STEVEN HUDDART, Chair
Department of Accounting, Smeal College of Business
354 Business Building
The Master of Accounting allows students to complete the educational requirements to become a certified public accountant in Pennsylvania, as well as most other states. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) 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.
Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission.
Admission to the program is competitive. Criteria for evaluating applicants can include: professional and academic accomplishments, GMAT scores, personal data from application forms and, possibly, interviews or examinations.
Students who apply to the program should have an undergraduate educational background equivalent to a Bachelor of 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 courses: ACCTG 211, ACCTG 403W, ACCTG 404, ACCTG 405, ACCTG 471, ACCTG 472, and MIS 301. Applicants to the program from outside Penn State may be required to take an entry exam to demonstrate mastery of the material covered in these 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.
Applicants to the program are required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The GMAT requirement is waived for applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.50 or higher, or whose undergraduate degree is awarded by Penn State.
In addition to the Graduate School application for admission, the program requires a completed Smeal College of Business application for graduate study, and official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.
Students must complete a minimum of 33 credits. The 33 credits must be earned in 400-, 500-, or 800-level courses. At least 18 credits must be earned in 500- and 800-level courses, and at least 6 credits must be earned in 500-level courses.
Students must complete the following 24 required credits:
Students must also complete an additional 9 credits of elective courses selected in consultation with their adviser. A list of approved elective courses is maintained by the graduate program office.
The culminating experience for the degree is the capstone course ACCTG 873.
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.
Students must apply to the program via the Graduate School application for admission, and must meet all the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the Accounting graduate program for the Master of Accounting degree, listed above. Students shall be admitted to an IUG program no earlier than the beginning of the third semester of undergraduate study at Penn State (regardless of transfer or AP credits accumulated prior to enrollment) and no later than the end of the second week of the semester preceding the semester of expected conferral of the undergraduate degree, as specified in the proposed IUG plan of study.
To apply for the program, students must be enrolled in the Smeal College of Business or the Division of Undergraduate Studies, and intend to complete the entrance-to-major requirements prior to completing 59 cumulative credits at Penn State.
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.
In consultation with an adviser, students must prepare a plan of study appropriate to this integrated program, and must present their plan of study in person to the head of the graduate program or the appropriate committee overseeing the integrated program prior to being admitted to the program. The plan should cover the entire time period of the integrated program, and it should be reviewed periodically with an adviser as the student advances through the program.
Students must fulfill all degree requirements for each degree in order to be awarded that degree, subject to the alterations and double-counting of credits as outlined below. Degree requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Accounting are listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Degree requirements for the Master of Accounting degree are listed above. Students must sequence their courses so all undergraduate degree requirements are fulfilled before taking courses to count towards the graduate degree. If students accepted into the IUG program are unable to complete the M.Acc. degree, they are still eligible to receive their undergraduate degree if all the undergraduate degree requirements have been satisfied.
Students must complete the requirements for a B.S. in Accounting with the following alterations:
Up to 12 credits may be double-counted towards the degree requirements for both the graduate and undergraduate degrees; a minimum of 50% of the double-counted courses must be at the 500 or 800 level. Credits associated with the culminating experience for the graduate degree cannot be double-counted.
The following courses will count towards both the B.S. and Master of Accounting degrees: ACCTG 432 (3), BA 840 (3), BLAW 444 (3), and FIN 531 (3).
Refer to the Student Aid section of the Graduate Bulletin. Students in this program are not eligible for graduate assistantships.
Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 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: Summer 2018
Blue Sheet Item #: 46-07-000; Integrated 46-07-000
Review Date: 6/26/2018
Faculty updated: 5/12/14