PhD in Accountancy

Be Among the Best in the Nation

Consistently ranked in the top 20 by Public Accounting Report, the PhD program in Accounting offers world-class faculty and exceptional doctoral education.  The purpose of our PhD program is to train and prepare students for academic careers at institutions having research and teaching missions.  We focus on training students for state-of-the-art archival research, and we encourage joint research projects with our faculty.  The program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours of graduate work beyond the baccalaureate degree. The typical time to complete the degree is four to five years.

Students are admitted to the PhD program in Accounting on a full-time, residential basis only. Students typically work 20 hours per week as a research assistant or teaching assistant during the academic year and receive a financial package that includes a stipend, full tuition waiver, health insurance subsidy, and professional development funds.

Apply Now

Degree Requirements

Prerequisites for admission to the PhD program are a minimum of two calculus courses (and preferably three), an introductory statistics course, and intermediate-level microeconomic theory. Students typically enroll for ten hours a semester, and the course work requirements are 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: 18 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 14 hours enrollment in ACCT 9090: Research in Accounting.

Accounting Requirements

Students are required to take five research seminars: accounting research methods (ACCT 9460); financial accounting (ACCT 9466); auditing (ACCT 9444); international accounting (ACCT 9419), and tax accounting (ACCT 9457). In addition, students enroll in ACCT 9401 while completing the first-year summer paper (see below).

Supporting Field Requirements

Students are required to take 15 hours in supporting fields. There is flexibility in tailoring each student's program, though generally the choices come from the fields of economics, finance, organizational studies, or cognitive psychology.*

*All programs of study must be approved by the student’s doctoral committee.

First-Year Summer Paper

During the summer after their first full year in the program, students work on an original research paper under the direction of a faculty mentor.  Students identify a research topic and obtain approval from a faculty mentor before the summer begins.  Students must present their papers to School of Accountancy faculty and PhD students by no later than the end of the Spring semester in their second year of the program.  The School of Accountancy PhD Policy Committee evaluates the paper and presentation as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory.  Students who do not complete the first-year paper and presentation will be dismissed from the program.

These papers must contain the elements of top-tier academic research: Development of a research question and its importance, an in-depth literature review, research design, and empirical results.  Submission of this paper to academic conferences and an academic journal are desired.  However, satisfactory completion of the first-year summer paper and its presentation are not contingent on obtaining statistically significant results.

Applications must be received by February 1 for full consideration for admission in the fall semester. Earlier applications are strongly encouraged, and applications will be reviewed as they are received. Admission to the PhD program in accountancy is highly selective. Applicants should demonstrate a strong record of academic accomplishment, intellectual curiosity, enthusiasm for discovery, and a general understanding of the demands of a doctoral program. Prior academic coursework, research experience, and employment activities in accountancy are encouraged but not required.

APPLY NOW

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS

TEACHING ASSISTANTS: ORAL-ENGLISH PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS

All PhD students are evaluated annually to assess their progress in the program. The evaluations for first- and second-year students are conducted by the PhD program coordinator. The evaluations for dissertation-stage students are conducted by their dissertation committee chairs.

During the academic year, students are assigned to work as research assistants for faculty members in the department. These assignments allow students to develop proficiency in research methods and often lead to coauthored projects with faculty. 

Another important objective of the PhD program is to provide candidates with the opportunity to develop classroom instructional skills. To achieve this objective, doctoral students are assigned first as teaching assistants and then later as instructors to teach undergraduate courses. These assignments require candidates to plan, conduct, and administer one course section per semester. During their time in the PhD program, students typically have the opportunity to teach two times. To prepare for the teaching experience, doctoral students attend various teaching-related events sponsored by the School of Accountancy, the Trulaske College of Business, and the University of Missouri.

Accountancy Research at Mizzou

Research Workshop

The School of Accountancy has a weekly research workshop that meets on Friday mornings 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.

Sample Plan of Study

A sample plan of study is provided below. This sample is for a student who takes 15 “supporting field” credit hours in finance and economics.  Other supporting fields and courses are possible.  Students must also take 18 credit hours in “research tools” in the fields of statistics and economics.

Year 1: Fall Semester

  • ACCTCY 9090 RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING 
  • ACCTCY 9460 RESEARCH METHODS IN ACCOUNTING
  • ECONOM 7370 QUANTITATIVE ECONOMICS
  • STAT 7150 APPLIED CATEGORICAL DATA ANALYSIS 
  • STAT 7510 APPLIED STATISTICAL MODELS 1

Year 1: Spring Semester

  • ACCTCY 9090 RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING 
  • ACCTCY 9466 SEMINAR IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING RESEARCH
  • ECONOM 7371 INTRODUCTORY ECONOMETRICS
  • FINANC 9200 SEMINAR IN CORPORATE FINANCE

In the summer following the first year of study, students will take ACCTCY 9090 RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING, FINANC 9001 SEMINAR IN FINANCE TOPICS and ACCTCY 9401 SEMINAR 1ST YEAR SUMMER PAPER.

Year 2: Fall Semester

  • ACCTCY 9090 RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING
  • ACCTCY 9444 SEMINAR IN AUDITING RESEARCH
  • ECONOM 8473 APPLIED ECONOMETRICS
  • FINANC 9100 SEMINAR IN CORPORATE FINANCE

Year 2: Spring Semester

  • ACCTCY 9090 RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING
  • ACCTCY 9457 SEMINAR IN TAX RESEARCH
  • ACCTCY 9419 SEMINAR IN INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING     
  • ECONOM 7340 INTRO TO GAME THEORY

In the summer following the second year of study, students will take ACCTCY 9090 RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING.

Year 3: Fall Semester

  • ACCTCY 9090 RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING
  • FINANC 9200 SEMINAR IN CORPORATE FINANCE
  • STAT 7110 STAT SOFTWARE & DATA ANALYSIS
  • STAT 7870 TIME SERIES ANALYSIS

Year 3: Spring Semester

  • ACCTCY 9090 RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING
  • COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION
  • DISSERTATION DEVELOPMENT

 

In the summer following the third year of study, students will continue taking ACCTCY 9090 RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING

Year 4: Fall Semester

  • ACCTCY 9090 RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING

Year 4: Spring Semester

  • ACCTCY 9090 RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING

By the Numbers

Over the past five years, total enrollment in the PhD program in accountancy has ranged from 8 to 9 students.  We graduate between 1 and 2 students per year on average, and our placement rate is 100%.

Most graduates accept initial positions as tenure-track faculty members at research universities. Student placements over the last five years follow below.

 

Year Graduate Placement
2022 Zhujin Guo Clarkson University
2022 Phil Kunz University of Memphis
2022 Charles Oberweiser Stephen F. Austin State University
2021 Wenye Tang Appalachian State University
2020 Nargess Golshan  University of Kentucky
2019 Nathan Lundstrom University of Kansas
2018 Ryan Dunn Auburn University
2018 Lei Zhao Saint Louis University
2017 Matthew Baugh Arizona State University
2017 Wei Wang Temple University

 

100%
Percentage of Accountancy PhD students who receive fully funded assistantships
21
Students who have graduated from the Accountancy PhD program since 2010
100%
Placement rate for Accountancy PhD students at the time of graduation