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    Oct 01, 2023  
American University Catalog 2020-2021 
American University Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Accounting (MS)

Offered by the Kogod School of Business , the Accounting (MS) program provides advanced study for students with undergraduate accounting degrees who seek a fifth year of professional education to satisfy 150-hour CPA licensure requirements. The program is also sufficiently flexible to prepare both students with non-accounting undergraduate business degrees and those with non-business undergraduate degrees for accounting careers in a variety of organizational settings. The program may be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Admission to the Program

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. Applicants may also need to submit a GMAT or GRE score; please visit 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) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Degree Requirements

  • 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
    • 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 Accounting (MS) 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

Course Requirements

Foundation (0-13.5)

Note: Across the combined bachelor’s and Accounting (MS) degrees, students must complete the following foundation courses. Students with bachelor’s 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.

Accounting (27 credit hours)

Note: Across the combined bachelor’s and Accounting (MS) degrees, 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.

Electives and Specialization (0-15 credit hours)

  • 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

Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor’s/master’s programs. Advanced undergraduates admitted to a combined degree program that includes a master’s degree from Kogod are eligible to take graduate-level courses and may apply up to 9 graduate credit hours earned as an undergraduate toward the requirements for both degrees. See Combined Bachelor’s and Kogod School of Business Master’s Programs  for more information.