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Pursuing an Online PhD in Accounting: Benefits and Career Options

written by: Meg C.•edited by: Heather Marie Kosur•updated: 6/20/2010

Those who wish to pursue a PhD in accounting may not be able to drop a career in order to attend school. Many traditional programs do not allow students to work while they are in school. Online PhD in accounting allows certain students to pursue a doctoral degree without leaving the workforce.

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    Traditional PhD programs do not allow students to work while pursuing their studies. This is because most doctoral students either serve as teaching assistants and research assistants instead of paying attention. Students that want to pursue a post graduate degree are then left at a daunting crossroad: abandon a career or abandon an educational goal.

    Online PhD programs are fairly new. Most online programs allow the bulk of the coursework to be completed online but still require students to attend short residencies. However, a doctoral student in an online program will not have to abandon their career and source of income.

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    Individuals that wish to pursue on online PhD in order to teach at a state school may need to contact a school where they wish to teach before pursuing the degree. Certain schools only hire instructors who have a doctoral degree from an AACSB accredited institution. Check the accreditation of any program and contact any school you wish to apply to teach at before enrolling in a program.

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    Capella University

    Capella University offers a PhD in business administration with an accounting specialty. According to the Capella University website, "The curriculum for this doctoral specialization in Accounting is based on recognized industry standards, and provides you the opportunity to evaluate advanced theoretical concepts and techniques of accounting practice; analyze strategic implications of various accounting issues; and conduct scholarly research that contributes to the field of accounting."

    The Capella PhD in acounting will prepare professionals for careers in consulting, teaching, and researching. Tuition is $4,485 while completing coursework and $3,945 when completing the dissertation portion of the degree.

    Tuition does not include travel to the required three five-day residencies located at the campus in Minneapolis.

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    Walden University

    Walden University offers an online PhD in accounting. Like the Capella University program, the Walden program requires on-site residencies sporadically through your program. What's unique about the Walden program is that it is self-directed, meaning you can complete the degree as quickly or as slowly as you want.

    Tuition is $4,280 per quarter, $890 each for two four-day residencies, and $1,325 for two six-day residencies. The cost for the residencies do not include travel or lodging.

    There are some scholarships available, which means that certain students can receive up to $25,000 towards their degree.

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    • Capella University:
    • Walden University:
    • Walden Tuition:
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