Graduates and current students both tout the Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.) program as a challenging academic regimen that offers preparation for the Certified Public Accountant exam, while at the same time incorporating relevant real-world examples that equip them for the work force. Students praise professors in the department for their approachability. “While they have powerful positions, they remain humble enough to make students a priority,” says Phylicia Coleman, a recent graduate, who works as an auditor in the Nashville office of Deloitte & Touche, LLP. Another recent graduate, Duresha Rice, offers the following about her accounting professors: “They want to see every student succeed and become successful.” After graduating, Rice began her career at Faulkner, Mackie and Cochran, P.C., as an external auditor. “Thanks to the accounting department at MTSU, I have secured a position with the Tennessee Department of Audit,” says former master’s student Adria Bakke., These powerful testimonies from current and former students illustrate how the M.Acc. program prepares students for professional jobs in accounting and other related fields.
Shane Gibson is in the real-world work place, starting out as an internal auditor for Hospital Corporation of America, then transitioning to Parker, Parker, & Associates. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree, then went on to complete his Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.). He says his time at MTSU was invaluable. “Those years transformed me into the professional I am today. Through on-campus organizations such as Beta Alpha Psi, I was introduced to lifelong friends who continue to shape my life to this day. The accounting program challenged me to exceed the status quo and to discover my true potential. The faculty was tremendously helpful as they were always willing to take time out of their day to help.” Gibson adds that the program prepared him for both the CPA Exam and his career. “The challenging courses in the Accountancy program helped prepare me for the challenges that I face in the work force today.”
Jana Lowe worked for a nonprofit organization as an accounting technician before she realized that she could not advance without a degree in accounting. That’s when she enrolled at MTSU, and she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting. “My experience at MTSU was entirely positive. The professors are knowledgeable and experienced and seek to help their students prepare for the work world. They especially encourage students to sit for the CPA Exam. [My tax courses] prepared me for tax preparation and research that I use in my current job. Our firm performs local government and nonprofit audits. My governmental accounting course prepared me for this unique type of accounting. All my accountancy professors had extensive expertise and enthusiasm for their field.” New hires are expected to hit the ground running, Lowe notes. MTSU prepared her for a smooth landing and to keep pace. “The relationships I developed as a graduate assistant and my involvement in Beta Alpha Psi have continued to enrich my life.” Lowe is with Parker, Parker & Associates, in Goodlettsville, Tenn.
Career opportunities for individuals earning a Master of Accountancy degree (M.Acc.) can be found in areas such as
The Department of Accounting offers a general Master of Accounting (M.Acc.) degree, which requires thirty credit hours of coursework. Students may elect to complete a tax specialization by taking twelve credit hours of tax coursework as part of their thirty credit hour program.
To be considered for the M.Acc. Program, a student must meet one of the following:
Program prerequisites include Intermediate Accounting I and II (ACTG 3110 and 3120), Cost Accounting (ACTG 3310), Introduction to Federal Income Tax (ACTG 4550), and External Auditing I (ACTG 4620). The business prerequisites for a student seeking the M.Acc. degree are Legal Environment of Business (BLAW 3400), Principles of Economics (ECON 2410 or ECON 2420), Statistical Methods (BIA 2610), Principles of Management Information Systems (INFS 3100), and Business Finance (FIN 3010). Students can be admitted to the program even if they have not completed all of these prerequisites. Any missing prerequisites must be completed before taking related graduate coursework.
Most students in the M.Acc. program pursue certification as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and the program specifically includes a review class that assists students in preparing for the CPA exam. In addition, the M.Acc. program can help students pursue other professional certifications, such as Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).
For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.
The undergraduate Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) with a major in Accounting is designed to provide the student with a well-rounded education in both business and liberal arts. Undergraduate minors are offered in Accounting and Accounting/Information Systems.
The Department of Accounting offers a flexible Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.) degree program that develops students' decision making and communication skills and provides a path to professional accounting certifications.
Please see the undergraduate catalog for undergraduate program information.
To be considered for admission to the Master of Accountancy program (see Admission to the College of Graduate Studies), a student must meet ONE of the following:
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
Applications are accepted for students to begin the M.Acc. program during any semester (fall, spring, or summer). June 1 is the deadline for priority admission for the fall semester, and October 1 is the deadline for priority admission for spring. Applications will be accepted after these dates, but admission consideration is not guaranteed. Students are encouraged to apply early to facilitate early registration for classes.
NOTE: Letters of recommendation are not required unless a student is applying for an assistantship. Students applying for an assistantship must also submit three letters of recommendation from professors or professionals that address the applicant's potential to successfully complete the Master of Accountancy program.
The Master of Accountancy requires completion of a 13 credit-hour core and 17 credit hours in electives. A capstone course must be passed with a grade of B- or higher with a maximum enrollment of two times. The degree is to be completed within six years from the time of admission to the degree program.
Candidate must complete 30 hours in the following course of study:
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Delves into current legal topics in corporate law and governance, including the division of power and responsibilities between the board of directors, board committees, officers, auditors, and shareholders; securities laws and other fraud topics; the duty of care and other fiduciary duties of directors, officers and auditors; special problems of closely held organizations; how governance models compare across the globe; and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Includes research related cases in key industries of their prospective careers, such as the healthcare and audit services.
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Consent of department chair. History and development of accountancy, tax structures, and industrial development of past, present, and projected societies including relevant research into current controversial issues. Extensive research required. Required for M.Acc.
1 credit hours
Prerequisites: Admission to M.Acc. program and ACTG 4620 with minimum grade of C. Review of the material covered on the Auditing and Attestation section of the CPA exam, including audit and other reports, engagement acceptance, planning and risk assessment, audit evidence, audit sampling and communications, audit documentation, and professional responsibilities.
1 credit hours
Prerequisites: Admission to M.Acc. program and ACTG 3120 with minimum grade of C. Review of the material covered on the Financial Accounting and Reporting section of the CPA exam, including information related to the conceptual framework, standards, and presentation of financial statements; recognition, measurement, valuation, and presentation of specific types of transactions and financial statement accounts; governmental accounting and reporting; and not-for-profit accounting and reporting.
1 credit hours
Prerequisites: Admission to the M.Acc. program, ACTG 4550 with minimum grade of C, and BLAW 3400. Review of the material covered on the Regulation section of the CPA exam, including information related to ethics, the professional and legal responsibilities of CPAs, business law, federal tax processes, taxation of property transactions, and the taxation of individuals and business entities.
1 credit hours
Prerequisites: Admission to the M.Acc. program, ECON 2410 or ECON 2420, FIN 3010, and INFS 3100. Review of the material covered on the Business Environment and Concepts section of the CPA Exam, including information related to corporate governance, economic concepts and analysis, financial management, information systems and communications, strategic planning, and operations management.
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: Accounting major or consent of instructor. Application of theoretical concepts and promulgations of authoritative bodies to financial accounting and financial reporting situations encountered in practice.
Students electing to specialize in tax accounting must complete four of the following among their electives:
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ACTG 4550 or consent of instructor. Skillful application of tax research methodology in the use of primary tax authority, secondary tax reference materials, and research aids. Research through practice in the use of materials available in the tax library.
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ACTG 4550 with a minimum grade of C or consent of instructor. Principles of partnership and S corporation taxation. Addresses the tax consequences of formation, operations, distributions, and liquidations of partnerships. Also covers tax rules unique to S corporations.
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ACTG 4550 with minimum grade of C or consent of instructor. The federal income taxation of business entities, including C corporations, S corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and estates and trusts. Also covers estate and gift taxation.
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ACTG 4550 with minimum grade of C or consent of instructor. Basic concepts of U.S. taxation of international transactions. Topics include sourcing of income from foreign activities, Subpart F income, selecting the proper vehicle for foreign investments, and computing foreign tax credits.
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: ACTG 4550 with a minimum grade of C or consent of instructor. In-depth investigation of selected advanced topics in taxation.
The business prerequisites for a student seeking the M.Acc.degree are
A recent graduate of an AACSB-accredited program would normally possess an adequate background in these prerequisites. In addition, students entering the M.Acc. degree program must have completed an additional 21 hours of prerequisites in accounting including
With proper planning the Master of Accountancy will fulfill the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Tennessee.
Under special circumstances, a student may request to be exempted from taking the CPA Review classes (ACTG 6820, ACTG 6830, ACTG 6840, and ACTG 6850). For example, students who have previously passed the CPA exam or international students who do not intend to take the CPA exam may want to request an exemption. The approval of such a request is at the discretion of the director of the M.Acc. program. If an exemption is received, a student must substitute four credits of other 6000-level Accounting classes.
No foreign language or thesis is required in the program.
Students are required to complete a degree plan and to submit it to the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program.
A candidate must file a Notice of Intent to Graduate Form in the College of Graduate Studies during their first semester in the program.
Students who have credit for the undergraduate equivalent of a 5000-level course are not permitted to enroll in the 5000-level course for credit.
The MTSU Career Center hosts several job fairs throughout the year, which assist in providing opportunities for internships and employment. In the field of Accounting, students are able to interact with one another and potential employers. The “Document Drop” service is for students who wish to leave a cover letter or resume with the Career Center and receive a written critique. The Career Center also provides walk-in counseling, career-cluster or virtual counseling, and workshops.
Students may join as affiliate members of the American Institute of CPAs. The AICPA provides an array of benefits, including industry updates, scholarships, conference discounts and an AICPA Competency Assessment Tool.
Beta Alpha Psi, referred to by several current and former students above, is an honor organization for financial-information students and professionals. BAP encourages and recognizes scholastic and professional excellence in the business-information field. The organization provides opportunities for self-development, service, and association among members and professionals working in the field.
In addition to BAP, MTSU has student chapters of the Institute of Management Accountants, the Institute of Internal Auditors, and the National Association of Black Accountants. More information about these organizations is available on the Accounting Department website.
Is the MTSU MAcc program well regarded by the business community?
Yes, the MTSU MAcc program enjoys an excellent reputation in the business community, and MTSU MAcc students are heavily recruited. Our Meet the Firms recruiting event is among the largest, if not the largest, hosted by accounting programs in Tennessee.
Who recruits MTSU MAcc students on campus?
Each fall, MTSU hosts a Meet the Firms event, and many firms, businesses, and governmental entities come to recruit our students. In 2017, the following entities participated in the Meet the Firms event sponsored by the local chapter of Beta Alpha Psi:
• Deloitte • Ernst & Young • Amsurg • BKD • Blankenship CPA Group • Carr Riggs & Ingram • Correct Care Solutions • Crosslin • Crowe Horwath • Dempsey Vantrease & Follis • Elliott Davis Decosimo • Faulkner Mackie & Cochran • FedEx • Grannis & Associates • Hall Albright Garrison & Barnes • HCA Internal Audit • HCA Tax Department • KraftCPAs • LBMC • LKQ Corporation • Maggart & Associates • National Healthcare Corporation • PHB CPAs • Parallon Business Solutions • Puryear, Hamilton, Hausman & Woods • Ryan, LLC • Smith Marion & Company • Stone Rudolph & Henry, PLC • Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance • Tennessee Department of Treasury, Division of Investigations • Tennessee Comptroller of the Currency • Tennessee Department of Revenue • Tennessee Department of Treasury • Warner Music Group • Winnett Associates, PLLC
Please keep in mind that this is a list of employers that attended Meet the Firms. Our graduates are also employed by many other firms not included in this list.
How does the MTSU MAcc program compare to other programs?
In a ranking of the 2017-18 Best Master of Accounting Programs, the MTSU MAcc program was rated 39th in the country. These rankings were determined using a four-factor method that included (1) CPA Exam Average Score, (2) CPA Exam Overall Pass Rate, (3) Relative Popularity for Business Students, and (4) Average Tuition. Only one other MAcc program in Tennessee was included in the Top 50 (see http://www.online-accounting-degrees.net/best/master-of-accounting-degree-programs/).
Are the Jones College of Business and the MTSU Accounting program accredited?
The Jones College of Business, and the Department of Accounting, are accredited by AACSB International, the premier accrediting body for Colleges of Business. AACSB accreditation is the ‘gold standard’ of accreditation for Colleges of Business.
Do I need to complete my undergraduate degree before applying for the MAcc program?
No, you can apply while you are completing your undergraduate degree, and we encourage you to do so. We suggest applying approximately six to eight months before you intend to begin classes. For example, students who plan to begin classes in August are encouraged to apply in January or February.
Do I need to complete the pre-reqs before applying for the MAcc program?
No. You can apply even though you have not completed the pre-reqs. However, you will be required to take the pre-reqs early in your MAcc program. Also, keep in mind, that once you are admitted to the MAcc program, you will be charged graduate tuition rates for all classes, including any pre-req classes.
Do I need an undergraduate degree in accounting to enter the MAcc program?
No. An undergraduate accounting degree is not required. However, there are a number of pre-requisite classes required for the program. If you don't have an undergraduate accounting degree, you will be required to take more pre-req classes.
In which semesters can I begin the MAcc program?
You can begin the MAcc program during any semester (fall, spring or summer).
What are the minimum requirements to be considered for admission?
Generally, to be considered for admission, the applicant must meet one of the requirements below:
International students must meet certain English proficiency requirements. Other rules can also apply to international admissions.
Admitted students typically have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75.
For full details, please see the Graduate Catalog.
Is the GMAT exam required for admission?
Sometimes. The GMAT requirement is waived if the applicant has an accounting degree from an AACSB-accredited college, and their cumulative GPA was at least 3.0. The GMAT is also waived for students who are working on their accounting degree at an AACSB college if it is clear that they will have at least a 3.0 GPA when they graduate. (Feel free to contact Dr. Wermert to determine if this applies to you.) If a student does not meet these requirements for GMAT waiver, the applicant must submit GMAT scores.
The GMAT requirement may be waived if an applicant has an accounting degree from an AACSB-accredited school, and their cumulative GPA was at least 3.0. How do I know if my school is AACSB-accredited?
MTSU is accredited by the AACSB. For other schools, you can check the AACSB website, which allows you to search by country. To check for other schools, please use the following link (use the filter by 'Business' option).
When should I apply to the MAcc program?
We recommend applying 6-8 months before your intended start date. Applications are typically accepted as long as openings are still available. However, by applying early you can be certain to secure yourself a place in the program, and you are able to register for classes in a timely manner.
How do I apply to the MAcc program, and what other information is required when applying for admission?
Information about the graduate admissions process can be found at: Graduate Admissions
Special rules apply to International Admissions. International students can find information at: International Admissions
Do you offer conditional admission?
No. You must meet the program requirements at the time of admission to be admitted.
When are admissions decisions made?
Once all of the required application materials (e.g. application, transcripts, and GMAT scores, if required) are received by the Graduate College, the application is forwarded to the Director of the MAcc program to make an admissions decision. Typically, decisions are made quickly once the applications are received by the Director (e.g. a week or two).
Will I be classified as an in-state or out-of-state resident?
The Director of the MAcc program is not involved in this process. Furthermore, we have been notified that the regulations regarding this issue are rather complex. Out-of-state students should contact the College of Graduate Studies about this issue at 615-898-2840 PRIOR to first enrollment to discuss options.
What is the Regional Scholars Program?
The Regional Scholars Program allows out-of-state students who live within 250 miles to attend at a reduced rate equal to approximately 44% off the standard out-of-state rate. For more information please see: Regional Scholars Program
Are letters of recommendation required for admission into the MAcc program?
No letters of recommendation are required, unless you are applying for an assistantship. If you apply for an assistantship, three letters of recommendation are required.
How much does it cost to apply to the MAcc program?
For 2018-19, the application fee is $35. This is a one-time fee, and there should be no additional fee if you are re-enrolling.
Does an undergraduate degree in accounting from MTSU satisfy all pre-req requirements?
Yes, if you took ACTG 4620 (External Auditing) as part of your undergraduate program. If you did not take ACTG 4620, you would be required to take it as a prereq to the MAcc program.
Are there any specializations available in the MTSU MAcc program?
Students can elect a tax specialization by completing four of the five following tax classes:
Can I get transfer credit?
In some circumstances, students who have previous graduate credit from an AACSB-accredited college may be able to apply up to six credit hours of such work toward MAcc program requirements. Permission is required from the MAcc program director and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies to use transfer credit. Generally, transfer credit is not awarded if the coursework was used to meet degree requirements for another degree. Please contact the MAcc program director if you have transfer credit questions.
How long does it take to complete the MAcc program?
Students must complete 30 credit hours to complete the MAcc program. With proper planning, students can complete the program in one year if they attend full-time (assuming all pre-reqs were satisfied when starting the program). Some students attend part-time, taking one or two classes per semester. Part-time students often take 2-3 years to complete the program.
Are Graduate Assistantship (GA) positions available?
Assistantship positions are often available, however, the number may vary from semester to semester.
What are the benefits of a Graduate Assistantship?
Graduate Assistantships provide a monthly stipend (currently about $800/month) and a waiver for tuition and most fees. Out-of-state residents also receive a waiver for out-of-state fees.
How do I apply for an assistantship?
To apply for an assistantship position, please complete the application that is included on the College of Graduate Studies' website.
This application should be sent to the Department of Accounting along with three letters of recommendation. Students who do not receive an assistantship in their first semester may reapply in subsequent semesters.
What duties must a Graduate Assistant (GA) perform?
GAs usually work 20 hours per week. Duties may include tutoring students in the accounting lab, proctoring exams, grading homework, assisting professors with teaching or research, as well as other various duties.
How do I register for classes?
To register for classes, please contact the Director of the MAcc program. The director must approve any classes you plan to take. In addition, all accounting classes have holds placed on them. The program director must have the holds removed before you can register. Any holds on non-accounting classes must be removed by the departments offering the classes.
Which classes satisfy the Global requirement?
MAcc students must take one Global class. Students can pick from:
Who do I call to get registration holds released?
For accounting classes, please send an email message to Dr. Wermert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holds on non-accounting classes must be released by the department where the class is offered. Listed below are the departments and phone numbers to contact for non-accounting classes:
Who should I contact if I am getting error messages when trying to register for classes in Pipeline?
Please see the Department of Accounting Administrative Assistants. You can stop by the Department of Accounting in BAS N425 for personal assistance or you can call them at 615-898-5306 or 615-898-2558.
Does the MAcc program include a CPA Review program?
Yes. The program includes a series of four classes (one for each part of the exam; one credit hour each) to prepare students for the CPA exam. The program will be using Becker CPA Review as the provider for the content of this program.
Is there an additional cost for the CPA Review program?
Yes. The cost of the Becker program is approximately $1,700, which is one-half Becker’s normal fee. Becker can often direct-bill companies if a student has accepted a job offer from a CPA firm or company that pays for their CPA review class. Please talk to your future employer about this possibility. In addition, Becker will allow students to finance the cost of their program over 18 months, if necessary. This works out to about $100/month. Finally, you should be aware that there are fees that must be paid to take the exam. These fees are also the responsibility of the student.
Will I be qualified to sit for the CPA exam after getting the MAcc degree?
Requirements to sit for the CPA exam can vary slightly by state. If you have an undergraduate degree in any field of business, you will meet the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Tennessee by completing the MAcc program. If your undergraduate degree was not in a business discipline (e.g. psychology), you can meet the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam by completing the MAcc program with proper planning. If you plan to sit for the CPA exam in a different state, you should check with the applicable State Board of Accountancy to determine the requirements of that state.
Where can I get more information about sitting for the CPA exam?
More information about the CPA exam can be found on the NASBA website. Please see their ‘Candidate Bulletin’ for more information. It is very detailed and has answers to most questions about the CPA exam.
If I have questions about whether I will meet the requirements to sit for the CPA Exam in Tennessee, who can I call?
You should call the Tennessee State Board of Accountancy at 888-453-6150.
What is the pass rate for MTSU MAcc students on the CPA exam?
MTSU students have performed quite well on the CPA exam. Typically, the first time pass rate for MTSU MAcc students is among the highest for universities in the Middle Tennessee area. Over the period 2012-15, the first-time pass rate was 61.3% for MAcc students (i.e. students passed 61.3% of the parts they attempted).
Should I get an MBA or MAcc degree?
While both degrees can be very good degrees to obtain, we recommend a MAcc degree if you are planning a professional accounting career. When employers are seeking to fill accounting positions, they will be much more likely to choose someone with an accounting background (i.e. MAcc degree). Furthermore, a MAcc degree will do a better job of preparing you for the CPA Exam.
How much does the MAcc program cost?
MTSU's MAcc is one of the most affordable Master of Accountancy programs, if not the most affordable, in the state of Tennessee. If you compare the cost of MTSU to other schools, I believe you will discover that MTSU's program is a tremendous value. A chart showing the cost of tuition and fees can be found at: http://www.mtsu.edu/tuition/. For rates that apply to the MAcc program, please select the "Graduate Fee Chart".
Is the program full- or part-time?
Students can attend either full- or part-time. Students who attend full-time can typically complete the program in one year. Some working adults choose to only take one or two classes per semester. In such circumstances it will take 2-3 years to complete the program.
Can I complete the MTSU MAcc program on-line?
No, the MAcc program is a campus-based program.
When do MAcc classes usually meet?
Both day and evening classes are offered. Non-traditional students who need to take classes in the evening can complete the MTSU MAcc program entirely as an evening program. In addition, the Department of Accounting offers some classes during the day, if there is sufficient demand. This allows traditional students to take some, but not necessarily all, of their classes during the day. Day classes may meet twice per week for one hour and 25 minutes per day, or they may meet for a three-hour block on one day. Evening classes meet from 6-9 pm, one night per week.
Are internships available, and are they required?
MAcc students are not required to complete an internship, however, they are strongly encouraged to do so. Many CPA firms recruit almost exclusively through the internship process (i.e. they hire interns and subsequently hire their full-time employees from their pool of interns). Many employers come to 'Meet the Firms' in September to recruit interns.
Does MTSU provide assistance for career placement?
Yes. Each fall the Department of Accounting hosts a ‘Meet the Firms’ event where employers meet and recruit MTSU accounting students. Many different types of companies recruit at this event, including international, regional and local CPA firms, corporations and governmental entities.
Can I get financial aid for the MAcc program?
Many students in the MAcc program receive financial aid. However, the Director of the Program is not involved in the financial aid process. For more information about financial aid, please see the MTSU Financial Aid Office.
Are there scholarships available for MAcc students?
The Department of Accounting does offer some scholarships to MAcc students. These are typically awarded early in the spring semester each year. Please see the Department of Accounting website for more information. In addition, students are encouraged to apply for scholarships awarded by the Tennessee Society of CPAs (TSCPA). MTSU students have been very successful in obtaining these scholarships. The deadline for the scholarships is usually in May or June, although students should see the TSCPA website at TSCPA Scholarships for more information.
What accounting student groups are available at MTSU?
The Department of Accounting sponsors several groups for accounting students. These groups, along with the faculty advisor, are listed below. Please contact the faculty advisor for information on how to join the organization.
More information about these groups is available at: Accounting Student Groups.
Where can I get more information about taking the GMAT exam?
For more information, please see the website of the Graduate Management Admission Council.
What is a degree plan and when must it be completed?
Each MAcc student must complete a degree plan that shows all courses they intend to take to complete their MAcc degree. Degree plans should be completed during the first semester of enrollment in the MAcc program. All degree plans must be approved by the Director of the MAcc program as well as the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Dr. Wermert will be happy to work with you to create your degree plan.
If I have additional questions about the MAcc program who should I contact?
Please contact the MAcc program director, Dr. John Wermert. You can send questions to him via email at email@example.com. You can also call him at 615-898-2357.
Department of Accounting
Middle Tennessee State University
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
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