Who wants to be a Doctor of Philosophy?

phd comic

I thought I would write to all of you future MAcc students who are contemplating a Ph.D. I know there are at least a few of you guys. If you’re looking at a MAcc from the Fisher College of Business, then you’re a bright kid… and everyone asks themselves how far they want to take their academic career. There are several benefits to obtaining a MAcc from the FCOB if you’re wondering whether world of academia is for you. Specifically, you can look forward to the flexibility of the program, the world-renown faculty, and Professor Zach’s accounting policy and research class (AMIS 844).

Part of the reason I decided to attend Fisher was because of the flexibility their MAcc provides. Outside of the three required core classes, the program really is open for you to study whatever fits your future. With the wonderful approval process here, classes that may help you prepare for a PhD program are available to you. For instance, a few of my good friends took an intermediate economics class during the winter quarter. One particular friend is studying throughout the summer and she’s taking an econometrics class to help her prepare for a potential career in academia. Having these courses available and counting towards your MAcc degree provide a strong foundation for future researchers.

As with any top-ranked accounting program, the faculty are known for their gifted research, published works, and wonderful teaching. There are obvious benefits that the faculty will provide you such as increased human capital; however, there are also some less apparent benefits that may be available to you. Some of the best accounting researchers in the profession will get to know you and your capacity to learn and expound upon ideas. These relationships can come in handy if you ever need letters of recommendation as you apply to competitive Ph.D. programs.

This spring quarter, I had the opportunity to take Professor Zach’s AMIS 844: Accounting Policy & Research class. The class is designed to help students obtain a general understanding of academic research. Structurally, the class assigns several research papers that help students familiarize themselves with several accounting ideas being studied today. Students are then asked to write reviews and critiques. This iterative process really helped me figure out (in at least one sense) what research is about. Professor Zach is as fun as they come to boot! If you want to learn about research or see if its for you, I highly recommend this course.

One of my strategies in facing the unknown is to keep my options open. In this regard, coming to Fisher has been a brilliant move. Accounting students rarely know that their passion is audit, tax, industry, or research before they actually do the work. If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone!


3 Responses to “Who wants to be a Doctor of Philosophy?”


  1. 1 steven June 28, 2011 at 5:43 am

    This is an excellent post… I am a future MAcc student contemplating a PhD in Accounting.

    - You wrote about the OSU Fisher curriculum being flexible, does it allow you to take undergaduate level courses in mathematics and statistics and allow those courses to count towards the MAcc.?

    - What opportunities are there fore MAcc students to do research with faculty?

    - Can MAcc students work at R.A.s?

    - Can MAcc students take or audit PhD level seminars?

    Thank You,

  2. 2 steven June 29, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Excellent post. I am considering attending OSU’s MAcc program as preparation for a PhD.

    Can students take the Policy and Research class (AMIS 844) in the fall or is it only offered in the Spring?

    Can masters students take or at least audit PhD level seminars? Can they attend the weekly accounting research workshops?

    Does the programs flexibility allow students to take undergraduate math courses in preparation for their PhD and allow them to count towards graduation?

    Thanks,

  3. 3 Rob July 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Steven,

    Thank you for your interest in the Fisher MAcc program. I’m glad you enjoyed the blog post!

    To answer your Qs:

    “Can students take the Policy and Research class (AMIS 844) in the fall or is it only offered in the Spring?” AMIS 844 is currently offered in spring quarter. Starting in autumn 2012, Ohio State is transitioning to semesters. Currently, AMIS 844 (with its new number – I forget what it is) is tentatively going to be offered in spring semester. This IS subject to change but, for now, that’s the best info we have.

    “Can masters students take or at least audit PhD level seminars? Can they attend the weekly accounting research workshops?” With permission of professor leading the PhD seminar, yes, you can take (or at least audit) the seminar. (At very least, auditing should not be a problem.) Re the weekly accounting research workshops – most definitely. These are open to anyone who wishes to attend. (If you wish to get an idea of the research presented in the past year, go to http://fisher.osu.edu/departments/accounting-and-mis/research/amis-research-workshop/2010-2011-schedule/ for a quick overview).

    “Does the programs flexibility allow students to take undergraduate math courses in preparation for their PhD and allow them to count towards graduation?” With some restrictions, yes. The restrictions are related to i) the course taken MUST be taught by a professor (not a grad student) ii) the course MUST be able to count toward a graduate degree. (Some higher level undergrad math courses are either “undergrad only” or “both undergrad and grad.” The latter would work. The former would not.)

    If you have any other Qs, please let us know. (P.S. If you wish to get a quicker response, feel free to contact us at fisher_macc@fisher.osu.edu. We do not check the blogs too frequently in the summer since the bloggers have graduated and the new ones won’t be posting until mid or late September.)

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