Ph.D. in Business Administration with a major in Accounting


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Begin your application today by entering the Graduate Admissions Portal.

Submit your application by:
January 15 – Application review begins and will continue until positions are filled.
March 1Application submission deadline. All supporting materials must be received by March 15.

  Contact Us

  • Email Zahn Bozanic, program director, for more information on the Accounting major, its content and curriculum.
  • Email Gail Palo, Ph.D. academic program specialist, for more information about the admissions process.

Graduate Programs Office
  850-644-6458
  877-587-5540 (toll free)
  gradprograms@business.fsu.edu


Accounting is one of seven majors offered through FSU’s College of Business’ Ph.D. in Business Administration. The major admits two or three candidates each fall, and the program takes four to five years to complete. 

  • Emphasizes capital markets, decision-making, financial reporting and assurance services
  • Offers tracks in empirical financial accounting research (typically with finance and econometrics coursework) and behavioral accounting research (typically with psychology coursework)
  • Includes active faculty mentorship, foundational courses in statistics and economics, a second-year research study, comprehensive exams and dissertation

For an overview of FSU’s Ph.D. in Business Administration and its seven majors, download the brochure.

  Student Accomplishments

Placements

National: University of California (UCLA), University of Arizona, University of Baltimore, University of New Hampshire, Northeastern University
Regional: University of North Florida, University of Central Florida, Georgia State University, NC State University
International: Chinese University of Hong Kong, IE Business School


Awards

  • Alyssa Moore, Legacy Fellowship
  • Andrea Tillet, McKnight Fellowship, AICPA Minority Doctoral Fellowship, The PhD Project (KPMG Foundation)
  • Cathryn Meegan, Legacy Fellowship, College of Business Teaching Assistant Award
  • Christina Lewellen, AICPA Doctoral Scholars Program
  • Eduardo Fuste, McKnight Fellowship, The PhD Project (KPMG Foundation)
  • Josette Pelzer, Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program, The PhD Project (KPMG Foundation)
  • Michelle McAllister, AICPA Doctoral Scholars Program
  • Nikki Chappell, AICPA Minority Doctoral Fellowship

Presentations

  • Andrea Tillet, Center for Audit Quality, AAA Annual Meeting, AAA Auditing Midyear Meeting, KPMG Ph.D. Project Annual Meeting
  • Cathryn Meegan, American Taxation Association Midyear Meeting, Fellow's Society 
  • Eddie Fuste, AAA/Deloitte/J. Michael Cook Doctoral Consortium, The PhD Project Emerging Students Webinar
  • Eric Rosano, Florida Accounting Symposium 
  • Mark Kim, Florida Accounting Symposium

Defended dissertations

  • “Valuing Negative Book Equity” by Cathryn Meegan
  • "The Influence of Organized Labor on Audit Quality and internal Control" by David Bradley Bryan
  • "Does Comparability Restrict Opportunistic Accounting?" by Anthony W. Chen
  • "Disclosure Regulation and Firm Behavior: The Effects of the Mandated Disclosure of CEO-to-Employee Pay Ratios on CEO Pay” by Tristan B. Johnson (2018)
  • "Principles-Based Accounting Standards and Regulatory Enforcement” by Mark P. Kim (2019)
  • "Tax Haven Incorporation and Financial Reporting Transparency” by Christina Maria Lewellen
  • "The Economic Effects of Earnings Management Pre- and Post-SOX" by Terry W. Mason
  • "An Examination of the Relationship between Individual Fraud Impressions formed during Fraud Brainstorming and Subsequent Auditor Judgments and Decisions” by Michelle McAllister
  • "The Information Role of Earnings Quality in Management Forecast Activity" by James R. Moon, Jr.
  • "The Allocation of Audit Office Resources” by Jonathan D. Nash
  • "Meeting-or-Beating Earnings Benchmarks: The Effect of Natural Disasters” by Jonghan Park (2019)
  • "Understanding Barriers to Critical Audit Matter Effectiveness: A Qualitative and Experimental Approach” by Josette Renee Edwards Peltzer

  Program Requirements

Prerequisites

All Accounting doctoral students must complete graduate level courses in Finance as well as undergraduate level courses in Statistics, Calculus I, Calculus II, and Linear Algebra.  The Accounting doctoral adviser and the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs must approve courses satisfying the above requirements.


Major Requirements

All Accounting doctoral students must complete courses in three areas: Tools for Analytical Research (TAR), Primary Accounting and Support.

I. Tools for Analytical Research (TAR) area

Students typically take a selection of analytical-tool courses from the disciplines of statistics, economics, and/or finance. These courses provide the tools and skills necessary to understand and conduct research in accounting. The TAR area in accounting consists of six courses and students must earn a grade of "B" or better in each course to satisfy the TAR requirement. Note that this requirement means that TAR courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Students must take the following three TAR courses:

  • ECO 5403 Static Optimization
  • MAR 6636 Quantitative Methods
  • FIN 6804 Foundations of Financial Theory
  • FIN 6842 Research Methods in Finance

Plus two of the following TAR courses:

  • ECO 5416 Econometrics I
  • ECO 5423 Econometrics II
  • PSY 6919 Research Design and Analysis I
  • PSY 6919 Research Design and Analysis II

II. Primary Accounting Coursework

The primary area courses and seminars provide opportunities for in-depth study. The following doctoral seminars and courses are required in Accounting:

  • ACG 6939 Philosophy of Science (Summer before matriculation)
  • ACG 6885 Introduction to Accounting Research (Fall)
  • ACG 6696 Auditing Seminar (Spring)**
  • ACG 6896 Doctoral Seminar in Capital Markets (Fall)
  • ACG 6939 Advanced Topics Seminar (Spring)*
  • ACG 6916 Supervised Research - Research Paper Requirement

*Repeatable course
**Course number recently changed

In addition to these courses, students will participate in a professional development series. The development series is designed to introduce doctoral students to the roles and responsibilities of faculty members, including the research process, approaches to teaching, and how to balance work (teaching, research, and service) and personal lives.

Further, the Accounting Research Colloquium (ARC) meets regularly (typically on Fridays) to share the results of recent research conducted by FSU faculty members and doctoral students and by invited scholars from other universities. Attendance at the colloquium is required of all accounting doctoral students. All students also meet with a rotating faculty guide to discuss the invited scholar’s paper ahead of colloquium. For second-year students, the professional development seminar requirement will be fulfilled through pre-colloquium participation.

Each student must complete a first-year paper proposal and a second-year research paper (ACG 6916). The first-year paper proposal is developed with the assistance of the Accounting Faculty during the first-year research assistantship. The first-year proposal is presented in the ARC at the end of the spring semester. The Accounting Ph.D. Program Committee will evaluate the proposal and presentation to determine whether the student is making substantial progress towards the degree. Unsatisfactory progress towards the degree results in dismissal from the program.

The second-year research paper is based on independent research by the student during the second year of the program under the supervision of a faculty member. It is the student’s responsibility to seek out at least one faculty mentor who will approve a written proposal by the spring term of the student’s second program year. Failure to obtain approval prior to the scheduled timing of the accounting preliminary examination may result in dismissal from the program. The second-year paper is presented in the ARC during the fall semester of the third year. The Accounting Ph.D. Program Committee will evaluate the paper and presentation to determine whether the student is making substantial progress toward the degree. Unsatisfactory progress toward the degree results in dismissal from the program.

With the exception of ACG 6916, students must earn a grade of "B" or better in each course to satisfy the primary area requirement. Students must earn a grade of "S" in ACG 6916. Note that this requirement means that only ACG 6916 is taken on an S/U basis to satisfy the primary area requirement.

III. Support Area Coursework

Support area courses are selected to complement the primary area of study and to allow the student to pursue further his or her research interests. Normally, two  courses are required in the support area. Support area course work is taken within and outside the College of Business. The support area will be a function of the student’s particular field of study and could include courses from Psychology, Statistics, Finance or Economics. Specific courses are selected in consultation with the Accounting Ph.D. Program Director.  Courses must be approved by all parties and the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in each course to satisfy the support area requirement. Note that this requirement means that all support area courses must be taken for a letter grade. The Support Area courses cannot be used to satisfy other requirements.

Recommended support area courses include:

  • ECON 5427 Limited Dependent Variable Models (Archival Track)
  • ECON 5424 Panel Data (Archival Track)
  • ECON 5453 Experimental Economics (Behavioral Track)
  • ECON 6176 Behavioral Economics (Behavioral Track)

Sample Course Sequence

Students enter the program in the summer semester prior to Fall matriculation and complete ACG 6939 along with any deficient prerequisites (e.g., linear algebra).

 

Fall SPRING SUMMER

Year 1

 

  • ACG 6885
  • ECO 5403
  • GEB 6931
  • TAR/SUPPORT
  • Develop Ideas
  • ACG 6696
  • MAR 6636
  • GEB 6931
  • TAR/SUPPORT
  • Present 1st Year Proposal
  • TAR/Support
  • Refine Proposal

Year 2

  • ACG 6896
  • FIN 6804
  • GEB 6931
  • TAR/Support
  • Refine/Approve Proposal
  • ACG 6939
  • FIN 6842
  • GEB 6931
  • TAR/Support
  • Refine/Approve Paper
  • Prelim Readings (GEB 6904)
  • Prelim Exam (ACG 8964)
  • Finalize 2nd Year Paper

Year 3

  • Present 2nd Year Paper in ARC
  • Dissertation Proposal
  • Dissertation Proposal

Year 4

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Prepare for Job Market

Year 5

  • Dissertation
  • Job Market
  • Dissertation
  • Job Market

 

TAR/SUPPORT = TAR area course OR support area course

  Application Process

Admission decisions are made by the college’s Doctoral Admissions Committee and are based on a combination of factors, including prior academic record from accepted universities; GRE or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores taken within the past five years; letters of recommendation; experience; record of accomplishments. Admission is competitive and focused on students with grade-point averages of 3.5 or higher and GMAT scores of at least 600 or GRE scores of at least 155 on each section of the revised GRE.


Application Checklist

  • Login to admissions.fsu.edu/gradapp (applications will only be accepted through this portal).
  • Begin your application by logging in with your FSUID or clicking the link to register to get one.
  • Complete your online application form and submit.
  • Include the names and contact information for at least 3 (required) references.
    • This will generate automated email sent to your references by our system to request that they submit a recommendation for you and answer a series of standardized questions.
  • Submit your Statement of Purpose (2-3 pages).
  • Submit a current resume or C.V.
  • Pay the nonrefundable $30 application fee.
  • Required transcripts: Unofficial transcripts uploaded to your application, provided they are in English and have grades assigned to coursework, will be sufficient for the first round of review. An official transcript will be required if you are accepted into the program.
    • Request that each college or university you have attended submit an official transcript to FSU (see below for email/address).
    • Transcripts are considered official if they are sent directly to FSU (either through the U.S. mail or electronically) by your undergraduate or graduate institution.
  • Required test scores: Unofficial test scores are sufficient for the first round of review. Complete the Self-reported Test Score Form. Official test scores will be required if you are accepted into the program.
    • Request that official GMAT or GRE scores (and TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable) be submitted to FSU  (see below for email/address)
    • Test scores will only be considered official if sent directly from the testing service. The code for ETS to send (GRE and TOEFL) scores to FSU is 5219. The code to send GMAT scores to FSU is PN8K567.
    • An English proficiency exam score (TOEFL or IELTS) must be submitted for international applicants whose native language is not English or who have not received a college degree from an institution where the instruction is primarily in English.
  • Have transcripts and test scores sent to graduateadmissions@fsu.edu or:

    Office of Admissions
    Florida State University
    282 Champions Way
    PO Box 3062400
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400
    USA


International Applicants

International applicants whose native language is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in an English-speaking country are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official test results in order to be admitted to The Florida State University. The College of Business requires a minimum TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test and 100 on the internet-based test, or a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS exam, taken within the past two (2) years.

A minimum score of 25 for each section of the TOEFL is strongly recommended. In addition, international graduate applicants seeking teaching assistantships are required to pass a test of spoken English.

For more international applicant information, visit admissions.fsu.edu/international for information concerning financial responsibilities, degree equivalency, etc.

  Program Costs

Ph.D. students typically take 27-33 credit hours each year. Here are the estimated program costs for the 2019-2020 academic year:

  • Florida residents: $479.32 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $12,941.64 - $15,817.56 per year.
  • Non-Florida residents: $1,110.72 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $29,989.44 - $36,653.76 per year.

Note: These costs do not include required books, supplies for courses, or required health insurance. Costs are subject to change. Fees above do not include some per-term flat fees for FSUCard and facilities use. For a breakdown of on-campus student fees and their explanations, visit the university’s Tuition Rates page.

      Residency Information

    The doctoral program is a full-time program that lasts five years. Students should plan to live in the Tallahassee area year-round, including summers. Our program is not set up for individuals who wish to take courses part time or online.

      Financial Assistance

    The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. The goal of the college is to provide assistantships and/or fellowships to all of our admitted doctoral students, subject to overall enrollment and fiscal limitations. Most doctoral students who request funding, who maintain a satisfactory level of academic and work performance, and who are in residence receive financial assistance from the college. Annual stipends and supplementary assistance such as travel expenses for conference attendance will vary among cohorts and programs. Students who are not Florida residents should note that tuition waivers associated with assistantships only cover the out-of-state portion of their tuition for year one of the program. Out-of-state tuition waivers are generally not available for years two through five for international students.
     
    Doctoral students on assistantship are supported for four full academic years, contingent upon satisfactory performance in the program. Eligibility for fifth-year support will be demonstrated by a student having made substantial progress toward placement at a R1 research university. For a full list of Florida State University funding and awards, visit gradschool.fsu.edu. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all completed application materials before January 15 to be eligible for additional funding opportunities at the university level.


    Awards/Scholarships

    The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. There are various scholarships available for graduate students. Visit our graduate scholarships page to learn more.

    (Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all completed application materials before January 15 to be eligible for additional funding opportunities at the university level.)

    • For a full list of Florida State University funding and awards, visit gradschool.fsu.edu
    • For more information on Florida State University's research and research funding, visit research.fsu.edu
    • For more information on Florida State University's graduate fellowships and awards, visit ogfa.fsu.edu

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