What is it like to be a doctoral student?
Doctoral education places great emphasis on self-directed learning and close relationships with faculty in a specializations of joint interest to the faculty and doctoral student. The program typically takes five years to complete and involves intense reading of academic journal articles and writing of original research.
Doctoral students often forge close relationships with faculty mentors. These mentors work closely with the student to define a course of study, help them prepare for qualifying examinations, provide guidance in the dissertation process, and assist with finding their first faculty position.
In fact, one of our PhD graduates, Jason Bergner, wrote a paper that attempts to answer this question. It is available here.
Who should apply?
The PhD program is designed for students who desire an academic position at a university to engage in innovative and influential research.
What credentials characterize successful applicants?
In general, the program looks for well-rounded PhD students with balanced strengths in motivation, academic skills, communication skills, quantitative skills, and institutional knowledge of accounting.
What is the minimum GMAT score the Department of Accounting will consider?
We consider the GMAT in the context of a holistic review of all criteria, including the applicant's practical and academic background. Most successful applicants score 600 or above on the GMAT.
Does the Department accept the GRE instead of the GMAT?
When is the TOEFL required?
The University of Kentucky requires the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for internal applicants who have not received a degree from a country in which the only official language is English. The Department evaluates many sources of information that evidence the applicant's English communication skills.
Is an accounting degree required to apply to the PhD program?
No, however, the program assumes a reasonable institutional background in accounting, equivalent to an undergraduate or master's degree in accounting. We do from time to time admit PhD applicants who do not have an accounting degree, but these applicants typically have taken enough accounting courses to understand the institutional fundamentals of accounting. Applicants with no accounting background should must acquire knowledge that is the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in accounting before beginning PhD coursework.
Is a master's degree required to pursue a doctorate?
Yes. The Accounting PhD program at the University of Kentucky requires a master's degree though the master's degree need not be in accounting.
Is it possible to visit campus and meet with faculty prior to applying?
Yes. Outstanding applicants are invited for campus visits. Interviews are a vital part of the selection process. While on campus you will meet with both faculty and current PhD students.
Is accounting work experience required to apply to the PhD program?
Work experience in accounting, like other credentials, contributes to the success in the admissions process and as an accounting scholar. Most successful applicants have at least one year, and often two years or more of full-time accounting work experience.
How many students are admitted each year?
Admittance varies each year. We typically have 10-11 PhD students in the program at all times.
How often are new students admitted?
We admit new students once per year in during the Fall semester.
Are you currently accepting applications for admission?
We are accepting applications for fall enrollees.
What is your application deadline?
The deadline for receipt of all materials is typically February but we encourage students to apply in the fall of the year prior to enrollment.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The program typically takes 5 years to complete and requires full-time residence during this period. The program consists of two years of coursework followed by three years of intensive research work, culminating with the dissertation.
Do you accept part-time and distance-learning students to the program?
Is there a financial aid package?
The program offers competitive financial aid packages to successful applicants, and contingent on satisfactory progress, all resident students in good standing generally continue to receive financial support to cover five years of study. Most of our PhD students receive total package fellowships and assistantships of approximately $21,000 per year. Some receive additional funding from other sources. Tuition for the program is included with an assistantship.
Is health insurance available?
The University of Kentucky allows graduate students to participate in a low-cost health insurance program.
What do you look for when you evaluate potential students?
We look at the big picture in evaluating applications. This means that we look at traditional measures, like GMAT, GPA (particularly undergraduate accounting GPA), recommendation letters, professional experience and transcripts. We are also interested in intangibles, such as fit with the program, placement potential, and the ability to contribute to the scholarly environment. We recommend that potential students visit campus.
What are my chances of gaining admission?
In recent years, about 10% of applicants gain admission.
Whom should I contact for additional information?
For additional information contact: Ph.D. Program Coordinator, Donna Ballos, 859.257.3592