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Thread: PhD in Accounting Advice

  1. #1
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    PhD in Accounting Advice

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    Hey Guys,

    This is my first post on this forum, and I need some advice involving the development of my PhD in Accountancy Application Profile and Coursework.

    Explanation of my situation:

    I recently left audit - public accounting (Not Big 4, but Large International Firm) after working their for a bit under a year and I am currently working on developing my application for PhD in Accountancy.

    I have an Undergrad and a Master's degree in Accounting from a respected program in my state. I have passed all 4 sections of the CPA and currently in the process of completing the work experience requirement. In my undergrad I had a 3.8 Accounting GPA and in my Graduate Degree 3.6 GPA. During my master's program I was also a Graduate Teacher's Assistant and taught classes for 3000 and 4000 level courses. I took the GMAT when I entered the Master's program, however my master's program only required a 550 score, so I just walked into after light review for 3 hours the day prior. I know I will have to retake the GMAT and score somewhere near or above a 700.

    I talked with my friend that is in the top PhD program in our state and he gave me some insight on how to make my profile competitive. He told me in the very least that I need to have Calculus II completed. That I should looked into some Econometric Courses, that I should try to get a certification in SAS and introduce myself to Probability Theory, and statistic course.

    I additionally spoke to a person that recently finished is PhD Candidacy at the University that I was completing my Master's, and he gave me advice for the construction of the essay applications and the Letters of Recommendations, so I believe that shouldn't be too difficult for me. Also, since I was a Graduate TA and an engaged student, I had alot of facetime with alot of the different professors involve with research, so the letters of recommendation shouldn't be a problem.

    What I'm concerned about is the timing. For Accounting, they didn't require Calculus, they only require Applied Calculus, so I never took any of the Precalcs on the University level (did calculus and precalc in highschool... but never got credit because it was dual enrollment and I missed too many classes). When I left public accounting a few months ago, I quickly signed up for a Precalc/Trig Class and got an easy A. In August I begin Calculus I, and I plan to take courses through Calc III/Linear Algebra, and maybe some Statistic Courses. I have already taken Statistics I & II due to my accounting program requirements. .

    I spoke to the Department Chair at the community college as I was entering for Math, and was offered a job as an Adjunct Professor, so I will be teaching as an Adjunct Professor for Intro to Financial Accounting on the same days(TTH) I will be taking my math courses, so that works out to be beneficial. However, the Econometric courses that was recommended to me is being taught at the University which is a 1 hour commute away and is on MW at noon. I know being an Adjunct Professor doesn't add to the strength of my profile since PhD is focused on research, but it allows me the free time to really focus on developing a strong GMAT score. It will also take away the learning curve when i have to enter the class during my PhD program.


    I am not in a huge rush to get into a PhD program, but I would prefer to apply in next Application window that is from September - December, versus the following year. However I won't have completed the Math Requirements of Calculus II until May. Does this mean that my schedule for PhD applications is more so a year out?

    Involving the Econometric Courses, that commute and timing of the course would take alot of the work week options away. I had been thinking of working at a small local accounting firm MWF to keep the cash flow st sincedecent Adjunct Pay is horrible. I see that there are alot of Econometric Courses available online, but they aren't as verifiable at the University..Do you think Econometric Courses at the University would be worth the effort? Could I just take an online course to get introduce to the material?

    The Econometric course questions is the more immediate question of wonder due to the fact that I have to think what I will do starting mid August. However, the timing of the PhD application is also big concern, because it will orient on how I situate myself.

    I appreciate any feedback. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: PhD in Accounting Advice

    My personal opinion is that it is usually better to wait until you have the strongest profile you can get before applying. This should improve your changes of being accepted, and of being accepted by a better school. But I'm not from Accounting to know if Calculus II will make much of a difference or not. It looks like that from what you wrote.

    Being an adjunct professor can add strength to your profile. Even if the focus is on research, teaching experience still has value, and some professors really like that for several reasons (trust that you can handle TA work they assign, better communication because you can better understand what they need for their classes, etc.)

    I know the Accounting PhD students here had a very hard time with the Econometrics courses. So, Econometrics is important, and you better be prepared for it. I don't know if an online course would be ok or not, maybe it is if the course is good.

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