All candidates for the Ph.D. in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and Information Systems must pass a preliminary written examination, usually during the summer following the second year of coursework. The examination is taken over a two-day period. The first day’s examination is the same for all candidates and is more general in nature. The second day is individualized according to a candidate’s area of specialization. In general, examination questions will be structured to test the student’s broad-based conceptual knowledge base, as well as the ability to utilize this knowledge to:
analytically differentiate among distinct dimensions of a problem or issue in accounting, auditing, information systems, or taxation
integrate seemingly unrelated propositions and arguments into a logical framework
communicate effectively in a scholarly manner

The preliminary examination is compiled by the Doctoral Committee from questions submitted by the faculty, and graded by faculty members under the supervision of the Doctoral Committee. If the student’s supporting area requires a preliminary examination, that too must be passed in a satisfactory manner.