Accounting master of science degree

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RIT’s accounting master's degree pulls together important areas of technology, finance, strategy, and compliance to help you advance your 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.

Plan of study

The program consists of 10 courses and a comprehensive exam administered at the end of the student’s last semester. Students must pass the exam to earn their degree.


  • Accounting

  • Consumer Packaged Goods

  • Financial Services

  • Management Consulting

  • Insurance

  • Higher Education

  • Non-Profit

  • Computer and Network Security

Typical Job Titles

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


outcome rate of graduates


median first-year salary of graduates


Accounting, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Accounting Information and Analytics
This course combines information systems concepts and accounting issues. In this course, we discuss the conceptual foundations of information systems, their applications, the control and auditing of accounting information systems, and the system development process. Topics include the business process, e-business, relational database, database design, computer fraud and security, accounting cycle, system analysis and AIS development strategies. Students analyze accounting information systems topics through problem solving, group projects, presentations, exams, and case studies.
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.
Auditing and Professional Responsibility
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Field Exam Preparation
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.
Comprehensive Exam
Total Semester Credit Hours


Corporate Financial Accounting 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.
Corporate Financial Accounting 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.
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.
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.
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.
Cases in Forensic 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.
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)
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.

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, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 92 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is required. 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.


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Additional Info


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.