The Shareholder Online The alumni magazine of Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business

Taking the lead in online education


Auburn University’s first online undergraduate program will target working professionals interested in pursuing careers in accounting.

The Harbert College of Business’ School of Accountancy will begin offering an online bachelor of science degree Fall 2014. Admission will be limited to second degree candidates who have already completed a bachelor’s degree or MBA at a school or college accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Admitted students will receive a waiver of the university and college core courses.

“Our online programs combine traditional instruction with modern technology delivery to offer educational opportunities to working professionals beyond Auburn’s campus,” School of Accountancy Director DeWayne Searcy said. “We are very pleased to be the first academic unit at Auburn to offer an online undergraduate degree and to pave the way for other programs to follow.”

Students balancing career and family obligations will be able to complete the 30-semester hour program in two years by taking six credit hours per semester. Full-time students may graduate more quickly.

The Harbert College of Business is known for the quality of its online programs, as well as for its innovative course delivery. U.S. News & World Report ranked the college 12th nationally in its 2014 survey of the nation’s online graduate programs.

“Our traditional on-campus classes are videotaped and online students watch their lectures via streaming video either live or at a time convenient to their work schedules,” said Amy Murphy, Director of Accounting Graduate Programs in the Harbert College of Business. “Therefore, online students receive the same instruction and the same AACSB accredited degree as their on-campus peers. Students are attracted to our program because they like knowing they are getting the same education as their on-campus counterparts without giving up their full-time jobs to improve their educational credentials.”

The development of the online undergraduate degree in accounting reaffirms Auburn University’s commitment to meeting the needs of current and future students, including those with family and career obligation. Auburn University’s Strategic Plan prioritizes the “development of eLearning programs.”

Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of accountants and auditors are expected to grow faster through 2020 than for any other occupation.” According to the American Institute of CPAs, 75 percent of today’s CPAs will retire over the next 15 years, creating greater demand for a new generation of accounting professionals.

For more information, please visit or contact Amy Murphy, Director of Accounting Graduate Programs at or 334-844-6118.

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Troy Johnson

Director of Communications and Marketing at Auburn University Raymond J. Harbert College of Business
Troy Johnson oversees public relations and marketing efforts for the Harbert College of Business. He previously served as Director of Communications and Marketing for Auburn University's College of Education. His work has received recognition from the Southern Public Relations Federation and Public Relations Council of Alabama, among others. Before becoming a public relations practitioner, he worked as a journalist for newspapers in the Southeast.
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