UM Accountancy Programs Move Up in Latest Rankings

All-time best rankings place undergraduate at fourth, master’s at fifth and doctoral at eighth

UM Accountancy programs garnered all-time best rankings in 2013.

UM Accountancy programs garnered all-time best rankings in 2013.

OXFORD, Miss. – Setting the bar for other Southeastern Conference institutions, all three accountancy programs at the University of Mississippi are ranked in the Top 10 nationally by the Public Accounting Report in its latest edition.

In its August 2013 issue, the independent newsletter of the accounting profession ranks the Patterson School of Accountancy‘s undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs at Nos. 4, 5 and 8, respectively, in their categories. Last year, the undergraduate and master’s programs were both ranked ninth.

The Patterson School’s three programs are the highest ranked in the Southeastern Conference. Other SEC undergraduate programs ranked in the top 25 are Texas A&M (7), and the universities of Florida (9), Georgia (11), Missouri (12), Alabama (23) and Tennessee (24).

Other highly ranked master’s programs include Texas A&M (8), Missouri (11), Florida (13), Georgia (14), Tennessee (24) and Alabama (26). The doctoral rankings include Texas A&M (10), Georgia (14), Missouri (16), Florida (19) and Alabama (24).

This is the 32nd annual PAR Professors Survey, which bases its results on votes from professors of accounting at U.S. colleges and universities. This is the sixth consecutive year UM programs have ranked in the top 25 nationally.

Dean Mark Wilder said it is a great accomplishment for the school to once again be recognized as a top national accountancy program and to achieve all-time high rankings in all three program categories.

“This honor is a testament to the hard work of our faculty in delivering a rigorous educational experience,” Wilder said. “Our faculty are highly successful in their research and professional service endeavors while maintaining the commitment to excellence in teaching that has been the hallmark of our accountancy program for many years.

“I also greatly appreciate our faculty selflessly working together toward our common goal of having one of the top accounting programs in the nation.”

Wilder also credits the school’s students for having a positive impact on its reputation.

“The Patterson School is fortunate to have outstanding students who go on to have phenomenal careers,” he said. “The academic profile of our accountancy student body gets stronger every year, a fact that is certainly being recognized in the marketplace.”

Last year, for the first time, the report added a ranking of schools that eliminates votes of faculty members who placed their school’s own accountancy program as No. 1 in the country.

“In that ranking, we are first in the undergraduate categories, ranking up there with Chicago and MIT, and ahead of perennial power Illinois,” said Dale Flesher, associate dean.

More than 1,000 schools in the United States offer accounting programs and around 500 of those, including UM, are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, known as AACSB International, as being among “the best accountancy and business programs in the world.”

PAR voters who determine the rankings are influenced by several other factors that set the Patterson School apart, Flesher said.

“Many voters, some of whom may not know much about Ole Miss, know that the university houses the AICPA Library, the largest accountancy library in the world,” he said. “Also, a recent study showed that we are the only university of our size in the country that has every accounting class taught by a professor with CPA designation.”

A visiting lecturer program, the publishing success of faculty members and hosting a couple of major conferences are other ways the Patterson School has been showcased, he said.

Wilder also noted the importance of private support in the Patterson School’s successful equation.

“The successes we are enjoying are directly attributable to the loyalty and generosity of our alumni and friends,” he said. “Their support helps us to offer scholarships to attract outstanding students, to reward our faculty and to strengthen our program. We are grateful for their loyalty and willingness to give back to the school – it is absolutely a difference-maker for us and allows our successes to be built upon and perpetuated.”

For more information about accountancy education at Ole Miss, visit