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Thread: PhD in Accounting with a low GPA

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    Question PhD in Accounting with a low GPA

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    Hi, Im looking to apply to an Accounting PhD program at some point in the next 1.5 years-ish but Im super nervous about my low GPA. We dont really do GPA's on a 4.0 scale at my school but I beleive that my percentage mark translates to a 3.2 for my undergrad and a 3.3 for my MAcc
    Outside of that, I have worked with profs in my undergrad to help them with their research and got one paper published during my MAcc and I think I can at least 2/3 really good LOC from profs i worked with. I took a practice GMAT a few days ago and got a 650 on my first try, so i assume I can do better with some studying, and I do not have any math outside of an intro to calc and an intro to stats classes, but im hoping that doesent matter to much because im more interested in experimental/behavioral research rather than archival.
    Any thoughts of my chances of getting into a program? I dont really have a specific school I am targeting, I just want to go somewhere that offers behavioral/experimental research as an option and am really looking to go to any school that would accept me. I am also expecting to have 2ish years of experience working in investment banking and a CPA .

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    Re: PhD in Accounting with a low GPA

    GPA is just one of the factors, and usually far from the most important one. I wouldn't worry too much about it, and also there isn't much you can do about it anyway. My undergrad GPA also converts very badly (something like 3.0) since I come from a school where it's impossible to get grades that would convert to something like 4.0.

    I used my GMAT score as one of the ways to show that my undergrad GPA is not representative of who I am. 650 is very low, and be careful about the results from practice tests (they were always very bad at predicting my actual scores, even the official ones takes only days before the actual test).

    I'm not in Accounting to know whether lack of math can play a lesser role given your research interests. My guess is that expectations are high even if your research interests are more behavioral. I met several Accounting PhD students here. And, at least for the coursework, what I saw is that they had to take some very hard courses that used calc and stats. It seems like, depending on their interests and prior knowledge, they could take the very hard courses or the extremely hard courses, but they were not allowed to continue without demonstrating a level of mathematical prowess.

    A high GMAT score helps to get your foot in the door. Letters of recommendation and research experience are often very important to increase your chances of being accepted. But I think you need to be able to show that you can handle all the stuff they are going to throw at you, including math.

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    Re: PhD in Accounting with a low GPA

    Your GPA isn't that low. I was quite a bit lower for my undergrad

    A 650 cold is actually not bad. I was around 550 my first try on a practice test and got to 700 with two weeks of cramming. 700+ should be your goal. Given you have some research experience already and a publication (what type of journal??) is a great signal. You should contact the profs you worked with and tell them you are interested in doing a PhD. It sounds like they know you fairly well and they might be able to give you recommendations where to target/apply.


    Quote Originally Posted by soekid24 View Post
    Hi, Im looking to apply to an Accounting PhD program at some point in the next 1.5 years-ish but Im super nervous about my low GPA. We dont really do GPA's on a 4.0 scale at my school but I beleive that my percentage mark translates to a 3.2 for my undergrad and a 3.3 for my MAcc
    Outside of that, I have worked with profs in my undergrad to help them with their research and got one paper published during my MAcc and I think I can at least 2/3 really good LOC from profs i worked with. I took a practice GMAT a few days ago and got a 650 on my first try, so i assume I can do better with some studying, and I do not have any math outside of an intro to calc and an intro to stats classes, but im hoping that doesent matter to much because im more interested in experimental/behavioral research rather than archival.
    Any thoughts of my chances of getting into a program? I dont really have a specific school I am targeting, I just want to go somewhere that offers behavioral/experimental research as an option and am really looking to go to any school that would accept me. I am also expecting to have 2ish years of experience working in investment banking and a CPA .

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