Universities nationwide seek innovative ways to equip their students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in their chosen fields. With a commitment to academic excellence, Southwestern has taken a significant step toward enhancing the prospects of its students by establishing partnerships with the Rice University Master in Accounting (MAcc) Program and Washington University for a Dual-Degree Engineering Program. These collaborations offer a unique opportunity for Southwestern students to pursue advanced education and launch successful careers.

Rice MAcc Program

The Southwestern-Rice MAcc Partnership is designed to streamline the transition from undergraduate to graduate studies, making it easier for eligible students to apply to the program. One benefit for Southwestern students is the elimination of an application fee, which encourages more students to explore the benefits of graduate education. The Rice MAcc program is open to students from all undergraduate majors, which reflects a commitment to diversity and recognizes that a wide range of backgrounds can contribute to the accounting profession. Southwestern students admitted to the program before the start of their senior year have a unique advantage the following summer, since they will be eligible for internships with the prestigious Big Four public accounting firms—Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC. This early exposure to top-tier firms can significantly enhance their career prospects and provide invaluable practical experience.

“Students receive a strong accounting foundation through three classes at Southwestern: fundamentals of accounting, intermediate accounting, and auditing. That’s the core of an accounting education. While the Rice MAcc program only requires students who apply to take fundamentals of accounting, we strongly encourage students to take all three courses,” Associate Professor of Economics and Business Debika Sihi said. “The Southwestern education prepares students for a career in accounting because they may work across various industries, whether pharmaceutical, technology, or auditing governmental organizations or nonprofits. The way our students approach accounting and how they understand their clients is more holistic because of their undergraduate liberal arts education.”

Washington Engineering Program

In addition to the MAcc program, the University has also teamed up with Washington University to offer a Dual-Degree Engineering Program, enabling students to combine their passion for engineering with a liberal arts education. The program exemplifies Southwestern’s commitment to fostering interdisciplinary learning. Students pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Physics degree at Southwestern University for three years, followed by two years of coursework to earn a Bachelor of Science in Engineering at Washington University. Graduates of this program are well-prepared to excel in a broad spectrum of engineering careers and in fields that require critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication skills—hallmarks of a liberal arts education. Southwestern and Washington University have designed the program to be seamlessly integrated, allowing students to transition between institutions while benefiting from the unique strengths of each.

“Southwestern is a great place for students to explore many different disciplines to see how everything interconnects, and then when they transition to Washington University, they can spend their time deep diving into a specific engineering discipline,” Assistant Professor of Physics Cody Crosby said. “Another thing I like to encourage students to look into is obtaining their master’s after three years at Washington University. A lot of master’s programs are two years. So it’s the same amount of time if they did four years for their undergrad and then went somewhere else for two years for their master’s.”

Southwestern’s partnerships with Rice University and Washington University exemplify its dedication to providing its students with diverse and exceptional educational opportunities. These collaborations streamline the path to advanced degrees and reinforce the University’s commitment to interdisciplinary learning and academic excellence. As Southwestern students continue to benefit from these partnerships, they are better prepared to excel in their chosen fields and make a meaningful impact on the world.