Feb. 18, 2008

SMU Cox Offers Tax Concentration for
Master of Science in Accounting Program

$500,000 Gift from Ernst & Young Foundation Helps Fill Talent Gap

DALLAS (SMU) — With the aid of a generous $500,000 gift by the Ernst & Young Foundation, the Cox School of Business at SMU announces the creation of a tax concentration for the Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program. The Ernst & Young gift will support the establishment of new graduate tax courses and support the Ernst & Young Tax Scholar and Ernst & Young Tax Mentor programs, which will provide substantial scholarships and meaningful mentoring opportunities to full-time MSA students pursuing the tax concentration.

“Increased regulation and scrutiny of businesses in the wake of Sarbanes-Oxley is driving greater demand for tax expertise and practitioners,” said Billie Williamson, partner and Americas Executive Board member with Ernst & Young and alumnae of the SMU Cox accounting program. “Ernst & Young is pleased to partner with SMU Cox to address this demand. The new tax concentration will serve the educational needs of corporations, full-time students and working professionals throughout the DFW Metroplex and around the country.”

Students in the tax concentration will take the 16 required hours of accounting that all MSAs take (which includes four hours of taxation courses) along with four additional courses in tax accounting: Advanced Entities, Tax Research, International and Interstate Tax Accounting, and Accounting for Income Taxes. Successful completion of the new tax concentration will enable individuals to enter the accounting profession as highly trained tax professionals and increase their overall marketability.

“Job placement for Cox MSA graduates has been exceptional, with virtually all students securing professional jobs by graduation,” said Jeff Austin, MSA program director. “Most students entering the program have pursued jobs in public accounting, many with the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms as well as other national and regional firms.”

Overview of SMU Cox MSA Program

The SMU Cox Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) is a 32-hour program that may be pursued full-time or part-time. In combination with undergraduate courses in accounting, the program is designed to prepare students to enter the accounting profession as CPAs or corporate accounting professionals. A small number of students also pursue the program to improve their credentials as finance professionals. Full-time students can complete the program in two semesters, and part-time students can complete the program in no more than five semesters.

For more information, visit our Web site at or contact Dr. Jeff Austin, MSA program director, at or 214-768-3630.

About SMU COX School of Business

SMU’s Cox School of Business offers a full range of business education programs, including BBA, full-time MBA, Professional MBA (PMBA), Executive MBA (EMBA), Master of Science in Management (MSM), Master’s in Entrepreneurship and Executive Education. The school also offers a number of unique resources and activities for students, ranging from its Business Leadership Center (BLC), Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, Maguire Energy Institute and American Airlines Global Leadership Program (AAGLP) to its Associate Board executive mentoring program and an international alumni network with chapters in more than 20 countries. SMU Cox is ranked among the top business schools nationally and internationally by major publications, including BusinessWeek, The Economist, Financial Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and U.S. News & World Report. For more information on the Cox School, go to


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