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Program Director

Juan Roman
D.B.A.: Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico

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Master of Science in Accounting




Program Description

The Master of Science in Accounting emphasizes the theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and research skills needed to address the complex accounting issues found in private corporations, governmental entities, public accounting and various types of not-for-profit organizations. This program extends the knowledge gained in an undergraduate accounting program to enhance skills in written communication, research, and complex problem solving. The successful completion of this program may satisfy the educational requirements for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Educational requirements for the CPA exam vary by state. Students are responsible for checking on the requirements with the state board of accountancy where they expect to sit for the CPA exam.

This program has specific admission requirements.

The successful completion of APUS programs and courses may or may not satisfy the educational requirements for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Educational requirements for the CPA exam vary by state. Students are responsible for checking the requirements of the state board of accountancy where they expect to sit for the CPA exam and where they desire to ultimately be licensed. Contacts for the state boards of accountancy may be found on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy website (

Under the rules of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, at least 15 hours of upper-level accounting course work must result from physical attendance at classes meeting regularly on the campus of the transcript-issuing institution. Completion of APUS’s accounting programs and coursework may not meet the education requirements to sit for the CPA exam or obtain a CPA license in Texas. Individuals wishing to sit for the CPA exam or obtain a CPA license in Texas should check with the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy to determine their eligibility and for additional requirements that may apply (

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Highlights and Announcements

ACBSPaccountingThis program has been designed in consultation with industry business leaders, is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and has earned additional ACBSP Specialized Accounting Accreditation.


Program Objectives

  • Research and appraise historic, current, and developing authoritative standards in accounting and apply them appropriately to complex financial transactions.
  • Utilize Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to produce and interpret financial statements for various types of organizations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the ethical framework for accountants adopted by professional accounting organizations, such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).
  • Analyze, evaluate, and organize financial data to facilitate managerial decision making.
  • Conduct an in-depth analysis of an organization's financial information and provide a written assessment of the results.

Master of Accounting

To enroll in our Master of Science in Accounting program, you must provide an official transcript of your completed bachelor’s or master’s degree which shows proof of completion of this required coursework:

  • Auditing: 3 credit hours
  • Cost Accounting or Managerial Accounting: 3 credit hours
  • Individual Federal Taxation: 3 credit hours
  • Intermediate Accounting: 6 credit hours

Pre-admission courses must be grade C or better at the undergraduate level; B or better at the graduate level.

If your bachelor's degree is NOT accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), or the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), your required first courses here will be:

  • BUSN601 - Global Management Perspective
  • BUSN602 - Managerial Analysis
  • BUSN603 - Quantitative Analysis

If you have a bachelor's degree in a business program that is accredited by ACBSP, AACSB, or IACBE, you are NOT required to take the courses listed above, and instead may take 3 graduate-level elective courses. Your admissions representative will review your bachelor's transcript to verify this information.

Send your official transcripts to:


American Public University System
Attn: Document Services
10110 Battleview Parkway, Suite 114
Manassas, VA 20109

Visit Career Services

Accounting majors have a wide-open door into the business world. No matter your passion, accounting can help you mix that passion into your career. Do you love sports but have no talent for playing or coaching? Become an accountant in the business office of your favorite team. Do you dream of being your own boss? An accounting background or degree provides a solid foundation on which to build a business. From entry-level book-keeping positions all the way to careers as chief financial officers for major corporations, accounting professionals are in demand, and the Department of Career Services is here to help you find your niche.

Email Career ServicesOverview

Useful Skills within the Accounting Field

Mathematics — Using mathematics and statistics to solve problems

Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one

Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions

Active Listening — Paying attention to what other people are saying and taking time to understand the points being made

Time Management — Allocating and budgeting one’s time for different tasks so that things get done when needed

Reading Comprehension —The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports

Communication — Concise writing skills and ability to speak in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions effectively

Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making

Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems

Analytical Skills — Ability to identify issues in documentation and suggest solutions

Detail-oriented — Pay attention to detail when compiling and examining documentation

Organizational Skills — Strong organizational skills are needed to develop specific goals, prioritize, and work with a range of financial documents for a variety of clients


Career Options

To identify what education or training is typical for careers within the accounting field, use the O*Net hyperlinks below and click on “Job Zone.” In addition, seek out the advice of fellow students and alumni working in the industry, using our mentoring program on The Quad (for current students and alumni only) or by speaking with a career coach.

As with all majors, the education you receive serves as a foundation of knowledge that prepares you for what you may face in the professional world. The career field you choose may require additional education or experience.

Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerk
Budget Analysts

Credit Analysts
Financial Examiners
Fraud Examiners, Investigators and Analysts
Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents

Getting Started: Internships

Gaining real life experience is an ideal way to start a new career. The career services website has an extensive list of internships and fellowships. Browse through the internships organized by interest or by federal program.

There are government-organized internship programs which provide students or recent graduates the opportunity to gain real-life experience. Many require students to maintain either a half-time or full-time student status. The best ways to identify potential opportunities such as these is to contact branch offices directly, to search, or to look at the agencies’ career portals. Keep in mind that these positions are not always posted online, so direct contact with the agency is key.

The Pathways Program is a federal initiative that offers internship programs for current students and training and career development opportunities for recent graduates. Recent graduates must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans, due to their military service obligation, will have up to six years to apply).The internship program for current students replaces the former Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)
PMF is designed to attract to federal service outstanding men and women from a wide variety of academic disciplines who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs. To be eligible for nomination, an individual must be a graduate student completing or expected to complete, during the current academic year, an advanced degree from a qualifying college or university. Graduate students who have had their degree conferred in the preceding two years, from the opening of the vacancy announcement are also eligible for PMF.

The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)
WRP is coordinated by the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense, and aims to provide summer work experience, and in some cases full-time employment, to college students with disabilities. The program develops partnerships with other federal agencies, each of whom makes a commitment to provide summer jobs and a staff recruiter. Each year, recruiters interview about 1,500 students with disabilities at college and university campuses across the nation and develop a database listing the qualifications of each student.

Getting Hired: Government Agencies, Organizations, and Search Engines

There are several government agencies and organizations that seek candidates with degrees in accounting. The list below provides a few places one might find employment specific to this degree.

Armanino LLP
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
Deloitte LLP
Department of Commerce
Department of Labor
Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP
EY (formerly Ernest and Young)
Federal Trade Commission

Moss Adams LLP
Office of Policy, Management and Budget
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Schenck SC
Security and Exchange Commission
WithumSmith+Brown, PC

While many of the major job search engines, such as or, will have several positions to choose from, those listed below are specific to this field.

Accounting Principals
Money Jobs


Keeping Current: Professional Organizations and Associations

Involvement in professional organizations is a great way to stay up-to-date on new technology, tools, and best practices in your field. Professional organizations are also a great networking opportunity. Below are a few professional organizations you may be interested in.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting
Foundation for Continuing Education
International Federation of Accountants
The Institute of Internal Auditors
Institute of Management Accountants

Conferences and Expositions

AICPA Fair Value Measurements Workshop
Sept. 14-15, 2015
New York, N.Y.

AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference
June 15-17, 2015
National Harbor, Md.

IMA's 96th Annual Conference and Exposition
June 20-24, 2015
Los Angeles, Calif.

Get Connected: Social Media

Institute of Management Accountants (IMA®) - LinkedIn
Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting (EFWA) - LinkedIn
American Accounting Association - LinkedIn
AMU & APU Business Administration and Management Programs - LinkedIn

Core Requirements
24 Hours
Financial Statement Analysis
3 hours

A study of the techniques used to interpret and analyze financial statements effectively. Managers, accountants, investors and analysts often perform analytical procedure to learn more about what is being reported by public corporations. The viewpoint is that of the user of financial statements. This course is designed primarily for students who expect to be intensive users of financial statements as part of their professional responsibilities. Students must have access to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel software. Prerequisite: ACCT601

Pre Reqs: Intermediate Accounting II(ACCT601)

Cost Accounting
3 hours

A basic analysis of accumulating and reporting of costs of operations, budgets and other tools of management for measuring profitability of a business enterprise are studied. Emphasis is given to the various cost systems —job order, process cost, standard cost and variable costing. Students must have access to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel software. (Prerequisite: ACCT601).

Pre Reqs: Intermediate Accounting II(ACCT601)

Advanced Auditing Topics
3 hours

This course covers the knowledge and understanding of the following professional standards: Auditing standards promulgated under U.S. GAAS [related to audits of an issuer (a public company), a non-issuer (an entity that is not a public company), government entities, not-for-profit entities, and employee benefit plans], standards related to attestation and assurance engagements, and standards for performing accounting and review services. Prerequisite – ACCT610

Pre Reqs: Advanced Accounting(ACCT610)

Advanced Accounting
3 hours

An advanced analysis of accounting theory and practice designed to prepare the accounting major for complex problems that arise from partnerships, consolidations and mergers, receiverships, and governmental units. Also a study of the theoretical and practical approach of accounting, budgeting, reporting and auditing for governmental units, colleges and universities, hospitals and other not-for-profit organizations. Students must have access to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel software. (Prerequisite: ACCT601).

Pre Reqs: Intermediate Accounting II(ACCT601)

International Accounting
3 hours

A study of financial reporting for international firms who operate in the global environment. Course topics include International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), auditing the global firm, financial reporting outside of the United States, international financial disclosure issues, accounting harmonization, ethics, foreign exchange, and cultural issues. Students must have access to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel software. Prerequisite: ACCT601

Pre Reqs: Intermediate Accounting II(ACCT601)

Individual Tax Research and Planning
3 hours

A study of income determination and concepts for individuals with emphasis of the impact of taxation on personal and/or business decisions, advances student knowledge of research techniques, and understanding of the IRS tax code. Students must have access to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel software. Prerequisite: ACCT601

Pre Reqs: Intermediate Accounting II(ACCT601)

Advanced Federal Taxation
3 hours

This course is a continuation of ACCT615 Individual Tax Research and Planning for students with an interest in continuing their study of Federal Taxation. The course will consider tax reporting issues for regular C Corporations, S Corporations, and Partnerships. A brief introduction to International Tax transactions and Federal Estate and Gift Taxes is included. Students must have access to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel software. (Prerequisite: ACCT615)

Pre Reqs: Individual Tax Research and Planning(ACCT615)

Forensic Accounting
3 hours

This course is a study of forensic accounting with an emphasis on using accounting techniques in white collar criminal investigations. The course exposes students to criminology topics such as skimming, cash larceny, check tampering, billing schemes, payroll and expense reimbursement irregularities, non-cash misappropriations, corruption, and interviewing witnesses. The course advances student knowledge of auditing, financial statement analysis, and research techniques in the context of fraud. Prerequisite: ACCT610

Pre Reqs: Advanced Accounting(ACCT610)

Institutional Requirements
9 Hours
Global Management Perspective
3 hours

This course examines issues and functions that business managers face within the context of day-to-day operations and long-term planning of the organization. Topics include strategic management, legal issues, marketing, law and ethics, and global dimensions of businesses.

Managerial Analysis
3 hours

This course introduces fundamental concepts of accounting principles, financial tools, and economic analysis for effective managerial decision-making. Topics include the role of the financial manager in the organization, concepts, and principles underlying financial accounting practices, financial statement analysis, budgeting, and economic analysis for decision makers.

Quantitative Analysis
3 hours

This course explores management problems and the role of decision-making models and tools in resolving business problems. The application and use of information systems in decision-making is assessed. Students apply system and quantitative analysis to an integrated case study.

Final Program Requirement
3 Hours
Financial Accounting Theory Capstone
3 hours

This course is a study of the accounting function, its role in society, and the theory that provides the underpinning for modern financial reporting. The course will provide an understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and how these principles affect financial accounting and reporting for business entities. Topics covered include revenue recognition principles, accounting for leases, accounting changes, error corrections, and other related topics. All courses must be taken prior to the capstone course. Students must have access to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel software.This course may not be taken until all other courses are COMPLETED and student has a 3.0 GPA.

Graduate Electives
0 Hours
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.

Program Completion Rates, Median Debt and More

View more details regarding our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information.


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