ABSTRACT

The primary purpose of this study is to provide evidence about current practices in accounting Ph.D. programs in the United States. Plumlee et al. (2006) investigated the shortage of Ph.D. qualified accounting faculty and made recommendations toward addressing this shortage. We assess the extent to which these recommendations have been followed and areas where additional progress might be needed. We gather data from Ph.D. program websites, a survey of doctoral students in accounting Ph.D. programs in the United States, and interviews with Ph.D. program coordinators. Key findings, following Plumlee et al. (2006) indicate: (1) on average, university Ph.D. program websites do not provide all of the specific information about admission and program requirements that would be useful for potential students; (2) increases in the level of financial support for Ph.D. students; (3) considerable variability with respect to reduction in costs to Ph.D. students; (4) Ph.D. programs may reduce the number of students accepted in response to constrained resources; and (5) increases in students pursuing audit and tax specialties that are attributable, at least in part, to the Accounting Doctoral Scholars program. Based on our data, we also identify a number of additional findings, and then discuss the larger context within which this complex problem (the supply of Ph.D. students) is situated. Our findings and discussion should be of interest to potential Ph.D. candidates, Ph.D. program directors/advisors, business school deans, and accounting department chairs, as well as the larger accounting-professional community.

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