Courses and Curriculum

During the first two years, students enroll in courses selected to provide the basic theoretical and empirical skills required to undertake research in accounting. Course work can be categorized into four areas:

  1. Accounting seminars:
    • Overview of Accounting Research
    • Financial Research I
    • Financial Research II
    • Research in Special Topics (audit, tax, etc.)
    • Experimental Research
    • Analytical Research
  2. Business core courses:
    • Microeconomic Theory
    • Game Theory for Economists
    • Information Economics
    • Asset Pricing
    • Corporate Finance I
    • Corporate Finance II
  3. Research method core courses:
    • Probability Theory and Statistics I
    • Probability Theory and Statistics II
    • Econometrics I
    • Econometrics II
    • Statistical Methods in Economics
    • Data Analytics
  4. Supporting field:
    • Finance, economics, decision and information science, mathematics, political science, psychology, or sociology.

In all cases, course titles are illustrative. Emphasis will be on developing research skills and helping students understand how one selects and refines a research topic. Not all courses are offered annually. This means that doctoral students will be expected and encouraged to take some classes in their third academic year.

FSOA’s weekly “workshop series” plays a major role in enhancing the student’s knowledge and creating an environment conducive to scholarly activity. In such a seminar, FSOA faculty and leading scholars from other institutions present working papers on their current research interests. All doctoral students are required to attend these workshop meetings.

First Year Summer Project – All students are required to execute a research project in the first summer of matriculation. The first year summer project requires students to replicate and extend, in a minor way, a published accounting paper. The intent of this project is to have the student explore a question, grapple with the data collection and analysis issues, and present the findings. The resulting paper is presented at the beginning of the second academic year. The presentation to the faculty of the first-year summer project constitutes the first-year exam.

Written comprehensive examination – The exam is given between June of the second academic year and December of the third academic year. Each student must take and pass the exam. Students not passing the exam will have one term to prepare and must retake the exam within six months after the first attempt. Students who do not pass the exam after the second attempt must leave the program.

Second Year Summer Project – All students are required to execute a research project in the second summer of matriculation. The second-year project entails completing, presenting, and submitting a paper that demonstrates original thinking. The project is an independent scholarly effort with faculty providing broad, informal guidance. The resulting paper must be presented at an FSOA workshop at the beginning of the third academic year.

Teaching Requirement – All students are required to teach a minimum of one semester.