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 our program, our 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 our 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.
An MS in accounting primes graduates to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) both academically, in terms of preparing for the CPA exam, and by meeting the State of Colorado education requirements for CPAs (as well as those of most other states). In 2017, our students had a “first-time” CPA exam success rate of 69.6%, compared to a national average of 52.9%. First-time success rate is defined as passing an exam section on the first attempt. For more information on CPA pass rates nationally, see the NASBA Report on the CPA Exam.
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.
Four intermediate-level accounting courses must be completed before starting the master's-level accounting courses.
|ACCT 3220||Corporate Financial Reporting 1||3|
|ACCT 3230||Corporate Financial Reporting 2||3|
|ACCT 3320||Cost Management||3|
|ACCT 3440||Income Taxation of Individuals||3|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
|ACCT 5240||Advanced Financial Accounting||3|
|ACCT 5450||Income Taxation of Business Entities||3|
|ACCT 5620||Auditing and Assurance Services||3|
|ACCT 6350||Current Issues in Professional Accounting--Accounting Ethics||3|
|ACCT 6620||Advanced Auditing: Business Risk and Decision Analysis||3|
|BSLW 5120||Advanced Business Law||3|
|Electives (Select four)||12-13|
|Financial Statement Analysis|
|Accounting Information Systems|
|Topics in Business (Oil & Gas Accounting)|
|Integrated Reporting for Socially Responsible Strategies|
|Research and Writing in Income Taxation|
|Taxation of Partnerships|
|Taxation of Corporations|
|Total Credit Hours||30-31|