Master's in Taxation Vs. MBA

Feb 03, 2018

Although they both prepare graduates for jobs in business, a Master of Taxation and Master of Business Administration degree program are very different. Learn about some of these differences, common coursework for each and admissions requirements.

Those looking to earn a graduate degree in business may consider a Master of Taxation or Master of Business Administration degree program. Compare and contrast these two degree programs and explore the different career outcomes and program admissions requirements.

Comparing a Master of Taxation to a Master of Business Administration

Master of Taxation

Master of Taxation degree programs are designed for individuals wishing to learn more specifically about taxation and are usually available on-campus and online, but those who take it online may still be required to complete on-campus residencies. Whether taken online or on-campus, these programs are usually designed with a flexible schedule, such as evening classes, to allow working professionals to pursue the degree. These programs typically range from 30 to 45 credits and can be completed in 12 to 24 months, depending on if students go full- or part-time, and may require a practicum or internship experience. Common core courses for these degree programs usually include topics in corporate taxation, tax research and writing, professional practices and partnership taxation, while some elective courses may include international taxation, taxation of real estate, local taxation and more. Most students in Master of Taxation program have a business or legal background and wish to specialize in taxation and go on to work as accountants or lawyers, but graduates can also work a range of business careers.

Master of Business Administration

Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs are broader programs that cover a range of business topics to allow students to focus on their area of interest and are available on-campus and online. Many of these programs also offer various formats, including accelerated, evening, part-time and joint degree programs, and many different areas of specialization, such as marketing, finance, accounting, entrepreneurship, environmental management, human resources management, public administration, real estate, supply chain management and more. These degree programs usually range from 39 to 49 credits and can be completed in 1 to 3 years, depending on the format chosen. Programs usually require an internship, capstone course and/or seminars and coursework varies depending on the area of specialization, but some common core course topics include financial accounting, organizational behavior, information systems management, project management and business strategy. Graduates of MBA programs are prepared to work a wide array of business- and administration-related careers in government, public and private sectors working as financial managers, human resources managers, marketing managers, chief executives and more.

Common Entrance Requirements

Both the Master of Taxation and MBA programs typically require applicants to submit the necessary applications and fees, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, GMAT or GRE scores, statement of purpose and/or a resume. Master of Taxation degree programs may then further break down applicants into student types and require a bachelor's degree in accounting, work experience, prerequisite courses in accounting and finance and/or a minimum 3.0 GPA, depending on the particular student type. Some programs may also wish to have applicants hold a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential or law degree. MBA programs usually do not require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in a particular field, but many do require applicants to have professional work experience. Students may need a minimum 3.0 GPA, and even if specific prior coursework is not required, applicants are expected to have some working knowledge of finance, statistics, accounting, economics and management principles.

Students interested in a business career may consider earning a Master of Taxation to work specifically with taxation or a Master of Business Administration to prepare for leadership roles in various areas of the field. These programs require many business-related courses and typically require applicants to have professional work experience.

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