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Thread: Accounting PhD Profile Evaluation (Fall 2021)

  1. #1
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    Accounting PhD Profile Evaluation (Fall 2021)

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    Hi, I am a second-year master's student outside the US. I am planning to apply for PhD accounting programs this winter. From my country, it is rare to pursue PhD in the US, so I would appreciate the advice.
    (I posted almost same content a few days ago, but I noticed there was a typo in title and it didn't make sense. So, I re-post it with a few modifications. Sorry for messing the forum.)

    University:
    #1 top school in my country.
    Test Scores:
    I have not taken GMAT (I know it's behind desirable schedule), but my projection is 700-720 with Q50 or Q51.
    TOEFL score is 107 (R30, L30, S23, W24). I thin I can bump up the speaking & wring score to around 26.
    Undegrad GPA:
    B.A. in Economics, 3.8/4.0Graduate GPA:
    M.A. in Business 4.0/4.0
    Research Experience:
    In my graduation thesis (undergrad), I wrote a research paper in archival accounting and got an award for it. I surveyed 100+ papers published in top journals, built original hypotheses, and found consistent results with my hypothesis. However, it was written not in English.
    I am writing a master thesis, in which I exploit a unique natural experiment to answer a question related to earnings quality. I am writing this in English, but I am not sure if I can finish it before application (so that I can send it as a writing sample.)
    Teaching Experience:
    None. Is this bad?
    Work Experience:
    I went master's program directly from undergrad, so I don't have any full-time work experience. However, I passed CPA exam of my country (not registered yet) and did an internship job at Big-four.
    Relevant classes:
    - Economics: I have taken first-year PhD level microeconomics (text was MWG) and econometrics (text was Greene). Moreover, I have taken second-year PhD course in econometrics (advance asymptotic theory etc.). I got As in these classes.
    - Math: I have taken (i) abstract linear algebra, (ii) optimization, (iii) probability and measure theory, (iv) functional analysis, (v) real analysis. I got As in these classes.
    - Finance: I have taken graduate-level financial economics class and derivatives class (stochastic calculus)
    Research Interest:
    Disclosure, Conservatism, Earnings quality, Earnings management. Although I have never done research in theory since there is no faculty who do theory in my univ., I also want to do research in theory (EM and disclosure).
    Letters of recommendation:
    (i) Accounting professor. My adviser in undergrad and master. She got PhD in my country and never published in top journals, but has published many papers in the second tier. She will strongly recommend me, but I am not sure if professors in the US take seriously at her words since she got PhD outside the US and have not published in top journals.
    (ii) (iii) Econ professors. These professors got PhD in US and have sent many students to top Econ PhD programs. I hope they will write that I have a solid econ background with the level that I can pass course-works of top Econ PhD programs. But, they don't know much about my research ability.
    Dream Schools:
    Stanford, MIT, Booth, Duke, Michigan, Penn, NYU, Columbia, Northwestern, Toronto, CMU, Ohio, Rice, Iowa, Florida, Illinois, PennState


    Question:
    - Am I aiming too high ranked school? I have read through many threads but I get the feeling that I can get into T50 schools. But, I am not sure I am good enough to get into T20 or T10. How do you think about my profile? Again since it is rare to apply for the U.S. PhD program from my country, any comment would be highly appreciated.
    - Is there any good second-tier school that facilitates both theory and archival? I got the impression that T10 schools offer training in both theory and archival, but some of the second-tier school don't have theory faculty.


    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Accounting PhD Profile Evaluation (Fall 2021)

    The lower ranked schools on that list are within reason (i.e. Ohio, CMU, Florida, Illinois). I’d say that the top schools on your list are a little too high. One thing that may hinder you is that you don’t really have much of an accounting background. Research experience is one of the most important factors when it comes to your CV. I would suggest that you have ~ a year of RA experience, especially so that your references can speak to your research abilities. If they are just speaking to your academic abilities, it may not be enough to sway an adcom. I think applying to a few schools in T20 and more in T50 would be a good spread.

    To give you an idea of how competitive admissions are, I applied last cycle and received offers from 4 of the schools you listed above (I didn’t apply to all of those ones, though). My undergrad degree was in business, I had a > 3.9 GPA from the top university in my country, a master’s degree and had 2 years of RA experience with accounting faculty and my GMAT score was > 700.

    if you have more specific questions, PM me and I’d be happy to discuss this in more depth

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