Master of Taxation Vs. Master of Accounting

Feb 02, 2018

Although both a Master of Taxation and Master of Accounting degree program cover topics in accounting, there are several differences between the programs. Learn about these differences and common entrance requirements.

Students interested in pursuing a career in accounting or law may consider earning a Master of Taxation, while students wanting a career in accounting or auditing may earn a Master of Accounting. Compare and contrast the duration, coursework and other characteristics of the Master of Taxation and the Master of Accounting degree programs below.

Comparing a Master of Taxation to a Master of Accounting

Master of Taxation

Master of Taxation degree programs usually range from about 30 to 45 credits that can be completed in 12 months going full-time and 24 months going part-time. These programs are available in on-campus and online formats (which may require on-campus residencies), and some schools offer flexible schedules with evening courses to accommodate working professionals. These programs are ideal for professionals with accounting and/or legal backgrounds who wish to further understand federal tax laws, and they typically require an internship or practicum of some sort. Common coursework for the degree program includes corporate taxation, partnership taxation, professional practices in tax, tax accounting methods and tax research and writing. Graduates of the program usually pursue careers as accountants or lawyers who specialize in taxation, but they can also work in other positions as tax professionals.

Master of Accounting

Master of Accounting degree programs range from 30 to 48 credits, depending on undergraduate coursework, and can usually be completed in 12 months. These programs are available in the traditional on-campus format and online and they typically offer a variety of specializations or electives in taxation or auditing, such as international tax, mergers and acquisitions, and accounting information technology. Master of Accounting degree programs are ideal for business professionals looking to further develop their accounting skills and advance their career through leadership positions. Coursework that is typical for these programs includes topics in financial reporting, professional communication, ethics for accountants and auditing and assurance services. The majority of graduates of the program work as professional accountants and may be working toward a specific credential, such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential, but they can also work in a range of other accounting and finance positions in the field of business.

Common Entrance Requirements

Both the Master of Taxation and Master of Accounting degree programs typically require applicants to complete the necessary applications and submit official transcripts of their undergraduate education. Letters of recommendation, a resume and/or statement of purpose and GMAT or GRE scores are usually required as well. The Master of Taxation degree program may further break applicants up into student types based on whether they have a bachelor's degree in accounting, a non-accounting bachelor's degree or a law degree. Usually applicants to the Master of Taxation programs need a 3.0 GPA or better and some programs may require work experience and/or the applicant to be a licensed CPA. The Master of Accounting degree programs may require selected applicants to complete an interview process after submitting the standard application and necessary documents. These programs may also require applicants to have had prior coursework in financial accounting, statistics and economics.

Professional accountants may consider pursuing a Master of Taxation or a Master of Accounting to further advance and/or provide a specialization in their career. These degree programs are typically available on-campus and online and provide advanced coursework in taxation and/or auditing, depending on the program.


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