Master's in Accounting

Thrive in today’s evolving accounting industry with George Mason University's flexible, nationally-recognized master of science in accounting program. 

Maximize your potential while preparing for the future of accounting.  

Mason’s master of science in accounting program is designed to help you meet Virginia’s 150-credit CPA licensing requirement while developing advanced analytical, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills. Those who earn a master’s in accounting and pass the CPA exam have greater accounting career prospects and earning potential.  

Courses emphasize the latest trends and issues in accounting, business ethics, and corporate governance. You also can complete an internship for credit, which gives you meaningful work experience and can lead to a full-time employment offer. You’ll study financial, audit, and tax accounting, and you can also customize your degree by simultaneously earning a certificate in accounting for government contracts, government accounting, forensic accounting, or accounting analytics.  

Committed to access, we understand not all students who want to advance their education have the ability to spend time in a physical classroom. To that end, we offer both fully in-person and fully online options.  

With Mason’s master’s in accounting program, you’ll build ties to the local Washington, D.C. business and government community and gain diverse business skills, broader insights, and confidence. You'll also benefit from our dedicated career services team that offers you personalized career coaching, employment and networking opportunities, and planning services for life.  

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At Your Pace
Fall start, 30-credit, part-time or full-time structure.
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No Test Required
Submitting GMAT and GRE test scores with your application is optional.
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Customize Your Degree
Add a specialized accounting certificate to your master’s degree.
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Highly Ranked
#35 on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA).
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Top 50
KPMG considers Mason a top 50 university for hiring accounting students.
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Flexible Delivery
Classes are offered both fully online (asynchronous) or in-person at Mason’s Fairfax, Virginia campus, just outside of Washington, D.C.
Karen Crosswhite, MSA and Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting ’20,

My favorite courses . . . were Fraud Examination, Advance Topics in Fraud, and Fraud and the Law. The courses were instructed by retired FBI investigators who infused the program’s curriculum with real world experience. The professors’ . . . ability to tie the curriculum to actual situations helped to bring the coursework to life.  

Karen Crosswhite, MSA and Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting ’20,  managing CPA partner of BAS Certified Public at Accountant Firm

Request More Information

To learn more about Mason's master's in accounting program, submit this form:

Accounting Advisory Council

A key advantage of Mason’s accounting program is our ties to the accounting industry through our Accounting Advisory Council. The council is comprised of accounting executives from the Big 4, regional firms, and the federal government. Senior leaders and industry experts serve as guest speakers to enrich classroom learning. Explore the Explore the full list of council members here.  

Curriculum

The master’s in accounting program requires 30 credits: 15 credits of required, core courses, and 15 credits of elective courses. Complete your degree in 11 months (full-time) or 22 months (part-time). On-campus classes are offered the evening at Mason’s Fairfax, Virginia campus.  

Whether you pursue the on-campus or online program, you’ll experience the same rigorous and relevant accounting courses taught by Mason’s experienced faculty who bring both theoretical and applied expertise to the classroom by incorporating daily opportunities to connect business theory with reality through role-playing, simulations, projects, and guest speakers. 

Explore Degree Requirements

See courses and electives for the master's of science in accounting program in Mason's University Catalog

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years.

Sample Schedule

Classes operate on an eight-week module schedule. Download a sample schedule here

The Global Residency: ACCT 795 - Global Accounting Environment

Each component of Mason’s master’s in accounting program explores the role of accounting in the complex global economy and examines the risks and opportunities inherent in global commerce. Integral to this is our Global Residency Program.  

ACCT 795 - Global Accounting Environment is a required three-credit course that includes a week-long study tour led by an accounting professor. You’ll meet business and government leaders, participate in seminars, meet professors and accounting students from other universities, and visit local and/or multi-national accounting firms. This trip gives you a firsthand look at how other countries address ethics and corporate governance. Previous cohorts have traveled to Prague, London, Frankfurt, and Ireland.  

We also offer an online option for those unable to travel. Some travel costs, such as lodging, meals, and ground transportation, are included in your tuition. Students are responsible for airfare to and from the country.  

Enhance Your Degree with a Certificate

Our add-on certificate programs provide opportunities for you to acquire additional education in emerging fields while pursuing your master's in accounting. Each certificate program is 12 credits, and courses qualify towards the 150 hours of academic credit needed to sit for the CPA exam. Available as a stand-alone option or part of the master's degree.

Meet Your Instructors

Mason’s faculty live, work, and consult in the Washington, D.C., area and draw on their real-world experience to enrich classroom instruction. Mason accounting faculty teach both the on-campus and online programs.

 

Faculty members include:

JK Aier
Associate Professor
Area Chair, Accounting

Long Chen
Associate Professor, Accounting

Syed Hasan
Instructor, Accounting

Mark Ingram
Instructor, Accounting

Bret Johnson
Assistant Professor, Accounting

Mindy (Hyo Jung) Kim
Assistant Professor, Accounting

Karen Kitching
Associate Professor, Accounting

Kevin Matthews
Instructor, Accounting

Syrena Shirley
Instructor, Accounting

R. William Snyder
Assistant Professor, Accounting

Gnanakumar Visvanathan
Associate Professor, Accounting

Kelly Wentland
Assistant Professor, Accounting

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions, call us at (703) 239-2670.   

How long will it take for me to complete the masters of accounting program?

If you enter the program with a bachelor's degree in accounting, you can complete the program in 11 months as a full-time student. Part-time students typically complete the program in two years. 

Does this program satisfy the 150-hour educational requirement for certification and licensure as a CPA in Virginia?

Yes, Mason’s master’s in accounting program helps you meet the 150-credit licensing requirement and educates you in the key areas of business ethics and corporate governance. 

Where are Mason’s master’s in accounting graduates employed?

Our graduates have found professional success at top companies such as:  

  • KPMG 
  • Deloitte  
  • Kearney & Company 
  • Ernst & Young 
  • Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP 
  • The Carlyle Group 
  • PwC 
  • EY 
  • Baker Tilly US, LLP 
  • and many more. 

This program has been identified by George Mason University as one that may lead to a career requiring professional licensure/certification. Federal regulations require Mason to disclose information as to whether this program meets/does not meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification in your state, or whether such a determination has not been made. Consult our Licensure Disclosure Tool for the disclosure statement specific to your desired state/program combination. 

What can you tell me about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Mason?

Diversity is one of Mason's core values; everyone is welcome here. Mason was recently named the most diverse university in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report. To learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Mason, visit the university's DEI website. Visit this page to learn more about DEI at the School of Business. 

What will I learn?

After earning your master of science in accounting from George Mason University, you’ll develop: 

  1.  Professional Communication Skills

    • Communicate effectively to professional audiences in both written and oral forms. 
    • Prepare and deliver a professional quality presentation using appropriate technology. 
    • Prepare and write a paper about an assigned accounting topic.
  2.  Technical Skills and Knowledge
    • Demonstrate and apply technical knowledge of accounting and understand the importance of ethical conduct. 
    • Identify and interpret relevant accounting issues in a business case and use appropriate research tools to solve accounting issues taking into consideration ethical dimensions of a situation.
  3.  Global Perspective
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of accounting in the global business environment. 
    • Research and apply knowledge of the history, culture, and business practices of an international region.
  4.  Technology and Analytics Skills
    • Develop advanced technology skills to support decision-making processes in accounting. 
    • Use electronic spreadsheets to analyze data, develop queries to access accounting information in databases, and access big data using data visualization tools.