Accounting Master of science degree

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An accounting master's degree that combines technology, finance, strategy, and compliance to advance your career. 


RIT’s accounting master's degree pulls together important areas of technology, finance, strategy, and compliance to help you advance your accounting career. In addition to gaining the technological skills needed to design, operate, and control accounting information systems–skills that are highly sought after by employers–you also will be prepared to sit for the Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) exam, which our graduates consistently score higher on than state and national averages.

The master of science in accounting is designed to satisfy New York state requirements for students with an undergraduate degree in accounting to sit for the CPA exam and attain CPA licensure. Students may complete the program on a full- or part-time basis, with the full-time program beginning exclusively in the fall semester.

Graduates work primarily in the Accounting industry.

Typical Job Titles

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)  Auditor
 Management Accountant  Government Accountant
 Fraud Examiner  Tax Accountant

Curriculum for Accounting MS

Accounting, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Accounting Information and Analytics
The objective for this course is helping students develop a data mindset which prepare them to interact with data scientists from an accountant perspective. This course enables students to develop analytics skills to conduct descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analysis for accounting information. This course focuses on such topics as data modeling, relational databases, blockchain, visualization, unstructured data, web scraping, and data extraction. Lecture 3 (Fall, Summer).
Advanced Accounting
Study of the application of generally accepted accounting principles and international financial reporting standards to business enterprises, including corporations with investments in subsidiaries, domestic and international, and partnerships. Issues involving consolidated financial statements, including international topics, are considered. Also examined are objectives for not-for-profit and governmental entities, and how these objectives affect their financial accounting and reporting. (Prerequisites: ACCT-705 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Advanced Topics in Auditing and Assurance
A study of the legal, ethical, and technical environment in which the auditor works. Current auditing theory, standards, procedures, and techniques are studied. The audit process is studied to ascertain how it leads to the development of an audit opinion. (Prerequisites: ACCT-490 or ACCT-704 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Tax Analysis and Strategy
A continuation of Basic Taxation. Emphasis is on taxation of business entities, as well as estate and gift taxation and planning. Students use technology to prepare complex returns and to research tax issues. Tax analysis and planning are integrated throughout. (Prerequisites: ACCT-709 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Information Systems Auditing and Assurance Services
An examination of the unique risks, controls, and assurance services resulting from and related to auditing financial information systems with an emphasis on enterprise resource systems. (Prerequisites: ACCT-705 or equivalent course. Pre- or Corequisites: ACCT-708 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Comparative Financial Statement Analysis
This course is designed to prepare students to interpret and analyze financial statements effectively. Explores in greater depth some of the financial reporting topics introduced in the core accounting course and includes a discussion of International Financial Reporting Standards. (Prerequisites: ACCT-603 and FINC-721 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Field Exam Prep
All MS-Accounting students will take a field exam at the end of their program. This course provides basic help to students taking this exam. Note: all required courses in the MS-Accounting program. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to students in ACCT-MS.) Comp Exam 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Financial Accounting Theory and Research
This course examines the theoretical concepts, definitions, and models espoused in the accounting literature and relevant to analyzing various contemporary issues in financial accounting and reporting. It also considers the historical development of accounting standards, contemporary issues in financial reporting including international standards, and research methods used to determine the appropriate methods to comply with accounting standards. Course requires writing and student presentations. (Prerequisites: ACCT-705 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Total Semester Credit Hours


Cases in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination
Overview of the nature of occupational fraud and how it is committed including an introduction to the actions that can be taken to determine the presence of occupational fraud and procedures that can be implemented to deter fraud. Also covered is the proper manner in which allegations of fraud should be investigated and documented to meet the requirements of civil/criminal court procedure. Course is principally taught through case study. (Prerequisites: ACCT-603 or equivalent course.) Lecture (Fall).
Financial Reporting for Government and Not-for-Profit Entities
This course provides a detailed examination and discussion of the accounting principles used by governmental and not-for-profit entities. The course focuses on the use of special funds for such entities as state and local governments, hospitals and other health care entities, voluntary health and welfare organizations, and other organizations. Students will learn what characterizes an entity as one for which the GASB is the authoritative standard-setting body versus one for which the FASB is the authoritative standard-setting body and develop an understanding of why two unique sets of accounting principles were developed to serve these entities. (Prerequisites: ACCT-603 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Corporate Financial Reporting I
A comprehensive exposure at an intermediate level to financial accounting theory and practice under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Emphasis is placed on applying underlying accounting theory to complex accounting and reporting problems. The effects of alternative accounting methods are considered. International Financial Reporting Standards are introduced as they relate to course subject matter. (Prerequisites: ACCT-603 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Corporate Financial Reporting II
Continuation of Corporate Continuation of Corporate Financial Reporting I with emphasis on equity and special measurement and reporting problems. Topics include liabilities and contingencies, stockholders’ equity, earnings per share, pensions, leases, revenue recognition, income tax accounting, and the statement of cash flows. International Financial Reporting Standards are introduced as they relate to course subject matter. (Prerequisites: ACCT-704 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Cost Management
The development and use of cost data for external reporting and internal cost management (planning and control). Topics include job costing, process costing, joint product costing, cost reassignments, standard costs, activity-based costing, decentralization and transfer pricing, and cost variances. Consideration is given to manufacturing, service and retail organizations. (Prerequisites: ACCT-603 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Basic Taxation
A basic introductory course in federal income taxation. Emphasis is on taxation of individuals and sole proprietorships. Topics include income measurement and deductibility of personal and business expenses. (Prerequisites: ACCT-603 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).
Internal Auditing
Course explores the role of the internal audit function in the management of companies. Topics include internal vs. external auditing, internal control issues, reliability and integrity of information; compliance with policies, procedures, laws and regulations; efficiency of operations. Ethical considerations affecting the internal audit function are introduced. (Prerequisites: ACCT-603 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Seminar in Accounting
Special topics seminars offer an in-depth examination of current events, issues and problems unique to accounting. Specific topics will vary depending upon student and faculty interest and on recent events in the business world. Seminar topics for a specific semester will be announced prior to the course offering. These seminars may be repeated for credit since topics normally vary from semester to semester. (Depends on topic) Lecture .
Economics and Decision Modeling
The course focuses on the fundamental economic theories most useful for the management of a firm in a global environment. Microeconomic theories and current events are used to explain the performance of the market system and help managers formulate effective pricing and business decisions. Macroeconomic theories and current events are used to explain the direction of the domestic and global economy to help managers understand the implications, including foreign direct investment, for their companies. Students will learn to explain and predict changes in economic growth, inflation, interest rates, international trade and foreign exchange rates. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Seminar in Economics
Special topics seminars offer an in-depth examination of current events, issues and problems unique to economics. Specific topics will vary depending upon student and faculty interests and on recent events in the business world. Seminar topics for a specific semester will be announced prior to the course offering. These seminars may be repeated for credit since topics will normally vary from semester to semester. (Instructor determined) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Financing New Ventures
A focus on financial issues affecting an entrepreneur. The course emphasizes, identifies, and follows the wealth creation cycle. The wealth creation cycle begins with an idea for a good, product or service, progresses to an initial company startup, passes through successive stages of growth, considers alternative approaches to resource financing, and ends with harvesting the wealth created through an initial public offering, merger or sale. Identification and valuation of business opportunities, how and from whom entrepreneurs raise funds, how financial contracts are structured to both manage risk and align incentives, and alternative approaches by which entrepreneurs identify exit strategies are reviewed. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Financial Management II
This advanced course in corporate finance focuses on financing policies, financial planning/control, and other advanced corporate topics. Specific topics include the financing process, alternative financing instruments, restructuring, cost of capital, corporate applications involving options, working capital management and the use of financial budgets/forecasts. (Prerequisites: FINC-721 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Securities and Investment Analysis
A survey of topics in investment analysis, including the study of financial markets, features of various financial assets and security pricing. Focus is on individual security analysis (as distinct from portfolio analysis). Asset pricing theory is used in valuing securities. Practical issues in equity valuation are discussed including risk evaluation, macroeconomic/industry/competitive analysis, and the use of corporate SEC filings. (Prerequisites: FINC-721 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Options and Futures
This course focuses on financial derivative securities. Their role in financial management is becoming increasingly important, especially in portfolio management. This course covers valuation of various options and futures as well as their use in risk management. Specific topics include options and futures pricing models, options strategies, and contemporary topics such as index arbitraging. (Prerequisites: FINC-721 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Financial Modeling and Analysis
Students apply computer technology to solve finance-related problems using a variety of analytical methods. Analytical methods include spreadsheet modeling, mathematical optimization, regression, decision tree analysis, and Monte Carlo Simulation. Typical topics covered are financial forecasting, pro-forma financial statements, equity valuation, cash budget forecasts, and portfolio analysis. This is a hands-on course that focuses on collecting, managing and analyzing financial data. (Prerequisites: FINC- 722 and FINC-725 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Seminar in Finance
Special topics seminars offer an in-depth examination of current events, issues and problems unique to finance. Specific topics will vary depending upon student and faculty interests and on recent events in the business world. Seminar topics for a specific semester will be announced prior to the course offering. These seminars may be repeated for credit since topics will normally vary from semester to semester. (instructor-determined) Lecture .
Finance in a Global Environment
This course has a specific focus on international business problems that are financial in nature. Topics include an examination of the international environment the firm operates in, international investment, exchange rates and the management of risks arising from shifting exchange rates, and the problems of short and long-term asset and liability management. (Pre or Corequisites: FINC-721 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Stock Market Algorithmic Trading
The course is a “hands-on” lab-based class designed to help students develop algorithmic trading strategies to invest in the stock market that can be implemented by retail and professional traders. What sets this course apart from many others is a strong emphasis on practical application with the purpose of building marketable skills for careers in finance. Concepts are not only taught, they are brought to life by learning how to design algorithmic trading models through the use of a computerized trading platform, that allows back-testing of data on thousands of different stocks. The software platform includes an automated wizard for building advanced technical trading models without programming knowledge; but also has an embedded programming language, similar to C-sharp, for those students that have those skills and elect to use them. (Knowledge of programming is not required; and there are no pre or co-requisites; but a lap-top is strongly recommended.). Lecture 3 (Spring).
Equity Analysis
Students learn about various equity markets, trading, and valuation. The focus of this course is on valuing equities using widely used methods and in forming and analyzing equity portfolios. Students also learn portfolio optimization methods. (Prerequisites: FINC-671 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Financial Analytics
This course provides a survey of financial analytics applications in contexts such as investment analysis, portfolio construction, risk management, and security valuation. Students are introduced to financial models used in these applications and their implementation using popular languages such as R, Matlab, and Python, and packages such as Quantlib. A variety of data sources are used: financial websites such as, government sites such as, finance research databases such as WRDS, and especially Bloomberg terminals. Students will complete projects using real-world data and make effective use of visualization methods in reporting results. There are no pre or co-requisites; however, instructor permission is required – student aptitude for quantitative work will be assessed; waived for students enrolled in quantitative programs such as the MS-Computational Finance which have pre-requisites in the areas of calculus, linear algebra, and programming. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Management Information Systems
Introduction to Data Analytics and Business Intelligence
This course serves as an introduction to data analysis including both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. Contemporary data analytics and business intelligence tools will be explored through realistic problem assignments. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Information Systems Concepts
Managing Service Systems
Service-Oriented Information Systems
Information Technology and Globalization
Information Systems Design
This course provides students with fundamental knowledge and skills required for successful analysis of problems and opportunities related to the flow of information within organizations and the design and implementation of information systems to address identified factors. Students are provided with knowledge and experience that will be useful in determining systems requirements and developing a logical design. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Data Management and Analytics
This course discusses issues associated with data capture, organization, storage, extraction, and modeling for planned and ad hoc reporting. Enables student to model data by developing conceptual and semantic data models. Techniques taught for managing the design and development of large database systems including logical data models, concurrent processing, data distributions, database administration, data warehousing, data cleansing, and data mining. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Information Systems Project Management
Design and Information Systems
Students who complete this course will understand the principles and practices employed to analyze information needs and design appropriate IT-based solutions to address business challenges and opportunities. They will learn how to conduct requirements analysis, approach the design or redesign of business processes, communicate designs decisions to various levels of management, and work in a project-based environment. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Information Systems Development
Systems development provides MBA students with the fundamental techniques and concepts necessary for programming in a modern programming language. Emphasis will be placed on object-oriented programming concepts. By the end of the course, students will demonstrate core programming concepts, and will be able to write simple business applications. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Information Technology Strategy and Management
Seminar in Management Information Systems
Special topics seminars offer an in-depth examination of current events, issues and problems unique to MIS. Specific topics will vary depending upon student and faculty interests and on recent events in the business world. Seminar topics for a specific semester will be announced prior to the course offering. These seminars may be repeated for credit since topics will normally vary from semester to semester. (Instructor determined) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Integrated Business Systems
This course focuses on the concepts and technologies associated with Integrated Business Information Systems and the managerial decisions related to the implementation and ongoing application of these systems. Topics include business integration and common patterns of systems integration technology including enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise application integration (EAI) and data integration. The key managerial and organizational issues in selecting the appropriate technology and successful implementation are discussed. Hands-on experience with the SAP R/3 system is utilized to enable students to demonstrate concepts related to integrated business systems. (familiarity with MS Office suite and Internet browsers) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Business Process Analysis and Workflow Design

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in accounting, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit scores from the GMAT or GRE. (GMAT preferred for international applicants and those applying for scholarships.)
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives.
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL or IELTS exams. A minimum score of 88 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS exams is required (requirements on sub-scores on each component of the TOEFL or IELTS may also apply). The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.
  • Completed applications for admission should be on file in the Office of Graduate and Part-time Enrollment Services at least four weeks prior to registration for the next academic semester for students from the United States, and up to 10 weeks prior for international students applying for student visas.

For further information about specific GMAT/GRE waiver opportunities, tips on personal statements, and additional guidance on how to submit a successful application, please visit Saunders College of Business Admissions Requirements.


Accepted students can defer enrollment for up to one year. After one year, a new application must be submitted and will be re-evaluated based on the most current admission standards.


Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

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