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Board of Regents approves Master of Accountancy degree for UNG

Board of Regents approves Master of Accountancy degree for UNG
The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved UNG's Master of Accountancy degree program on April 17, with classes to be offered on the Gainesville Campus.

As their organization has grown, Gainesville, Georgia-based accounting firm Rushton has hired a number of University of North Georgia (UNG) alumni. And, with such immense growth, their hiring needs have grown as well.

"At Rushton, we’ve seen significant growth in the past few years," said Perry Barnett, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) at Rushton. "We hire a number of UNG alumni to support our growth and both our organization and our clients constantly need new CPA-qualified individuals to help their organizations thrive."

On April 17 the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved UNG's Master of Accountancy degree program (MAcc) at their monthly meeting.

The Master of Accountancy addresses students’ needs to acquire additional accounting knowledge desired by employers, to demonstrate a commitment to success in the field of accounting, and for additional education to meet the requirements for licensure as a CPA.

The Georgia State Board of Accountancy requires CPAs to have 150 semester hours of education to pursue a CPA license. Students receive a minimum of 120 semester hours of education by pursuing an undergraduate degree in accounting, but must complete an additional 30 semester hours by either choosing to double-major in another discipline or by completing a master’s degree.

"UNG supports the educational needs of the entirety of the north Georgia region," said Barnett. "Many of those individuals working in the area have not had meaningful access to a MAcc program until now."

Dr. Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business, agreed.

"We are delighted to deliver this program to our students." said Dr. Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business. "Double-majoring in another business discipline or leaving UNG to pursue a master’s degree elsewhere are not the best solutions for our students who want or need to stay in our region. Now, we can meet the needs of our students and those that employ our students post-graduation."

Steven Kronenberg, director of graduate programs for the Mike Cottrell College of Business at UNG, said students will be able to advance seamlessly from a bachelor's degree in accounting to the MAcc.

"Almost all of the students taking the MAcc are doing so to become CPAs," Kronenberg said. "We started recruiting students for the program as soon as the Board of Regents announcement was made."

Plans are to offer courses for the new MAcc program only on UNG's Gainesville Campus in classroom sessions, with classes on two afternoons and nights per week. There are six required core courses and four elective courses necessary to complete the 30 hours for the degree.

A full-time student could finish the degree in one year by taking four courses in the fall semester, four in the spring, and the remaining two courses in the summer. Students may also be part of the program as a part-time student, allowing working professionals to also pursue a MAcc degree.

The spring semester schedule will be flexible enough to allow students to be employed during the busy tax season while still making progress toward summer completion.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will have satisfied all educational requirements for the CPA license in the state of Georgia. A CPA certificate is an essential element for a career in public accounting and is highly beneficial in other accounting careers.

"The MAcc will be offered on the Gainesville campus due to its proximity to students with accounting degrees working in the Gainesville and north metro Atlanta area," said Dr. Ann Duke, associate dean of faculty and graduate programs. "We have a number of faculty and are in the process of hiring others on the Gainesville campus to teach the first cohort of students."

Currently, the Mike Cottrell College of Business offers one graduate degree program, a Master's of Business Administration (MBA), as well as three graduate certificate programs in cybersecurity, entrepreneurship and innovation and technology leadership.

"To attract the best and brightest students who desire a career as a CPA, it is critical for UNG to offer the MAcc," said Martha Merritt, assistant professor of accounting. "More accounting firms are increasing educational standards by requiring a master's degree. Our students are less competitive in that regard, not because they don't have the professional and technical skills, but because they didn't have access to a MAcc at UNG. Now, they do."

For more information on the Master of Accountancy program at UNG, contact Steven Kronenberg at 470-239-3123.

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