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Accounting Master's for Non-Accounting Majors

If you have a degree in an area other than accounting, but would like to break into the field, there are accounting master's degrees for non-accounting majors. Many of these programs take only a year of full-time study to complete.

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A Master of Accounting degree program for non-accounting majors prepares aspiring accountants to provide financial services for individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. Students enrolled in this degree program take graduate-level courses such as financial reporting, auditing, and taxation.

Why Would a Non-Accounting Major Want This Master's Degree?

A non-accounting major who decides to become an accountant would want this master's degree because it is a way to complete courses needed to qualify for a professional accounting position with one year of full-time study. Upon successful completion of the master's degree program, a graduate can earn a median salary of $69,350 per year or about $33 per hour as an accountant, according to 2017 salary figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Will a Master's in Accounting for Non-Accounting Majors Lead to Licensure as a Certified Public Accountant?

While there are some jobs that fall under the accounting umbrella that do not require a master's in accounting or licensure, the individual who holds a bachelor's degree in an area other than accounting would benefit from taking accounting courses. To become Certified Public Accountants (CPA), 150 hours of college coursework must be completed to sit for the CPA exam, including 30 required hours of accounting courses in addition to other credit earned in an undergraduate program. An accounting master's degree for non-accounting majors is an option for earning the 30 required hours of accounting courses.

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What Courses Does an Accounting Master's Degree Program for Non-Accounting Majors Include?

The courses taken in an accounting master's degree program for non-accounting majors cover various specialty areas of accounting. The following courses are some that students enrolled in the program can expect to take.

Financial Reporting

Expertise in financial reporting is gained in this course. Students learn how financial statements are structured and how to interpret reports. Regulations regarding domestic and international financial reports are addressed as well.

Finance

Students learn strategies for advising clients on financial matters. Activities include analyzing cash flow, risks, and returns. Students also gain an understanding of how finance ties in with auditing and reporting.

Managerial and Cost Accounting

This course teaches accounting as a management tool for businesses. Budgeting, control and decision making are essentials that this course addresses. Analyzing product costs for the purpose of budgeting and planning is a skill that is taught in this course.

Auditing

The auditing course addresses examining and analyzing financial records. Students learn to operate within the code of professional conduct for auditors. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) auditing standards are included in this course.

Taxation

This course covers aspects of taxation related to individuals and businesses. Students gain experience in interpreting and applying tax law. The Internal Revenue Service Tax Code and other regulations are included in this course. Students learn how taxes affect purchases and investments.

Admission Requirements

General admission requirements for the accounting master's degree program for non-accounting majors include a bachelor's degree, transcripts, references, essay, GRE scores, and evidence of prerequisite courses. Students who have not taken undergraduate accounting courses can expect to complete accounting and business-related pre-enrollment or prerequisite courses. Applicants may be able to take these courses in the summer prior to fall enrollment.

An accounting master's degree program for non-accounting majors provides a fast-track to an accounting degree and prepares the candidate for the CPA licensing exam. Careers where graduates can find opportunities include auditing, public accounting, government accounting, managerial accounting, tax preparation and other areas related to accounting and finance.

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