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PhD in Business AdministrationAccounting

The first two years of the PhD program are typically spent in coursework distributed as follows:

  • 18-24 credit hours in doctoral level Accounting seminars and courses.
  • 12-18 credit hours in Research Method and/or Statistics courses.

Students will take 18-24 credit hours of doctoral level Accounting courses from among the following:

ACG 7157 Seminar: Theory and Contemporary Research in Financial Accounting
ACG 7177 Seminar: Accounting Information and Security Prices
ACG 7436 Seminar: Information Value and Agency Research Accounting.
ACG 7695 Seminar: Contemporary Research in Management Accounting and Auditing
ACG 7836 Seminar: Behavioral Research in Accounting-Individual Behavior
ACG 7837 Seminar: Behavioral Research in Accounting-Human Groups and Systems
ACG 7886 Seminar: Empirical Research Methodology and Paradigms in Accounting
ACG 7888 Seminar: The Philosophy of Science, Theory Construction, and Verification in Accounting
ACG 7889 Seminar: Positive Theory Research in Accounting
ACG 7896 Accounting Research Methods on Capital Markets
ACG 7938 Seminar: Special Topics in Accounting Research

Substitutions (or waivers) of the Accounting seminar courses may be permitted by the program coordinator (in consultation with the PhD faculty committee) or by the PhD faculty committee. Such substitutions may be from courses in related areas (for example, Finance or Information Systems) or from appropriate individual study courses offered by members of the PhD Faculty committee of the SOA. 

With the advice and consent of the PhD. coordinator, students will select appropriate courses in the Research Method and/or Statistics areas. In addition, students may select additional supporting coursework in areas such as economics, statistics, and/or psychology depending on their interests, abilities, and prior training.

Students are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.5 or better in the departmental courses that comprise the Accounting concentration. In addition, students are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.3 or better in all of their coursework. Failure to maintain the required GPA constitutes sufficient grounds for dismissal from the PhD program.

Students are required to complete research projects during the summer semesters following their first and second years in the program. Both summer projects require the submission of a written paper. Ideally, these papers should be of sufficient quality to merit submission to a conference or journal.

The primary objective of the first year summer research project is to enhance skills in using computer programs and databases for research. To this end, students are expected to replicate one or more prior studies using new data or to engage in some other meaningful empirical project.  

The second year summer research project requires students to develop an original research hypothesis. This hypothesis should be developed well in advance of the second summer semester so that there is sufficient time to execute the project during the summer semester(s). Ideally, the second year summer project should be completed during the “Summer A” semester so that the student can take the comprehensive examination during the “Summer B” semester of the second year. Students are expected to make a presentation based on a paper arising from the second year summer project.

Any tenured or tenure-track faculty member (with Graduate Faculty status in Accounting) can serve as supervisor for the summer projects. Unsatisfactory performance in either of the two summer projects constitutes sufficient grounds for dismissal from the PhD program.

By the end of the second year, students should have selected an advisor. The advisor is expected to be someone who will later become the Chair of the dissertation, so the advisor must have Dissertation Advisor Status.

Once the advisor certifies that an acceptable second year summer project has been satisfactorily completed by the student, the student is eligible to take the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination (the candidacy examination required per FIU requirements) shall be administered by the PhD coordinator on a date selected in consultation with the student.  The PhD coordinator shall ask faculty, who have taught the student’s PhD seminars, to submit questions for the comprehensive examination.

The examination shall consist of six questions, one from each seminar course taken by the student. If the student has taken more than six seminar courses, the PhD coordinator shall select the courses from which the questions shall be drawn; breadth of knowledge and diversity of relevant research shall be important factors in this selection. The student shall answer four of the six questions. Each question shall be graded using the following scale: High Pass, Pass, Low Pass, or Fail. 

A student is deemed to have passed the comprehensive examination under the following circumstances:

(a) The grade earned for the student’s response to each of the four questions is “High Pass” or “Pass”

(b) Any grades of “Low Pass” or “Fail” are offset by an equal number of “High Pass” grades, provided that any student earning a grade of “Fail” must earn grades of “High Pass” or “Pass” for each of the remaining responses.

In no instance will a student earning more than one grade of “Fail” be deemed to have passed the examination.

If a student is deemed to have failed the Comprehensive Examination, then the student shall be afforded a second chance to take a comprehensive examination. This second examination will be no earlier than 30 days following the initial examination. Failure in the second attempt constitutes sufficient grounds for dismissal from the PhD program.

The dissertation process begins after the student has successfully passed the comprehensive examination.

Students must satisfy all university and college dissertation requirements.

The dissertation is ultimately a student’s product. The dissertation advisor, however, controls when the dissertation is complete.

The advisor has a significant role in the dissertation process. Hence, advisors may maintain control over the process at all stages of the dissertation.  Members of the dissertation committee must be selected in consultation with and based on the advice of the advisor.  The advisor also decides the appropriate time for the proposal defense and the dissertation defense. Individual advisors may have other policies related to the dissertation process, and ideally the student and the advisor should be clear about the roles, responsibilities, and expectations arising from the dissertation. Toward this end, students and PhD faculty are encouraged to have detailed discussions prior to the start of dissertation.

For more information about the Accounting Concentration, please contact:

Abhijit Barua Abhijit Barua
Academic Director of the Doctoral Program for Accounting
School of Accounting
College of Business
Florida International University
Modesto A. Maidique Campus
11200 S.W. 8th St, MANGO 342
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-3404

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