The name Berkeley is instantly recognizable as a place academic excellence, both nationally and internationally. We take a look at the University of California Berkeley accounting degree programs to find out if reality reflects reputation.
Question: What do californium, seaborgium, berkelium, einsteinium, fermium, and lawrencium have in common?
Answer: Besides all being chemical elements (we hope you got that part right), they are all associated with UC Berkeley and its researchers. And in case you saw einsteinium and were wondering whether Albert Einstein went to Berkeley, no he didn’t.
Founded in 1868, the university has developed a superb reputation for academic excellence, particularly as a center for research. It manages three national laboratories for the Department of Energy, and counts among its alumni, faculty and researchers 72 Nobel Laureates as well as a number of other international prize-winners. One of its labs was also home to physicist J Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, under which the first atomic bomb was developed.
The university, located on the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay area, is the oldest of the ten in the public University of California system and has an enrolment of around 36,000 students.
The Haas School of Business is the second oldest business school in the country and one of the nation’s most prestigious, consistently ranking highly in various media outlet surveys. In fact, the schools rankings are ultra-impressive, with consistent top ten positions for virtually every program in the majority of polls conducted.
Haas does not offer a dedicated accounting program, major or specific degree.
Umm, okay, so how does that work?
All undergraduates work towards a Bachelor of Science from the Haas School of Business. This involves completing core courses in accounting, finance, marketing, business communication and organizational behaviour. Elective courses are then available in a number of areas including advanced accounting.
Things are also a bit different from the norm at the graduate level, as Haas doesn’t offer a Master’s degree in accounting.
So, to obtain the 150 hours of coursework required to sit for the CPA exam, students study for an MBA and must instead use alternative methods such as taking community college courses or an “Accounting Boot Camp” summer program.
Haas claims this approach has advantages over more traditional Master’s courses at other universities because it allows for more flexibility, and can be completed cheaper and quicker.
It all sounds a bit confusing, and it is difficult to see how having to complete course work outside of semester can be an attractive proposition to students.
However, there must be method in their madness. The school was rated number three in a comprehensive undergraduate accounting program survey by BusinessWeek in 2013, with only Brigham Young and Notre Dame finishing ahead of them.
The PhD program at Haas is more traditional, and enrols around 15 students each year. Specialties are available in one of seven areas, including accounting. The accounting group is linked to the business world through the university’s Center for Financial Reporting and Management.
If there’s one thing you can pretty much be assured of, it’s that going to UC Berkeley will give you a degree from a university with an outstanding reputation.
The esteem in which the university is held academically is extremely high, not just in the US but around the world. And in particular, the Haas School of Business has produced numerous business people that have gone on to have senior roles in some of the world’s pre-eminent organisations.
One thing we’re not sold in with UC Berkeley is the accounting program – or to be more accurate, the lack of one. Call us traditional, but we prefer to do our coursework during the semester. But if you don’t mind spending your summer with your head in an accounting textbook, and if you can get into it, the University of California Berkeley accounting degree program could be for you. After all, a summer of study is a small price to pay for one of the best degrees in the world.