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Thread: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Accounting

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Profile Evaluation for PhD in Accounting

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    Hello everyone,

    I am hoping to get some insight on how to proceed with my goal of getting into an Accounting PhD program. I know I don't have the best profile right now, so I'm trying to figure out the best way to improve my stats before applying.

    About me:
    30 year old female
    Bachelor's in Accounting - 3.43 GPA (3.5 Business GPA) at a reputable state university)
    GMAT: 660 (Q: 49 V: 31 IR:6)
    5+ years of work experience (2 years - top 10 national public accounting firm, 3 years - Federal government, <1 year - Big 4)
    Active CPA license
    Active CFE license
    No research experience
    No teaching experience
    Math classes taken in undergrad: Statistics I, Statistics II, Calculus I

    As you can see, nothing about me is great (yet!). So my question is, what would be the best way to proceed? Should I go for my Master's and try to get as high of a graduate GPA and GMAT score as possible? I don't have a strong quantitative background, so I am thinking obtaining a Master's degree in Data Analytics might be more beneficial. At the same time, Master's in Accounting will expose me to accounting professors and give me the opportunity to earn some good letters from them. I'm leaning towards going for Master's in Accounting and completing courses in Calculus II and Data Analytics (i.e. SAS, SPSS, SQL, etc.) through Coursera and/or community college to compensate for the lack of research experience/quantitative background.

    I should note that I am not necessarily going for a top-tier school, as I know those are likely out of my reach regardless of what I do in the next couple of years. I am just really passionate about learning and education, and I want to pursue a PhD and further my growth and learning. FYI, my research interests lie in the areas of auditing, financial reporting, and the linkage between financial and non-financial variables.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much in advance for the help!

  2. #2
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Re: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Accounting

    Do you know which methodology interests you the most?

    I think the combination of your CFE, audit interest, and weaker math background make me think that you are going for behavioral research. Check out this page if you haven't yet: Phdwiki

    It sounds like you are willing to put in serious work to improve your profile, so you have a few options. A MAcc isn't a bad choice. You will get exposed to research faculty, etc., but the coursework itself won't be too useful, because it is mainly designed for CPA prep. If you go the MAcc route, I would recommend looking for a program with some flexibility. You may be able to take econ, stats, data analytics, etc. for credit. I would also look for a program at a school with a PhD program. I have known a lot of people that take a PhD course or two during their masters and it is a huge benefit. The most obvious (and biggest) benefit of a MAcc is potential good letters from research professors.

    If you are definitely interested in archival work, I would consider a master's in economics. You will need a few extra courses before being eligible, but an econ master's would be really useful.

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