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# Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated

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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  21 Feb 2010, 13:41
- BS and MS accounting both top state school with 3.8 and 3.9 GPA
- no research experience
- 5 years work experience
- CPA
- 750 GMAT

Given this profile, do I have a good shot at a decent phd program? Say top 25? Maybe top 50? Any advice you can offer about how I can make myself a more attractive candidate? Thanks!

Last edited by risys82 on 02 Mar 2011, 19:22, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Advice for getting into top accounting phd programs [#permalink]  22 Feb 2010, 08:29
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risys82 wrote:
As I've posted before, I am interested in potentially pursuing an accounting phd. I have recently taken the GMAT and was a bit disappointed by my score of 690. (...)
- highest level of math coursework taken was 1st semester calc, 1 semester linear algebra, 2 semesters basic business stats

So I know I have several major weaknesses here, including my crappy GMAT score (which I may be considering for retake), and my lack of research experience. It has also been a few years since I've last been in college and I honestly don't know if my professors still remember me, so I imagine that letters of recommendation will be another difficult issue.. I wish I had gotten to know my professors better while I was there.

Given this profile, do I have a good shot at a decent phd program? Say top 25? Maybe top 50? Any advice you can offer about how I can make myself a more attractive candidate? Thanks!

IMHO there are many, many decent PhD programs. Of course you'll find some people saying stuff like "anything but Stanford, Wharton and Chicago is crap" but almost everyone is not that arrogant. So you need to make your own definition of "decent" based on what you want to do with that PhD. In many cases, 690 is probably just fine. It likely won't get you into Wharton, so what? There are actually many decent PhD programs that regularly enroll people with professional experience but no research experience. An example that I definitely would consider "top 50" is Pitt. Their average GMAT score is 705 and they have recent Accounting placements in places such as Georgetown. As far as letters of recommendations go, no big deal. No research experience = no cool recos from well-known researchers. While places like Stanford would likely rather make an offer to an MS Quant type of applicant, I'm sure many schools would rather look at someone who actually knows what SOX means more favorably than someone who can't tell debit from credit.

In all, I don't think your major weaknesses are those you spotted (GMAT, research exp., recommendations). I'd say your only significant weakness is your weak calculus background. A GMAT of 780 wouldn't help you here because there's no calculus on the GMAT. If you improve your profile to show that you're able to go through tough math courses, it will go a long way toward shoring up any perceived weaknesses places like Illinois, Pitt or even Washington might see at first glance. As I've stated many many times (like a broken record) around here, having taken grad courses in Microeconomics, Game theory or Econometrics might help as well. Given that you're a bit late for this year's round of admissions (I'm assuming you didn't send out any applications), you have more than enough time in the summer and fall to work on that.
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Re: Advice for getting into top accounting phd programs [#permalink]  22 Feb 2010, 10:43
cabro57 wrote:
In all, I don't think your major weaknesses are those you spotted (GMAT, research exp., recommendations). I'd say your only significant weakness is your weak calculus background. A GMAT of 780 wouldn't help you here because there's no calculus on the GMAT. If you improve your profile to show that you're able to go through tough math courses, it will go a long way toward shoring up any perceived weaknesses places like Illinois, Pitt or even Washington might see at first glance. As I've stated many many times (like a broken record) around here, having taken grad courses in Microeconomics, Game theory or Econometrics might help as well. Given that you're a bit late for this year's round of admissions (I'm assuming you didn't send out any applications), you have more than enough time in the summer and fall to work on that.

Thanks for your advice Cabro. I actually did mean to put down the math as a weakness as well, but I guess I forgot to put that in before sending my message. I have thought about enrolling in some calc classes, and will try to look into microeconomics, game theory, and econometrics courses as you have suggested. I will most likely be retaking the GMAT next month, and if I still can't hit in the 700 range, I will just accept my 690 score.

I'm not looking to get into a school such as Wharton, but a decent school that will give me a good shot at an above average position once I graduate (I know that this too is relative). A little off topic, but we have all heard on numerous occasions that there is going to be a shortage of accounting professors, resulting in more job security and increased salaries, but do you think this will continue to be the case going into the future? What about with the increased acceptability of online learning? Would that reduce the number of professors needed, and hurt job security / pay?
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Re: Advice for getting into top accounting phd programs [#permalink]  23 Feb 2010, 09:57
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risys82 wrote:
I'm not looking to get into a school such as Wharton, but a decent school that will give me a good shot at an above average position once I graduate (I know that this too is relative). A little off topic, but we have all heard on numerous occasions that there is going to be a shortage of accounting professors, resulting in more job security and increased salaries, but do you think this will continue to be the case going into the future? What about with the increased acceptability of online learning? Would that reduce the number of professors needed, and hurt job security / pay?

I'm not sure if I can be concise and give my complete thoughts on this without delving into a 5000-word essay. As the saying goes, "things are different at the top". The highest-paying places are the elite research universities and for them, there will never be a shortage of qualified applicants (if by qualified you mean "have a PhD"), but there will always be huge competition for quality applicants (meaning high quality research produced and star teacher at the MBA level as well). For those types of schools I'm not sure how the shortage would change the dynamics, and I'd be surprised if the increased acceptability of online learning changed anything about it, as long as there's still added (perceived) value to on-site MBA courses (networking is hugely important for many MBA students = understatement).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that both the shortage of professors and impact of online learning are likely to be felt in lower tier schools such as less prestigious state schools, community colleges, and so on. Those are the places where people applying to University of Phoenix Online used to apply. These schools have responded by ramping up their online programs as well. Down the road you may have a lower number of tenured faculty there; that's assuming they didn't choose to hire a large proportion of lecturers in the first place, which I know many places did.

Another point about the shortage -- there are many ways schools can react to a shortage. In the long run there is a large discretionary element that goes into how many tenure-track faculty members you need in a given department. When one of your professors retires, you can choose not to replace him/her if the candidates are not "good enough" for your taste, or you can choose to lower your standards. There are obviously risks associated with both options, but ultimately I guess it's a tradeoff between hiring a good lecturer (but losing out on the student/faculty ratio in b-school rankings), or hiring someone you think is a lower-quality faculty candidate (and MAYBE decreasing the long-run perceived "research quality" at that school). The same type of tradeoff is in play when a younger professor is up for tenure. You can keep him, drop him and look for a replacement, or drop him and slightly decrease the number of courses/sections offered by faculty members at the undergrad, MBA or PhD levels.
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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  05 Apr 2010, 12:23
So I have retaken the GMATs and raised my score from 690 to 750 (49Q, 44V). Since I am planning on applying in Q4'10, I think I have some time to address some of my weaknesses as well as determine whether or not a life of academia is really what I want.

As Cabro mentioned, I think my biggest weakness might be my math background. Therefore, I have enrolled for a calculus class at a community college. What level of calculus do I need to be at to be a competitive applicant? The school I am taking calc at is a community college, and there are four calc classes (differential equations, integrals, multi-variable, and integration of functions with more than one variable). Would I need to take all four? Does it matter whether I am taking these classes at a community college vs another school? Are taking all of those other courses (econometrics, game theory, etc) basically mandatory pre-requisites to be competitive or will taking them give me a slight advantage in admissions? I have taken a linear algebra class and 2 business statistics courses in my college days.. is this sufficient? Of course I have forgotten a lot of this because I haven't touched it in years, so I am guessing that some refresher courses are in order? Or will this not be necessary (i.e. I will be taking the courses again for my PhD).

Is there any way for me to gain some exposure to research prior to applying? The nearest schools to me are San Jose State and Santa Clara University, which are teaching schools, but I am guessing at least some professors do research? I was thinking of maybe emailing some professors there and asking them if there are any opportunities available to assist with research. Would this be advisable/not advisable? I still have my full time job, but I am hoping this is something I can squeeze in.

Also, how exactly can I determine which schools will I be a competitive candidate for? Is it simply a matter of checking out their websites, contacting the schools, or what? Again, here is my current profile:

- 28 years old
- undergrad and MS accounting both from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with 3.77 and 3.91 gpa
- no research experience
- 2 years of big four audit experience, where I was involved in various IPOs, and 3 years of SOX experience at very hot newly public company (first year SOX implementation)
- certified public accountant, certified management accountant, certified internal auditor
- 750 GMAT (49Q, 44V)
- math coursework completed: 1 semester calculus, 1 semester linear algebra, 2 semesters basic business stats
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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  05 Apr 2010, 19:18
Hey risys, good to hear that your GMAT is no longer an issue. I recall how worried you were about your ability to perform well on the test.

I'm sure cabro will be able to give you better advice on what math courses to take. But I'll say that you may want to consider if you're more interested in analytical or empirical research. If it's the former, then courses in game theory and real analysis would be useful; if the latter then go with econometrics/upper level mathematical statistics.

Quote:
Is there any way for me to gain some exposure to research prior to applying? The nearest schools to me are San Jose State and Santa Clara University, which are teaching schools, but I am guessing at least some professors do research? I was thinking of maybe emailing some professors there and asking them if there are any opportunities available to assist with research. Would this be advisable/not advisable? I still have my full time job, but I am hoping this is something I can squeeze in.

Can't hurt to try.

Quote:
Also, how exactly can I determine which schools will I be a competitive candidate for? Is it simply a matter of checking out their websites, contacting the schools, or what?

I don't think contacting them is going to help much. Unless you have really specific questions, I expect most responses will be of the "Blah blah blah we cannot comment on your chances of selection. We review each application holistically and in relation to other applicants blah blah blah" variety. The best you can do is look at the CVs of current candidates at your target schools. You could also look at recent graduates' CVs. You'll be able to pick out what sort of work experience they had prior to grad school, schools attended, qualifications, professional affiliations, etc. Also, use your SOP to your advantage. Identify your target schools, look for professors with similar interests, and effectively convey your fit with the department. That will help set you apart.
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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  06 Apr 2010, 12:23
risys82 wrote:
(...) Therefore, I have enrolled for a calculus class at a community college. What level of calculus do I need to be at to be a competitive applicant? The school I am taking calc at is a community college, and there are four calc classes (differential equations, integrals, multi-variable, and integration of functions with more than one variable). Would I need to take all four? Does it matter whether I am taking these classes at a community college vs another school? Are taking all of those other courses (econometrics, game theory, etc) basically mandatory pre-requisites to be competitive or will taking them give me a slight advantage in admissions? I have taken a linear algebra class and 2 business statistics courses in my college days.. is this sufficient? Of course I have forgotten a lot of this because I haven't touched it in years, so I am guessing that some refresher courses are in order? Or will this not be necessary (i.e. I will be taking the courses again for my PhD).

Is there any way for me to gain some exposure to research prior to applying? The nearest schools to me are San Jose State and Santa Clara University, which are teaching schools, but I am guessing at least some professors do research? I was thinking of maybe emailing some professors there and asking them if there are any opportunities available to assist with research. Would this be advisable/not advisable? I still have my full time job, but I am hoping this is something I can squeeze in.

Also, how exactly can I determine which schools will I be a competitive candidate for? Is it simply a matter of checking out their websites, contacting the schools, or what?

First, congratulations on that GMAT score, it's great and is definitely not a weakness for any school (though the GMAT score alone will not make you stand out at the very top schools either). My $.02 on your questions: 1) Math is math. I don't think it matters where you took those courses. If you get a C or fail a course, it'll be bad anywhere; if you get an A, it'll be good for your profile. 2) I don't know how much is needed to be competitive. Just Calc 1 is probably not enough. Calc 1 + all 4 other courses you mentioned would probably be overkill. You can take 1000 math courses and it will always marginally improve your abilities, but there are clearly decreasing returns to scale in this signaling game. I'd say differential equations and integrals have the highest chance of being useful in a PhD program, especially if the program you take has a significant Economics core (Microecon, General equilibrium, and so on), or if it has an emphasis on analytical accounting research (part of it is sometimes called Information Economics). 3) Microecon, game theory, etc will give you an edge, just like some other guy with an MA Statistics (but no Econometrics/Game theory/Microecon) will have an edge, or another with an engineering degree may have an edge. Nothing is mandatory, but on the other hand if you don't have anything that others don't, you won't be competitive. You have 3 professional designations, which very few applicants will have. That's good, but how good, I don't know -- probably school-specific. 4) Linear algebra + 2 b-school stat courses = just fine. Nobody cares if you forgot all this stuff, none of the faculty members you'll meet remember either (unless they've used that knowledge in the past month) No refresher needed at this point. However I can recommend a good refresher-type book if you have time after you send out applications: Mathematics for Economists, by Simon and Blume. Easy read, lots of basic exercises. Covers basic linear algebra, basic calculus, this type of stuff. Link: http://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Economists-Carl-P-Simon/dp/0393957330 5) Exposure to research: good idea. A good thing with research is the flexible hours, so as long as you have time you should be alright, provided a faculty member wants to help you out. 6) How competitive you will be: check the "current students" section and look for student bios. Ultimately it's a black box. Hope this helps! Manager Joined: 15 Aug 2009 Posts: 66 Followers: 47 Kudos [?]: 758 [0], given: 3 Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink] 06 Apr 2010, 20:17 cabro57 wrote: risys82 wrote: (...) Therefore, I have enrolled for a calculus class at a community college. What level of calculus do I need to be at to be a competitive applicant? The school I am taking calc at is a community college, and there are four calc classes (differential equations, integrals, multi-variable, and integration of functions with more than one variable). Would I need to take all four? Does it matter whether I am taking these classes at a community college vs another school? Are taking all of those other courses (econometrics, game theory, etc) basically mandatory pre-requisites to be competitive or will taking them give me a slight advantage in admissions? I have taken a linear algebra class and 2 business statistics courses in my college days.. is this sufficient? Of course I have forgotten a lot of this because I haven't touched it in years, so I am guessing that some refresher courses are in order? Or will this not be necessary (i.e. I will be taking the courses again for my PhD). Is there any way for me to gain some exposure to research prior to applying? The nearest schools to me are San Jose State and Santa Clara University, which are teaching schools, but I am guessing at least some professors do research? I was thinking of maybe emailing some professors there and asking them if there are any opportunities available to assist with research. Would this be advisable/not advisable? I still have my full time job, but I am hoping this is something I can squeeze in. Also, how exactly can I determine which schools will I be a competitive candidate for? Is it simply a matter of checking out their websites, contacting the schools, or what? First, congratulations on that GMAT score, it's great and is definitely not a weakness for any school (though the GMAT score alone will not make you stand out at the very top schools either). My$.02 on your questions:

1) Math is math. I don't think it matters where you took those courses. If you get a C or fail a course, it'll be bad anywhere; if you get an A, it'll be good for your profile.
2) I don't know how much is needed to be competitive. Just Calc 1 is probably not enough. Calc 1 + all 4 other courses you mentioned would probably be overkill. You can take 1000 math courses and it will always marginally improve your abilities, but there are clearly decreasing returns to scale in this signaling game. I'd say differential equations and integrals have the highest chance of being useful in a PhD program, especially if the program you take has a significant Economics core (Microecon, General equilibrium, and so on), or if it has an emphasis on analytical accounting research (part of it is sometimes called Information Economics).
3) Microecon, game theory, etc will give you an edge, just like some other guy with an MA Statistics (but no Econometrics/Game theory/Microecon) will have an edge, or another with an engineering degree may have an edge. Nothing is mandatory, but on the other hand if you don't have anything that others don't, you won't be competitive. You have 3 professional designations, which very few applicants will have. That's good, but how good, I don't know -- probably school-specific.
4) Linear algebra + 2 b-school stat courses = just fine. Nobody cares if you forgot all this stuff, none of the faculty members you'll meet remember either (unless they've used that knowledge in the past month) No refresher needed at this point. However I can recommend a good refresher-type book if you have time after you send out applications: Mathematics for Economists, by Simon and Blume. Easy read, lots of basic exercises. Covers basic linear algebra, basic calculus, this type of stuff. Link:
http://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Economists-Carl-P-Simon/dp/0393957330
5) Exposure to research: good idea. A good thing with research is the flexible hours, so as long as you have time you should be alright, provided a faculty member wants to help you out.
6) How competitive you will be: check the "current students" section and look for student bios. Ultimately it's a black box.

Hope this helps!

Wow, this is great information. Thanks so much again!
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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  08 Apr 2010, 00:10
Few more quick questions:

cabro57 wrote:
4) Linear algebra + 2 b-school stat courses = just fine. Nobody cares if you forgot all this stuff, none of the faculty members you'll meet remember either (unless they've used that knowledge in the past month) No refresher needed at this point.

What do you mean when you say the the faculty members won't remember this? Isn't all of this math the cornerstone of accounting research?

cabro57 wrote:
5) Exposure to research: good idea. A good thing with research is the flexible hours, so as long as you have time you should be alright, provided a faculty member wants to help you out.

I am thinking of contacting some faculty at UC Berkeley as well. However, Berkeley is about an hour and a half away, so it is a bit of a commute. But I am guessing that accounting research doesn't require one to be in a lab or anything, and data can be reviewed online at home?
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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  08 Apr 2010, 11:07
risys82 wrote:
What do you mean when you say the the faculty members won't remember this? Isn't all of this math the cornerstone of accounting research?

I am thinking of contacting some faculty at UC Berkeley as well. However, Berkeley is about an hour and a half away, so it is a bit of a commute. But I am guessing that accounting research doesn't require one to be in a lab or anything, and data can be reviewed online at home?

1) That was a general statement about math, one that especially applies to linear algebra and econometrics but also calculus. In those courses you learn a lot of stuff, such as what underlies least squares analysis, GMM, and whatnot, and the mathematical foundations of those things (e.g. use matrix calculus to derive large sample properties of a bunch of estimators). You learn about the uses and limitations of those tools, but you also learn very technical stuff about how they work. Accounting faculty will recall the uses and limitations part but there's often little point in recalling the technical details which are often the core of those courses. I run regressions every day and I know what "omitted variable problem" means, but I'd need to seriously go back to my course notes if you asked me to _prove_ the bias it brings into the results.

2) It depends. A lot of accounting research is not done in a lab, for example most empirical accounting research needs an internet connection for access to databases, and the relevant software to analyze the data. There's much more on-site work with experiments. Some people are OK discussing the research question and arguments through email or on the phone but others need to be face-to-face.

However, when you enter the realm of research universities such as UC Berkeley, you also have to ask yourself why those guys would hire outside help when they have quality PhD students there already.. of course if you got a reco letter from a UC Berkeley guy and you're able to say you worked on a project that led to a journal article, without having ever been a student at UC Berkeley, that'd probably be mind-blowing to quite a few. One of the reasons is that it's not very common.
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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  09 Apr 2010, 16:24
Very informative thread for me as I am probably in a similar situation.

So here's my profile. I was hoping for a bit of honest third party assessment:

- 27 year old CPA looking to apply for acccounting phd programs
- 5 years of Big 4 auditing experience
- 3.76 undergrad GPA with a BS in accounting from a state university
- 760 GMAT - 49Q/46V

Obviously I think my strengths are in my GMAT score and my experience in/knowledge of accounting/auditing. That said, I know my weaknesses lie in a lack of graduate coursework, especially advanced math courses (though I'm not overly concerned about being able to perform well in these courses). I'm looking to apply for fall 2011 start and have a wide variety of schools that I'm intially interested in for different reasons, though I need to do some more research on those (UT-Austin, Stanford, USC, LSU, Colorado, Arizona State, Arizona). I had a couple of questions that I was hoping to get honest third-party opinions on:

- I am looking into registering for summer/fall classes in calculus/linear algebra at a community college as well as picking up some books on those topics. By the time applications roll around, I'll have limited grades to report but I guess I'm hoping that the effort counts for something and I can highlight that in my applications. Obviously, I can't get a degree in applied math in 6 months so it's all I can really do at this point. Do you think that this helps to address my math background enough to not be a detriment to my profile?

- How would you think my qualifications stack up for a top 10 program and for other programs? Should I be seriously worried about not getting into any of my top 7 choices above?
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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  12 Apr 2010, 06:44
gregc1213 wrote:
- I am looking into registering for summer/fall classes in calculus/linear algebra at a community college as well as picking up some books on those topics. By the time applications roll around, I'll have limited grades to report but I guess I'm hoping that the effort counts for something and I can highlight that in my applications. Obviously, I can't get a degree in applied math in 6 months so it's all I can really do at this point. Do you think that this helps to address my math background enough to not be a detriment to my profile?

- How would you think my qualifications stack up for a top 10 program and for other programs? Should I be seriously worried about not getting into any of my top 7 choices above?

You have a very good profile. I wouldn't be worried about being shut out of the 7 schools you listed; of course Stanford (like other top 10 programs) is extremely tough to get into but unless I'm entirely mistaken, you should be able to get into LSU, Colorado, Arizona St and Arizona with the profile you have, with or without additional math work. For these schools, you may not want (and definitely don't need) a degree in applied math. Those courses are used to signal that you can learn that stuff, and obviously save you a lot of time once you're actually in a PhD program and need to prove a theorem or solve an optimization problem, but nobody expects anyone to know everything.

As far as top 10 programs go, everybody says they don't require people to have a master's degree, but it's a big plus, especially if it's a related (foundation) field like economics. As you said, your biggest weakness is lack of graduate coursework; this is not exactly the same thing as the lack of advanced math courses. I guess if you go (again) with the idea that you take those types of courses to (1) signal your abilities and (2) actually learn something, the signaling part is greater with graduate coursework, directly related or not, while the knowledge part you can largely get by taking a tough undergrad course or learning about it yourself and mentioning it in your SOP.
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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  12 Apr 2010, 19:40
Cabro, Thanks for the insight! It's amazing how a complete stranger telling you it'll be okay never ceases to quell some anxiety so thanks for the assurance!

It's really quite amazing: one week ago, I was worried about getting a GMAT score that would get me into any program and now I'm fretting over whether or not Stanford will look down on me haha. I think I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Obviously, it'd be amazing to get into a top 10 school and I'll take my shot at it but, at least for me, there's more that needs to go into this decision than finding the most prestigious name I can get into. So, I think I need to look into all of these schools a little more and see which would be good fits for me based on my interests and life. Regardless, in order to be serious about success in the field, I need to strengthen my advanced math skills a bit. With some effort there and a real focus on essays/recommendations that convey a real sense of who I am and why I want to pursue this, I think I can have a good shot.

Question on math classes though, I'm relocating to a new city in a couple of months and, as such, I won't be able to gain in-resident tuition status in our new state. That would mean university and even community college courses become very expensive. Some other blogs (don't think it was this one) have mentioned the "NetMath" courses offered by the University of Illinois which are distance learning math courses that can be completed within 4 months each (and supposedly get you an official completed course on an Illinois transcript). I'm a pretty self motivated learner so I think moving at my own pace would be helpful plus I could develop a calculus base for higher courses at a fair price. Assuming I could get into a program, I'd try to take linear algebra on campus next summer so I have a fairly decent math base going into the program. Any thoughts on the NetMath courses in terms of how helpful they are or how they would be viewed by a school?

Thanks again for the help!! It is really much appreciated to have people take their time to give some honest knowledgable feedback! That said, I'm off to New Orleans for my wedding so can't ponder this for a couple of weeks!!! Take care!
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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  13 Apr 2010, 12:57
gregc1213 wrote:
Any thoughts on the NetMath courses in terms of how helpful they are or how they would be viewed by a school?

No clue. I don't know if those courses are well known or not; my guess is they should look at least as good as community college courses. Taking math courses shows that (1) you're motivated, and (2) you're ready to address your weaknesses, and that's really the important part. No matter how long you work at it, you're never going to look like someone who has a Master's degree in engineering, so you might as well go for the 'knowledge' part of the deal.
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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  26 May 2010, 00:02
risys82 wrote:
here is my updated profile:

- 28 years old
- undergrad and MS accounting both from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with 3.77 and 3.91 gpa
- no research experience
- 2 years of big four audit experience, where I was involved in various IPOs, and 3 years of SOX experience at hot newly public company (first year sox implementation)
- certified public accountant, certified management accountant, certified internal auditor
- 750 GMAT (49Q, 44V)
- highest level of math coursework taken was 1st semester calc, 1 semester linear algebra, 2 semesters basic business stats

I'm having a really hard time coming up with a list of schools to apply to. I'm potentially interested in both financial accounting research and audit research. However, it seems to me that most of the very reputable schools seem to be focused mainly on financial research (e.g. UPenn, Chicago, etc), leading me to believe that this kind of research is more valued. Some professors that I contacted confirmed that placement would be more difficult if I decided to focus on audit research.

Therefore, I was encouraged to apply to schools that were just highly ranked for financial accounting research (but would prevent me from pursuing my interest in audit research?), or if possible, schools that were highly ranked for research in both financial and audit (it was difficult finding high ranking schools that were good for audit research, but easier for finance archival research). I was relying on the BYU Accounting Research rankings, by the way.

Eventually this is the list that I came up with. I wanted to take the advice that others had given me to cast a wide net, but is 20 schools too many? I'm trying to be realistic about my chances, so I just straight up avoided the very elite schools, and focused on good state schools. I sort of went for the approach to apply to all the decent programs, find out which ones I get into, then research and narrow down the list once I know which ones I get into. Would this be a realistic list given my profile? And if someone could comment on whether my rationale for this list appears sound, or whether there should be some other schools I should/shouldn't apply to that would be really helpful. Thanks!!

Arizona
Arizona St.
USC
Washington
UT Austin
Georgia
Texas A&M
Florida
UNC
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Missouri
Ohio State
Penn St.
Michigan
Michigan St
Wisconsin
NYU
Toronto
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Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated [#permalink]  29 Jul 2010, 10:10
Hi:

Have you got admission to PHD program ? Mine resume is very much similar like yours. Anf if you have, which university . Are you enjoying it ?

Thanks
Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated   [#permalink] 29 Jul 2010, 10:10
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# Re: accounting phd programs - advice greatly appreciated

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