Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Social Scientist
GRE 330, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Fin
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Leadership Developement
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Harvard | Ms. Athlete Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Over-Experienced
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 2.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Community Uplift
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Worldwide
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1

The Best MBA Programs In Accounting

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin

“Everything is bigger in Texas.”

Ever hear that slogan? Well, such confidence isn’t all hat and no cattle. Take the King Ranch in South Texas. At 1,289 square miles, it is over six times the size of Chicago. And Texas’ last high school football championship drew 52,308 fans – more than almost every Major League Baseball game. So it should be no surprise that boasts are bigger in Texas in too.

Exhibit A: The University of Texas, whose motto is, “What starts here changes the world.” You can’t say the university lacks confidence. When it comes to accounting, the school more than backs it up. The school has 760 MPAs in its pipeline at any time. And MBAs are leveraging the size and scope of Texas’ undergraduate and graduate level accounting program for their own gain.

“We have a deep bench of accounting faculty that services all of the programs, says Steve Limberg, who oversees the MPA program at the McCombs School of Business. “That gives us a greater degree of freedom and ability to accommodate individuals in the accounting program.”

MCCOMBS BENEFITS FROM CONNECTIONS TO OTHER PARTS OF THE SCHOOL

This wide range of offerings, coupled with a deeply-rooted teaching culture and a commitment to staying at the forefront of change – are among the reasons why U.S. News & World Report ranks McCombs number one for accounting among MBA programs.

Tina Mabley, director of the full-time MBA program at McCombs

Tina Mabley, director of the full-time MBA program at McCombs

But the MBA program isn’t a CPA factory, says Tina Mabley, McCombs’ assistant dean and director of the full-time MBA program. “If they are really focused on accounting,” she tells Poets&Quants, “they will go to our MPA program. When our alumni come back, they often tell us that accounting and finance are courses that they’d wished they taken more of. What’s great about having an accounting program like this for our MBAs is that they really recognize the value of accounting in whatever area that they are going into…We have a wider group of students who’ve taken accounting and are using it.”

Indeed, numbers are the language of business. And financial mastery makes Texas MBAs very attractive in the marketplace, particularly to national consulting and tech firms like Deloitte, PwC, Accenture, and Dell. As McCombs MBAs master the fundamentals, they also gain the flexibility to pursue it in a more specialized context.

“MBAs now spend two years out of work force,” says Eric Hirst, the associate dean for graduate programs at McCombs. “They expect a lot. They don’t want a cookie cutter program. They want to customize.” Students looking to work in energy or investment banking, for example, can take accounting electives in those sectors. They can also broaden their knowledge by enrolling in courses from other schools at the university. “We leverage that we are at a large university and there are many opportunities at the graduate level,” Hirst adds. “We make it easy to find those opportunities.”

TEACHING CULTURE KEY TO SUCCESS

For Hirst, who has worked at the school for 23 years, McCombs’ greatest strength may be its emphasis on teaching excellence. This focus was established 60 years ago when the accounting faculty was the lead group at the school. “We stand on the shoulders of giants,” Hirst notes. “They instituted a set of values and culture that really permeates. It’s a focus on high quality teaching grounded in research and its relevance to practice.”

Those values have both stuck in the accounting department and filtered through the school as a whole. “We’re a research university, but we see our mission as creating and taking knowledge and making sure it is shared in very relevant ways with the students in the MBA program [so they can] act upon that material immediately,” says Hirst.

While research is important at McCombs, it doesn’t come at the expense of the classroom.  “When it comes to hiring,” Hirst emphasizes, “we ask ourselves, ‘Is this person going to be successful in both their knowledge creation and classroom?’ If they’re having a hard time in the classroom, they’re not going to be able to succeed in any other part of their job. So we make very conscious decisions on the front end. It’s about your people fitting in with the culture.”

And that philosophy also applies to students. “One thing that stayed the same,” says Mabley, “is the type of students we bring in. We want students who will leave the place better than [they] found it… [That’s] the lifeblood of this place.” And such students are particularly appealing to employers, says Mabley. “Our reputation with employers is that our students roll up their sleeves and get the job done. They don’t sit back, but really get involved in what’s going on in their organization.”

“At the end of the day,” Hirst adds, “employers find the curriculum very, very attractive.”