Academic Program

SSB Two Year Doctoral Seminar Cycle Schedules

The course work component of the doctoral program consists of a minimum of 45 hours. Of these 30 hours comprise the core requirements and are described below. The remaining 15 hours are guided electives identified to develop the candidate’s specific research area.

Course Work Sequencing

The typical sequencing for the required 30 hour core is as follows. These courses are required for all candidates regardless of her/his area of specialization.

Semester One: Prerequisite(s)
ACCT 6703 Introduction to Accounting Research
ECON 5213 Introduction to Econometrics STAT 3013 or equivalent
ECON 5223 Math Econ ECON 3113, MATH 2163 or equivalent
Semester Two:
ACCT 6110 Behavioral Research in Accounting
ECON 5123 Microeconomic Theory ECON 3113
STAT 5063 Multivariate Methods STAT 4043 and 4023 or 5023
Semester Three:
ACCT 6110 Analytical and Empirical Research
STAT 4203 Math Stat I MATH 2163
STAT 5023 Stat for Experimenters II STAT 4023 or 5013
Semester Four:
ACCT 6110 Capital Markets Research
Total of 30 credit hours in this core


Candidates’ research method concentration will ultimately focus in archival or behavioral research methods. By the end of the second year each candidate should have identified one of these areas and selected a research committee in that area. Each candidate will have at least 15 hours of guided electives. The following courses are typical electives:

Archival Research

Course Prerequisite(s)
ACCT 6110 Faculty-Guided Independent Study
ECON 5243 Econometrics I or
AGEC 5213 Econometric Methods
AGED 5103 and ECON 4213 or STAT 4043
ECON 6243 Econometrics II or
AGEC 6213 Advanced Econometrics
AGEC 5213 or ECON 5243
FIN 5243 Financial Markets FIN 5013
FIN 6053 Financial Theory and Corporate Policy
FIN 6660 Seminar in Finance: Corporate Finance

Behavioral Research:

Courses Prerequisite(s)
ACCT 6110 Faculty-Guided Independent Study Prerequisite(s)
MGMT 6353 Advanced Methods in Management Research
REMS 6003 Analysis of Variance REMS 5013 and 5953
STAT 5033 Nonparametric Statistics STAT 4023, 4043, 5023 or consent of instructor
STAT 5043 Sample Survey Design STAT 4023, 4043, 5023 or consent of instructor
STAT 5303 Experimental Design STAT 5023 or 4023 with consent of instructor

Total Hours

Each candidate must complete a minimum of 45 hours of course work and a minimum of 15 additional dissertation research hours in order to complete his/her degree requirements.

Accounting Doctoral Seminars:

ACCT 6703 Introduction to Accounting Research: This course examines the nature of accounting research, including hypothesis development and testing. Both classic accounting research studies and cutting-edge accounting research are examined. Topic areas may span the entire range of accounting research (e.g., financial, managerial, auditing, tax, systems, and international).
ACCT 6110 Behavioral Research in Accounting: This course examines selected pieces of accounting research that involve the observation of behavior or beliefs of accountants or users of accounting information in real or contrived (uncontrolled or controlled) settings, including studies entailing direct participation of the researcher in real-world problem-solving activities.
ACCT 6110 Analytical and Empirical Research: The first half of this course examines selected pieces of accounting research toward developing analytical modeling skills and the ability to apply them to accounting problems. Basic concepts of decision theory, game theory, agency theory, and information economics are covered. Selected papers are reviewed to illustrate basic concepts and analytical modeling of accounting problems. The second half of this course develops skills in retrieving data from databases and replicating existing studies. The latest research published in the leading accounting research journals is also examined.
ACCT 6110 Capital Markets Research: The objective of this course is to introduce doctoral students to the empirical accounting literature through reading and discussing papers that examine a broad range of questions and that use a variety of empirical research techniques. Topics covered include the role of accounting information in capital markets, particularly in security valuation, and the determinants of accounting choices made by managers.

Comprehensive Examinations

The comprehensive examination is normally administered at the end of the second year, late in the summer term. It is designed to test a student’s knowledge of accounting research and current issues facing the practicing profession and accounting pedagogy. This knowledge includes understanding the internal role of accounting in organizations, the public purposes of accounting in society, and the professional role of accountants in providing and ensuring the integrity of financial and other information.

Students may retake comprehensive exams once. Retakes are given no sooner than six months after the first attempt.

Dissertation Requirement

Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examinations each candidate must work closely with his/her dissertation chair and committee in the development of a dissertation proposal. Upon receiving the consent of the committee the candidate will present his/her dissertation proposal to the School of Accounting faculty and doctoral students. After the dissertation proposal is accepted the candidate must carry out the proposed dissertation research project. When the candidate has completed the project to the satisfaction his/her dissertation chairman and committee a final dissertation defense is scheduled. Successful defense of the dissertation research project and results is the final step in the completion of the Ph.D. program.

Contact Information

Don Herrmann
School of Accounting
Spears School of Business
Oklahoma State University
431 Business
Stillwater, OK 74078-4011
Phone: (405) 744-8602
Fax: (405) 744-5180