quantitative Economic Analysis
MGMT 8921 – Sem in Management Research Methods
MATH7647 – Nonparametric Statistics
MATH8657 – Multivariate Statistical Methods

Accounting Research Core (21 credits minimum)

ACCT 8610 – Seminar Auditing Research
ACCT 8621 – Agency and Fin Econ Theory Seminar
ACCT 8710 – Accounting Research Seminar/Adv Capital Market
ACCT 8720 – Acct Research Judgment/Decision
ACCT 8731 – Seminar Management Accounting (renamed as Accounting Research Methodology from August 2021)
ACCT 8740 – Seminar in Introduction to Accounting Research
ACCT 8000 – Independent Research*

Supporting area electives (12 credit minimum): any seminars in Economics, Finance, BIT, Management, Computer Science, Sociology, etc. per advisor approval). For example,

FIR 8820 Theory/Practice Financial Management (required)
FIR 7724 Micro-structure theory
FIR 8710 Seminar in Investment Theory
ECON 8310 Advanced Microeconomics I

Dissertation Research (6 credits minimum; 18 credits maximum)

BA 9000 Dissertation

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For more information on our PhD in Accounting degree, contact our PhD advisor:

Dr. Steve Lin
901.678.4785
swlin@memphis.edu