MS in Accounting

Master of Science in Accounting

MSA Curriculum

MSA Curriculum

The SMU Cox MSA Program may be pursued full-time in nine months over two semesters (twelve months beginning in the summer for those requiring background courses) . All SMU Cox graduate classes are offered in eight week modules (half-semesters) with two modules offered in the fall and two in the spring term. Each class is worth two credit-hours.

Students coming into the program with a degree from a four-year university who have completed the required background courses (see Admissions page for detailed information) will begin classes in August. These students will be waived out of the required 8 hours of background courses that are completed by some students in the summer, and they will complete 32 hours over two semesters to earn the degree.

Students coming into the program who have not completed the required background courses (see Admissions page for detailed information) will begin classes in late May. These students will take up to 8 hours of classes during the summer term before beginning more advanced courses in August. They will complete 32 more hours of classes over the fall and spring semesters to earn the degree. 

All students must have completed introductory accounting courses (equivalent to Fundamentals of Accounting I and II) prior to being considered for admission to the MSA program.

The program may be completed on a part-time basis in some instances. Flexibility in scheduling is required for students pursuing the MSA on a part-time basis, as not all courses will be available in a night offering. Full-time students take four courses within each module while part-time students take two courses in each module. Please note that scholarships are not available to part-time students.

International students must be full-time students due to visa restrictions.

Overview

In the SMU Cox MSA Program, students can choose from either our Assurance and Advisory Track or our Tax Track. The core of the two tracks overlaps as a base accounting knowledge is required for both the CPA Exam and success in the areas of business, accounting and finance. The differences between the tracks allows students the opportunity to signal an area of expertise to prospective employers while also gaining advance training that will equip them for their career. Students pursuing the Assurance and Advisory Track generally obtain initial positions in the areas of audit or consulting while students pursuing the Tax Track generally obtain initial positions in taxation or transaction services.

A sample* curriculum for a full-time student pursuing the Assurance and Advisory Track would be:

Summer Term – Required for some students (Four Courses Totaling Eight Credit Hours)

The summer term is required for students who have not previously gained the required background. See Admissions page for detailed background course information.

Intermediate Accounting I
Federal Income Tax
Intermediate Accounting II
Audit Risks and Controls

Fall Term – Module A Courses (Four Courses Totaling Eight Credit Hours)
Corporate Taxation
Financial Reporting & Analysis I
Mergers & Acquisitions
Accounting Analytics and Big Data

Fall Term – Module B Courses (Four Courses Totaling Eight Credit Hours)
Entity Taxation
Financial Reporting & Analysis II
Accounting Information Systems
Leadership in the Accounting Profession or Finance Theory and Practice

Spring Term – Module A Courses (Four Courses Totaling Eight Credit Hours)
Audit Research
Advanced Topics in Accounting
Non Corporate Entity Accounting
Financial Statement Analysis

Spring Term - Module B Courses (Four Courses Totaling Eight Credit Hours)
Assurance Methodology
Accounting for Income Taxes
Accounting-Based Valuation
Forensic Accounting and Financial Statement Fraud or Emerging Issues in Financial Accounting
 

A sample* curriculum for a full-time student pursuing the Tax Track would be:

Summer Term – Required for some students (Four Courses Totaling Eight Credit Hours)

The summer term is required for students who have not previously gained the required background. See Admissions page for detailed background course information.

Intermediate Accounting I
Federal Income Tax
Intermediate Accounting II
Audit Risks and Controls

Fall Term – Module A Courses (Four Courses Totaling Eight Credit Hours)
Corporate Taxation
Tax Research
Mergers & Acquisitions
Accounting Analytics and Big Data

Fall Term – Module B Courses (Four Courses Totaling Eight Credit Hours)
Entity Taxation
Taxation of Mergers & Acquisitions
Accounting Information Systems
Leadership in the Accounting Profession or Finance Theory and Practice

Spring Term – Module A Courses (Four Courses Totaling Eight Credit Hours)
Advanced Topics in Accounting
Tax Research
Audit Research
Financial Statement Analysis

Spring Term – Module B Courses (Four Courses Totaling Eight Credit Hours)
Assurance Methodology
Advanced Partnership Taxation
Non-Corporate Entity Accounting
Accounting Based Valuation

Some students' schedules may be adjusted to include other courses necessary for CPA Exam eligibility or specific interests.

*Curriculum is subject to change

MSA with Tax Concentration

With the aid of a generous gift from the Ernst & Young Foundation in 2008, SMU Cox began offering a Tax Track in its MSA Program.  This track addresses the increased demand for tax expertise and practitioners in the wake of Sarbanes-Oxley.  The Tax Track embeds in the nine-month 32-hour MSA Program specific courses designed by tax professionals to prepare students for the business world.

Successful completion of the Tax Track enables individuals to enter the accounting profession as highly trained tax professionals and increase their overall marketability.  The Tax Track is regarded by employers as equivalent to students having completed a Masters in Taxation.  Job placement rates have been extremely high and program alumni have secured great interest from large national and regional public firms.

Discover for yourself why national and regional accounting firms find that students completing the MSA Tax Concentration at SMU Cox are highly sought after.

Texas Required Ethics Class

To be eligible to sit for the CPA Examination in the state of Texas, a three credit-hour board-approved ethics course must be taken.  This requirement can be met at SMU Cox by having taken ACCT 3391 as an SMU Cox undergraduate student or by taking BL 6325 Ethics and Related Legal Issues for Accountants. Classes meeting all other specific requirements for CPA Exam eligibility are also available to MSA program students. If courses are necessary, the student's schedule will be adjusted to assist in ensuring CPA Exam eligibility is satisfied.