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It doesn't take an accountant to know that you can't do better than 100 percent. And the first graduating class from the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business MS in Professional Accounting program couldn't have done better than 100 percent job placement upon graduation.

It doesn’t take an accountant to know that you can’t do better than 100 percent. And the first graduating class from the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business MS in Professional Accounting program couldn’t have done better than 100 percent job placement upon graduation.

The program offers certified public accountant (CPA)-bound business students advanced courses in accounting theory, financial reporting and practice, auditing, taxation, and government/not-for-profit accounting, as well as instruction in legal and professional responsibilities.

The Class of 2019—the first graduates from the program’s first class—was small by design, with just seven receiving diplomas. But select admissions and intense coursework paid off. Each of them had a job waiting for them upon graduation, and four of them are now with Big Four accounting firms. The new grads are still taking their various CPA exams, but so far they have a collective pass rate of 90 percent—compared to a national average of between 49 to 59 percent.

Willumstad Dean Rajib Sanyal, PhD, has good reason to be proud.

“These students are well trained,” he said. “They want to become CPAs. They are the sort of students that any accounting services employer would snap up.”

Joseph Camoia, MS ’19, is one of those gainfully employed grads. He credits the attention and training he got at Adelphi with his early career success. “The MS program really helped me in preparing for the CPA exam. The intimate class sizes, in particular, allowed for a more responsive environment where participation from the class was more enticing as a whole than ever before.”

On top of the 150 credits required by the state to take the CPA exam, each of the MS students was enrolled in a yearlong professional CPA review program led by Becker Professional Education, a nationally recognized CPA review organization. Adelphi is the only university offering a CPA test-preparedness program on campus in all of Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens. In addition, most of them completed one or two internships, giving them the professional experience employers look for. While the degree program is still new, that combination of coaching and experience is already making for a topflight, if small, student body.

“These students are not just ready to take the CPA exam, they have been coached on test-taking techniques,” Dr. Sanyal said. “They are more motivated. They often are confident that they will get a job with the employer they intern with or they can leverage that experience.”

The school is still reviewing applications for the coming year, according to Willumstad Director of Graduate Programs Britt’ny Brown. The expectation is to admit slightly larger cohorts over the coming few years but to keep the program relatively small, she said.

“We are obviously looking to grow the program,” she said. “What I hear a lot of times is ‘What’s the job outlook like?’ and this kind of placement is really appealing to students.”

“It was always envisioned as a small program so there would be that special close relationship between professors and students,” she added. “I think that really contributed to the success of the first year.”

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