What Courses Are Needed For a Master’s In Accounting?

Master's in AccountingAccounting professionals who continue their education on to the master’s degree level can enjoy a wider range of opportunities in their field by completing the courses needed for a Master’s in Accounting. Typically, study for a master’s degree program in accounting should require about one or two years of full time study and the completion of 30 credits of graduate level work, according to the University of Arizona. A Master of Accounting degree (MAcc) will not only qualify accountants for higher level positions, but it will also allow accountants who already have a Bachelor’s degree and perhaps some professional experience to specialize in a particular area of accounting, such as audit, entrepreneurship, or tax.

Prerequisite Requirements

A student typically must have completed a bachelor’s degree in accounting before being able to enroll in a master’s degree program in accounting. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes it is possible for students who have college majors other than accounting to enroll as a master’s degree student in accounting. However, they may have to take additional undergraduate coursework to work towards their master’s degree in accounting. Prerequisite courses for graduate level studies in accounting usually include coursework in financial accounting, managerial accounting, taxation, and general accounting.

Business Courses

Students who have not completed certain business courses as part of their undergraduate study may have to take courses in subjects such as managerial statistics or financial management as part of their master’s degree studies. Additionally, graduate level courses in business that might be completed as part of coursework for a master’s degree in accounting include venture capital, investment banking, industrial organization, project management, and more.

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Courses in Accounting

Core courses that accounting students must take as part of their Master’s degree studies should delve more deeply and specifically into accounting issues touched upon in undergraduate courses. These courses might include assurance and audit services, accounting theory, cost accounting for strategic management, and financial reporting. Coursework required for completion of the MAcc degree might depend on the specialization of a student’s MAcc degree. Possible areas of specialization for a Master’s degree program include forensic accounting, financial accounting, and tax.


As part of a graduate accounting student’s curriculum, elective courses will have to be taken. These elective courses not only focus on the studying of accounting, but they might also include subjects of related areas of academic inquiry like financial reporting and business law. Elective courses allow students a great deal of freedom to pursue their own diverse interests on subjects directly and loosely linked to accounting. Possible elective course titles for graduate students studying accounting include IT audit and risk management, tax research and procedure, contemporary issues in financial reporting, and advanced business law.

Related Resource: Tax Accounting

Master’s degree courses for accounting students can often be scheduled around a working professional’s work responsibilities. Graduate level coursework in accounting is a good idea for accountants interested in achieving higher level positions in larger firms, perhaps filling managerial roles. Once the courses needed for a Master’s in Accounting are completed by a graduate student, he or she should feel more competitive out on the job market when applying for professional positions within the field of accounting.