The BSBA and MPA programs are designed to prepare today’s accounting graduates for both the challenges and opportunities that await them in an accounting career. To assist the University administration in weathering the budgetary reductions of the not-too-distant past, a 2010 report by the University Priorities Committee ranked 257 USM academic programs in priority order. The following rankings of the School of Accountancy programs are noteworthy:
- BSBA in Accounting (Hattiesburg) – 2 of 257 ranked programs
- BSBA in Accounting (Gulf Park) – 5 of 257 ranked programs
- Masters in Professional Accountancy (MPA) - 33 of 257 ranked programs
We are extremely proud of these rankings, as they reflect the focus of these programs is firmly fixed on student success. We also take pride that USM’s School of Accountancy holds separate accreditation by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; being separately accredited places our program within a very small group of the best accounting programs in the country. Our last maintenance of AACSB accreditation visit in 2011 was an unqualified success, with no major discrepancies noted, and six “best practices” included in the report.
The School of Accountancy’s mission is to provide a quality educational experience for accounting students. In fulfilling this mission, we offer two degree programs:
- The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in accounting – a 124 hour program that prepares students for careers in public, corporate, and governmental accounting organizations. The accounting curriculum includes the breadth and depth of business and accounting knowledge needed to succeed in these organizations. Over the period 2003-2006, USM awarded 362 BSBA degrees in accounting, approximately 25 percent of all degrees in accounting awarded by all four-year public universities in the state of Mississippi. From Summer 2004 through Spring 2008, 318 BSBA degrees in accounting were awarded – making it the 6th largest degree-granting program at USM. BSBA students may enroll in all required accounting courses at both the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses.
- The Master in Professional Accountancy (MPA) program – a 30 hour program that is integrated with the BSBA curriculum. MPA graduates are especially prepared for careers in public accounting, and meet the course and credit hour requirements to sit for the nationally administered Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination. Our graduates are recruited by local, regional, national, and international accounting firms, including the “Big Four” public accounting firms (KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and PwC). Placement of our MPA graduates to accounting offices in Los Angeles, Houston, New York City, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, and New Orleans supplement those made within the State. One hundred percent of those 2012 MPA graduates seeking employment were successfully placed. Our success in placing our graduating MPA students given the worst economy in decades provides evidence of the quality of the MPA program and the market demand for its graduates. The MPA program is only available at the Hattiesburg campus.
The strength of the School of Accountancy (SoA) is manifested in its teaching faculty
Since 2009, four of our faculty (past and current) have been honored to receive the State’s most prestigious “Accounting Educator of the Year Award”:
Instructor Patty Munn – Mississippi, 2013
Professor Stan Clark – Mississippi, 2010
Professor Rod Posey – Mississippi, 2009
Professor Michael Dugan – Alabama, 2009
Professor Charles Jordan was awarded the first annual (2010) Joseph A. Greene Award for Teaching Excellence, the College’s premier award for teaching.
Professor Steve Jackson was awarded the 2012 Joseph A. Greene Award for Teaching Excellence.
Ms. Valerie Simmons was awarded the College’s 2010 premier award for teaching as an instructor.
Our faculty is focused on student success, and this entails rigorous preparation for careers in the accounting profession.
The School of Accountancy’s BSBA and MPA programs are academically challenging. Completing course requirements requires study, homework, and “getting it right” on examinations. We appreciate accounting’s societal role in ensuring adequate and accurate financial disclosure that constitutes the bedrock upon which our nation’s capital markets function. We are obligated to instill this stewardship responsibility in all who seek accounting degrees and to ensure that our graduates are qualified to meet this responsibility. For those students who are willing to put in the time and effort required to acquire these professional skills, the faculty and staff of the School of Accountancy stand ready to do all they can to launch them on a successful career in the accounting profession.