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ISSUES IN ACCOUNTING EDUCATION

Vol. 23, No. 3


August 2008
pp. 357367

Accounting Doctoral Education2007


A Report of the Joint AAA/APLG/FSA
Doctoral Education Committee
Bruce K. Behn, Gregory A. Carnes, George W. Krull, Jr.,
Kevin D. Stocks, and Philip M. J. Reckers
INTRODUCTION
ver the past few years the profession has witnessed a visible decline in the number
of students graduating from U.S. accounting doctoral programs. A review of the
accounting Ph.D. program listing in the Hasselback Directory reveals that output
over the last eight years (941 graduates) significantly trails output in the eight prior years
(1488) and the eight years preceding that (1664). The ramifications of this trend are numerous. One ramification is that current output levels are inadequate to provide replacements for retiring faculty over the next decade. It is estimated that about 1,500 doctoralqualified accounting faculty will retire in the next eight years; thus, at recent levels of
output the shortage currently experienced will be greatly exacerbated (i.e., an additional
shortfall of 500 doctoral-qualified faculty can be predicted). Another ramification of this
trend is that there will be fewer research-active faculty to work with new doctoral students.
Current enrollments in U.S. Ph.D. programs suggest future output may be in a further
decline, and the shortage of faculty may be even greater.1
Various efforts (including those of the AICPA Foundation, AACSB, and the Big 4) are
underway to address the current and future shortage of doctoral-qualified accounting faculty.
One of these efforts was initiated by a joint American Accounting Association, Accounting
Programs Leadership Group, and Federation of Schools of Accountancy (AAA/FSA/
APLG) committee (hereafter, the Committee). This Committees objective was to gather
and disseminate information of interest to those considering entry to the accounting academic profession and those providing advice to potential students. Doctoral students from
across the U.S. were queried with respect to what information they would have found
informative in their career deliberations and school selection. From this information a survey was developed and sent to each of the Ph.D. program schools listed in Hasslebacks
Accounting Faculty Directory 20062007. The survey was distributed during the summer

Bruce K. Behn is the President of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Gregory A.
Carnes is the President of the Accounting Programs Leadership (APLG) Section of the
American Accounting Association, George W. Krull, Jr. is with the American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Pre-certification Education Executive Committee (PcEEC), Kevin D. Stocks is the President-Elect of the Accounting Programs Leadership (APLG) Section of the American Accounting Association, and Philip M. J. Reckers
is the Vice PresidentEducation of the American Accounting Association.
1

See Tables 10 and 11.

357

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of 2007 and a preliminary report was presented to Ph.D. Coordinators attending a breakfast
session at the 2007 AAA Annual Meeting in Chicago. The surveys were redistributed to
each school for review and revision during the fall of 2007. Schools identified with Ph.D.
programs in the new 20082009 Hasselback Directory were also sent surveys. One school
(Bentley College) was identified as starting a Ph.D. program, but not listed in the Directory.
Of the 102 schools identified, 89 submitted responses, 1 did not respond, and 12 schools
on the list no longer have an active accounting Ph.D. program.
This article provides basic summary statistics from that survey. Plans exist to update
the survey annually and to extend the survey to non-U.S. Ph.D.-granting institutions. The
unaltered responses from each of the responding schools will be made available online as
part of the AAACommons as a service to all AAA members, potential Ph.D. students, and
the public at large. It is our hope the responses of the individual schools and the summary
statistics provided herein will inform interested parties and prove helpful in recruiting more
members to the teaching profession as doctoral-qualified faculty. In reviewing the summary
statistics, note that not all schools responded to all questions.
CURRENT ENROLLMENTS IN U.S. DOCTORAL PROGRAMS
Current enrollments in 89 of the 90 active U.S. Ph.D. programs portend a slight increase
in output over the next five years (see Table 1). Forecasting the best-case scenario, using
an (potentially unrealistic) assumption of no attrition during their programs, output over
the next five years will increase slightly to 734 graduates or about 147 per year (588
students graduated in years 20022006 for an average of approximately 118 per year).
While current enrollments suggest a slight upward trend, another encouraging sign is
that universities plan to further increase future enrollments. Table 2 provides responses by
schools to the question: How many new Ph.D. students have you admitted or plan to admit
for 2007 to 2011?
But these increases may be largely illusory if one factors in student attrition. It is clearly
the case that not all those who enter Ph.D. programs will graduate. In fact, our respondents
estimate that a significant percentage (as high as 33 percent at some institutions) do not
complete their programs, which is troublesome. All the data seems to indicate that challenging times are clearly in our future.
TABLE 1
Current Ph.D. Program Enrollments
First Year of Program
Second Year of Program
Third Year of Program
Fourth Year of Program
Fifth or Greater Year in Program

179
160
147
131
117

TABLE 2
Planned Admissions to Ph.D. Programs
Fall
Fall
Fall
Fall

2007
2008
2009
2010

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211
227
207
186

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WHAT CHARACTERISTICS DO Ph.D. COORDINATORS AND RECRUITING


COMMITTEES LOOK FOR IN Ph.D. APPLICANTS
Among several questions of interest to potential applicants to Ph.D. programs are:
What are your requirements? and What are schools looking for in a Ph.D. applicant?
Besides Ph.D. applicants, other stakeholder groups have also expressed interest in these
requirements and characteristics, in as much as Ph.D. program graduates become teachers
of future generations of entry-level professional accountants. We outline some of these
findings in the following paragraphs.
In regard to prior work experience, interestingly, only 2 percent of responding schools
require any kind of work experience in the profession of accounting. Thirty-nine percent
prefer experience and 12 percent strongly prefer experience. Forty-five percent express no
interest or preference in experience. Forty percent of responding schools prefer applicants
with masters degrees.
Many schools do not specify a minimum GMAT requirement (33 percent) while most
do (67 percent). About half of the respondents specifying a minimum GMAT set that
threshold between 600 and 650; with the other half specifying a GMAT above 650. Table
3 reflects what schools actually experience among applicants admitted.
In addition to GMAT scores and other measures of intellectual capacity (e.g., GPA),
schools also value other qualities of applicants. Table 4 reports the percent of schools that
indicated attention to several other variables.
TABLE 3
Average GMAT of Entering Students
600649
650674
675699
700724
725
No Response

9%
16%
21%
29%
9%
16%

TABLE 4
Qualities Sought of Entering Students
(percentage of responses by category)
Student Quality

Percentage

Collegiality / Positive Attitude / Personality


Commitment
Communication / Writing
Creativity
Desire/ Keen Interest
Experience / Accounting Background
Intellectual Curiosity
Intelligence/ Academics
Outstanding Research Potential
Outstanding Teaching Potential
Quantitative / Econ / Other Specific Skill Sets
Work Ethic/ Motivation
Other

7%
5%
12%
3%
3%
7%
9%
13%
10%
4%
11%
11%
5%

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FUNDING AND TEACHING REQUIREMENTS OF U.S. Ph.D. PROGRAMS


The vast majority of Ph.D. programs (80 percent) waive tuition for Ph.D. students and
pay cash stipends (see Table 5). However, the variability in these stipends is significant.
The majority of universities (80 percent) also require students to teach during their program.
This may be to not only analyze their teaching potential, but also potentially provides
students with additional funding (i.e., teaching a summer course, etc.)
RESEARCH FOCUS OF U.S. Ph.D. PROGRAMS
Not surprisingly, the research focus of various U.S. doctoral programs reflects the makeup and interests of the faculty (see Tables 6 through 9 for an overview). Some schools
attempt to serve all or nearly all student interests, while other programs identify niche areas.
The responses of individual schools (available on the AAA website) should be especially
helpful in this regard in identifying programs consistent with prospective students interests.
TABLE 5
Stipend Provided
(percentage of responses by category)
Stipend
Below $15,000
$15,000$19,999
$20,000$24,999
$25,000 and Above
No Response

Percentage
13%
34%
26%
15%
12%

TABLE 6
Student Topical Research Areas
(percentage of responses by category)
Area

Percentage

Financial
Managerial
Tax
Audit
Information Systems
Unsure/ Undecided / Other

52%
12%
9%
12%
4%
11%

TABLE 7
Student Research Method Areas
(percentage of responses by category)
Method
Archival
Behavioral
Experimental
Analytical
Unsure/ Undecided / Other
Issues in Accounting Education, August 2008

Percentage
64%
19%
8%
3%
6%

361

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TABLE 8
Faculty Topical Research Areas
(percentage of responses by category)
Area

Percentage

Financial
Managerial
Tax
Audit
Information Systems
Unsure/ Undecided / Other

49%
20%
10%
14%
5%
2%

TABLE 9
Faculty Research Method Areas
(percentage of responses by category)
Method
Archival
Behavioral
Experimental
Analytical

Percentage
56%
23%
12%
9%

Overall, faculty and student interests in archival research methods scores highest (56
percent and 64 percent, respectively). Interest in behavioral research methods is a distant
second for both faculty and students (23 percent and 19 percent, respectively). Similarly,
interest in financial accounting ranks highest among both faculty and students (49 percent
and 52 percent, respectively). A mere 4 percent of faculty and 5 percent of students express
an interest in the information systems area despite technology needs consistently scoring
high in the wish list of professional recruiters. Students are nearly evenly split among
managerial accounting, auditing, and tax registering scores of 12 percent, 12 percent, and
9 percent, respectively. These interest levels, by and large, reflect expressed interest of
faculty. These results also appear to reflect a data availability issue. Arguably, financial
archival research is the largest percentage of research performed today due to the number
of financial databases available for researchers to use. It is a common concern of faculty
mentors in the areas of Auditing, Tax, Managerial Accounting, and Information Systems
that neither data nor cooperation from major employers is available to support dissertation
work and post-doctoral research.
Tables 10 and 11 should be useful to potential doctoral candidates in identifying specifically which schools may best meet their interests. Tables 10 and 11 also identify the
current interests of various U.S. doctoral programs as revealed by the makeup of faculty
supporting their doctoral programs and interests of students in their programs.
CONCLUSION
A significant shortage of doctoral-qualified faculty exists today. Evidence exists that
conditions will continue to deteriorate unless something is done to reverse trends. Improved
information may facilitate some efforts to reverse trends. It is in that spirit that the Committee undertook the data-gathering effort described above. However, data have no value if
no one knows it exists or where to find it. The purpose of this short article is to raise
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AAA / APLG/ FSA Doctoral Education Committee

TABLE 10
Faculty Supporting Doctoral Studies by Area and by Institution

Alabama
Arizona
Arizona State
Arkansas
Bentley
Boston University
California, Berkeley
California, Irvine
California, UCLA
Carnegie Mellon
Case Western Reserve
Central Florida
Chicago
Cincinnati
Colorado
Connecticut
Cornell
CUNYBaruch
Drexel
Duke
Emory
Florida
Florida Atlantic
Florida International
Florida State
George Washington
Georgia
Georgia State
Georgia Tech
Harvard
Hawaii
Houston
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Jackson State
Kansas
Kent State
Kentucky
LSU
Louisiana Tech
Maryland
Massachusetts
MIT
Memphis

FIN

MGR

TAX

AUD

IS

OTHER

X
7
4
3
1
5
4
3
5
3
4
1
13
5
6
3
6
X
9
9
6
5
3
2
6
8
4
4
2
6
2
6
9
7
5
0
2
0
3
5
2
1
3

X
3
3
2
1
3
3
2
1
3
0
1
3
1
3
1
1
X
2
2
3
3
0
1
2
2
2
2
1
2
0
4
5
3
2
0
0
0
1.5
0
1
3
1

X
2
2
2
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
4
0
0
2
0
0
3
0
0
2
0
3
0
0
0
0
1.5
0
0
2
0
0
0
2
0
3
0
1

X
3
4
2
3
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
0
2
3
0
X
3
0
1
3
2
2
3
0
3
2
2
0
0
2.5
6
4
0
1
2
0
2
0
0
1
3

0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
.5
0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
8
0
0
0
0
0

(continued on next page)


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Accounting Doctoral Education2007


TABLE 10 (continued)

Michigan
Michigan State
Mississippi
Mississippi State
Missouri
Morgan State
Nebraska
NYU
North Carolina
North Texas
Northwestern
Ohio State
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Oregon
Penn State
Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh
Purdue
Rochester
Rutgers
South Carolina
South Florida
Southern California
Southern Illinois
Stanford
SUNY at Binghamton
SUNY at Buffalo
Syracuse
Temple
Tennessee
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
Texas at Arlington
Texas at Austin
Texas at Dallas
Texas at San Antonio
Utah
Virginia Commonwealth
Virginia Tech
Washington
Washington State
Washington University
Wisconsin

FIN

MGR

TAX

AUD

IS

OTHER

6
5
1
3
5
4
3
6
7
1
X
5
3
6

10
4

2
3
6
0
7
5
7
3
9
1
8
1
3
10
9
6
5
3
6
9
3
5
4

2
5
2
1
0
0
2
0
1
3
X
3
2
3

5
5

2
2
2
1
4
0
0
1
4
0
3
1
1
4
7
0
1
1
3
0
2
0
2

1
2
2
1
2
0
2
0
2
1
0
0
3
1

0
2

1
2
2
2
0
0
0
1
3
2
4
3
0
3
0
1
0
0
3
1
0
0
1

0
2
1
0
2
1
1
0
0
2
X
2
2
1

0
3

2
2
0
2
0
0
0
1
5
2
2
2
0
3
0
2
2
1
3
1
2
0
2

0
0
1
1
3
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
1

0
0

1
5
0
2
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
2
7
0
2
0
0

0
0
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3

0
0

0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
7
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

X unspecified number; no response.

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AAA / APLG/ FSA Doctoral Education Committee

TABLE 11
Doctoral Students by Interest Area and by Institution

Alabama
Arizona
Arizona State
Arkansas
Bentley
Boston University
California, Berkeley
California, Irvine
California, UCLA
Carnegie Mellon
Case Western
Central Florida
Chicago
Cincinnati
Colorado
Connecticut
Cornell
CUNYBaruch
Drexel
Duke
Emory
Florida
Florida Atlantic
Florida International
Florida State
George Washington
Georgia
Georgia State
Georgia Tech
Harvard
Hawaii
Houston
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Jackson State
Kansas
Kent state
Kentucky
LSU
Louisiana Tech
Maryland
Massachusetts
MIT
Memphis

FIN

MGR

TAX

AUD

IS

OTHER

4
5
7
4
1
4
7
4
4
6
4
1
11
8
7
6
7
X
5
7
6
4
6
1
9
X
4
3
0
5
2
11
9
4
8
0
2
X
4
X
1
2
3
5

0
1
2
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
1
0
2
0
3
1
0
0
4
0
1
1
0
2
0
2
2
2
2
0
0
X
2
0
0
2
1
0

1
4
3
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
1
2
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
4
0
1
0

4
4
2
2
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
3
0
0
0
1
0
X
2
0
0
2
2
1
6
X
2
2
4
0
0
0
4
1
0
5
2
X
1
0
0
0
2
0

0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2.5
0
0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
3
3
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
4
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
2
3
0

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TABLE 11 (continued)

Michigan
Michigan State
Mississippi
Mississippi State
Missouri
Morgan State
Nebraska
NYU
North Carolina
North Texas
Northwestern
Ohio State
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Oregon
Penn State
Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh
Purdue
Rochester
Rutgers
South Carolina
South Florida
Southern California
Southern Illinois
Stanford
SUNY at Binghamton
SUNY at Buffalo
Syracuse
Temple
Tennessee
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
Texas at Arlington
Texas
Texas at Dallas
Texas at San Antonio
Utah
Virginia Commonwealth
Virginia Tech
Washington
Washington State
Washington University
Wisconsin

FIN

MGR

TAX

AUD

IS

OTHER

9
4
1
6
4
2
5
12
8
2
1
5
5
5
0
15
5
2
5

2
0
6
1
8
X
4
2
2
0
11
1
X
7
10
10
5
3
4
6
X
5
4

1
4
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
2
2
0
0
1
4
2

4
1
5
1
3
0
0
0
2
0
0
3
0
2
2
0
1
1
1
0
X
0
3

1
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
3
1
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
0

0
1
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
2
4
3
0
2
0
1
0
0
4
3
0
0
1

0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
2
0
0
0

1
2
0
3
0
0
0
1
2
6
2
0
0
2
0
1
1
0
4
0
X
0
0

0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

2
6
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
X
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0

0
0
8
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
4
8
3
0
1
0

0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
8
1
0
5
0
3
0
0
0

X unspecified number; no response.

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attention to the availability of this data (which can be found at the AAACommons website).
The Appendix provides a copy of the complete survey to which each U.S. doctoral program
replied. The AAA common website provides a page for the responses of each institution.
APPENDIX
INFORMATION ON ACCOUNTING PH. D. PROGRAMS
School:
1. Who is the contact person for a student interested in your Ph.D. program?
2. What is the desired educational background of the students entering your Ph.D.
program?
3. What type of work experience, if any, is required or recommended before admittance
into your program? Are you willing to consider well-prepared students who have little
or no prior work experience?
4. What is the average GMAT score for your entering Ph.D. students? What minimum
criteria do you specify for a Ph.D. student? Do you have a minimum score you are
willing to consider?
5. What qualities do you look for in students who are applying to your school?
6. Do you invite/require applicants in for campus or phone interviews?
7. How many new Ph.D. students have you admitted and plan to admit from 2007 to
2011? (by year)
8. What is the amount of your annual tuition and the typical financial package made
available to new Ph.D. students in terms of cash stipends, tuition breaks, and other
benefit provided?
Annual tuition:
Average annual cash stipend:
Average annual tuition breaks:
Other financial assistance provided:
9. How many full-time (FT) and part-time (PT) Ph.D. students do you currently have in
your program in each of the following years of study?
1st year
(FT)
(PT)
2nd year
(FT)
(PT)
(PT)
3rd year
(FT)
4th year
(FT)
(PT)
5th Year
(FT)
(PT)
10. Over the past years, how many Ph.D. students have graduated from your program
annually?
20042005
20052006
20062007
20072008
20032004
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11. On average, what percentage of your entering Ph.D. students graduate and how many
years does it take on average to complete your Ph.D. program based on your last five
graduates?
% Graduate:
Average # Years to complete:
12. Do you expect your students to teach during their Ph.D. program? If you expect students to teach, what is the expected number of classes per year?
13. List the schools where the last five Ph.D. graduates from your institution accepted
employment.
14. Of your current Ph.D. students, how many anticipate graduating with a research focus
on each of the following areas?
Research methodology
Topical area
Financia
Managerial
Tax
Audit
Information
Other (Please explain)

Behavioral
Archival
Experimental
Unsure/undecided

15. Of your current accounting faculty, how many are directly involved in supporting your
Ph.D. students in research in each of the following areas?
Research methodology
Topical area
Financial
Managerial
Tax
Audit
Information
Other (Please explain)

Behavioral
Archival
Experimental
Unsure/undecided

16. What is the URL to your website?

Issues in Accounting Education, August 2008