MS in Accounting

Master of Science in Accounting


The SMU Cox MS in Accounting program was recently ranked the #3 Master of Accounting program in the US* issued by Public Accounting Report, which surveys nearly 1,000 accounting professors from more than 200 U.S. colleges and universities.

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Launch Your Career in Accounting

As an accounting professional, the bottom line among prospective employers and clients is your proven proficiency in technical knowledge, critical thinking and communication skills. Now you can enhance your credibility and expand your career options in the fields of accounting and finance by building on your undergraduate education while you prepare for CPA certification.

The Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University offers a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree. Our 32-hour program (up to 40 hours required for those with a non-business or international background) is designed to heighten your broad-based business knowledge to meet employers' expectations while satisfying the CPA licensing requirements.


The SMU Cox MSA Program gives you the flexibility to differentiate your learning experience in a rigorous academic environment through  elective courses within the rigorous academic environment of a top MBA Program.  An SMU Cox MSA will not only provide you with accounting fundamentals, but you will also learn in the areas of finance, information technology and tax.  Through pioneering faculty research and teaching techniques, SMU Cox puts students on the leading edge of business and provides unparalleled opportunities to succeed.  Gain the knowledge, skills and contacts you need to launch your career in accounting with an MSA from SMU Cox.


Advantages of an SMU Cox MSA include:

  • SMU’s Dallas location yields exceptional job placement

  • Virtually all students secure professional positions with top national and regional accounting or finance firms prior to graduation

  • Diverse choices of electives offered in a top MBA Program
  • Choice of study between our traditional Assurance and Advisory Track (covering audit and consulting areas) and our highly regarded Tax Track designed by tax professionals

  • The 32-hour MSA Program may be pursued full-time in only nine months (40 hours taken over twelve months for those with non-business or international background)
  • Connections to top-caliber executives as long-term mentors
  • Opens the door to SMU’s elite network of business leaders

Our program provides the technical knowledge, global business understanding and soft skills necessary to succeed in today’s challenging business environment.  We provide the opportunity to learn in an environment fostering innovative business ideas and solutions that will enable you to transition strategically and successfully into your new accounting career.

More than just CPA exam prep, the SMU Cox MSA equips you to launch your career.

The SMU Cox Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) Program, a stand-alone graduate program, is designed not just to be exam preparation but career preparation. The program provides students with the courses required to qualify for the Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) license while gaining a graduate degree from the prestigious SMU Cox School of Business.

SMU Cox is highly regarded for its commitment to excellence in education, and our MSA Program has received great national and regional interest from a vast array of firms in Dallas and across the nation. The SMU Cox School is AACSB-accredited and fully embraces SMU's philosophy that learning is a lifelong process. We will challenge you with SMU Cox's competitive standard in graduate level courses, taught by distinguished PhD faculty. We will encourage you to succeed in our personalized class environment-one of the hallmarks of SMU Cox. We will help you to achieve your goals by offering you a graduate program that provides outstanding long-term benefits to your academic and professional career.

Build on your undergraduate education by equipping yourself for your career while preparing for your CPA. Come discover why ambitious individuals unafraid to challenge themselves choose an SMU Cox MSA.

Program Format

Two semesters, full-time for those with prior accounting degrees in the US. Those with alternative backgrounds may need to complete up to eight credit hours during the summer leading into the program to gain necessary understanding for the program. Upon offer of admission you will be notified of whether the following courses are necessary. 

  • Intermediate Accounting based on US GAAP
  • Taxation that is focused on the US Tax Law
  • Auditing that is focused on the US SAS and PCAOB Requirements

Designed for

Recent college graduates seeking to build their career options by enhancing their knowledge of accounting, finance, tax and information technology or those further in their career looking to become CPA Exam eligible


  • Bachelor's degree and transcript
  • Successful completion of Intermediate Accounting and Federal Income Tax courses
  • GMAT
  • TOEFL or Pearson PTE for international students
  • Two essays
  • Contact information for two references

Average class profile

  • Class size: 115
  • Age: 23
  • GPA: 3.52, Middle 50% is 3.40 to 3.72 (Minimum of 3.0 for consideration)
  • GMAT: 664, Middle 50% is 650 to 708 (Minimum of 600 for consideration)
  • Experience: Less than one year


National Recognition for SMU Cox MSA Program

The word is getting out that SMU Cox Accounting is on the rise!  Cox was recently ranked #8 for undergraduate accounting by Bloomberg Businessweek. Recognition of our top ten undergraduate status is very exciting. 

There is only one annual ranking of Master in Accounting programs. Issued by Public Accounting Report, it is based on an annual survey of professors. “Nearly 1,000 accounting professors from more than 200 U.S. colleges and universities participated in the survey. The SMU Cox MSA Program was ranked #3 Master's program in the U.S.*

*PAR’s Annual Professors Survey asks them to rank five accounting programs that they believe most consistently turn out graduates who are capable of becoming accounting firm partners in the future. Cox MSA finished #3 for schools with 15 or fewer full-time accounting faculty.