Michigan State University
From PhD Prep Track
Michigan State University (MSU) is one of the top ten largest universities in the United States, with 46,000 students, and is home to the Eli Broad College of Business. It vast campus is located in East Lansing, MI, which is about an hour and a half east of Detroit and about three hours west of Chicago. Here is a link to their accounting program and their accounting doctoral program.
Program Description and Discussion
Before starting the formal program, there is often an informal summer program to teach incoming students SAS. Two weeks before the program starts there is a math/econ camp to bring students up to speed to start the program. Students take an accounting seminar each semester, two of which are financial seminars and two of which are managerial seminars (although this is likely to change due to the recent hiring of several audit and tax people, and the new department and program head.) The remaining classes are consistent with other programs. Comprehensive exams are taken after the second year. The first summer there is a summer replication/original paper requirement, and the second summer, in addition to the comprehensive exams, there is an original paper requirement.
The accounting department occasionally holds two day, intensive workshops meant to bring in people with skills currently not strong in the department. The last workshop features someone who taught doctoral students and faculty how to program in PERL, a program which allows one to automatically strip text from the web, creating unique datasets. (For example, a very sophisticated PERL program may be able to automate the notorious pro-forma data hand-collecting that was previously done at BYU).
Students are encouraged to take 5 years to graduate in order to have working papers in addition to their dissertation when they graduate. Students teach one semester, TA one semester, and are research assistants for the remainder of their stay at MSU. Six week teaching positions are available in the summer for the cash-strapped doctoral student, and they pay about $2500 a class. Students get a desktop computer (although providing laptops is being considered), and share an individual office with another doctoral student.
One thing MSU prides itself on is the faculty/student interaction that has been achieved. There is a very collegial atmosphere, where the faculty get along very well with each other, and they all work very well with the doctoral students. This has resulted in most doctoral candidates finishing the program with several working papers in addition to their dissertation. Students are encouraged to attend conferences, and funding is provided for these conferences (in some cases, even when the student is not presenting a paper). Funding is also provided for students to buy datasets.
An important aspect of MSU is to realize that it is a program in flux. They have a new PhD program director, and a new director of the accounting department, both of whom are extremely invested in the program. They have several new faculty, and so while their ability to produce and place excellent students looks promising, their track record is not as solid as their future will probably be. They have an extremely friendly faculty, and seem to be a program that is quickly getting better.
- Michigan State University Accounting Research Ranking
- Michigan State University Ph.D. Accounting Research Ranking
LDS Church Information
Anyone living remotely close to MSU is in the Lansing Stake, which is widely geographically dispersed. There is a singles ward on campus. They have a unique housing opportunity for single members, as an entire on-campus housing unit is set aside for members. The nearest temple is in Detroit, Michigan (about 1.5 hours drive).
- Information on Accounting Ph.D. Programs - Results from a survey conducted by AAA on Michigan State University's Accounting Ph.D program.
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