University’s nationally recognized Master of Science in Taxation program has
expanded to include an online degree, creating a new option for students
seeking flexibility while obtaining a top-ranked graduate degree.
MST—which began in fall 2014—grew out of a smaller online program DePaul has
been offering since 2005 to employees of McGladrey, a national tax firm.
partnership, classes are taught and broadcast from DePaul’s Loop Campus and students
can either come to class or log on remotely to view the lectures.
to take the MST online because we’ve had a lot of success with the current
online program that we run with McGladrey,” says Kevin Stevens (MST ’86) (pictured above),
director of the School of Accountancy and Management Information Systems.
has shown us the value of an online tax degree.”
program’s current design grew from insights DePaul gained through partnering with
McGladrey. The McGladrey MST format used to be synchronous, meaning it was
designed so all students were watching together at the same time, no matter
where they were located. Now, lectures are prerecorded. “As time goes on and as
technology and platforms change, we’re continuing to upgrade the program,” says
Diane Kuhlmann, assistant director of DePaul’s MST program.
Designed to be Flexible
MST degree also is offered on an asynchronous platform, meaning working professionals
enrolled in the program do not have to be online at a specific time. They can
watch prerecorded lectures and keep up with weekly content at their own pace.
The class also includes a weekly live webcast in which students can interact
with the instructor in real time and ask questions. Even exams are facilitated online.
courses are very detailed classes. Sitting through a three-hour class in the
MST program is difficult after working all day—it makes it harder to absorb all
of the material. What you can do online is watch chunks of it and go at your
pace,” Stevens says.
online MST has a different delivery than on-campus classes, Stevens notes that
it is not a separate degree in terms of quality. “We don’t have an online tax
program and a different face-to-face program. They’re the same program, they
have the same learning outcomes and they meet the same accreditation
guidelines,” Stevens says.
degree has benefits for different types of students. For some in the
Chicagoland area, the new option allows them to avoid a commute from the
suburbs into the city after work to attend evening classes at DePaul. For
others, the degree brings DePaul’s MST from Chicago to screens nationwide. “In
many parts of the United States, you can’t get a face-to-face Master’s in Tax
program,” Stevens explains. “There are a lot of people in smaller offices who
want the expertise from the MST but just don’t have an in-person opportunity.”
Recognized for Excellence
MS in Taxation degree is often recognized for its excellence in national
rankings. In 2014, the program was ranked
in the country in an annual survey of U.S. corporate tax hiring authorities
conducted by TaxTalent.com.
says the faculty help set DePaul apart. “The people who teach our MST program
are partners and managers at the large accounting firms in the industry. They
are highly, highly skilled. You have to be in a big city to have a cadre of
faculty with that much expertise,” he adds.
recent TaxTalent rankings reflect programs in place in 2013—before the online MST
launched—DePaul’s newer offering shows how the business school is continuing to
innovate. “We’re giving students the education they want when they want it and with
more flexibility,” explains Professor Ron Marcuson, director of the MST program.
more ways to earn an MST benefits students because an advanced degree is so
helpful in the tax field. “The MST brings the knowledge you need in order to
function as a tax professional,” Kuhlmann says. “It takes a lot longer to get
this knowledge if you’re just getting it doing client work. You’ve got to have
both—you need that real-world experience as well as this knowledge.”
about DePaul’s MS in Taxation online degree.