Until the mid-1980s, UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School offered a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting but had no formal undergraduate or master’s degree programs in accounting. In 1985, the School introduced a master’s program in accounting, which was open to students with an undergraduate degree in business, including those whose degree included a concentration in accounting.
In 1987, the accounting faculty re-evaluated the program’s mission in light of the changing environment of accounting, the mission and objectives of the school, and the requirements of the profession. As a result, in 1988 the school eliminated the accounting concentration from its bachelor’s program and offered three paths to the attainment of a master’s degree in accounting: a five-year curriculum strictly for UNC business majors (3/2 program), a 30-hour program for accounting majors from other universities (nine-month program), and a unique 42-45 credit-hour program for UNC liberal arts majors as well as strong undergraduate schools in the U.S. and abroad (12-month program).
Eventually, it became clear that the 12-month program was the most effective of the three at meeting the needs of the profession and most compatible with the mission and goals of the accounting area and the business school as a whole. That program was adopted as the sole accounting master’s program to be offered by the school in 1994, and it remains the only program currently offered.