Notre Dame’s Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program was recently ranked No. 4 in The Public Accounting Report’s annual rankings of MSA programs, a two-spot jump from last year’s No. 6 position. Additionally, the Public Accounting Report ranked the program No. 1 in the country of those programs with a faculty of its size. H. Fred Mittelstaedt, Deloitte Foundation professor of accountancy and the chairperson of the Department of Accountancy, said he is pleased with the rankings. “I’m very grateful for the rankings,” Mittelstaedt said. “I think they reflect the quality of our program, because I would say we are the best accounting program in the country – undergrad and graduate. So it’s nice when rankings come out that reflect that.” Mittelstaedt said The Public Accounting Report’s rankings are based on a survey of accounting professors across the country, who are asked to rank undergraduate programs, graduate programs and public accounting firms. Professor Michael Morris, chairperson of the Mendoza College of Business’ MSA program, said being ranked at the top of the list is a welcome distinction. “The Public Accounting Report… rankings are based on the perceptions of accounting faculty nationwide, so to be at or near the top of the rankings from such a broad-based and knowledgeable group is really an honor,” Morris said. Mittelstaedt said since the rankings are so objective that it is difficult to attribute the jump to a qualitative difference in the program. “It’s hard to say why that jump [from six to four] would have been there,” Mittelstaedt said. “I’m not sure we did anything in one year to make the jump, but it’s just a concerted effort to have as good students as we can and then place them as well.” Morris said the quality of MSA faculty and students reflects in the program’s high rankings year after year. “The program has been consistent in delivering a quality education by an experienced and renowned business faculty,” Morris said, “[The] M.S. in Accountancy staff have gone the extra mile to provide the highest level of student services, and the level of support from various segments in the University has enabled the program to offer a flexible curriculum and achieve 100 percent placement the last two years.” Mittelstaedt said the rankings recognize programs that best prepare students for success in public accounting. Notre Dame’s MSA students certainly qualify for successful accounting careers. Mittelstaedt said the MSA program boasts a Certified Public Accountant exam pass rate of over 80 percent, and 84 percent of 2013 MSA graduates were placed with one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. “We probably place more people with the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, as a percentage, than any other school in the country,” Mittelstaedt said.