About the Accounting Area Program
Doctoral students at the Ross School of Business study accounting research at the birthplace of modern accounting. Student and faculty offices are located in the Paton Accounting Center, a superbly endowed facility named for William Paton, the first editor of The Accounting Review and a longtime Michigan faculty member.
The goal of the Ph.D. program in accounting is to develop the next generation
of accounting scholars capable of pursuing academic careers at leading
research-oriented universities. For example, recent graduates have taken
positions at: Harvard, Stanford, New York University, Duke University,
University of Chicago, University of Utah, University of Pittsburgh, Boston
College, MIT and Cornell.
A major strength of the Ph.D. program in accounting is its very productive and highly regarded research faculty. Research in the accounting department focuses on issues of importance to the accounting and business community such as the impact of accounting information on capital markets and on the behavior of decision-makers within firms. Reflecting the research orientation of the faculty, development of research skills is continually emphasized throughout the Ph.D. program. Generous research assistantships for Ph.D. students reinforce the programs commitment to research excellence.
The Michigan Ph.D. program in accounting is also wellknown for its emphasis on close faculty-student interaction. Only a few students are admitted into the doctoral program each year and joint research with faculty is encouraged and fostered in a highly collegial environment. The Accounting department runs weekly workshops in which Michigan faculty and faculty from other schools present their current research. Ph.D. students are encouraged to actively participate in these workshops.
During the first two years of the program, students take courses in accounting, economics, finance, econometrics and other related disciplines. Course requirements are outlined in more detail in the Ross School of Business doctoral program brochure and web site:
At the end of the second year, students take the preliminary written exam. In addition, the program requires two projects, a research proposal, completed in the first year; and a small-scale study completed in the second year. Early in the third year, students are expected to present their second-year project during a regular accounting workshop. Students advance to candidacy by passing their preliminary exam and completing the second-year project requirement. The remainder of the program is devoted to successful completion of the dissertation.