Accountancy Curriculum | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University



The Weatherhead PhD in Management - Accountancy program is 54 credit hours consisting of:

  • 12 hours of core courses
  • 12 hours of statistics, et al.
  • 12 hours of research methodology in accounting
  • 18 hours of dissertation work

Unlike lower degrees, the curriculum of study for the doctoral degree is not set in stone. Instead, some degree of customization should be expected. This allows the strengths and the weaknesses of prior academic and practical careers to be considered. The overriding objective of the curriculum undertaken by any student is to obtain the skills needed to support an academic career. This agenda also needs to consider the sub-field choices made by the student during the course of study.

The first two academic years are devoted to the study of the literature, methods, statistics, econometrics and recent research appropriate to the participant's identified interests. During the summer periods, participants engage in individual reading, development, and writing along the project lines determined by the chair and program committee. This two-year period provides the foundation for preparing well-developed research papers that exhibit knowledge and skill levels appropriate to career goals as one approaches candidacy.

Model Curriculum Plan

Years One and Two

Four Statistics courses potentially from but not limited to this list:

  • NURS 630 — Advanced Statistics: Linear Models
  • NURS 631 — Advanced Statistics: Multivariate Analysis
  • NURS 632 — Advanced Statistics: Structural Equation Modeling
  • PSCL 402 — Cognition and Information Processing
  • PSCL 407 — Research Design and Quantitative Analysis I
  • PSCL 408 — Research Design and Quantitative Analysis II
  • PSCL 412 — Measurement of Behavior
  • SASS 613 — Advanced Research Design
  • SOCI 449 — Social Inequality

Four core courses:

  • MGMT 560 — Theoretical Perspectives in Management
  • ORBH 560 — Research Methods I
  • MGMT 571 — Measurement Theory and Method
  • MGMT 573 — Applied Multivariate Data Analysis

Four PhD seminars on a range of topics, such as:

  • Development of Accounting Thought
  • Behavioral Research
  • Experimental Research and Auditing
  • Archival Research

Year Three

The third year is devoted to writing focused, individual papers. This is completed under the supervision of a study program committee formed by the student. This committee should be made up of at least three members from the Department of Accountancy and one faculty member outside of the department. Here, faculty employed by other schools are permitted and encouraged. Based upon one of these high-quality research papers, a suitable dissertation proposal will be prepared by the end of the third year of study.

This research and writing activity will not only help to determine the student’s dissertation topic but will also be considered equivalent to field examinations. The series of papers leading up to the dissertation proposal, the proposal itself and an oral presentation to the student’s study program committee will be taken into account as the committee determines whether to grant doctoral candidate status to the student.

Year Four

The fourth year focuses upon completion of the dissertation. During this process, the student also develops competencies related to classroom and teaching activities. The department will provide support as the student pursues a full-time academic appointment.

View a list of dissertation topics by PhD alumni in the accountancy program.

The program of study is designed to take four years. The department has committed itself to make this an achieved target going forward. We do not believe that longer periods are in the interests of the department or the student.