Your Guide to an MS in Accountancy


Your Guide to an MS in Accountancy Degree

A Master of Science in Accountancy can help prepare you for professional practice in diverse financial accounting settings. An MS in Accountancy is ideal for completing the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination or the Certified Management Accountant exam, both of which can advance your career across several accounting fields.

The current job market offers considerable employment opportunities for master’s degree holders. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of accountants and auditors will grow 13 percent by 2022. Those who earn professional recognition — especially CPAs — should have the best prospects. The Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide lists the CPA and CMA as in-demand credentials for the current hiring environment.

Companies are capitalizing on growth opportunities and launching new revenue-generating initiatives. To succeed, they need the right people in place. But top accounting, finance and business systems professionals are hard to find. Those with the most sought-after skills are often already employed.

Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide

With a graduate degree in accounting, you can specialize in a particular field for further growth and salary potential. For instance, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) lists specializations such as taxes, assurance services, international accounting, audit and government. According to Robert Half’s national salary guide, a senior-level tax services professional at a midsize firm can expect starting pay of $74,000 to $101,000, and a senior-level audit or assurance services professional at a midsize firm can earn $82,500 to $105,750.

Benefits of an MS in Accountancy

Career Preparation

The online MS in Accountancy features a rigorous curriculum that helps you prepare for a wide variety of opportunities and specialties. Focus areas include financial, cost and managerial accounting, attest services, information systems, taxation and regulation. Based on the AICPA conceptual framework, the curriculum is designed to prepare you for the CPA or CMA exam.


If you have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, you will take 30 semester hours of graduate study.

  • ACC6110 Accounting Theory, Practice and Reporting – 3 hours
  • ACC6120 Advanced Cost and Managerial Accounting – 3 hours
  • ACC6130 International Accounting and Reporting – 3 hours
  • ACC6140 Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting – 3 hours
  • ACC6150 Accounting Information Systems – 3 hours
  • ACC6160 Advanced Attest Services – 3 hours
  • ACC6170 Taxation of Persons, Trusts, Gifts and Estates – 3 hours
  • ACC6180 Taxation of Partnerships, Corporations and Not-for-Profits – 3 hours
  • ACC6190 Business Regulation – 3 hours
  • ACC6200 Seminar in Professional Accounting, Research and Practice – 3 hours

If your undergraduate degree is outside of accounting, you will need to take the following courses or equivalents for a total of 48 semester hours of graduate study.

  • ACC5210 Financial Accounting and Reporting I – 3 hours
  • ACC5220 Financial Accounting and Reporting II – 3 hours
  • ACC5230 Advanced Accounting – 3 hours
  • ACC5240 Attest Services – 3 hours
  • MBA5140 Foundations of Economics – 3 hours
  • MBA6050 Financial Management – 3 hours

Online Flexibility

The online MS in Accountancy is offered 100 percent online. In an online learning environment, you’re able to study when and where you want, alongside faculty members with real-world experience in their field. Interactive discussion boards and chat rooms connect you to your peers and instructors.

This flexibility allows you to pursue your degree while you maintain your personal and professional commitments. Courses are offered year-round in convenient eight-week modules.

Earning Your CPA Credential

Graduates of the MS in Accountancy are prepared for both the CPA and CMA exam. However, the CPA credential is the most commonly sought-after credential for accountants looking to further their careers, and this is a focus of Aurora University’s program.

To become a CPA, you’ll need to meet a list of requirements that vary based on your state or territory. Most significant is the 150 semester hours (including a bachelor’s degree) needed for licensure, which is required in all U.S. jurisdictions except for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Also significant is the number of semester hours required in accounting, which vary for each state and territory in terms of curriculum, such as hours needed in auditing, financial accounting or taxation.

These educational requirements are best met by a master’s degree in accounting. For instance, Illinois lists a graduate degree in accounting as the first option for meeting the needed hours in accounting. The degree helps ensure you have the education needed both for the CPA exam and your career goals.

Pursue your CPA by advancing your education. Complete your degree in just 12 months, fully online at Aurora University. Request more information today about Aurora University’s online MS in Accountancy.