You will develop a strong foundation in accounting and related disciplines through our Accounting curriculum, and complement that knowledge with elective courses designed to meet your individual needs and interests.  Our program includes opportunities to take some courses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to maximize your course options.

 

15

Courses required for an Accounting PhD

Scott Dyreng
Associate Professor of Accounting

Scott Dyreng

Course Requirements

The Accounting curriculum requires the following courses as part of your degree requirements:

  • Minimum of 15 PhD level courses or course equivalents
    • 2 PhD courses covering foundational papers in the archival accounting literature
    • 2 PhD courses covering papers in agency theory and information economics as used in the accounting literature
    • 2 PhD courses in current topics and methods in accounting
    • 2 PhD level courses in micro-economics
    • 2 PhD level courses in econometrics
    • 2 PhD level courses in finance
    • Electives to meet your specific needs or interests, which can include additional classes in economics, econometrics, mathematics, computer science, finance, public policy, or psychology
    • 3 MBA courses
  • Ungraded boot camp courses that are not part of your degree requirements

First and Second-Year Summer Research Paper

Each student is required to write a summer paper following both the first year and second year of coursework.

  • First-year summer paper. The first-year summer paper requirement has two components. The first is that each student must provide a replication of the main results of an existing paper so as to illustrate a minimum level of proficiency with statistical programming. Whatever paper is replicated must be specifically referenced. If a student has replicated a paper during first-year coursework of another class, the student may turn in or reference that replication to satisfy the first requirement. The second component is to turn in a completed research paper, the topic of which is approved by either the PhD coordinator or supervising faculty member that the student selects. The paper need not be fully original research, but it can be. As an example of the former, a student may replicate an existing paper and extend it to a new time period. The extension must be well motivated, such as articulating why existing results may not generalize to a new time period. For a student executing this type of “replication and extension” research, both the first and second parts of the first-year summer paper criteria would be satisfied. As an example of the latter, the student can undertake a completely original idea, and prepare the paper individually, with another non-first-year doctoral student, or with a faculty member. (Collaboration with faculty or another non-first-year doctoral student is permitted if the student has played a major role in the generation and development of the core idea and takes the lead in writing the paper.) Students must turn in their first-year summer paper by the first day of the Fall 1 term of the Fuqua Academic Calendar and schedule a 1 hour workshop to present the research paper to the faculty. The workshop presentation must be completed no later than the end of the Fall 2 of the Fuqua Academic Calendar.
  • Second-year summer paper. At the end of the second year during the summer, students should have made substantial progress on an original single-authored research study. Each student must select two additional faculty members (one from accounting, one not from accounting) beyond his/her primary advisor to serve as readers and committee members. The role of the four-person committee is to advise and provide feedback from conception to completion of the paper. The formal satisfaction of this requirement is to present the curriculum paper in the accounting workshop series (regular 1.5 hour presentation slot) no later than the end of Spring Term 2 of the Fuqua Academic Calendar in the third year, with the research paper provided to all faculty one week prior to the presentation. Students are encouraged to complete the paper and presentation before the end of Fall Term 2. The committee, with input from the rest of the accounting faculty, will evaluate both the presentation and the paper, and determine what actions are required (e.g., dismissal from the program, additional coursework, etc.).

Qualifying Exams

Students must exhibit satisfactory performance on a written comprehensive examination that tests the student’s understanding of the research discussed in the doctoral seminars and workshops (part 1) and the student’s ability to read and evaluate accounting research (part 2). The comprehensive examination is written by a committee of the accounting faculty, appointed by the accounting area coordinator. The examination committee will grade the exam and determine what actions, if any, are required. Depending on performance on the examination, students may be dismissed from the program or asked to retake the examination. Students are not permitted to take the comprehensive exam more than twice. The examination committee will determine any additional qualifications for a student to retake the exam and when the timing of that exam will occur. Components of part 1 of the comprehensive exam may be taken at different times depending on the timing and sequencing of courses offered. For example, the empirical component of part 1 of the comprehensive exam can take place at a different time than the analytic component of part 1 of the comprehensive exam, with timing varying based upon course offerings. Typically course schedules dictate students will take a portion of part 1 following the second year of coursework and an additional portion of part 1 following the first semester of the third year.

Teaching and Research Assistantship

A critical part of the accounting doctoral program is forming professional relationships with faculty members and learning about the research and teaching processes. All students are expected to help faculty with research and teaching as needed, with the general expectations of 10 hours per week for students in years two through five, and 4 hours per week during year one. Hours worked above these amounts generally qualify for hourly compensation at pre-specified rates established by Fuqua, with the specifics of the work arrangement determined with consultation of the faculty member needing assistance. Work on co-authored projects does not qualify as research assistance.

Preliminary Exam

This requirement is satisfied through the second-year summer requirements outlined above.

Dissertation Proposal

We suggest students form a dissertation committee in the Fall of their fourth year, with the proposal occurring in the Spring of the fourth year. Students have until the end of the summer of the fourth year to complete this requirement.

Dissertation Defense

We expect students to defend their dissertation by the end of their fifth year in the program.

 

Sample Program Schedule

Course selection will be determined based on your prior experience with mathematics and economics or with accounting.

Year 0

Fall Spring Summer
    Coursework:
  • Mathematics for Economists*
  • Optional courses

 

Year 1

Fall Spring Summer
Coursework:
  • Fuqua Offered Accounting Doctoral Courses
  • Microeconomic Analysis
  • Introduction to Econometrics ** or Econometrics I
  • Calculus for Social Science Research or Finance I

Research and Teaching Assistantship

Coursework:
  • Fuqua Offered Accounting Doctoral Courses
  • Microeconomic Analysis II
  • Econometrics II ***
  • Finance II or Accounting Research Seminar ***

Research and Teaching Assistantship

Coursework (Optional)
First-Year Summer Paper
Research and Teaching Assistantship

 

Year 2

Fall Spring Summer
Coursework:
  • Fuqua Offered Accounting Doctoral Courses
  • Advanced Panel Data Methods *** or Macroeconomics
  • Finance I or Financial Accounting #

First-year summer paper presentation
Research and Teaching Assistantship

Coursework:
  • Fuqua Offered Accounting Doctoral Courses
  • Finance II or Finance III
  • Accounting Research Seminar ***

Research Exploration
Research and Teaching Assistantship

Coursework (Optional)
Second-Year Summer Paper
Research and Teaching Assistantship
Portion of Comprehensive Exam

 

 

Year 3

Fall Spring Summer
Coursework:
  • Fuqua Offered Accounting Doctoral Courses
  • Accounting Research Seminar ***
  • Financial Statement Analysis #

Research and Teaching Assistantship
Portion of Comprehensive Exam

Coursework:
  • Valuation #
  • Other optional classes as needed

Research and Teaching Assistantship
Preliminary Exam

Research
Research and Teaching Assistantship

 

 

Year 4

Fall Spring Summer

Research
Research and Teaching Assistantship
Form Dissertation Committee

Research
Research and Teaching Assistantship

Research
Research and Teaching Assistantship
Dissertation Proposal

 

Year 5

Fall Spring Summer

Research
Research and Teaching Assistantship
Create and Present Job Market Paper

Research
Research and Teaching Assistantship
Final Exam (Dissertation Defense)

 

* Ungraded boot camp course – not part of degree requirement
** Partial PhD course equivalent
*** Course taken at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
# MBA course as part of three course requirement
## Satisfies graduate school preliminary examination requirement