Program Concentrations


The Ph.D. concentration in the School of Accountancy prepares candidates for a successful academic career that emphasizes research and teaching in accounting. Through the program, candidates acquire the necessary skills to do "state-of-the-art" scholarly research in accounting and develop effective teaching skills.

Specifically, the program intends:

  1. 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;

  2. To prepare candidates to conduct independent research;

  3. To enable candidates to communicate their research findings effectively; and

  4. To aid candidates in developing interpersonal and technical skills in teaching.

The Accounting concentration emphasizes empirical research. This program is eclectic in nature and is built on the premise that a candidate should possess:

  1. broad knowledge of past and current theoretical and methodological accounting issues;

  2. in-depth knowledge of a supporting area; and

  3. proficiency in statistics, economics, and quantitative methods of analysis.

The skills will allow a candidate to conduct significant research and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in accounting. The Ph.D. 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 faculty have earned a strong national and international reputation. Their research has been published in leading journals such as The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Contemporary Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies, Decision Sciences, MIS Quarterly, Accounting, Organizations & Society, and others.

The School of Accountancy holds a research workshop series in which both University faculty and outside scholars present current research. Ph.D. students also enjoy external exposure by participating in such programs as the American Accounting Association's Doctoral Student Research Symposium, regional and national AAA meetings, special research conferences, and The University of Memphis Graduate Research Forum.

The School of Accountancy offers a competitive educational program that is conducted by a research-oriented faculty committed to academic excellence. The student body is international, multi-talented, and diverse; they bring a unique richness to the University that establishes a sense of tradition and history. Accounting graduates hold faculty positions at leading universities throughout the nation.

Dr. Nirmalee Raddatz
Ph.D. Program Coordinator, Accountancy


The Economics concentration in the Ph.D. program provides students with both the theoretical background and strong empirical skills necessary to be a professional economist. The strong analytical skills and extensive training in empirical methods using the latest econometric software make our graduates highly sought after. Recent graduates have found employment opportunities at Fortune 500 firms, government agencies and major Universities.

The Economics Department has a very productive faculty conducting research in many areas, including health economics, social capital, international economics, macroeconomic theory and industrial organization.  Faculty and graduate students have access to excellent computing facilities and data sources for research.  Graduate Assistantships provide an opportunity for students to interact with faculty and often lead to joint research projects and publications in scholarly journals.  Publications have appeared in leading economics journals including the American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Econometrica, the Economic Journal, Review of Financial Studies, International Journal of Industrial Organization, Journal of Economic Behavior, Health Economics, Gerontology, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Economic Issues and the Southern Economics Journal. In addition, faculty and graduate assistants are active in sponsored research projects that lead to reports for government organizations like the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress and studies for private corporations like Federal Express. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research also provides professional opportunities for students and faculty alike.  Further, the department hosts a research seminar allowing visiting scholars to present the latest research on topics of interest to faculty and students.

The basic curriculum includes macroeconomic theory, microeconomic theory and a research core including statistics and econometrics.  Students then focus on a field of interest such as health economics or international economics, among others.  All students in the Ph.D. program then add a minor field, which may be outside of economics.  Recent students have selected minors ranging from finance, to statistics, to sociology, depending on their professional interests and specific career plans.  More detailed information about the all aspects of the program is provided in the Student's Guide to the Ph.D. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Economics produced by the Economics Department.

With a strong curriculum and supportive faculty, students receive the highest quality education in contemporary economics.  Graduate research and teaching assistantships provide hands on experience and financial support as well.  The end result is a graduate with excellent analytical skills and strong training in empirical methods that give our graduates a competitive edge in today's global labor market.

Dr. Joon Lee
Ph.D. Program Coordinator, Economics


The required course work for Ph.D. concentration in Finance includes corporate finance, investments, and market micro-structure theory and applications. Promising scholars from various regions and nations belong to the student body.

The research tools and opportunities available to our doctoral students are impressive.  Financial databases such as CRSP, COMPUSTAT, and TAQ are available on campus for research.

Furthermore, The University of Memphis is the home of The Institute of the Study of Security Markets (ISSM), which supplies the international academic community with data from all trades and quotes, timed to seconds, for NYSE, AMEX, and NASD securities. Doctoral students are involved in all phases of faculty research, including co-authorship of research papers and presentations at professional meetings.

The Finance graduate faculty hold terminal degrees from Indiana University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Drexel University, just to name a few.  Dr. Thomas McInish holds the Wunderlich Chair of Excellence in Finance, and Dr. Robert Wood, executive director of the ISSM, is a Distinguished Professor of Finance.

The doctoral finance faculty have published in leading scholarly journals, including:  Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Financial Markets, Journal of Financial Research, Financial Review, Journal of Futures Markets, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Journal of Portfolio Management, Financial Analysts Journal, Journal of Political Economy, and Management Science.

Research interests of the doctoral faculty in Finance include: Use of transaction data to investigate market microstructure, unit roots test and capital market theory, futures prices and inflation information, market risk premiums under uncertain inflation, applied contingent claims analysis, tax effects on dividend policy, transnational structure of interest rates, returns on Korean tax stock market, corporate debt policy, domestic versus multinational risk and return, and spot versus futures price volatility.

The program is quantitative and the course work includes a number of courses in economics such as microeconomics and econometrics.

Dr. Konstantin Sokolov
Ph.D. Program Coordinator, Finance


The Ph.D. concentration in Management offers students the opportunity to become skilled researchers and scholars in the areas of Human Resource Management (HR), Organizational Behavior (OB), or Strategic Management (Strategy). The department's highly qualified faculty has achieved international recognition for excellence in scholarship as evidenced by publications in leading journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Organization Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and Organizational Research Methods.

The doctoral program in Management fosters and promotes professor-student interaction. The strong relationship between faculty and students creates a learning environment that is stimulating and supportive. Students come to the program with diverse academic backgrounds and work experience; however, they share a desire to learn and to achieve. Management students gain mastery in specific areas of study and acquire specialized skills that will assist them in academic careers of research and teaching.

The department offers doctoral course work in Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, and Strategic Management. Study in Human Resources examines job design, recruitment, selection, training, career management, performance appraisal, compensation and benefits, and industrial relations, while Organizational Behavior involves the study of organizations and the behavior within them, theories of organization structure, change and development in organizations, motivation, leadership and group dynamics.

Strategic Management examines organizations as integrated systems composed of internal environments interacting with the external environment. Course work addresses a broad range of topics including strategy planning and research, corporate strategy, international business strategy, and industry and competitive analysis. Students consider strategy from a complex array of both content and process perspectives, using strategy models and techniques derived from management and other disciplines such as economics, marketing, and sociology.

Entry into the Ph.D. program in Management involves a commitment to an extended period of academic study. Doctoral research and teaching assistantships are provided to outstanding candidates to support and facilitate their educational opportunities. For the student seeking a challenging and stimulating program in a supportive and caring environment, this program offers preparation for a career that can be professionally gratifying, personally fulfilling, and financially rewarding. Ph.D. graduates in Management have accepted positions at quality schools around the nation including West Virginia, Oregon State, Louisiana State, Ole Miss, UNC-Charlotte, George Mason, UT-Arlington, and Illinois State.

Dr. James Vardaman
Ph.D. Program Coordinator, Management

Management Infomation Systems 

The Ph.D. concentration in Management Information Systems (MIS) is designed for higher caliber students who seek academic careers in MIS or managerial positions in modern corporations. Recent MIS graduates have been placed as assistant professors in prestigious institutions such as Virginia Tech and Clemson University.
The graduate coordinator works closely with each student to design the Ph.D. course work to fit the student's individual needs. This customization permits each candidate to take full advantage of prior training and special interests.  Students take a variety of courses, including Business Analytics, Database Management, Systems Analysis and Design, Business Strategy, Statistics and Econometrics and Research Methodology. 
The MIS faculty publishes state-of-the-art research in leading academic journals, such as MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Management Science, Journal of Management Information Systems, and Journal of the Association for Information Systems. Some are serving on the editorial boards of premier journals such has ISR and JAIS. Many have received external grants from leading corporations such as FedEx and national agencies such as NIH, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Commerce. 
The graduate faculty members are easily accessible and work closely with the Ph.D. students in their research and instructional activities.  Under the guidance of our faculty, our PhD graduates have published papers on premier journals such as MISQ, Journal of Operations Management and Information and Management based on their dissertation work. 

Dr. Huigang Liang
Ph.D. Program Coordinator, Management Information Systems


We are not admitting any Ph.D students in MKTG for the Fall 2024.

The Ph.D. concentration in Marketing offers students the opportunity to become academic researchers and scholars in marketing. The Coordinator of the doctoral program in Marketing works closely with each student to develop the course work and research programs to meet the student's academic needs. The Ph.D. course work provides state-of-the-art coverage of marketing theory and research methods. There is ample opportunity for students to develop their own special research and teaching interests in the functional areas of marketing.

The Marketing faculty is nationally recognized for its research, regularly publishing in leading scholarly journals such as:Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Retailing, and Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. The Marketing Area has an endowed Sales and Marketing Executives Chair in Sales Excellence. The faculty participates in academic and professional associations, and several individuals occupy positions of leadership in these organizations.

The marketing concentration is designed for highly committed students who seek as academic career in institutions that emphasize teaching and research. A balanced program at The University of Memphis allows students to work with faculty in order to develop competency in both these areas. Students have an opportunity to work with faculty on research projects that lead to publication in scholarly journals. Most students work with professors in developing innovative teaching materials and gaining experience in classroom instruction.

Students who graduate with the Ph.D. concentration in Marketing have many opportunities for academic employment. Recent graduates have received offers from leading universities at competitive salaries, including the University of Arkansas, the University of Alabama, Michigan State University, Florida State University, the University of Tampa, University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University and the University of New Brunswick (Canada).

Dr. Ernest Nichols
Department Chair, Marketing & Supply Chain Management