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Press Release

UNM Starts Accounting Program for Liberal Arts Grads

June 13, 2002

The Robert O. Anderson Schools of Management at The University of New Mexico is setting its sights on a whole new breed of student for its masterís level accounting program.

UNM is launching a new 33-hour masterís curriculum in accounting this summer that is being marketed to individuals with liberal arts degrees who want to make a career change.

The nationally accredited program includes study in financial reporting theory, advanced accounting principles, auditing, managerial cost accounting, accounting information systems, taxation and business law. The masterís degree can be completed full-time in 12 months or part-time in 24 months and prepares students to take the annual Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

The new program departs from the traditional track most students follow to earn an education in accounting from UNM. Typically, students first receive a bachelorís degree in Business Administration with a focus on accounting and then obtain a masterís degree by specializing in one field (i.e. auditing and taxation).

The new program allows a person with any undergraduate degree to obtain a masterís degree in accounting by completing the minimum education required to be able to take the CPA exam. Students are required by state law to have 150 hours of college credit before they can sit for the CPA exam, 33 hours of which need to be in accounting.

ďWeíre witnessing a decline in the number of qualified students electing to study accounting,Ē says Dr. James Hamill, the programís director. As a result, he says many accounting firms in New Mexico are having difficulty filling positions with local talent.

Hamill, and members of the New Mexico Society of CPAs, held regional meetings with accounting firms in Hobbs, Roswell, Santa Fe, Farmington, Los Alamos and Albuquerque to determine their employment needs and gather input on how to design the curriculum before developing the program.

Hamill says firms reiterated the need to make earning a accounting degree easier, and claimed they would be willing to hire a person who completed the new masterís curriculum.

The program costs $1,650 per semester for full-time students and can be completed in as little as three semesters. To date, twelve students are enrolled in the program and Hamill says the department has received a significant number of inquiries.

For more information please call the Accounting department at The Anderson Schools of Management at 277-1890.


The Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico is dedicated to excellence in professional management education. At the Anderson School, faculty, staff, and students are committed to shaping the intellect and character of the next generation of business leaders, advancing the knowledge and practice of management, promoting economic development, and building a vibrant intellectual community that serves the highest and best interests of all our stakeholders.

The School was founded in 1947 and now offers more than a dozen concentrations at the BBA and MBA levels and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in the top 20% of business schools in the nation. The School is funded by the State of New Mexico and further support is generated by The Anderson School of Management Foundation. For more information, the public can visit, email, or call (505) 277-6471.