Online Master’s in Accounting CurriculumOnline Master’s in Accounting CurriculumOnline Master’s in Accounting Curriculum

The field of accounting is changing rapidly. With advances in technology, new trends and regulations, and forthcoming updates to the CPA Exam, today’s accounting professionals need to stay ahead of the curve.

Aspiring professionals can benefit greatly from the skills and knowledge gained from a graduate-level accounting curriculum. Higher education levels for accountants can lead to greater responsibilities, which, in turn, can lead to better job security. What’s more, holders of a master’s degree in accounting earn an average of 37% more than bachelor’s degree holders.

Maryville University Online Master’s in Accounting Curriculum

The online Master of Science in Accounting program at Maryville University aims to provide students with the accounting skills needed to pursue professional success. For experienced accountants, this program comprises 10 courses (30 credit hours) and can be completed in as few as 12 months. Our program is one of the first in the nation to feature a completely revamped curriculum that focuses on the upcoming changes to the CPA Exam and the field of accounting. Here, you can specialize your education by choosing one of two CPA Exam-focused tracks: Business Analysis and Reporting or Information Systems and Controls. We also offer a newly updated bridge program for learners who don’t hold an undergraduate degree in accounting.

Learn more about Maryville’s Online MS in Accounting course offerings below.

Note: While experienced accountants may start with core coursework listed below, Maryville offers a bridge program designed to help those without a background or bachelor’s degree in accounting build the fundamentals needed to access master’s-level accounting coursework. If you are an experienced accountant or hold an undergraduate degree in accounting, you can likely skip the bridge program.

Bridge Program

Admission Prerequisite: BUS-501, Survey of Business, will be required if your undergraduate degree was outside the area of business; however, credits earned in foundational courses (such as BUS 501) are considered prerequisites to courses required for the graduate degree.

Note: Students who plan to practice in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,  Ohio, South Dakota, Utah or Washington must take one additional general business course as part of the bridge program, defined as a business course that maps or transfers into the John E. Simon School of Business. Students who plan to practice in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Rhode Island, or Texas must take two additional general business courses.

  • This course focuses on how business events affect financial statements by acquiring a working knowledge of basic accounting theory and concepts. Topics include the role of accounting in decision making; the recording procedures that accountants use to organize information for financial statement preparation; and analytical tools and accounting principles to aid in reading and interpreting financial statements.

  • The concepts of managerial accounting are covered in this course. Emphasis is placed on the preparation and use of financial information for planning, decision making and control. The course will address cost classifications, product and service costing methods and systems, profit planning, measuring performance, and the new manufacturing environment.

  • In this course, students obtain, use and critically evaluate financial and non-financial information to make effective business decisions considering strategic, technological and environmental factors.

  • This course emphasizes the federal income taxation of individuals as prescribed in the Internal Revenue Code, related regulations, rulings and case law. The purpose is to develop an understanding of the basic principles and concepts of income taxes, to become acquainted with research skills needed to locate appropriate tax law sources and to apply principles and concepts to tax return preparation.

  • This course builds the foundation in critical thinking, financial data analytics, digital acumen, and ethical mindset necessary for success as an accounting professional in today’s ever-changing business environment. Throughout the course, students use the IMPACT cycle of data analytics to identify business questions that can be addressed with data, collect and then transform data into information using various software applications, communicate insights to stakeholders, and make decisions based on the business intelligence that results from this process. Prerequisite: ACCT 211

  • An in-depth study of financial accounting topics including time value concepts; valuation of inventories; acquisition and disposition of property, plant, and equipment; intangible assets; and revenue recognition. The transition from U.S. GAAP to IFRS is also discussed.

  • An in-depth study of accounting topics including stockholders equity issues, earnings per share valuation, investments, current and long-term liabilities, accounting for income taxes, pensions, leases, post- retirement benefits and statement of cash flows. The transition from U.S. GAAP to IFRS is also discussed.

  • This course introduces students to Accounting Information Systems concepts and applications. Topics covered include system development life cycle, AIS design and development, accounting database design, business process analysis, accounting applications,IT security and controls, and accounting requirements for the development of intelligent systems.

  • This course covers the theory and application of required standards and appropriate procedures used by the independentaccountant to give various degrees of assurance to an organization’s financial information and operations, with a focus on external auditing. The auditor’s responsibilities, work paper preparation, and ethical standards are included in this course.

  • This course examines legal rights and ethics, crimes, torts, contracts, personal property, bailments and sales.

  • This course develops business data analysis skills and statistical techniques using spreadsheets. Topics include data collection storage and analysis using descriptive statistics, tables and charts; probability and data distributions, statistical tests, correlation, regression, forecasting, and quality control analysis.

  • This course examines legal rights and ethics, crimes, torts, contracts, personal property, bailments and sales.

  • This course introduces the economic perspective on decisions currently faced by individuals, businesses, and society. Basic economic principles and methods are used to address both microeconomic and macroeconomic topics, with a focus on the modern market economy. Essential content includes the laws of supply and demand; the behavior of consumers and firms; the function of resource markets; macroeconomic measures of economic growth, unemployment, and inflation; the use of fiscal and monetary policy to achieve macroeconomic goals; and an overview of international trade.

  • Students examine basic financial management of business firms: a) procurement, b) allocation and c) control of funds; corporate financial behavior; financial instruments and markets; and the analysis and interpretation of investment and profit performance.

Core Accounting Courses (15 Credit Hours)

  • Students will examine professional codes, ethical modes, and other resources in the exploration of challenging ethical dilemmas and professional conflicts facing accountants.

  • This course will use various sources of authoritative guidance to resolve complex, professionally oriented problems that include auditing, financial reporting, and taxation. Students will analyze numerous unstructured cases and present their conclusions with written reports and oral presentations.

  • This course provides a review of accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP) that affect business enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, and government entities. Students will review data analytics visualization and techniques to establish evidence for accounting choices. Note: This course should be taken no more than one year prior to anticipated graduation.

  • This course provides a review of the taxation of individuals and a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit entities. Tax professionals’ legal duties, ethical responsibilities, and the use of technology in business practice will also be reviewed. Note: This course should be taken no more than one year prior to anticipated graduation.

  • This course provides a review of auditing procedures, auditing standards generally accepted in the United States (GAAS), and the use and limitations of various accounting systems. Note: This course should be taken no more than one year prior to anticipated graduation.

Business Analysis and Reporting Track Courses (15 hours)

  • This course deals with the role that the accounting function plays in achieving the strategic goals of an organization. It also explores the issues of corporate governance, including the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the interactions among management, auditors and the audit committee.

  • This course covers advanced-level accounting subjects, including business combinations, partnerships and accounting for multi-national entities; and segment and interim reporting.

  • This course will focus on the fundamental concepts of common tax regulations and provide a broad overview of corporate and partnership taxation and individual tax planning issues. Specific topics include: the framework of the tax system; fundamentals of tax planning; the taxation of sole proprietorships, flow-through entities and corporations; and the tax treatment of fringe benefits and investment assets. Pre-requisite: ACCT 610

  • The course covers data analytics through an accounting lens. Topics include creating databases, cleaning and transforming data, developing queries, and delivering useable information to clients.

Information Systems and Controls Track (15 hours)

  • The course covers data analytics through an accounting lens. Topics include creating databases, cleaning and transforming data, developing queries, and delivering useable information to clients.

  • This course will cover the Controls for Effective Cyber Defense which are a recommended set of actions that will provide specific and actionable ways to deter potential attacks. Discussion will focus on how organizations can use these controls to define the starting point for their defenses, direct their resources on actions with immediate payoff, and focus their attention on additional risk issues that are unique to their business or mission.

  • This course will cover the principles of cybersecurity incident response and forensics which include a recommended set of forensic principles to provide specific methods to identify and the management of security related events. Discussion will focus on how to leverage practices used by industry to identify and analyze forensic data received from devices and the responsible actions to manage a security incident. Students will learn proper cyber defense, evaluation and response methods that are inherent in today’s ever changing technology landscape. Prerequisite: ISYS-600

Total 30 credit hours without bridge, 69-75 credit hours with bridge.

* Courses that incorporate Becker preparation material will have an additional fee

To ensure the best possible educational experience for our students, we may update our curriculum to reflect emerging and changing employer and industry trends. Professional licensure and certification regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Students are encouraged to visit the relevant governing body for the state in which they intend to practice to verify specific licensure (and/ clinical hours) requirements which includes ensuring the program of interest meets the licensure requirements prior to enrolling. Students may visit our Professional Licensure Information page for more information and also reach out to our team of enrollment advisors for guidance.

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Skills, Concepts, or Opportunities Gained with a Master’s Degree in Accounting

A typical master’s in accounting curriculum consists of courses that can give students in-depth knowledge and skills in several aspects of accounting. Many of these accounting courses will cover the following skills or concepts:

  • CPA Evolution CPA Exam preparation. The Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam is a rigorous assessment that tests accountants’ knowledge and skills based on the newest trends, techniques, and regulations — and changes are coming in 2024. At Maryville University, we have already updated our curriculum to reflect the information learners will need to prepare for the newest version of the exam as outlined by the CPA Evolution initiative.
  • Managerial methods. Managerial accounting refers to the process of gathering, analyzing and presenting financial information findings. Planning, budgeting, decision-making, and performance measurement are all examples of managerial accounting.
  • Discussing and analyzing strategic accounting issues. Accounting and auditing play an essential role in an organization’s financial health and growth. Students in this field must understand how accounting can support strategic, forward-looking business decisions.
  • Advanced auditing skills. Auditors play a key part in ensuring an organization’s funds are properly managed. Students learn how to find and eliminate waste and fraud, review financial statements, and improve accounting processes.

Common Courses for Online Master’s in Accounting Students

These are some of the common courses offered for this degree. Though actual course titles may vary depending on the university, many accounting programs offer courses that touch on the following concepts:

Graduate preparation. Students beginning a master’s program in a business-related field must have a basic understanding of business math in addition to more general academic knowledge, such as how to cite critical data and paraphrase, as well as how to avoid plagiarism. A graduate preparation course offers students the chance to review such things.

Strategic accounting issues. Accountants working for organizations and businesses play an important role in that organization’s success. Therefore, accounting students need to learn the role they will play in achieving the strategic goals of an organization and also understand corporate governance.


Investopedia, “Managerial Accounting Concepts and Techniques”

Maryville University, “Online Accounting Degree”

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