Prerequisites for admission to the PhD program are a minimum of two (preferably three) calculus courses, an introductory statistics course, and intermediate-level microeconomic theory. Assuming that students enroll for ten hours a semester, the course work requirements can be completed in two and one-half years (five semesters). The sixth semester (winter of the third year) is spent preparing for and taking the comprehensive written examination and the fourth year in writing the research thesis. The University of Missouri requires 72 total hours of course work beyond a baccalaureate degree. Specific course work requirements are:
- 12 hours in doctoral-level accounting research courses;
- 15 hours of course work in supporting theoretical fields;
- 18 hours of course work in research tools (statistics, research design, quantitative methods);
- A minimum of 7 hours dissertation enrollment in ACCT 9090: Research in Accounting.
Students are required to take three research seminars: ACCT 9466: Financial Accounting, ACCT 9444: Auditing, and ACCT 9467: Behavioral Research in Accounting. In addition, students enroll in ACCT 9460 while completing the first-year summer paper.
Students are required to take 15 hours in a supporting field. There is flexibility in tailoring each student's program, though generally the choices come from the fields of economics, finance, organizational behavior, or cognitive psychology.
Students are required to take ECON 7370: Introduction to Quantitative Economics, and STAT 7510: Regression or STAT 7530: ANOVA. In addition, a minimum of 4 advanced courses related to the student’s program emphasis is required. Students will typically select either an empirical or an experimental emphasis and take appropriate courses (econometrics, statistics, experimental research design, and analysis of variance).
Friday Afternoon Seminars
An important part of learning research skills is participating in research workshop presentations. The School of Accountancy has a weekly research seminar that meets on Friday afternoons to discuss current research-in-progress presented by faculty and PhD students and by invited faculty from other universities. Attendance is required at these seminars and written critiques of selected papers may also be required.
The university requires a minimum enrollment of 2 credit hours per semester and 1 credit hour per summer in ACCT 9090 to maintain full-time enrollment in the PhD program after completing compulsory course work requirements and comprehensive exams. This enrollment continues through the semester of dissertation defense.
First-Year Summer Paper
An independent research project, under the guidance of a faculty member, is undertaken in the summer following the first year in the doctoral program. Students enroll in ACCT 9460 and receive 3 credit hours. It is the student's responsibility to develop a project in consultation with an interested faculty member. Students receive a research stipend from the School of Accountancy equivalent to a summer TA/RA appointment. A final draft of the project report must be presented in one of the weekly Friday seminars before the end of the subsequent winter semester.
Comprehensive Written Examinations and Dissertation
A comprehensive written examination in accounting is required following the completion of all doctoral course work requirements. Normally this occurs in the winter semester of the student's third year in the program. Preparation of the exam is the joint responsibility of the PhD director, the PhD Policy Committee, and faculty involved in doctoral course work. The exam consists of questions in the candidate's area of specialization, and general questions covering other areas of accounting research. All doctoral faculty are eligible to evaluate student performance on the exam. At the discretion of the director, a follow-up oral examination may also be required if deemed necessary. Failure to pass the comprehensive written and oral examinations can result in dismissal from the program. However, the PhD Policy Committee may, if it is deemed appropriate, allow a student to retake the written examination a second time after a minimum of 12 weeks (in accordance with University of Missouri procedures).
The final requirement of the Ph.D. program is a research thesis. Preliminary work on defining the research topic should begin in the student's third year, leading to a written proposal and formal presentation in a Friday afternoon seminar early in the fall semester of the fourth year in the program. Following completion of the comprehensive examinations, the student's Ph.D. Program Committee may be reconstituted to select appropriate faculty given the student’s dissertation topic. An oral defense is required upon completion of the dissertation.