Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy Doctoral Program

Frequently Asked Questions

How many students are admitted to the program each year?

The Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy program is quite small, allowing for greater student/professor interaction. As such, an average of two students is admitted each year. Generally, admissions occur only during fall semester.

When should I submit my application to the PhD program?

Check the Muma College of Business Doctoral Programs page for the deadline.

Are GRE scores an acceptable substitute for the GMAT?

The Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy requires that a GMAT score be submitted as part of the application process. GMAT scores must have been earned within 5 years of the desired entry term. (For additional information, see the University's graduate web site -

Are TOEFL and TSE scores required at the time of application?

Yes. TOEFL scores are required if English is not the applicant's native language, or the applicant has not earned a degree in the United States. TOEFL scores must be earned within two years of the semester of entry into our program. Any applicant with a TOEFL score of less than 79 on the internet-based test, 213 on the computer-based test or 550 on the paper-based test is automatically denied admission.

Since all Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy PhD students are required to teach as part of the degree requirement, the School of Accountancy requires that iBT scores be submitted with the application. In accordance with University policy a score of at least 26 is required on the Speaking Section of the iBT. (For additional information see the University's graduate web site (

What factors are considered by the selection committee?

The policy of the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy is that to be admitted to the program an applicant must be proficient in accounting as evidenced by one or more of the following: a bachelor's degree in accounting, a master's degree in accounting, professional certifications, or significant and relevant work experience in an accounting field.

The selection committee evaluates a student's GMAT score, GPA, work experience, reason for pursuing a PhD and letters of recommendation. A GMAT score of 650, or better, is generally necessary for an applicant to be considered by the committee. While overall GPA is considered, grades in accounting are particularly scrutinized. Because of the small program, the committee carefully evaluates the applicant's reason for pursuing a PhD. The Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy is looking for students who are highly motivated and have a basic understanding of what is entailed in earning a PhD. Additionally, the committee looks for a good fit between the applicant's interests and the interests of the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy's PhD program faculty.

Does your PhD program have a specific focus?

Yes. The program has a tradition of a strong accounting information systems focus, which is combined with another area of accounting, such as audit or financial accounting. More recently we have started to support other areas of accounting. Additionally, the PhD program focuses more on behavioral research than archival research. However, we do support other research interests.

Can I enroll in the PhD program part-time?

No. Only full-time students are admitted.

How long will it take to complete the PhD program?

The PhD program is structured to be completed in 4 years. Completion time relates to student ability and motivation. University policy states that students must complete the dissertations within seven years of being admitted to the program.

Where have your graduates been placed?

Students have accepted offers from a variety of institutions; for example, public and private universities, and PhD granting and non-PhD granting universities. Our graduates have taken positions at Wake Forest, Western Illinois University, University of San Diego, California State University—East Bay, Northern Illinois University, North Carolina State University, University of North Texas, Texas A & M—Corpus Christi, California State University–LA, Louisiana State University, Miami University, Millsaps College, Old Dominion and Texas A&M, Hofstra University, Lehigh University, University of New Orleans, University of Central Missouri.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions about the PhD program?

Patrick Wheeler, PhD
Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy