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College of Business Combined Degree Programs Place Graduates Ahead of the Competition


Business students in the ACCEND program graduate with an edge on the job market by earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just five years.

Date: 3/18/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: Jessica Rutan
Phone: (513) 556-7162

UC ingot   As businesses tighten budgets, increase efficiencies and expect more than ever of their employees, recent graduates need added tools and knowledge to give them an edge in the competitive job market.

The University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Business caters to the growing business needs for employees with in-depth knowledge in functional areas by offering students the option to obtain both an undergraduate and graduate degree in only five years. Currently, three departments are offering the accelerated (ACCEND) bachelor’s to master’s degree program—accounting, economics and information systems.

ACCEND programs began through a partnership with the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science, when a five-year program combined an undergraduate engineering degree with an MBA. Specialized business-discipline ACCEND concentrations quickly followed, allowing undergraduate students to declare their interest in a master’s degree early in their college career. In the case of business, after completing core classes and undergraduate requirements, students transition seamlessly into graduate courses and professional training seminars. Students even receive specialized advising to keep them on track. In sum, students receive advanced training, while gaining an advantage in the job search.

“Today’s job competition is intense and often global,” notes Marianne Lewis, associate dean for undergraduate programs at the College of Business.“ The ACCEND option gives our graduates an edge, providing deep specialization to develop greater skills, expertise and confidence than a traditional undergraduate major.”

The established ACCEND program in information systems has already proven to develop highly sought professionals, boasting a 100 percent placement rate for domestic graduates. The combination of the bachelor of business administration (BBA) and the master of science (MS) in information systems allows students to learn both broad business concepts and specialized skills in their field, making them valuable prospects for major firms throughout the country.

Like information systems, the ACCEND program in accounting allows students to get the in-depth expertise they need, including the required courses to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. “Most students who want to be accountants know they want to be accountants when they apply to college,” notes Tim Sale, professor of accounting and academic director of the MS-accounting program. “Providing the ACCEND combination allows students to pre-plan their college experience, work in co-op opportunities and begin networking in the field far before students who have not defined their career path so early.”

The economics ACCEND offering, the newest edition to the program, offers a fast track to a bachelor of art (BA) in economics and a master of art (MA) in applied economics. With a strong competency in analytical thinking and an impressive understanding of statistics, BA/MA graduates earn a winning edge in the job market and often land positions as professional economists, financial advisers and business managers.

For more information on business ACCEND programs, visit business.uc.edu or contact the College of Business undergraduate programs office at business.ug@uc.edu or (513) 556-7030.