Accounting at Milgard: Past, Present, Future

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Accounting has been a popular offering at the Milgard School of Business (MSB) since 1994, enabling students to specialize in the field while earning a Bachelor’s of Arts in Business. The undergraduate program’s success led university leaders to consider expanding the program to the graduate school level.

The introduction of the Masters of Accounting Program (MAcc) at the Milgard School in 2012 marked the beginning of increased educational and job opportunities for South Sound accounting students. The Milgard School of Business (MSB) designed the program by recognizing the need for accountants with advanced accounting skills in the South Sound, as well as, students' need to complete additional education requirements for CPA licensure.

The MAcc was originally designed to be a 9-month program, serving students with an undergraduate degree in accounting. The success of our graduates created interest in the program from non-accounting graduates. Once again, the MSB recognized the need to develop a program that would allow graduates from any discipline to earn their MAcc degree. In 2018, the 18-month MAcc was introduced. 

In 2020, university leaders recognized that some accounting students, especially our first-gen students, found the barriers to entering graduate school impossible to overcome. The MAcc Direct program was introduced to remove some of those barriers by guaranteeing admission and providing a scholarship to deserving students; this year alone 60 students have been offered this opportunity.

Over the course of time the Milgard School has continued to ensure our students learn the skills required by today’s businesses. The class of 1996 would find the skills taught in the accounting courses of today quite different. The growth in technology has changed the way accountants do their job, in response our courses feature increased hands on experience with accounting software and analytics. Increasingly, accountants are being asked to team with business leaders in making fact-based decisions. In response to these changes, we are continually reevaluating and refreshing the curriculum. 

The profession will continue to evolve requiring accountants to develop new skill sets and the ability to work with new accounting tools. Here at the Milgard School of Business, we are committed to updating our undergraduate and graduate programs to mirror that evolution. Our commitment to excellence has led us to undertake a year and a half initiative focused on incorporating analytics into existing accounting courses and developing new courses in accounting analytics. Moving forward, we are committed to continued curriculum enhancement meeting the needs of our students, businesses, and community now and in the future. Stay tuned for more exciting news coming from the accounting program at the Milgard School of Business!

-Written by Dr. Arindam Tripathy, Director of Accounting Programs and Associate Professor

Written by: 
Arindam Tripathy, Web editing: Shane Benoit / July 7, 2020
Media contact: 

Shane Benoit