Traditionally known as a four-year college offering only undergraduate degrees, Albion College is in the process of developing a new program that will allow students to earn a masters degree in accounting. Thus far, this is the only graduate level program that will be available to future Albion College students.
Production of the new program began under the creation of associate economics and management professor Dr. John Carlson.
“Accounting majors need at least 150 college hours in order to qualify for the CPA Exam,” said Carlson. “Our undergraduate degree is 32 units, which is 128 college hours. Although many of my students earned their extra college hours by taking 4.5 units per semester at Albion plus online classes and summer school, this program will allow them to earn their 150 hours at Albion.”
There will be two ways for students to earn their master’s degrees. One option is known as the 5-in-4 option, in which students earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees over the course of four years. The other, more traditional, option is known as the 4+1 option, in which students earn a B.A. and M.S. in five years. Faculty hopes this option will attract accounting majors from other small schools to join the Albion College graduate program.
Currently, there are two full-time professors for the 35 accounting majors. The department hopes to double the amount of undergraduate accounting students within the next few years as well as house 10 to 20 graduate students.
Pending approval from the Higher Learning Commission, the department plans to begin offering the program this upcoming fall. As the program is launched and in its inception, it will likely be housed in Carlson’s office in Robinson Hall as a tutorial or directed study.
As the program grows, Carson has the expectation that it will transfer into a designated classroom space. The department is currently working on financial aid options to support prospective accounting graduate students in their academic careers.