A master's degree in accounting prepares students to become financial professionals who can help a wide range of organizations thrive. Accounting is extremely important to any company because financial information, as analyzed and interpreted by CPAs, allows executives to make informed business decisions that help companies become more successful. Through the program, graduates develop specific expertise in the area of accounting by strengthening and enhancing the ability to interpret and communicate information about a company's operations and finances. Academic experience, combined with a practical internship experience, propels graduates to be proficient in the "language of business" that is accounting.
Typically, over 90 percent of MS accounting students have a job in accounting and financial advisory fields at graduation, and the demand for CU Boulder-educated accountants continues to soar. Many graduates begin careers with public accounting firms in audit, tax or advisory business services. Others prefer information management, tax or compliance positions within corporations. Still other opportunities exist in financial management, nonprofits and government agencies.
Coursework in accounting conveys a comprehensive understanding of the theory and concepts that underlie accounting practice. Emphasis is placed on logical reasoning and the development, understanding and use of information, which enables students to solve problems in accounting and management of organizations and to make sound accounting policy decisions.
Accounting students have many career options to consider after graduation. Those who aspire to pursue careers in public accounting must become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). The CPA designation is not as critical for other career paths in accounting, but becoming a CPA can be advantageous in any accounting career.
While the CPA requirements of most states have similar components and required courses, the specifics of those requirements differ greatly. Students interested in ultimately pursuing CPA licensure should contact the applicable state licensing board to determine any requirements, including particular courses they may need to fulfill in order to obtain licensure in a particular state.
Bachelor's–Accelerated Master's Degree Program
Students may earn this degree as part of the Bachelor's–Accelerated Master's (BAM) degree program, which allows currently enrolled CU Boulder undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a bachelor's and master's degree in a shorter period of time.
For more information, see the Accelerated Master's tab for the associated bachelor's degree(s): Business Administration - Bachelor of Science (BS).
The MS accounting degree consists of ten graduate-level courses. Students can opt to take additional courses. The degree can be completed in 9–20 months, depending on whether the student wants, and is offered, a busy-season (spring) internship.
The following suggested course pathways are recommended based on a traditional starting date (fall semester), completion date (20 months), and undertaking a busy-season internship. Students can deviate from the suggested pathways depending on their personal timeline and experiences.
The following four intermediate-level accounting courses or their equivalent must be completed before starting the master's-level accounting courses. Course equivalency will be assessed by the MS in Accounting faculty director during transcript review in the application process.
|Corporate Financial Reporting 1
|Corporate Financial Reporting 2
|Income Taxation of Individuals
|Total Credit Hours
|Advanced Financial Accounting
|Income Taxation of Business Entities
|Auditing and Assurance Services
|Current Issues in Professional Accounting--Accounting Ethics
|Advanced Auditing: Business Risk and Decision Analysis
|Advanced Business Law
|Oil and Gas Accounting
|Financial Statement Analysis
|Accounting Information Systems
|Data Analytics for Accounting
|Topics in Business
|Textual Analysis in Business
|Total Credit Hours