Accounting Takes a Front Seat at Stony Brook
For several years, Stony Brook University’s College of Business has been charting a path for aspiring accounting students, offering an accounting minor to both business majors and non-business students, as well as an accounting specialization to business majors. “We developed a path from the Accounting Minor to the MBA, so that students would qualify to sit for the New York State CPA exam,” says Professor Carl Allocca, who has been teaching at Stony Brook for 20 years. Professor Allocca was instrumental in creating the various graduate degree programs in accounting. These programs have been approved by the New York State Education Department as CPA licensure qualified. Even though Stony Brook does not offer an undergraduate degree in Accounting, there is still a clear path for students who wish to pursue a career in public accounting.
New York, and nearly every state, now requires 150 credit hours of study for CPA eligibility, 30 credits more than the typical undergraduate degree, making graduate education a necessity. In response to these new requirements, the College of Business developed both an MBA and an MS in Accounting. Both degrees lead to CPA eligibility and each has a role in preparing students. Because New York State CPA eligibility requires 36 credits in business (either undergraduate or graduate), non-business undergraduate students find the 48 credit MBA in Accounting valuable, as it covers a wide range of business, as well as accounting classes. Non-business students can qualify for this program in part by taking the 24 credit Accounting Minor while they are an undergraduate. If a student has an undergraduate degree in business, along with the Accounting Minor, they can qualify for the 30 credit MS in Accounting, and the 36 credit MBA in Accounting, both of which can be completed in just one year.
The College of Business does so much more than just offer academic coursework though. Professors Christie Comunale and Charles Barragato joined Stony Brook in 2014 after long careers at LIU Post’s School of Professional Accountancy. Both saw the commitment that Stony Brook was making to the College of Business and specifically to its accounting program. In just a few years, the Accounting Minor has grown to nearly 100 students, and the number of accounting faculty has grown to 12 – which includes six full time PhD level faculty and six adjunct faculty. And groups outside the university see the commitment as well. This past January the Institute of Management Accountants granted approval for a student chapter of their Long Island organization, a veritable sign that great things are happening and yet to come for the SBU Accounting Program.
With Dr. Comunale’s support, the students have formed an Accounting Society, which meets weekly and hosts accounting firm talks, career readiness programs and networking events. For the past three years, The College of Business has hosted an accounting firm/student networking event in the Fall semester, giving students and firms the opportunity to discuss internships and full time job positions. Many students have received positions in the big four, as well as other sized firms, based on the events taking place on campus. “We want to provide our students with the best possible academic experience, and this includes much more than sitting in the classroom,” states Dr. Comunale. She continues, “The attention that we are getting from the accounting profession speaks volumes to the excellence of student we are turning out. Our graduates come equipped with the knowledge and the professionalism that is essential to succeed in this field.”
Visit Graduate Programs for more information on the MBA or MS in Accounting.