Eva Sanders, a first year student in the Auburn University Master of Accountancy Program, found herself asking that very question this time last year. As a student in accounting, she found graduate school attractive because of the need to earn hours for the Certified Public Accountant exam.
“The major positive about grad school for accounting is building my hours to sit for the exam,” said Sanders.
After beginning the program, Sanders learned what attending graduate school is all about.
“It’s a lot of work, but the quality of the classes is worth it,” said Sanders.
Graduate classes are more interactive, grading students not only on their class participation, but on the quality of their responses as well.
“It’s a more inviting learning environment,” said Sanders. “The teachers are there to help you learn, and to guide the discussion among the class. There’s no lecture or inactive learning like huge undergrad classes.”
With 50 students in the MAc Program, class sizes range between 15 to 50 students, facilitating class discussion and enabling students to get to know each other at a personal level. The atmosphere is more relaxed and inviting for students, ideal for interactive learning.
When they’re not spending time preparing for or sitting in class, these graduate students study and hang out together. For the MAc Program, class is finished by noon each day leaving plenty of time to prepare and study for the next test or class. After big tests, the students usually celebrate together before starting to prepare for the next one.
“We all hang out after class, study together, have pot luck dinners and spend lots of time together,” said Haley Clark, another student in the MAc Program. “When the rest of my friends graduated and left Auburn, I thought I would be bored and lonely, but when classes began we started to spend all our time together and my new classmates became my new friends.”
For students earning their MAc, graduate school is a stepping stone into the work world. To become a licensed accountant in the state of Alabama, a graduate must pass the Certified Public Accountant exam. In order to sit for the exam, a student must first earn 150 cumulative credit hours, with certain required classes that are not offered to undergraduate students.
Graduate school is an option for many students, especially with the economy in the shape that it’s in. The Graduate School at Auburn University is an excellent choice for continuing an education, as students wait for the job market to become more favorable.
Sanders and Clark recommend the MAc Program for all undergraduate accounting majors.
“The knowledge learned in a graduate school classroom is more beneficial, substantial and enjoyable, and will help prepare you for your career,” said Clark. “Plus, you are required to sit for the exam, so why not earn your master’s?”