News from the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy

Adkerson Gift Creates Online Master’s Programs

Richard Adkerson

Business degrees are among the most in-demand of Mississippi State’s online offerings, and the forthcoming addition of accounting graduate programs is sure to follow suit.  Master of Professional Accountancy and Master of Taxation degrees will be available from MSU Online and the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy by the fall of 2021.

A gift of more than $1.7 million by the Richard C. Adkerson Family Foundation was announced this past October, facilitating the establishment of these programs along with other endeavors and adding to the years-long legacy of the School’s namesake.

“As the Southeast region faces challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, online accounting programs will bring vital graduate-level education opportunities to people locked into their locations,” says Adkerson, an alumnus and the CEO of Freeport-McMoRan Inc., the world’s leading copper producer.  “This contribution will ensure MSU has the resources to be competitive at the forefront of graduate-level education.”

Funds are being used for state of the art technology and a renovated, dedicated classroom to deliver the courses, for marketing of the programs and more.  Once the programs are up and running, plans are to hire a full-time faculty member to serve as coordinator.  Only three other universities in the SEC offer online accessibility to graduate accounting degrees.

“We’re excited to provide students who are unable to attend Mississippi State in person the opportunity to earn the same degree available to our full-time face-to-face students,” comments Clinical Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator Kelly Walker.

The online expansion fits into an overall strategic initiative to position ASAC and its students at the forefront of the accounting field.  A major part of that initiative in recent years has been an emphasis on data analytics, keeping pace with the professional sphere.  This has included integrating data analytics into existing courses and adding a required data analytics graduate course.  A minor in accounting data analytics will soon be offered to students in the MPA and MTax programs, whether on campus or online.

ASAC’s graduate and undergraduate programs are ranked in the top ten nationally for programs with 15 or fewer faculty by the 2019 Public Accounting Report.  Making the master’s programs accessible online not only enhances the School’s competitiveness, but it also serves to benefit the profession in general.

To learn more about the online MPA and MTax degrees, visit