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Accounting Ph.D.


Although the plan of study for each candidate will be highly individualized, a certain number of courses are required for the doctoral program. Generally, the plan of study will include 5 courses in accounting, which include 4 seminars; 5 courses in statistics; and 5 courses in a supporting area(s):

Forty-five hours of coursework is required for the concentration in accounting.

  • 4 Doctoral Seminars (12 hours)
  • 1 Accounting Independent Study – research project (3 hours)
  • 5 Statistical courses (15 hours)
  • 5 Supporting area course (15 hours)

The first doctoral seminar (Research 1) provides an introduction to research and the philosophy of research. This course will be taken with other business doctoral students within the College. The second, third, and fourth seminars (Accounting Research 2-4) are accounting focused on research methodologies in the behavioral and archival realm. Each course will cover seminal research within the functional areas of accounting and will incorporate selected forensic, fraud, and ethics related readings.

A minimum of fifteen semester hours of graduate course work is required in a collateral supporting area. A collateral area is one that is outside, but complementary to, the major area of accounting and the research in which the candidate is interested. Examples include information systems, finance, economics, public finance, statistics, psychology, sociology, operations management, law, and industrial engineering. The collateral area focus and courses will be selected with the faculty mentor.

A minimum of fifteen semester hours of graduate course work is required in statistical research methods and analysis.

Throughout the student's tenure at West Virginia University, the faculty expect the doctoral students to attend the accounting workshops. These workshops consist of internal (faculty and students) and external scholars invited to present their research. Doctoral students are expected to read the research papers carefully and are encouraged to participate in the workshop by asking questions and making comments. The doctoral students will have the opportunity to meet as a group with each visiting speaker.

Sample Plan of Study

Fall 1

  • Research Seminar I - Intro to Philosophy of Research*
  • STAT 511- Statistical Methods I
  • BADM 740 - Social Psychology & Group Processes

Spring 1

  • Accounting Research Seminar II
  • STAT 512 - Statistical Methods II
  • PSYC 511 - Research Design and Data Analysis
  • PSYC 531 - Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Fall 2

  • Accounting Research Seminar III
  • STAT 513 - Applied Regressions Analysis
  • PSYC 532 - Applied Behavior Analysis

Spring 2 

  • Accounting Research Seminar IV
  • Accounting Independent Study - Project
  • STAT 545 - Applied Regression Analysis
  • PSYC 532 - Applied Behavior Analysis

Summer (following year 2)

  • Comprehensive Exams

Fall 3

  • STAT 551 - Nonparametric Statistics
  • Research

Spring 3, Fall 4 & Spring 4

  • Research