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Degree Overview: Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Accounting

Majors Overview May 14, 2015

Get information about Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree programs in Accounting and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Programs in Accounting

Business professionals who want to learn how to make sound financial decisions can seek enrollment to the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program with a concentration in Accounting. Program coursework involves delving into concepts in bilateral tax treaties, estate planning and tax ethics. Schools may offer seminars in taxation and accounting theory. Scholarly research in taxation and accounting may have to be completed by enrolled students.

Internships, mentoring opportunities and case studies may be available through program curricula. Students may also be required to complete a final project. Students enrolled in the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Accounting program are also trained to sit the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree before they can begin core coursework. Incoming students to some programs may be required to hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting, in addition to submitting letters of recommendation and GMAT or GRE scores.


Program coursework in the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Accounting program involves the exploration of topics such as tax ethics, accounting theory, corporate income taxation and policy planning. Accounting information systems, auditing and accounting research are explored through the program. Marketing subjects, information technology, supply chain management, finance, and business communications are also usually included within the curriculum of a graduate accounting program. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Fraud examination
•Tax practices
•Operations management
•Digital accounting
•Forensic accounting

Career Choices

Students enrolled in the program can seek occupations in the accounting, finance and taxation industries within government offices, payroll firms, bookkeeping agencies and accounting firms. Contract or freelance positions may be sought by some accountants. They may choose from popular career titles such as:

•Internal auditor
•Public accountant
•Management accountant

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an average job growth of 13% has been predicted for accountants and auditors (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $63,550 (BLS). Candidates can improve their prospects by earning the CPA qualification along with a master’s degree related to accounting. In January 2014, CPAs brought in average annual wages ranging between $40,487 and $98,775.

Continuing Education Choices

An MBA in Accounting program prepares graduates to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. A CPA is mandatory for an accountant who wants to file reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (BLS). The CPA designation can be earned by obtaining licensure through their State Board of Accountancy and by passage of the national exam.

Apart from work experience in accounting, 150 semester hours of college coursework is required in most states. Earning a Ph.D. in Accounting would allow students to seek careers in academia or research. While admission into a doctoral program does not require incoming students to hold an MBA degree, the degree may give applicants a competitive edge. Courses in income taxation and auditing concepts may be completed by graduates.

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