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Siena–UAlbany Connection Unites Business Students in CPA Quest

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 25, 2006) -- The University at Albany and Siena College have put their basketball rivalry aside to form a strategic partnership between their business schools. Siena's undergraduate school of business and UAlbany's graduate school of business developed an agreement to help students obtain a fifth year of accounting for Certified Public Accounting (CPA) licensure required under a 1998 amendment to New York's Education Law.

The change in standards outlined in Title 8, Article 149, Section 7404 stipulated that all licensure qualifying programs for the CPA or Public Account titles must consist of 150 semester hours as of August 1, 2004. The NYS Board of Regents allowed five years to transition, making the law impact this year's incoming freshman class of 2009.

"This is a win-win for both institutions and ultimately our students who seek to fulfill the state's CPA licensure requirements," said University at Albany President Kermit L. Hall. "UAlbany filled a need that Siena had and students on both campuses benefit, while the broader reach and impact for our students signifies a mutual regard for academics on both campuses."

UAlbany already offers a 4+1 program, where students can complete a fifth year as an option. Siena's business school strengths were in their undergraduate programs. The partnership provided a way to enhance those successes and maintain compliance. The arrangement, dubbed "The Siena–UAlbany Connection," provides the fifth year of accounting required for CPA licensure through an MS degree in Accounting with specializations in professional accountancy, taxation, or accounting information systems — where alumni maintain a 100 percent passing rate in their first sitting for the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) examination. A second articulation agreement between the two schools allows students in other majors within Siena's business school to pursue advanced study through UAlbany's MBA program, which offers full and part-time options combining business and technology. Students can choose MBA specializations in information technology management, human resource information systems, information assurance, marketing, finance, and tax.

"Siena has always had strong business and accounting programs," said James Nolan, dean of Siena's school of business. "By partnering with UAlbany at the graduate business level, we continue to offer our students an excellent undergraduate, liberal arts education which they can marry with a top-tier graduate business/research degree at the University at Albany."

In addition to low-cost tuition and program options offered at UAlbany, Siena students are eligible to obtain waivers for up to 10 graduate credits on courses approved by UAlbany faculty. UAlbany ranks among the top ten U.S. colleges and universities with the highest rate of graduate degree holders passing the CPA exam. Alumni of both programs have landed positions with prestigious firms including Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, Lehman Brothers, Intel, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"Siena graduates have long been active members of UAlbany's graduate school of business and many have achieved great professional success from their combined educational pursuits," said Paul Leonard, dean of the University at Albany school of business. "This articulation agreement will make it easier for top Siena alumni to further their careers through an MBA or graduate accounting degree at UAlbany."

Students who have already sat for their CPA exam are not impacted by the amendment. Anyone graduating from a 120 semester hour program needs to apply for the exam by August 1, 2009. The complete requirements can be found on the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Professional Programs website.

For additional information concerning The Siena—UAlbany Connection or UAlbany's graduate business school offerings contact the school at (518) 442-4961; via e-mail at; or visit their website.


The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages more than 17,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit

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