M.S. in Accounting Program at UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce Receives STEM Designation

May 6, 2019
students sitting at computers

The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia today received a STEM designation for its M.S. in Accounting Program. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, based on definitions of a STEM field set forth by the U.S. Department of Education, applies the designations to degree programs.

“With its significant orientation toward data analysis, statistical analysis, coding, data mining, and forecasting, McIntire’s M.S. in Accounting curriculum accurately aligns with the way the field has evolved,” says McIntire Professor Andrea Alston Roberts, Director of the M.S. in Accounting Program. “We’ve consistently worked to innovate and ensure the program meets market demands, and this designation is proof of our commitment to teach our students to solve complex problems with a robust quantitative skill set.”

The designation requires that a substantial amount of a degree program’s coursework incorporates quantitative and analytical topics that align with STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—or related fields. In the last 10 years, technological changes impacted accounting regulations and methods used across the profession, requiring today’s professional accountant to retrieve, compile, and critically analyze quantitative information while simultaneously understanding the systems housing quantitative data. Neither the curricula nor the faculty will change as a result of the designation for the one-year program; the quantitative coursework for the core and elective courses that comprise the program is already in place.

Programs with a STEM designation offer eligibility to international students with F-1 visa status to remain in the U.S. longer after graduation. All international students with F-1 visa status are eligible to apply for up to 12 months of work authorization; however, graduates of a STEM-designated program have the opportunity to apply for an additional 24 months on an optional practical training (OPT) extension.

“This designation is a welcome addition to our other STEM-designated programs and is consistent with the Commerce School’s strategic objective to both teach our students to enter the market and to be prepared for where the market is going,” says Carl Zeithaml, McIntire School of Commerce Dean. “As a community that deeply values diversity, these designations will allow us to attract applicants who bring competitive academic rigor, rich global perspectives, and significant value to our classrooms.” 

Established in 1971, the M.S. in Accounting degree was the first graduate program offered by the School of Commerce. The Program received the #2 ranking in the Top 25 Master's Rankings by Public Accounting Report (2017). Designed to be completed in one academic year, the Program allows students to meet the 150-hour rule required by most states to sit for CPA licensure. Employing business datasets and computer applications to propose solutions to clients in a clear and compelling manner, students gain a strong quantitative focus and functional expertise in quantitative analysis. International students comprise 24% of the class.

McIntire holds additional STEM designations for its B.S. in Commerce, M.S. in Commerce, M.S. in the Management of IT, and M.S. in Business Analytics (offered in partnership with the Darden School of Business).

The designation is effective for spring 2019.

About the McIntire School of Commerce
The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia proudly celebrates a nearly 100-year commitment to preparing its students to become thoughtful, innovative leaders in global business and society. McIntire’s unique integrated educational experience leverages technology, welcomes corporations into the classroom, and offers unparalleled, immersive global learning opportunities. The School is home to six research centers and many highly regarded undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs.