PAUL E. FISCHER, Chair
Department of Accounting, Smeal College of Business
354 Business Building
The Department of Accounting offers a Master of Accounting that is designed to allow students to complete the educational requirements for becoming a certified public accountant in Pennsylvania as well as most other states. Certified public accountants conduct independent audits and provide accounting, tax, and management advisory services. The program prepares students to enter into careers in public accounting, corporate accounting, management accounting, governmental accounting, financial analysis, and law enforcement.
Requirements listed here are in addition to general Graduate School requirements state in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.
Entry to the program is competitive and subject to available space. Criteria for evaluating applicants include: professional and academic accomplishments, GMAT scores, personal Data from application forms and, possibly, interviews or examinations. Work on the M.Acc. degree generally begins in the fall semester.
Typically, student who meet the admissions requirements can complete the program in one full year.
Students who apply to the program should have an undergraduate educational background equivalent to a Bachelor Science degree from the Penn State University Smeal College of Business. Students who apply to the program should have completed the equivalent of the following Penn State University accounting courses: ACCTG 211, ACCTG 403W, ACCTG 404, ACCTG 405, ACCTG 471, and ACCTG 472. Applicants to the program from outside Penn State may be required to take an entry exam to demonstrate mastery of the material covered in theses courses prior to beginning coursework in the master's program.
Although the program has no fixed minimum grade-point requirement, an applicant is generally expected to have maintained a junior-senior grade-point average of at least 3.00 on Penn State's grading scale of A (4.00) to D (1.00). In addition, an applicant is expected to have maintained a grade-point average of 3.00 for the required accounting courses.
Applicant to the program are generally required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). For dates, locations, and other information about the test, write for the Bulletin of Information, Graduate Management Admission Test, Educational Testing Services, Princeton, NJ 08540; www.gmat.org; 800-982-6740.
Applicants whose first language is not English or who have received a baccalaureate or master's degree from an institution in which the language of instruction is not English must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) module and submit the results of that test with the application for admission. The TOEFL test is offered in different formats depending on location. A score of at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL or 250 on the computer-based TOEFL must be attained. A minimum total score of 100, along with a minimum score of 23 on the speaking portion, is required for the Internet-based test (iBT). Information about the TOEFL can be obtained by writing to the Educational Testing Service, Box 6155, Princeton, NJ 08541-6155 or visiting their Web site at www.toefl.org. Alternatively, a minimum composite score of 7.0 on the IELTS test is required for admission. Information about the IELTS can be obtained by contacting IELTS International, 100 E Corson St, Suite 200, Pasadena, CA 91103 or by visiting its Web site at www.ielts.org.
Additionally, the program requires: (1) a completed Smeal College of Business application for graduate study including Graduate School application fee, and (2) official transcripts from all completed graduate and undergraduate course work.
Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate instruction. All of the 30 credit hours must be earned in 400-level, 500-level, or 800-level courses. At least 18 of the 30 credit hours must be earned in 500-level and 800-level courses, and at least 6 of the 30 credit hours must be earned in 500-level courses.
Students must complete the following required courses as part of the 30 credit hours of graduate instruction:
ACCTG 803 will be the capstone course for the program, with the final project integrating material learned in the other program courses. Student must also take an additional 3 credit (elective) course selected in consultation with their adviser.
The Department of Accounting offers an integrated program allowing students to receive a B.S. in Accounting and Master of Accounting (M.Acc.) degrees within a five-year period. Students typically are admitted into the integrated program in the spring of the second year of the undergraduate program and the program is completed in the subsequent three years. The program is designed to meet the educational requirements for becoming a certified public accountant in Pennsylvania as well as most other states. Certified public accountants conduct independent audits and provide accounting, tax, and management advisory services. The program prepares students to enter into careers in public accounting, corporate accounting, management accounting, governmental accounting, financial analysis, and law enforcement. In addition, the program is appropriate for students having an interest in entering law school and graduate programs in business, such as M.B.A. programs or doctoral programs.
Students will generally apply for the program in the spring of their second year of undergraduate study. To apply for the program students must:
(1) be enrolled in the Smeal College of Business or Division of Undergraduate Studies and intend to complete the entrance-to-major requirements by the end of the spring semester in which they apply
(2) complete a Graduate School application for graduate study.
Although the program has no fixed minimum grade-point requirement, an applicant is generally expected to have grade-point average of at least 3.20 on Penn State’s grading scale of A (4.00) to D (1.00).
In addition, the Department may request an interview with an applicant, or require a GMAT exam or other exam. Admissions decisions will be based upon the student’s application, undergraduate record, SAT scores and, if applicable, interviews and examination results.
Admitted students must have completed ACCTG 211 with superior performance by the end of the spring semester in which they apply for admission to the program. A student who has not satisfied this requirement by the admissions deadline may be provisionally admitted pending completion of ACCTG 211 with a superior performance.
Students must complete the requirements for a B.S. in accounting with the following alterations:
Some of prescribed courses for the B.S. must be taken in sections that are available only to students enrolled in the program. These prescribed courses, which all count toward the undergraduate degree in accounting, are: ACCTG 403W, ACCTG 404, ACCTG 405, ACCTG 471, and ACCTG 472.
The student need not satisfy the requirement that 6 credit hours be completed from the following list of courses: ACCTG 406, ACCTG 432, ACCTG 473, and ACCTG 481.
The following courses cannot be used to satisfy the degree requirements of the integrated program: ACCTG 406, ACCTG 410, ACCTG 411, ACCTG 422, ACCTG 450, ACCTG 473, and ACCTG 481.
Students must complete the Master of Accounting Requirements, which total 30 credit hours of graduate instruction, in addition to completing 120 credit hours of undergraduate instruction.
The following courses, totaling 9 credits hours, will double-count towards both the B.S. and Master of Accounting degrees: B LAW 444(3), FIN 531(3), and ACCTG 881(3).
Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 or 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.
Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2010
Blue Sheet Item #: 38-06-037; Integrated 38-06-038
Review Date: 04/13/2010
Faculty updated: 5/12/14