Accountancy Grad Programs Achieve STEM Designation

The graduate programs in the Department of Accountancy have recently received a STEM designation from the Illinois Board of Higher Education. STEM refers to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Being designation as STEM degree programs reflects a recognition of the analytic skills that have been embedded within each program’s required courses. They have a more central focus on quantitative methods as applied to accounting science.BIF exterior

All of the graduate programs in the Department of Accountancy now have this STEM designation, including the PhD in Accountancy, Master of Accounting Science (MAS), Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA), and Master of Science in Accountancy Online (iMSA).

The curricula in these programs include substantial coursework in the following areas:

  • Applying quantitative methods to the description, analysis, and forecasting of business data, including courses in data analytics that focus on data acquisition, processing, mining, and visualization
  • Advanced analytics focused programming and machine learning techniques applied to production environments, the access, aggregation, and analysis of structure and unstructured data sets
  • The application of theoretical and practical data analytic skills and principles to a variety of business and accounting contexts

“This designation reflects our commitment to innovation in accountancy education and to serve a global population of future business leaders,” said W. Brooke Elliott, Head of the Department of Accountancy and EY Distinguished Professor in Accountancy. “We are one of the first Accountancy Departments to receive STEM designation for our graduate accounting programs.”

This change in designation also reflects the increase throughout Gies College of Business in enhancing an understanding of data analytics for business education. The recently launched University of Illinois-Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics will provide leading-edge advice, ideas, and materials that promise to revolutionize what business schools teach and how industry utilizes big data.