PhD program

Ph.D. Program

Leventhal School of Accounting

USC Leventhal’s Ph.D. program, a five- year, in-depth study of the fundamentals of accounting, places research-oriented graduates with elite research universities in the United States and abroad. Because the program is small and exclusive, our students work closely with faculty on research projects throughout their tenure, often authoring or co-authoring one or more papers and publishing them in major journals before graduation.

Students study in small seminars, conduct cutting-edge scholarly research in any of four areas — financial accounting, managerial accounting, tax accounting, and auditing and corporate governance — and learn the art of teaching, all under the guidance of faculty mentors.

Our program features a financial package for five years, and our students have also been recipients of coveted national fellowships.

Graduates have received tenure-track offers from top research universities, including Arizona, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, Stanford and Texas-Austin.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Clive Lennox, PhD Coordinator

Katherine Bruere

Ph.D. Candidate in Accounting
Katherine Simeon Bruere is a Ph.D. student in the Leventhal School of Accounting. She is interested in empirical financial and audit research, specifically M&A, goodwill and intangible assets, the PCAOB, and going-concern assessments. Prior to starting the Ph.D. program, Katherine worked at Ernst & Young as an auditor in Dallas’ Financial Services division, as well as an accountant at Merit Energy. Katherine earned a BA and an MA in Accounting at Baylor University (2014) and is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas.

AJ Chen

Ph.D. Candidate in Accounting
AJ Chen is a Ph.D. candidate in Accounting at the USC Leventhal School of Accounting, Marshall School of Business. Prior to joining the Ph.D. Program, he worked as an associate in the investment banking industry, as well as analyst in commodities trading. He also had experience as tax associate at PwC Boston.

Jesse Gardner

Ph.D. Candidate in Accounting
Jesse Gardner is a PhD student in the Leventhal School of Accounting. He is interested in financial accounting, financial statement disclosures, and capital markets. Prior to entering the PhD program, he worked for PwC as a Tax Senior Associate in their New York City office. During his 3 years with the firm, he rotated between the Real Estate and M&A tax groups. Jesse is licensed as a CPA, and earned a MBT degree from USC in 2014 and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Virginia Tech in 2013.

Taylor James

Ph.D. Student in Accounting
Taylor earned both her BA and MA from Baylor University, where she studied accounting, marketing, and Spanish. A licensed CPA in the state of Texas, Taylor worked for Deloitte in Dallas for 3 years specializing in tax accounting methods as part of their Strategic Tax Review group. Her research interests include financial accounting and tax related topics. In her free time, Taylor enjoys skiing with her husband Jeff, practicing yoga, and teaching English as a second language.

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Leventhal School of Accounting
ACC 101, mc 0441
3660 Trousdale Parkway
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0441


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