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Students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh achieved an impressive overall pass rate for first-time test takers—95 percent—on a recent Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam.

The achievement earned UW Oshkosh a spot on the list as first in the nation for first-time takers of the CMA exam, as reported in the March 2019 issue of Strategic Finance. UW Oshkosh ranks at the top of the distinctive list with other universities, which include University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, University of Pittsburgh and University of Florida.


The CMA exam is recognized worldwide as a mark of excellence in the management accounting profession, said Steve Makar, UW Oshkosh accounting professor in the UW Oshkosh College of Business.

Unlike the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, which requires 150 hours of education to be licensed to practice in public accounting, the CMA covers broad business topics and can be taken before a student graduates. Sometimes referred to as a “mini-MBA,” passing the CMA demonstrates substantial knowledge in such areas as financial planning, performance and analytics as well as strategic financial management, Makar said.


“The CMA exam results provide further evidence that UW Oshkosh is an amazing place to study accounting. We place great emphasis on student learning—academically, personally and professionally, through required internships,” said Barbara Rau, dean of the College of Business. “We recognize that an excellent accounting program is vital to the success of northeastern Wisconsin, because sound accounting practices prevent costly management mistakes that can undermine an organization’s success. Maintaining high standards for accounting students—their skills, professionalism and ethics—is one of the very important ways UW Oshkosh contributes to the overall economic well-being of our region.”

At UW Oshkosh, the Accounting Department offers an annual CMA Q&A session for students in the two-course cost management sequence. The Q&A sessions are held in partnership with alumni who have successfully completed the CMA exam and experience requirements.

“This success is a tribute to our alumni, students and faculty. Since we began this program in 2005, it’s been a privilege to watch it grow. Alumni volunteer their time to mentor students, who dedicate themselves to a tradition of excellence. Faculty nurture the alumni relationships and provide the education that develops broad business competency,” Makar said.

Rau agrees and is appreciative of UW Oshkosh’s partners.

“We are exceedingly proud of the collaboration between our students, faculty, staff, alumni and employer partners that ensures we continue to produce some of the best accountants in the country,” she said.

Students attending the Q&A sessions are eligible for a national scholarship offered by the Institute of Management Accountants. The scholarship (valued at approximately $800) covers the various fees and materials to sit for the CMA exam.

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