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Thread: PhD Profile Evaluation for Accounting

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    PhD Profile Evaluation for Accounting

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    Hi,

    This year I will be applying to econ and accounting PhD programs. I already have a nice idea about the economics profile required, but I have no idea if that profile is also useful for accounting. For what I have read on the internet, there are some important differences such as the need of working experience. I have a lot of coursework on math and I'm sincerely interested in accounting topics, however, I am from a little country and there are no people with accounting PhDs so I pretend to explain this in my Statement of Purpose and ask for letters of recomendation to 2 actuarial science professors and 1 economics professor.

    I would be grateful if some of you could help me evaluate my profile for a PhD application in accounting and advise me if there is something I can improve. Also, I would like to know if it makes sense to applyto top 20 programs with my profile or if I better back off from those. Thanks in advance.

    Basic info
    University: the most important university in my country but probably unknown in the US.
    Degrees: Bachelor in Actuarial Science (grade 9.7/10) and Bachelor in Economics (grade 9.5/10).
    Working experience: Two years in risk management in a bank and currently one year in an economics research institution.
    Research experience: Coauthored 1 paper in actuarial science published in a low-tier journal and currently working as research assistant on paper on economics.
    Teaching Experience: Mathematical Theory of Interest (1 semester), Fundamentals of Risk and Insurance (1 semester) [All at the same university where I studied].

    Usual requirements
    TOEFL: 107/120 (Reading - 27/30, Listening - 30/30, Writing - 25/30, Speaking - 25/30)
    GRE: Quant 169, Verbal 159
    Letters of Recommendation: Thinking about two profs from math and one from econ since my accounting professors only hold a master from my own university, and have no research experience at all.
    Research Interests: Actuarial Science methods for accounting and risk measurement. Decision models and data analysis applied to accounting matters such as financial statements.

    Courses
    Accounting:
    Accounting Principles (10/10), Intermediate Accounting I (10/10), Intermediate Accounting II (9.5/10), Analysis of Financial Statements (10/10).
    Actuarial Science: Fundamental of Risk and Insurance (10/10), Actuarial Math I, II, III (10/10 each), Mathematical Theory of Interest (10/10), Investment Instruments Analysis (9.5/10), Risk Theory (10/10).
    Mathematics: 3 on Calculus (10/10 in all of them), Linear Algebra I (9.5/10), Linear Algebra II (10/10), Real Analysis I (10/10), Real Analysis II (10/10), Group Theory (9/10), Complex Analysis (9.5/10), Topology (10/10), Probability (10/10), Stochastic Processes (10/10), Ordinary Differential Equations (9.5/10), Partial Differential Equations (9/10), Functional Analysis (10/10).
    Statistics: Mathematical Statistics I and II (10/10 each), Linear Models (10/10), Loss Distributions (9.5/10), Data Analysis (9.5/10), Credibility Theory (9.5/10).
    Economics: Microeconomics I (9/10), Microeconomics II (10/10), Macroeconomics I (8.5), Macroeconomics II (9.5), Game Theory (9.5/10), Financial Economics (10/10), Growth and Development (8.5/10), International Economics (10/10), Econometrics (9.5/10), Microeconometrics (9.5/10), Macroeconometrics (10/10).
    Last edited by luismf08; 07-26-2019 at 05:27 PM.

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    Re: PhD Profile Evaluation for Accounting

    Your profile looks very good to me.

    I don't see much room for easy improvement, but I'm not from Accounting. You didn't mention coding skills, maybe there is something to do in that regard.

    If things like research fit is great, I see no reason to back off from top 20. But of course don't limit your applications to top 20, you gotta apply wider than that.

    About you being from a top university in your country but probably unknown in the US, I'd like to say a few things. First, professors often know a lot more about that kind of thing that we usually expect. They travel a lot, meet a lot of people, and certainly knowing more about universities in the world is of interest for them. Second, even if they don't know, they probably can easily find ways to know more about a specific university if they want to.

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    Re: PhD Profile Evaluation for Accounting

    Quote Originally Posted by BrazilianPhD View Post
    Your profile looks very good to me.

    I don't see much room for easy improvement, but I'm not from Accounting. You didn't mention coding skills, maybe there is something to do in that regard.

    If things like research fit is great, I see no reason to back off from top 20. But of course don't limit your applications to top 20, you gotta apply wider than that.

    About you being from a top university in your country but probably unknown in the US, I'd like to say a few things. First, professors often know a lot more about that kind of thing that we usually expect. They travel a lot, meet a lot of people, and certainly knowing more about universities in the world is of interest for them. Second, even if they don't know, they probably can easily find ways to know more about a specific university if they want to.
    Thanks for replying!

    Now that you mention the thing about programming skills, I have taken two courses in programming (python and C++). Also, in most of my statistics and actuarial science courses I have used R or Matlab. Still I know there is always a gap to improve.

    What worries me the most is if my profile is too uncommon for a PhD program in accounting, and fear of wasting completely my money in these applications. That is why I posted in the forum, in order to hear from the experience of someone who is in an accounting PhD or who is in a business program and knows a little about the arena of accounting adcomms, if they know someone who entered the program with an econ or math bachelor degree.

    I hope you are right in that about the professors knowing a little about other countries. At the end of the day, this application process is like playing in the casino. Thanks for the answer.

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    Re: PhD Profile Evaluation for Accounting

    Quote Originally Posted by luismf08 View Post
    That is why I posted in the forum, in order to hear from the experience of someone who is in an accounting PhD or who is in a business program and knows a little about the arena of accounting adcomms, if they know someone who entered the program with an econ or math bachelor degree.
    I don't know many people in Accounting. But I know that one of the guys who were accepted into the Accounting PhD program here the same year that I did has a bachelor's degree in Math. And at least a couple of other Accounting students have a degree in Econ.

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    Re: PhD Profile Evaluation for Accounting

    Hi. There are plenty of people that come to accounting with an econ or math degree. The key for you is to explain why you want to do accounting. There is always a worry that someone is applying to accounting just because the job market and pay tend to be better than econ.

    I think it makes sense for you to apply on the lower end of top 20. There is no harm in throwing applications to the top schools, but I don't think you have a great shot. The people there usually have excellent profiles. That said, apply heavily to schools in the 10-40 range and I would expect you to get some attention. Also, consider the GMAT. The GRE isn't used as commonly in accounting.

    The biggest thing that you can do is demonstrate interest in accounting research. I can't think of a relatively cheap way to do that.

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