University of Southern California

Requirements

Year 1

Sample Course Schedule

  • Survey Courses (2)
  • Accounting Research Seminar: ACCT 611 (2)
  • Electives (4)

Research Development
Beginning in the first semester, students will apprentice with a faculty mentor to learn research fundamentals. Typically students are assigned to a new mentor each semester in the first year. During the summer of their first year, students write a first-year paper. The summer paper will be similar to that of a research proposal.

Year 2

Sample Course Schedule

  • Survey Courses (2)
  • Accounting Research Seminar: ACCT 611 (2)
  • Electives (4)

Research Development
Students continue apprentice a faculty mentor to learn research fundamentals and participate in research projects. Typically students are assigned to a new mentor each semester in the first and second year. During the summer of their second year, students complete a directed readings course with their potential advisor.

Screening Examination
In the second year, students complete a screening examination which may take the form of a written or oral exam, written assignments, and/or summer research project. The results of the examination help the faculty determine students’ developmental needs and fitness to continue in the program.

Qualifying Examination
Following the screening exam, with the recommendation of their faculty mentor, students take a comprehensive examination on the core knowledge of their discipline. The examination includes both written and oral components. Upon passing the examination, an individual becomes a Ph.D. candidate and begins work on the Ph.D. dissertation.

Year 3

Sample Course Schedule

  • Independent Dissertation Preparation (2)
  • Accounting Research Seminar: ACCT 611 (2)
  • Electives (Optional)

Research Development
At this stage in the program, the relationships Ph.D. candidates have developed through the research apprenticeships often lead to collaborative research projects. Ph.D. candidates continue to apprentice faculty with increasing responsibility. They also begin work on their dissertations.

Teaching Development
Ph.D. candidates begin developing teaching skills by serving as a teaching assistant for one or two classes and engaging in teaching skills workshops.

Year 4

Sample Course Schedule

  • Independent Dissertation Preparation (2)

Research Development
Research is the primary activity in the fourth year and beyond. Faculty view Ph.D. candidates as “junior colleagues” and partner to write and present papers.

Teaching Development
Ph.D. candidates co-teach one course with a faculty member.

Dissertation Defense & Submission
The dissertation is the culminating work of a student’s independent research. In the fourth or fifth year of the program, students complete, defend and submit the dissertation. This is the last step to earn the Ph.D.