MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS PROPOSAL FOR AN ACCELERATED MASTER S DEGREE PROGRAM

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1 MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS PROPOSAL FOR AN ACCELERATED MASTER S DEGREE PROGRAM Rationale 1) BS in ACCOUNTING/MS in ACCOUNTING 2) BS in FINANCE/MS in ACCOUNTING 3) BS in MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS/ MS in ACCOUNTING 1. Support the Strategic Plan for the University Goal 3.1 in the proposed Strategic Plan for the University calls for a growth in research and graduate education. This goal is quantified in the Portrait of Michigan Tech 2035 which projects 3,000 graduate students, a significant proportion of [which] will be enrolled in 5 year accelerated masters programs or take on-line degree options. (Portrait of Michigan Tech 2035, Point 2 in Narrative) The MSA program will help the University achieve its Strategic Plan and meet projected enrollment goals by expanding graduate program offerings and increasing graduate student enrollment. 2. Allow accounting majors to earn a master s degree at MTU when fulfilling the CPA 150 credit hour requirement In order to obtain a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, a student must have earned at least 150 credit hours, which includes a required number of credit hours in accounting. While it is not necessary to hold a master s degree to sit for the CPA exam, students realize greater market utility by completing a master s program to fulfill the 150-hour requirement as opposed to merely taking additional undergraduate level courses or double-majoring. Furthermore, an accelerated BS/ offering would allow undergraduate accounting students to complete a five year program at MTU as opposed to attending a graduate program elsewhere. Nearly all AACSB accredited accounting programs have a 5 year offering that allows students to obtain a BS/.

2 3. Allow finance and management information system (MIS) majors to earn a master s degree in accounting at MTU Numerous AACSB-accredited schools offer students the ability to double-major in Accounting/Finance or Accounting/MIS. In addition, many such schools combine the accounting and MIS areas into a single department. An accelerated offering would allow Finance or MIS students to acquire an advanced degree as opposed to merely double-majoring at the undergraduate level. Students majoring in Finance or MIS as undergraduates will have the opportunity to acquire additional knowledge and a skillset necessary to being careers in professional service firms, corporate entities, and the public sector. These students may select a course of study to also sit for the CPA exam, similar to undergraduate accounting majors. 4. Employment Projections in Accounting; Master s Degree vs. Bachelor s Degree From , a 22% increase in accounting employment positions is projected. (United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook) In 2010, 37% of new hires by CPA firms held a master s degree; up from 26% and 14% in 2008 and 2000, respectively. (AICPA 2011 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits) New hires by CPA firms of applicants holding only an undergraduate degree decreased from 56% to 40% between 2008 and (AICPA 2011 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits) Starting salaries for graduates with master s degrees are 10-20% higher than those with only undergraduate degrees. (AICPA 2011 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits) By 2018, it is estimated that 21% of all employees in Professional and Business Services will have attained a master s degree, up from 16% in (Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements through 2018) Goals and Objectives Develop an integrated BS/MS degree program that furthers the strategic plan of the SBE and University Provide high achieving undergraduate accounting students an accelerated path to obtaining a coursework only master s degree, meeting the 150 CPA requirement

3 and increasing potential for employment and subsequent advancement in their professional careers Allow undergraduate students in finance and management information systems to acquire additional knowledge and a skillset while earning an advanced degree as opposed to double-majoring Guidelines Only students who intend to earn a BS in Accounting, Finance, or Management Information Systems and a at MTU are eligible to be accepted into the accelerated program. Students with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher can apply for admission to the accelerated program any time upon attaining junior class standing. To be accepted into the accelerated program, students must apply to and be accepted into the Graduate School at MTU. Applications will be reviewed by the Accounting Graduate Admissions Committee. Students must be undergraduate accounting majors at MTU and have earned a minimum cumulative 3.2 GPA in the following courses to be accepted into the accelerated program: ACC 2000 ACC 2100 ACC 3000 ACC 3100 Accounting Principles I Accounting Principles II Accounting Theory & Practice I Accounting Theory & Practice II Once admitted, students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher to remain in good standing. Students whose overall GPA falls below 3.0 will be removed from the accelerated program. Students in the accelerated program must work with the Accounting Academic Advisor to ensure that coursework is taken in an appropriate manner to earn the BS in Accounting, Finance, Management Information Systems/MS in Accounting. Students may apply the up to six (6) credit hours earned in the following courses to double count toward both the undergraduate and master s degree: ACC 4100 ACC 4800 FIN 4000 MIS 4100 Attestation & Assurance Accounting Systems Investment Analysis Information Systems Projects Students in the accelerated program wishing to take graduate level courses under the Senior Rule may do so up to a maximum of 6 credits.

4 Students in the accelerated program will be considered undergraduates for the purposes of class standing, tuition, and financial aid until their BS degree has been awarded. Upon award of the BS degree, students in the accelerated program will be considered graduate students for the purposes of class standing, tuition, and financial aid. Students in the accelerated program must earn the within 5 years of having been accepted into the program. Students who have previously earned an undergraduate accounting degree at MTU or elsewhere are not eligible to be accepted into the accelerated program. Such students can seek entry into the program and must meet the necessary requirements for admission. Accelerated Program Credit Hour Degree Requirements 1) BS/ BS in Accounting 12 + of co-curricular activities also be applied toward the degree; therefore, CPA 150 Credit Hour Requirement BS in Accounting 12 2) / 120 credit hours + of co-curricular activities also be applied toward the degree; therefore,

5 CPA 150 Credit Hour Requirement Additional Coursework 120 credit hours * 3) BS in Management Information Systems/ BS in MIS 120 credit hours + of co-curricular activities also be applied toward the degree; therefore, CPA 150 Credit Hour Requirement Additional Coursework 120 credit hours * *Additional Coursework only required if a Finance or MIS student wants to meet the 150 credit hour requirement to sit for the CPA exam.

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