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Robert W. Plaster College of Business

collage of photos showing accounting and business students

Business Degrees

The mission of the Robert W. Plaster College of Business is to equip students to pursue academic excellence through professional programs with a biblical worldview in a caring environment committed to the principles of free enterprise.

Division of Business

Area of Accounting

SBU's accounting degrees prepare graduates for diversified careers in the practice of public accounting, not-for-profit accounting, internal auditing, federal taxation, and general accounting management, all with a Christ-centered worldview in order to prepare the graduates to be servant leaders in a global society. This area offers two majors:

Area of Business

SBU's business administration degrees provide students with a broad curriculum of study in business-related courses with a Christ-centered worldview, preparing them for diverse, ever-changing, global careers, and equipping them for continued education and service. This area offers eight undergraduate majors:

Master of Business Administration

SBU's Robert W. Plaster College of Business also offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate degree. The MBA program has been established to enhance the professional and personal development of the students, and provide the foundation necessary for occupational advancement.


Specialized Accreditation

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) has accredited the following programs within the Robert W. Plaster College of Business:

  • Accounting, B.S.
  • Business Administration (Traditional), B.S.
  • Master of Business Administration, M.B.A.

The traditional business administration programs that are accredited include Management, Marketing, Economics/Finance, Public Relations, and International Business.

Programs not accredited by ACBSP include the Business Administration (Non-Traditional), B.S. which comprises the General Business major offered on the Salem and Mountain View Campuses. Furthermore, the following majors have been recent additions to the College and as a result are not currently accredited by ACBSP: Computational Finance, Cybersecurity Management, Digital Marketing, and Sport Business. All programs are covered by SBU's overall accreditation (probation) by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Program Review

There are several different reporting measures the College utilizes in order to identify what our graduates obtain as a result of their educational experience at SBU. While the pursuit of a Christian higher education has a number of intangible experiences, the items that follow will help to convey the educational significance our graduates have gained.

Major Field Test

The Major Field Test is a test given to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree by the ETS organization (the same company that administers the SAT test). 560 colleges and universities utilize this instrument to evaluate the capabilities of their soon-to-be graduates. 

According the ETS website, “the ETS® Major Field Tests are … outcomes assessments designed to measure the critical knowledge and understanding obtained by students in a major field of study. The Major Field Tests go beyond the measurement of factual knowledge by helping you evaluate students’ ability to analyze and solve problems, understand relationships and interpret material from their major field of study.” The areas of study considered on the Major Field Test are:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Information Systems
  • International Issues
  • Legal and Social Environment
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Quantitative Business Analysis

The ETS website goes on to say that, “ETS offers comprehensive national comparative data for the Major Field Tests, enabling you to evaluate your students' performance and compare your program's effectiveness to programs at similar institutions nationwide.”

The data is presented in percentiles with 99% being the highest ranking of those taking the test and 1% being the lowest.  Here is how Southwest Baptist University students have performed over the last several semesters.

Date SBU Overall Percentile
2020-21 year 88th percentile
2019-20 year 88th percentile
2018-19 year 81st percentile
2017-18 year 98th percentile
2016-17 year 84th percentile
Spring 2016 99th percentile
Fall 2015 78th percentile
Spring 2015 85th percentile
Fall 2014 42nd percentile
Spring 2014 97th percentile
Fall 2013 94th percentile
Spring 2013 98th percentile
Fall 2012 85th percentile
Spring 2012 86th percentile
Fall 2011 99th percentile
Spring 2011 99th percentile
Fall 2010 99th percentile
Spring 2010 95th percentile
Fall 2009 85th percentile
Spring 2009 95th percentile
Fall 2008 80th percentile
Spring 2008  95th percentile
Fall 2007 90th percentile
Spring 2007 70th percentile
Fall 2006 70th percentile
Spring 2006 95th percentile
Fall 2005 90th percentile
Spring 2005 90th percentile
Fall 2004 90th percentile
Spring 2004 90th percentile
Fall 2003 35th percentile
Spring 2003 81st percentile
Fall 2002 76th percentile
Spring 2002 81st percentile
Fall 2001 95th percentile
Spring 2001 91st percentile
Fall 2000 98th percentile
Spring 2000 82nd percentile


Assessment indicators report

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam Results

The CPA is administered by the American Institute of CPAs.  The test is administered in four different sections.  These are:

  1. Auditing and Attestation
  2. Business Environment and Concepts
  3. Financial Accounting and Reporting
  4. Regulation

SBU Accounting graduates over a five-year average (2016-2020 graduates) have passed CPA exam at a 69% first time, per-part rate versus a 58% national average. While almost one-third of our accounting graduates do not attempt the CPA exam for various reasons, approximately 50% of all SBU Accounting graduates are CPAs today.

83% of our graduates are employed in accounting positions prior to graduation.  Many of them have job offers before the end of their junior year.

Employment Rates of Graduates

Students graduating from colleges and universities across the United States tend to fall into one of the five following situations: 

  1. A student has been active in seeking employment prior to graduation, has been offered a position with an organization, and agreed to accept the position upon graduation.
  2. A student has applied and been accepted to a graduate program they will pursue upon graduating with a bachelor's degree.
  3. A student has begun looking for employment or is seeking acceptance into a graduate program but has yet to secure the desired position.
  4. While finishing his or her bachelor's degree, the student is not geographically positioned where he or she would like to live or is not devoting attention to the job search process early enough to secure employment prior to graduation.
  5. The student shows little, if any, initiative to find employment or pursue further education.

The Robert W. Plaster College of Business rarely sees individuals which would fall into the fifth category discussed above. This is partially related to the rigor and quality of the programs offered. The programs provided at SBU simply do not appeal to that type of student. However, we do have students which would fall into the first four categories which leads to the employment rates provided below.

Since 2013, we have actively tracked continuing education or job placement of our graduates. We want to know when our graduates accepted employment offers or have been accepted into an additional educational program such as an MBA, PhD, etc. We evaluate this information at three different points of time: graduation day, three months after graduation, and six months after graduation. The following chart communicates the percentage of our graduates that accept employment or are admitted into an educational program.

Undergraduate placement
Time Period At Graduation 3 Months From Graduation 6 Months From Graduation Of those employed, how many are utilizing their degrees?
Spring 2021 87% 100% not yet available 87%
Fall 2020 75% 93% 100% 83%
Spring 2020 91% 100% 100% 87%
Fall 2019 80% 100% 100% 80%
Spring 2019 84% 96% 100% 92%
Fall 2018 88% 100% 100% 100%
Spring 2018 68% 91% 94% 65%
Fall 2017 64% 79% 86% 86%
Spring 2017 66% 79% 85% 75%
Fall 2016 76% 88% 94% 88%
Spring 2016 67% 91% 98% 90%
Fall 2015 75% 94% 100% 94%
Spring 2015 81% 94% 100% 86%
Fall 2014 57% 100% 100% 71%
Spring 2014 70% 95% 97% 79%
Fall 2013 36% 64% 82% 67%
Spring 2013 49% 77% 86% 81%
Graduate (MBA) placement
Time Period At Graduation 3 Months From Graduation 6 Months From Graduation Of those employed, how many are utilizing their degrees?
Spring 2021 81% 81% not yet available 85%
Spring 2020 37% 47% 58% 90%
Spring 2019 85% 95% 95% 89%
Spring 2018 50% 83% 100% 100%
Spring 2017 100% 100% 100% 100%

Where do our students find jobs?

What follows is a non-comprehensive list of organizations that employ our graduates. It has been segmented according to each academic discipline area.

  • Central Bank
  • Missouri State Auditors
  • BKD
  • KPGM
  • Ernst & Young
  • Dannon
  • Leggett & Platt
  • Grant Thornton
  • Kirkpatrick, Phillips, & Miller
  • O'Reilly Auto Parts, Corporate Headquarters
  • Accenture
  • Citizens Memorial Healthcare
  • Cerner Corporation
  • Elliott, Robinson, & Company
  • KPM
Business administration
  • Accenture
  • Cerner Corporation
  • Citizens Memorial Healthcare
  • Bank of Bolivar
  • Jack Henry & Associates
  • New York Life
  • Hallmark
  • Microsoft
  • Edward Jones
  • Bank of America
  • Boeing Intellectual Property Management
  • Progressive Insurance
  • O'Reilly Auto Parts, Corporate Headquarters
  • Sam's Club
  • Walmart Headquarters
  • Whirlpool
  • GE Capital (Netherlands)
  • Allstate
  • Scottrade
  • Expedia
  • State Farm
  • J.B. Hunt
  • American Family
  • State Street
Master of Business Administration
  • Strategic Financial Concepts
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
  • Lockton Companies
  • Southwest Electric Cooperative
  • Citizens Memorial Hospital
  • Federal Protection, Inc.
  • Chick-fil-A, Inc.
  • Samaritan's Purse
  • Nexus Therapy Management
  • SS&C Technologies
  • Great Southern Bank
  • Cerner Corporation
  • Southern Baptists of Texas Foundation
  • Mid-Missouri Bank
  • Ozark Orthopedics
  • American National Insurance Company
  • MFA Inc.

Retention rates

The rates for retaining students from their first to their second year within the College is as follows:

Fall 2020 to Fall 2021 67.30%
Fall 2019 to Fall 2020 64.20%
Fall 2018 to Fall 2019 71.80%
Fall 2017 to Fall 2018 77.50%
Fall 2016 to Fall 2017 68.40%

Graduation rates

The graduation rates for first-year, first-time degree-seeking students within the College is as follows:

Fall 2015 first-year students that graduated by 2021 62.90%
Fall 2014 first-year students that graduated by 2020 41.00%
Fall 2013 first-year students that graduated by 2019 52.20%
Fall 2012 first-year students that graduated by 2018 55.60%
Fall 2011 first-year students that graduated by 2017 60.70%

Assessment reports

Business administration assessment report (PDF)

MBA assessment report (PDF)

Student learning outcomes

Accounting report

Business administration report

MBA report

Accreditation standards results

Standard 4

Standard 6

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