Fellowship and Scholarships
2013 Illinois International Journal of
May 17-20, 2013
Symposium on Tax Research
September 19-20, 2013
Department of Accountancy
University of Illinois
360 Wohlers Hall
1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, Illinois 61820
Ph.D. in Accountancy
The Ph.D. program in Accountancy is designed to educate scholars for university faculty positions, and represents a set of minimum competencies that are necessary for an individual to succeed as an accountancy educator and researcher. The program emphasizes the economics, finance and behavioral-science roots of the accountancy discipline, and provides the institutional background and knowledge about research methods and economic, finance and behavioral-science theories necessary for success in an academic career.
The success of the Ph.D. program depends on extensive involvement by members of the Accountancy faculty, and on effective communication between Accountancy faculty members and Ph.D. students. Faculty involvement includes teaching Ph.D. courses and seminars, encouraging Ph.D. students to participate in research projects, guiding research performed by Ph.D. students, and participating in the administration of the Ph.D. program through service as faculty mentors, course work advisory committee members and dissertation supervisory committee members. Ph.D. students are encouraged to maintain scholarly dialogues with faculty members throughout their tenure in the program.
Admission Requirements and Application Deadlines
The Department welcomes applications from superior students who have a strong interest in and are committed to accountancy research, scholarship and teaching. To maintain excellence in our program in light of available faculty resources, the Department limits the program to approximately twenty-five Ph.D. candidates. Normally, three to six candidates are admitted to the program each year.
Applicants must meet the minimum entrance requirements of the Graduate College at the University of Illinois. Applicants also must provide a score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation (preferably from research-active faculty members). The average GMAT score of students who enrolled in 2012 is 723. Over the last three years, the average GMAT of new students has been 721.
Applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT). Our Department requires a total score of ≥ 102 and a speaking score of ≥ 26. There are no exemptions for this requirement.
Students ordinarily are admitted to the doctoral program for the fall semester, but, if possible, we encourage starting course work during the preceding summer semester. The due date for applications and all supporting materials is January 15. You can submit your application on-line at the Graduate College.
Below is a list of the materials the Department must receive for a complete file.
- Graduate College Admission Application
- Graduate College Application Fee
- All transcripts
- Personal Statement
- 3 letters of recommendation
- GMAT Score (institution code VKR TK 03)
- TOEFL iBT Score (institution code 1836) (only required for applicants whose native language is not English)
Two principal types of financial assistance are available to Accountancy Ph.D. students. The first is a fellowship, for which no services or repayments are required. This includes University fellowships, privately endowed Departmental fellowships, and fellowships provided by public accounting firms and other organizations.
The second type of award is a teaching or research assistantship. The usual Ph.D. student appointment is for half-time service (20 hours per week) at an expected salary of approximately $30,000 plus exemption from tuition and service fees.
The Department intends for all Ph.D. students to acquire teaching and research experience as part of the program. Financial aid is given consistent with this objective, to provide a reasonable level of subsistence for the students, and with the goal of attracting outstanding candidates. A combination of the two types of financial aid is available.
To be granted the Ph.D. degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign a student must:
Complete course work requirements
Earn a passing grade on the Accountancy Core Preliminary Examination (a written exam normally taken after two years of study)
Present a research paper at the Accountancy Research Forum no later than one year after the successful completion of the Accountancy Core Preliminary Examination
Present an approved dissertation proposal at the Accountancy Research Forum
Pass the Graduate College Oral Examination
Write an acceptable dissertation
Defend the dissertation at a final oral examination
Course Work Requirements
Background knowledge prerequisite to taking Ph.D. program courses includes: the equivalent of an AACSB accredited undergraduate business degree with a major in accounting, an intermediate undergraduate course in microeconomics, and undergraduate courses in calculus (differential, integral and multivariate) and linear algebra.
Program course work is comprised of two general categories: core studies and advanced studies within an area of specialization. Core studies represent the basic knowledge that should be common to all individuals who earn a Ph.D. degree in Accountancy. Specialization generally involves the application of a research paradigm to one or more functional areas within the accountancy discipline. Students, either through prior work experience or course work, must have adequate knowledge of the institution within which accounting, as it relates to their specialization, is performed. In addition, programs of specialized study must include both the theoretical foundations of and research methods appropriate to the student's specialization.
The course work portion of the Ph.D. program requires the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 64 hours of graduate coursework. The minimum non-thesis course requirements include:
- Microeconomics at the graduate level
- Another course at the graduate level from an approved listing
- A two-course introduction to mathematical statistics and probability theory
- Research methodology in accounting
- Contemporary research in accounting
- Topics in behavioral sciences applied to accounting
- Topics in economic theory applied to accounting
- Topics in empirical finance applied to accounting
- Research project in accounting
Area of Specialization:
- Specialization generally involves the application of an acceptable research paradigm to one or more functional areas within the accounting discipline. Students, either through prior work experience or course work, must have adequate knowledge of the institution within which accounting, as it relates to their areas of specialization, is performed
- Programs of specialized study should include both the theoretical foundations of and research methods appropriate to the student's specialized area. These programs contain a minimum of six units of graduate study, at least four of which are in a supporting field (e.g., economics, finance, psychology) outside of accounting
- Doctoral research seminar in accounting
Exam and Dissertation Information
Accountancy Core Preliminary Examination
The Accountancy core preliminary examination is taken as soon as all background deficiency courses (if any) and all common core courses have been successfully completed. This examination generally is administered once each year in May or June.
Approved Dissertation Proposal
Students must obtain faculty approval of the dissertation proposal. Development of an acceptable dissertation proposal is an evolutionary process that should begin with course work in an intended area of specialization and no later than when working on the research proposal requirement of the accountancy research seminar. Every student is encouraged to obtain the comments of Accountancy faculty and fellow Ph.D. students by presenting his/her dissertation ideas or proposals in an Accountancy forum (workshop). The student is expected to start the development of a dissertation topic early in his/her course work stage and to present the dissertation proposal in the Accountancy Forum soon after all of the Ph.D. program non-thesis course requirements have been successfully completed.
Graduate College Oral Examination
The Graduate College appoints doctoral committees at the Department's request to administer preliminary and final examinations. The dissertation proposal, as revised based on comments received at the Accountancy Research Forum, serves as the basis for the oral examination. The passing of this examination affords the candidate ABD (all but dissertation) status.
Writing an Acceptable Dissertation
This step usually involves completing and writing up the results of the research plan agreed to at the Graduate College Oral Examination.
Graduate College Final Dissertation Examination
This is a final oral examination on the candidate's dissertation given by the doctoral committee. After passing the examination and submitting a dissertation to the Graduate College that meets format and other requirements, the candidate is granted the Ph.D. degree.
The most important aspect of a Ph.D. program is the development of the requisite skills for conducting research. While an in-depth understanding of the accounting environment and its problems is necessary for identifying accounting questions and problems that are interesting from a research standpoint, the underlying theories and research tools are frequently obtained from source disciplines such as economics, finance, psychology, and statistics. Thus, the Ph.D. program is designed to be a careful blend of accounting and source discipline courses.
Accounting research encompasses a broad range of topics, including laboratory experiments that attempt to provide an understanding of how decision makers use accounting information, empirical tests of market reactions to publicly available accounting information, analytical models illustrating how owners and managers resolve conflicts, empirical research related to taxation policy, artificial intelligence and expert systems in the auditing area, and the development of experimental markets.
The faculty at the University of Illinois has a diverse set of research interests, and is at the forefront of accounting, auditing, information systems, and taxation research. Students are encouraged to work closely with the faculty in developing their research skills, in conducting joint research and developing their dissertation ideas.