Frequently Asked Questions



The Ph.D. Program in Business with a concentration in Accounting at FAU is designed to prepare students for a career in university teaching and research. The program can be completed in four years on a full time basis. Typically, you can expect three years to complete coursework and related requirements, and one year to complete the dissertation. Of course, individuals vary and the time to complete the degree can be longer in certain cases.

Financial support is available for teaching and research. Please see the Financial Assistance section under the PhD Program for the College of Business for additional information. Students are not admitted on a part time basis.

Why should someone get a Ph.D. in Business with a concentration in Accounting?

Typically, a person pursues a Ph.D. because they wish to conduct research and to teach at an accredited university, leading to tenure. Teaching loads vary from one class per semester to three or four, depending on the research and service responsibilities at their university. For most, research is a very rewarding part of an academic career.

Working as a faculty member affords a considerable amount of flexibility. While there are certainly constraints including scheduled class times, office hours, and faculty meetings, much of a faculty member’s work can be done at the place and time of the faculty member’s choosing. Faculty members generally have a great deal of autonomy. They work in a place where ideas and intellectual curiosity are appreciated. Colleagues are bright. It is rewarding to be in an environment with young people interested in learning.

While it is possible to teach without a doctoral degree, the salary levels for adjunct faculty and instructors are significantly lower than for full time doctoral faculty. Instructors with a master’s degree who are fortunate enough to teach full time at a university will often be expected to teach four classes per semester and they are generally are not eligible for tenure. Instructors’ salaries are about one‐third the salary of full‐time, tenure‐track faculty with doctoral degrees.

Selection of a Ph.D. program

When considering a doctoral program, students may wish to consider financial support available, placement of graduates, geographic location, reputation of the faculty, the type and quality of research that faculty produce, and the percentage of students who end up completing the program. There are approximately 80 universities in the U.S. that grant doctoral degrees in accounting. Some of these schools only admit candidates every other year.

Students who are interested in a career as a university teacher and researcher may consider reviewing the Online Hasselback Directory of Accounting Faculty. The directory is useful guide to which schools hire graduates of certain programs. For example, if a student wanted to teach at Harvard University, the student should see where Harvard University faculty obtained their doctoral degrees.

What kind of research do accounting faculty conduct?

A Ph.D. program prepares students to conduct academic research. Accounting research is very diverse and there are different areas of specialty. For example, researchers have investigated how accounting information affects security prices, how auditing affects the quality of financial reports, how legal systems affect the degree of conservatism in accounting, the effect of traditional versus activity‐based costing systems on management pricing and product mix decisions, whether accounting data is useful in bankruptcy predictions, whether non‐audit services impair auditor independence, how different management incentive packages affect their choice of accounting alternatives. The list is endless, and involves the application of theories from finance, economics, psychology, etc.

Students who are unfamiliar with academic accounting research may consider reviewing journals such as The Accounting Review, Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, or the Journal of Accounting Research. These journals can typically be found in university library databases such as ABI Inform, JSTORE, ProQuest, and Ingenta. Another web page that provides insight into a research in accounting is the Social Science Accounting Research Network.

FAU has excellent databases useful for conducting research. Most of these are available through the WRDS system (

What kind of salary or jobs can accounting faculty expect?

Accounting faculty salaries depend on a variety of factors. Faculty of schools that emphasize research will generally receive higher salaries than faculty of schools that don’t emphasize research. Flagship state schools generally pay more than regional schools. Recent salary information for university business faculty is conducted annual by the AACSB.

The American Accounting Association lists Placement postings on its web pages. Some universities do not post advertisements at the AAA so this list is not complete. Some universities advertise through The Accounting Review, the Social Science Accounting Research Network, or the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Graduates from FAU can reasonably expect placements at regional universities. Initial placements from Florida Atlantic University include Duquesne University, East Carolina University, Indiana University at South Bend, Marshall University, Queens College, Southern Indiana University, St. John’s University, University of Montana, University of North Florida, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Denver University, Marquette University. In recent years, the number of positions listed at the American Accounting Association annual meeting exceeded the number of applicants on file by over 2 to 1.

What are the admission requirements at FAU?

Admission to the doctoral program is competitive. There are usually 3 to 5 applicants admitted each year and candidates should plan to start in the fall. An applicant should have a GMAT score of 600, GMAT Focus Edition score of 555 (or a comparable GRE score) and a GPA of at least 3.5 out of 4.0 during the last 60 credits of course work. An undergraduate or graduate degree in accounting is also expected. Applicants who do not have the degree in accounting would normally be expected to have a graduate degree in some business area. Those without a graduate degree will be required to earn the equivalent of a masters degree (30 credits) in addition to the requirements for the doctoral degree. Exceptions to these guidelines may be made in special cases.

Scholarships from other organizations may be available: Deloitte & Touche Doctoral Fellowships
McKnight Fellowship for African Americans studying at participating Florida Universities
KPMG Foundation PhD Project for African American, Hispanic American, and Native Americans
AICPA minority fellowships
EFWA (Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting) doctoral scholarships

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phone: (561) 297-2561
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map: BU (86) 203

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