Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Accountancy master’s program ranked among top 50 in nation


The Clemson University Master of Public Accountancy (MPAcc) program is walking the talk of its vision statement of becoming nationally recognized in preparing students for the accounting profession.

The School of Accountancy’s MPAcc program was recently named among the 50 best in the country, according to TFE Times, a leading online news media and academia company. The Greenville-based program was ranked 46th in the recently released national rankings.

College of Business Dean Wendy York said the MPAcc ranking aligns with the college’s strategic plan of graduating purpose-driven leaders capable of meeting the challenges of 21st century business.

“Business education’s strategic plan is designed to produce Clemson’s next generation of business leaders capable of succeeding in a dynamic global economy,” York said. “The ranking of our master’s program in accountancy aligns with the College’s road map for elevating business education, and Clemson University, on a national level of academic excellence.”

TFE Times weighs a number of criteria in ranking accountancy programs. Among them are programs’ Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores; graduates employed upon graduation and three months after graduation; starting salaries and bonuses; acceptance rates and undergraduate GPA.

“One of the differentiators of our MPAcc program is that the CPA Exam review is integrated into our curriculum,” said Sally Widener, Trevillian Distinguished Professor and director of the School of Accountancy. “As a result, our students have reported exam results, averaged across all four parts, of approximately 80 percent, well above the reported national average of approximately 55 percent.”

The School of Accountancy’s MPAcc program has had six winners of the Elijah Watt Sells Award in the last six years. The annual award is bestowed upon the select few who obtain a cumulative average score above 95.5 percent across all four sections on their first sitting for the CPA Exam. Clemson ranks 5th nationally over that period of time in producing students whose scores meet the award’s criteria.

Added Suzy Pearse, senior lecturer and MPAcc program coordinator: “Our program’s high pass rate is a testament to the strength of the curriculum and the quality of candidates we draw. This ranking validates what employers who recruit here tell us, and we already knew, this program produces professionals who are business ready.” Also, 90 percent of graduates are placed in jobs by graduation.

The School of Accountancy has offered the MPAcc degree for more than 30 years. The program requires 30 semester hours, which includes taking a CPA Exam Review course. There are currently 96 students in the program.

During the summer semester, students have the option to participate in the Oxford (University) Program. The curriculum starts in Greenville and continues at Oxford in the United Kingdom where students will have guest lectures presented by members of the International Accounting Standards Board and Oxford faculty members.

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