UNI accounting program expects excellence

The University of Northern Iowa Department of Accounting is known as one of the top programs in the nation, and it expects excellence in everything its students do.

The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam pass rate is one indicator of the program's success; UNI students consistently perform at a high level on the CPA exam.

Accounting program
UNI accounting students get hands-on experience with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

The program offers a Master of Accounting degree for students who wish to further their education. This allows accounting students another option to obtain the 150 class credits needed to become a licensed CPA in addition to a double major or minor. UNI's program is unique in that it's integrated so students can start taking classes for their master's degree their senior year at UNI. The program is also selective, and features small class sizes and greater interaction between students and faculty.

The accounting program also provides students opportunities for hands-on experiences, such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which allows students to get real-life practice preparing tax returns for community members.

Much of the program's success is due to its highly qualified and experienced faculty. Graduate student Dalton Boettcher calls the professors "legendary," and notes that the accounting professors he's had have been engaging and knowledgeable, and they genuinely care about students and their future success.

Accounting professor Mark Bauman says that the students also set the program apart.

"The program has very high standards," says Bauman. "Grade inflation isn't an issue at UNI. If a student gets an 'A' in a course, he or she has earned it. The students know that and accept the challenge."

According to Boettcher, one of the greatest benefits of the accounting program is the professional recruitment opportunity it provides to students. He had the chance to do an internship with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a major accounting firm, last winter. Boettcher says that the prestige of UNI's accounting program allows it to bring in a lot of big firms that typically wouldn't come to a school of this size.

The UNI Accounting Club is another tool students can use to find future employment. The Accounting Club provides its members with career information and contact with potential employers and recruiters. The club hosts a number of events each year, which allow students to interact directly with recruiters.

"I'm really thankful I decided to come here," says Boettcher. "There are great professors, I've made a lot of friends and I've had great opportunities. If you're doing accounting, this is the place to be."