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    Jun 13, 2024  
American University Catalog 2023-2024 
American University Catalog 2023-2024

Accounting (MS)

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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.

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). The program may be completed residentially or online on a full-time or part-time basis. Students apply for either the residential or online modality.

The specialization in Accounting Analytics is designed for students pursuing a career in accounting who are interested in deepening their analytical and quantitative skills. The specialization is open to students who have completed an undergraduate degree in business or a minor in business administration from an institution that meets the minimum requirements for admission to the university, or with approval of the program director.

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 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
  • Capstone Experience: ACCT-780 Seminar in Accounting Theory (3)  

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, and may be waived without substitution from 7.5 credit hours; the remaining 6 credit hours are completed as Electives. All or part of this requirement may be substituted for students who have completed comparable courses in accounting, economics, finance, and/or statistics.

Accounting (15 credit hours)

Complete 15 credit hours in graduate accounting coursework:

Electives and Specialization (9-15 credit hours)

  • 9-15 credit hours in graduate ACCT and related business courses. Students may complete the Accounting Analytics Specialization as part of elective 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 Accounting (MS) requirements

Accounting Analytics Specialization (9 credit hours)

Note: This specialization is only available to students who completed an undergraduate degree in business.

Accounting Credit Hour Check

Complete a minimum 27 credit hours in ACCT coursework across the combined bachelor’s and Accounting (MS) degrees from the following or equivalent undergraduate versions:

Note: All students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours in graduate accounting courses.

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.

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