Master’s Degree in Accounting An innovative curriculum. Award-winning faculty. Outstanding career guidance.

Our Master's of Science in Accounting (MSA) program prepares students for rewarding careers in all facets of the field, from nonprofit to forensic accounting. 

Whether you’re advancing your career, transitioning to a new one, or just starting out, the MSA program will put you on track to compete in a flourishing field—one that’s projected to increase 22 percent in the next decade.

MSA Curriculum

30-37.5 credit hours of approved graduate work depending on the student's prior education, including a minimum 15 credit hours in graduate accounting courses and 15 credit hours in graduate business courses.

Across bachelor's and MS in Accounting degrees combined, student must complete the following:

  • ACCT-607 Financial Accounting (3)
  • ACCT-609 Management Accounting (1.5)
  • FIN-605 Managerial Economics and Corporate Strategy (3)
  • FIN-614 Financial Management (3)
  • ITEC-610 Applied Managerial Statistics (3)
Students with undergraduate degrees from AACSB-accredited business programs are presumed to have satisfied this requirement. All or part of this requirement may be waived for other students who have completed comparable courses in accounting, economics, finance, and/or statistics.

Across bachelor's and MS in Accounting degrees combined, students must complete a minimum of 27 credit hours in accounting courses including the following or the equivalent. All students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours in graduate accounting courses.

Required

  • ACCT-604 Tax Planning for Individuals (3)
  • ACCT-611 Cost Accounting for Strategic Management (3)
  • ACCT-623 Business Law (3)
  • ACCT-641 Corporate Financial Reporting: Operations (3)
  • ACCT-642 Corporate Financial Reporting: Financial Transactions (3)
  • ACCT-649 Contemporary Assurance and Audit Services (3)
  • ACCT-780 Seminar in Accounting Theory (3)

Additional Approved Accounting Courses

  • 6 credits hours of additional approved accounting courses, which may include up to 3 credit hours from foundation accounting courses

0-15 credit hours in graduate accounting and related business courses. Elective courses can be selected to develop expertise in a related field, or to develop specialized expertise in financial reporting and assurance, forensic accounting, or taxation. Any course taught outside of the Kogod School of Business must be reviewed and approved by the program director to determine applicability toward MS in Accounting requirements.

MSA Degree Requirements

  • Students entering the program with an undergraduate accounting degree ordinarily satisfy the degree requirements by completing a minimum of 15 credit hours in graduate accounting coursework and 15 credit hours in graduate elective courses that can be used to develop complementary expertise in a related field, such as taxation, assurance, or forensic accounting.
  • Students with non-accounting undergraduate degrees may be required to complete both additional accounting courses and foundation courses in economics, finance, and applied statistics, up to a maximum of 37.5 credit hours.
  • Academic advising and individualized program planning are critical steps in ensuring that students get the most from the MS in Accounting program. On admission to the program, students will consult with the program director to design an approved program of study that meets both program goals and individual academic and professional objectives.

MSA Admissions

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for graduate study, applicants must have earned an undergraduate bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a satisfactory grade point average and a satisfactory score on the GMAT or the GRE. Applicants may elect to apply test optional; please visit Kogod Graduate Admissions for more information.

Applicants whose first language is not English must have a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).


Accounting Professor Emily Lindsay in MSA Classroom

In the Classroom

Small class sizes keep coursework interactive.

The Kogod MSA faculty are real-world practitioners with who bring their diverse experiences and unique business backgrounds to the classroom. And prominent accounting experts from the “Big Four” firms are regular guest speakers.

You’ll have the flexibility to customize your curricula. Students with an accounting background can choose from a range of courses in financial reporting and assurance, forensic accounting, or taxation. And all students select elective courses to supplement their specialty—as well as take part in internships and leadership groups.

Graduates emerge from the master’s program well-prepared for the CPA exam, and, most importantly, a successful career.

Frequently Asked Questions

Alumni of the MSA program work for a variety of companies in a wide range of positions, including, but not limited to:

  • Deloitte/Deloitte & Touche
  • EY
  • KPMG
  • PwC
  • CohnReznick
  • RSM US LLP
  • Fannie Mae
  • FTI Consulting
  • International Monetary Fund
  • Navigant Consulting
  • SC&H Group

Yes, students select from a variety of graduate accounting and tax courses designed to prepare students for the advanced topics covered on the CPA exam.

They’ll also be equipped to meet the educational requirements for public accounting licensure in most U.S. states.

The amount of time it takes to complete the program can range from 30 to 37.5 credit hours. Students with undergraduate accounting degrees can complete the program in one calendar year by completing 15 graduate accounting hours and 15 graduate elective hours. Students with an undergraduate degree in other business disciplines can complete the program in one year as well (21 graduate accounting hours and 9 hours of graduate electives), but it could take those without a business background 1.5 to 2 years to finish. 

Flexibility is offered for working professionals.

Got a question?

Chat with an Admission Advisor today, we are always happy to assist you with any questions, comments or concerns. Contact us at:
  • kogodgrad@american.edu
  • 202-885-1900

American University's campus in Northwest Washington, DC is directly accessible business in the nation's capitol.

Pragmatic Learning in a Prime Location

With a high success rate for full-time employment, the MSA program sets you up for a job outcome that fits your goals.

AU’s prime location in the nation’s capital offers students access to extensive internship and employment opportunities across the corporate, not-for-profit, and government sectors. Students, whether full-time or working professionals, take full advantage of the strong DC and Kogod alumni networks. And career preparation is aided by our well-connected Kogod Center for Business Communication.

 

Kogod Accounting Videos



Program Director - MS Accounting | 1:48

Alumni Profile: MS Accounting  | 1:29


The Annual Lecture on Fraud and Forensic Accounting

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Kogod Accounting and Finance Week

Accounting and Finance Week at Kogod

An opportunity for current students to meet with various alumni and employers within the finance world.

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