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My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting)

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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2010, 10:51
xsena wrote:
Hi! I found your topic and was amazed how you divided Phd programs into two groups "teaching oriented" and "research oriented", and actually third "teaching-research". I am browsing almost every day through PhD's websites. But is really hard to find which program or which school more "teaching" than "research". All of them trying to show to prospective students "OUR PhD is for that who willing to do RESEARCH"!!!)))) Even if it is not true. You mentioned Georgia as a top school for teaching-not research. Could you please, give more schools like this one. Or just explain how I can search for them. May be some "hidden" criteria :wink:


Let me clarify a few things.

1) All PhD programs are intended for people who will stay in academia after they graduate, and as such are for people willing to both do research AND teach. Tenure criteria at almost every school also reflect that -- you need to have published 'good' research to get tenure, and you need 'good' course evaluations to get tenure. However, because sometimes to publish better quality (or quantity) research you need to cut back on course preparation, sometimes you need to make a choice between the two. As a result people are forced to make choices as to whether they value an article in an 'A' journal more than better case studies in Corporate Reporting 201, and those who run business schools (and accounting departments) have their own biases as to which is more important: teaching or research.

2) It's not so much a question of formal program requirements and structure (so will normally not show up on program websites), but a question of culture. I should shortly receive a PhD from a school that had a teaching requirement as well as (obviously) various research milestones as formal requirements to receive the degree. No matter how poorly I could have fared during my (1-semester, 1-class) teaching requirement, I would still get my degree if the research is good enough. However, I had to make many corrections on my research papers to get a 'pass' while some of my summer papers may have been good enough for a dissertation at some (much lesser) schools. Other schools might have the same requirements on paper, but would need a minimal student evaluation score to pass the teaching requirement, or may require the student to teach every year for the last 3 years of the program.

3) I did not divide programs in any way; if you look at my rankings, there is only one list. I used Georgia as an example even though I actually know very little about the program (it is not well-known for research, maybe I should have said "not well-known" instead of "not good") because it was ranked in the Public Accounting Report's top PhD programs at the time. I'd be surprised if the formal requirements at Georgia blatantly said that teaching was more important than research, and as someone going through that program you might not feel that is the case. What I said is that what makes someone a good teacher can in part be taught during a PhD program, but a larger part is the result of that person's personality and natural abilities (communication skills). On the other hand, nobody will become a great researcher by him/herself, so the best and toughest PhD programs for research will offer better training than the lesser ones.

Hope this helps!
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2010, 18:51
Cabro, could you tell us what you had for experience when you applied to PhD programs? Did you have a graduate degree, work experience, published articles, etc.? Which programs did you apply for, and during the application process did you recognize anything about your profile that the schools were especially interested in? On your list of top schools, which ones did you apply for?

I am interested in getting a PhD. I am have applied to Macc programs, but am curious as to whether it would be beneficial to go to a non-ranked, state university that would give me scholarships and an assistantship which would maybe allow me to do research with some of the professors and also participate in some way with undergrad level courses OR go to a higher ranked school where I would just get the degree?

Long question/statement.... but hope you can provide some insight.

Also, I would love to eventually do research and teach at a top university, but I am not necessarily limiting myself to top universities. I would like to just be able to get a job at a good university in the area I would like to live (wherever that ends up being). However, more important than improving my resume to the point that I could get in anywhere, is that I would like to get in as soon as I graduate with my Macc.

What do you think is the best way to focus my efforts?

My Gmat is 710, and I have a 3.8 from a (unknown) state university in accounting, but no published papers.

What do you think?
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2010, 07:17
You got many questions in there! :)

jsslvtt wrote:
Cabro, could you tell us what you had for experience when you applied to PhD programs? Did you have a graduate degree, work experience, published articles, etc.? Which programs did you apply for, and during the application process did you recognize anything about your profile that the schools were especially interested in? On your list of top schools, which ones did you apply for?


I had an MBA from a 2nd tier Canadian university + 4 years experience in a regional accounting firm + 1 1/2 years of teaching experience at the advanced undergrad and Macc level. No articles or research experience whatsoever. I also had limited math/econ stuff -- I had 2 calculus courses + a linear algebra course done, plus two basic microecon courses at the undergrad level, and obviously some stats courses (had a BBA). I countered that a bit with a 760 on the GMAT. So my strengths were that I knew what accounting was about, having worked and taught that. Throughout the application process I sensed that was my biggest asset (many other applicants have literally no clue about accounting), and I guessed whoever took a chance on me would hope I'd be able to go through the PhD math and quant stuff, which was probably my biggest weakness. I won't go into great detail in my applications process but basically I applied to 5 schools, 4 of which I only hoped to get into, and 1 safety. I got offers from 3 schools including the safety school.

jsslvtt wrote:
I am interested in getting a PhD. I am have applied to Macc programs, but am curious as to whether it would be beneficial to go to a non-ranked, state university that would give me scholarships and an assistantship which would maybe allow me to do research with some of the professors and also participate in some way with undergrad level courses OR go to a higher ranked school where I would just get the degree?


My guess is that you should be able to get assistantships anywhere (if by that you mean being a TA for undergrads, or an RA), but I don't know any particular Macc program. If you go to BYU or USC you'll always be a BYU or USC graduate, but I don't think you should underestimate the importance of doing well in whatever courses you take, and picking those courses well. My impression is that a solid accounting background helps, and if you get that from a reputable school that's great, but if you have successfully taken courses like Microeconomics, Game theory, Econometrics, Linear algebra, and so on, that's even better.

jsslvtt wrote:
Also, I would love to eventually do research and teach at a top university, but I am not necessarily limiting myself to top universities. I would like to just be able to get a job at a good university in the area I would like to live (wherever that ends up being). However, more important than improving my resume to the point that I could get in anywhere, is that I would like to get in as soon as I graduate with my Macc.


I can't see why you couldn't get into a PhD program right after (e.g. in the fall) you finish your Macc. I think there are quite a few "PhD-track" programs out there such as BYU's, so that you can get a Macc while taking some research-oriented electives taken from the list I posted above. As many have said around here, it's not really important to have a Macc to pursue a PhD program in accounting. Few people at the top research universities even have an accounting background. The big part is that you make sure your profile emphasizes your dedication toward getting a PhD, doing research, and working in academia.
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2010, 17:38
thank you for creating this thread, I'm currently looking for PhD programs to apply so this helps a lot.

Currently I'm finishing up the master program in accounting with a GPA of 3.86 (4.0 accounting GPA). My undergrad GPA is 3.94 (4.0 accounting GPA). My GMAT score is 690. I'm planning on taking the GMAT again since I didn't prepare much for the exam the last time (only 2 weeks). I don't have any work experience yet since I went straight from undergrad to grad school. It's hard for me to get a job after finishing grad school because of the economy (I'm also an international student).

I really like doing research work, especially on the financial reporting aspect as well as the effect of accounting on the financial markets. According to what I read from the previous posts, I realized that a good accounting phd program for me would have to have well-known professors in the research areas that I'm interested in. Can you suggest any professors or schools?

I want to get into the top ten school because I believe that I can accomplish more in a challenging environment. What kind of GMAT score should I get in order to be competitive among other applicants, taking into consideration my situation? Is there anything else I can do to make myself more competitive?

Thanks!
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2010, 06:26
sphere3617 wrote:
I really like doing research work, especially on the financial reporting aspect as well as the effect of accounting on the financial markets. According to what I read from the previous posts, I realized that a good accounting phd program for me would have to have well-known professors in the research areas that I'm interested in. Can you suggest any professors or schools?

I want to get into the top ten school because I believe that I can accomplish more in a challenging environment. What kind of GMAT score should I get in order to be competitive among other applicants, taking into consideration my situation? Is there anything else I can do to make myself more competitive?


I won't suggest a specific list. "Top ten" is really pretty good, but it all depends on what you want to do. The subjects you highlighted are very common, mostly because they are very broad. I'd suggest you take rankings such as B-week MBA rankings (or mine), take at the top 30 (or so) schools, and look at research interests of the faculty there: what they've published, what their working papers are, etc. You'll find out most of them work on financial reporting and its effects on the stock market to some extent, but their work can be about financial analysts, accruals quality, information risk, liquidity risk, balance sheet/income statement classification, compensation, and so on. You'll find what you like most in there. A big part of both what you learn and what kind of job market candidate you will look like will ultimately hinge on your dissertation chair, not the school (as opposed to an MBA or Master's in accounting like you did).

GMAT score is always kinda tricky; from what I understand some schools have a set threshold, under which they'll disregard your application altogether, and over which it doesn't really matter unless it's 790. For "top 10" 690 is not enough, and for someone with an accounting background as opposed to math or engineering (e.g. tougher quant), 750 may be enough to warrant further examination, but not enough to ultimately get an offer.

Other things you may want to do to improve your profile are things I've mentioned many many times in this thread and others -- take grad level courses in econometrics, microeconomics, game theory, calculus/linear algebra (undergrad level may be alright for those, just not "calc I"). Basically your profile is good and there's a way to make your SOP sound sincere but people will be concerned about your ability to become a good math geek, which you need a lot of at the PhD level.
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2010, 15:09
A new paper has come out ranking accounting progams based on the research productivity of their graduates. It can be found here: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1574502. Sort of interesting results huh?
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2010, 08:57
Interesting indeed, thanks for the link.

Two comments on that new paper, otherwise a good read:

1) The term "productivity" in the title is misleading. Rankings are based on the number of articles published in selected journals by PhD alumni in the first few years after graduation. Big schools who churn out more graduates (Michigan, UT-Austin) will mechanically show up higher than smaller programs (Columbia, UBC). To me "productivity" is related to how many resources are used to get that outcome, and the paper doesn't adjust for that. They do report the number of grads who published at least 1 article for each subfield, but not the total number of graduates, so you can't really completely adjust.

2) Overall ranking is useless; to use it if you want to do an accounting PhD but don't know in what field would be a huge mistake. Even though they publish rankings for all topical areas (audit, tax, financial, etc) and methodologies (analytical, empirical/archival, experimental), the authors' main interest was really in some particular subfields (namely audit, tax and AIS). To get a larger sample size, they added to the usual top (e.g. "A" rated) journals (TAR, JAR, JAE, AOS) to include journals that publish more heavily in those areas, even though these journals are usually considered as "B" journals. Nothing wrong with that when it comes to subfield/topic rankings. However what this does is that the overall ranking is useless -- it includes some of the "A" journals (but not all -- many top financial accounting and/or analytical/theory faculty publish in papers like JofF, JFE, even JPE, Econometrica, Management Science..) and some "B" journals (but none in the most populated subfield -- financial accounting).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the overall ranking favors schools whose programs are targeted to specific subfields that are overrepresented in the study (Arizona, UNC, Arizona State, Kent State), and penalizes programs with underrepresented subfields (financial accounting and analytical research), whose "A" outlets include non-accounting journals and whose "B" outlets were not included.
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 12 May 2010, 11:12
Some other interesting links on accounting rankings from the same people who published that earlier paper.

http://byuaccounting.net/rankings
http://ssrn.com/abstract=1604545
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2010, 22:27
Hi Cabro, I am from India and want to get into a good phd program in finance. Request your feedback and suggestions on schools.

I hold a Masters degree in Mathematics from IIT (one of the top schools in India) with a CPI of 9.3/10, I was a topper in my batch. I gave GRE in 2008 an got a score of 1430 (800 on quant and 630 on verbal). I have 4 years of work exp in Analytics. I applied for fall 2009 but couldn't get an offer. I had applied to top US B Schools - Wharton, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Columbia, Duke, Cornell, Rochester etc. I attributed my faliure partly to recession and not being from Finance background. To improve my application I took FRM and got certified in April 2010, I have also co-authored a research paper in Finance, which is under review for publication. I plan to apply for Fall 2011 but quite confused with Universities. I want to get into a good University (good at research) but dont want to fail again. Please suggest a few schools where I have a good chance of getting selected with my profile.
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 08:02
phdfinance wrote:
Hi Cabro, I am from India and want to get into a good phd program in finance. Request your feedback and suggestions on schools.

I hold a Masters degree in Mathematics from IIT (one of the top schools in India) with a CPI of 9.3/10, I was a topper in my batch. I gave GRE in 2008 an got a score of 1430 (800 on quant and 630 on verbal). I have 4 years of work exp in Analytics. I applied for fall 2009 but couldn't get an offer. I had applied to top US B Schools - Wharton, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Columbia, Duke, Cornell, Rochester etc. I attributed my faliure partly to recession and not being from Finance background. To improve my application I took FRM and got certified in April 2010, I have also co-authored a research paper in Finance, which is under review for publication. I plan to apply for Fall 2011 but quite confused with Universities. I want to get into a good University (good at research) but dont want to fail again. Please suggest a few schools where I have a good chance of getting selected with my profile.


For finance, I really can't say. I think a good way to approach this is to figure out whether getting admitted at a top school is more important, or whether doing a PhD it more important. You may see it differently, but I wouldn't want to waste another year to get into a better school, i.e. you want to make sure you have at least 2 safety options, schools you know aren't top schools but that you wouldn't mind going to. If you work hard and can write good papers, you'll get a good job.
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2010, 18:16
Hi Cabro,

Thanks for all the helpful information. I am considering applying to a PHD Program for fall 2012. I'm a CPA with 6 years of tax experience in public accounting. I have a BA in Accounting (3.72 GPA) and a Masters in Tax (3.8 GPA). I want to be extra prepared for the coursework during the first couple of years of the program. Do you have any suggestions on courses to take that will be useful such as econ, stats and etc?
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2010, 12:32
Phariper wrote:
Hi Cabro,

Thanks for all the helpful information. I am considering applying to a PHD Program for fall 2012. I'm a CPA with 6 years of tax experience in public accounting. I have a BA in Accounting (3.72 GPA) and a Masters in Tax (3.8 GPA). I want to be extra prepared for the coursework during the first couple of years of the program. Do you have any suggestions on courses to take that will be useful such as econ, stats and etc?


Given that tax research is likely to be empirical, econometrics may be a good choice. If you want to go toward mechanism design instead, do a good grad-level game theory course.
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2011, 18:27
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2011, 14:03
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I was the last month in W-DC and I visited Smith School at UMD and GWU BS. Both schools (I talked with different professors) say more or less the same: ok toefl (for international) ok GMAT but what is important - really - is a STRONG research proposal, a good idea that fill up a gap in lieterature.

This is my experience ;)
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2011, 12:39
carcass wrote:
I was the last month in W-DC and I visited Smith School at UMD and GWU BS. Both schools (I talked with different professors) say more or less the same: ok toefl (for international) ok GMAT but what is important - really - is a STRONG research proposal, a good idea that fill up a gap in lieterature.

This is my experience ;)


So you're saying professors told you that in order to be admitted in a PhD program in Accounting, you need a strong research proposal? That's definitely not my experience when it comes to North American schools -- from what I saw they always look for 'potential' first (mathematically qualified, strong background, graduate coursework), then motivation (SOP, perhaps past research but not mandatory). They do not usually expect you to come up with a good idea before sitting in a few PhD classes -- it will be 4-6 years before you finish so that idea might be outdated by the time your research is ready to be published.
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2011, 06:32
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I agree

But what I said is that: ALL components are really important and what you propose.

I mean: if you speak english perfectly, strong skills such as GMAT but if don't demostrate through your idea that something is not clear for the science, i.e. we know enough about Clusters ?? why clusters rise and most important thing, in which way we can foster their development ??? thanks to policies or by informal contacts beetwen actors ??'

If you don't do this, why a university should fund you for several years ??? what could you do in terms of knowledge for university ??? what is your research interest(s) ??'
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Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting) [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2011, 10:09
Hello there

I am interested in PhD Finance. I am not sure what to say because the rankings often mislead or at best representative of the past and may not hold true in the future. I am a canadian and have been teaching in lower tier universities for almost 9 years now. I am now interested in a PhD from a good Canadian or US School. I have a 3.5 GPA in MBA ( FINANCE) but no GMAT score. I fear I will bomb the GMAT Exam and so look forward to a good school which can accommodate me without a GMAT Score.

Is it true that the FT rankings are no match to the US rankings. Is McGill at a lower level as compared to Western Ontario or even York University? If so which university would help me move forward in my career?

Would love an honest reply

best

Albert E Stevens
Re: My experience with doctoral rankings (especially accounting)   [#permalink] 03 Aug 2011, 10:09
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