Accounting - Graduate Programs

Objective

The objective of the Master of Professional Accounting, the Master of Science in Accounting, and the Master of Science in Taxation degree programs is to prepare students for professional careers in the public, private, or governmental sector. As a part of this objective, these programs are designed to provide the educational background to become a Certified Public Accountant or to attain other professional certifications. The MPA program, appropriate for students without significant prior study in accounting, is also designed to provide an understanding of selected fields such as management, finance, economics, and business law. The MS in Accounting and MS in Taxation are more specialized degrees which build on the individual's prior background in accounting and business-related subjects.

The department also offers a Certificate in Taxation. The objective of this certificate program is to serve degreed professionals who wish to update or add to their knowledge of taxation.

Careers in Accounting

Accounting is a career without limits. Accountants serve as analysts, consultants, and problem-solvers in business and government. Earning an accounting degree opens up a diverse array of career opportunities including: partner in an international accounting or consulting firm, corporate controller, chief financial officer, director of internal auditing, financial planner, or commercial lender. Compensation is highly competitive with excellent geographic mobility.

Students of accounting learn to use and control information technology systems, prepare and analyze financial reports, structure business transactions, and develop effective business plans. Individuals who like being challenged by a variety of situations and technologies and who enjoy identifying, analyzing, and solving problems are well-suited to majoring in accounting. Additional information about the accounting profession and its diverse opportunities can be obtained at http://www.aicpa.org/BECOMEACPA/Pages/BecomeaCPA.aspx.

Accreditation

The College of Business and the Department of Accounting are accredited by AACSB - International. The department is also a member of the Federation of Schools of Accountancy.

University and College Fellowship/Scholarship Awards

The Department of Accounting follows all applicable Graduate admission criteria when awarding graduate fellowships and scholarships. Students who are unconditionally admitted, have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 as calculated by Graduate Admissions (or 3.0 at the graduate level), and enroll for a minimum of six semester credit hours will be eligible for available fellowship and/or scholarship support. A standardized test score (GMAT) will not be used as a sole criterion or the primary criterion for determining fellowship and/or scholarship support.

Fast Track Program

The Fast Track Program in Accounting enables outstanding undergraduate UT Arlington accounting students to satisfy degree requirements that will lead to a Master's of Science in Accounting or Master's of Science in Taxation degree while completing their undergraduate studies. If admitted, students will be allowed to take select graduate courses that may be used to satisfy both bachelor’s and master’s degree requirements. Admitted students will be allowed to complete 6 to 9 hours of selected graduate coursework as an undergraduate student. A GPA of 3.0 on the graduate work is required to continue taking graduate courses. Any Fast Track student who completes the 6 to 9 hours of graduate coursework with grades of B or better will be automatically admitted to Graduate School. The student would then be awarded his or her bachelor’s degree. The student will not be required to take the GMAT, complete the Graduate School Application, and will have the related application fees waived.

Professional Program in Accounting

The Department of Accounting offers a Professional Program in Accounting (PPIA) that allows students to earn both a bachelor's degree and master's degree upon completion of an integrated 152-hour program. This integrated program can be completed in approximately one less semester than required to earn separate bachelor's and master's degrees. Students completing this program will have earned sufficient hours to sit for the CPA exam.

PPIA Enrollment and Course Sequence

Students will get maximum effectiveness from the PPIA program if they apply two semesters before completing undergraduate coursework.

Upon admission to the PPIA, students will meet with the Graduate Advisor to obtain their graduate degree plan. Students will continue following their undergraduate plan until all appropriate undergraduate coursework is completed. Courses omitted from the undergraduate coursework will be taken as part of the MS program. These courses will be taken later as part of the graduate program and will be applied to both the graduate degree and the undergraduate accounting degree. At the beginning of the last semester of undergraduate enrollment, PPIA students will formally apply for graduate admission. At this point, students should again meet with the graduate advisor to ensure a smooth transition to graduate school.

PPIA Admission Requirements

The Department of Accounting's (the department) admission criteria for its PPIA program have been developed to conform to State of Texas requirements and are based on the general admission requirements of the Graduate School. Applicants are encouraged to include a resume that highlights professional and personal accomplishments with their application.

All applications for admission to the PPIA program are reviewed individually. Admission decisions are based on factors associated with academic success in graduate study and may include any of the following criteria: (1) undergraduate grade point average, (2) performance in accounting classes at UTA, (3) GMAT scores, (4) professional work experience, (5) personal accomplishments, (6) letters of reference, and (7) the applicant's personal statement. Standardized test scores are not used as the sole criterion for admitting applicants or denying admission to applicants.

Admission Criteria

The Department has two alternative sets of conditions that allow applicants to be unconditionally admitted to the PPIA program without review by the Departmental Admission and Petition Committee. The Departmental Graduate Advisor reviews all applications and determines if they qualify for admission under one of these two sets of criteria. Applicants who do not satisfy any of the following sets of conditions for unconditional admission are referred to the Departmental Admission and Petition Committee for consideration.

Option #1: Unconditional Admission with GMAT Waiver

This unconditional admission option #1 focuses on the applicant’s performance in UTA’s undergraduate accounting program. Individuals who meet all of the following three conditions are given unconditional admission:

  • Majoring in accounting at UTA with having completed at least 9 semester hours of accounting study (beyond principles) at UTA;

  • At least a 3.25 GPA in their overall UTA undergraduate and UTA accounting course work;

  • Completed a minimum of 60 semester hours at UTA with a GPA of at least 3.25 for the most recent 60 semester hours of courses completed at UTA.

Option #2: Unconditional Admission without Committee Review

Individuals who meet each of the following three conditions are given unconditional admission:

  • At least a 3.0 GPA in their overall undergraduate, UTA undergraduate and UTA accounting GPA;
  • Have completed at least 45 semester hours of coursework at UTA with at least 9 semester hours of accounting courses (beyond principles) at UTA;

  • GMAT total score of at least 550 with a verbal and quantitative score both at the 40th percentile or higher

Option #3: Admission with Committee Review

PPIA applicants who require Committee review are considered for admission using the following factors, with no single factor used as the primary criterion for making admission decisions:

  • Undergraduate GPA (overall, UTA undergraduate) and performance in accounting courses at UTA;
  • Score on the GMAT (including separate scores on the verbal and quantitative sections);

  • Applicant's professional work experience and personal accomplishments;

  • Letters of reference and personal statement provided by the applicant.

Unconditional admission is granted to applicants whose documentation clearly demonstrates a readiness for graduate study. By considering the totality of the applicant's circumstances, including the factors listed above, the Graduate Accounting Admission and Petition Committee will evaluate an applicant's readiness to successfully complete one of the Department's graduate programs. To qualify for unconditional admission with committee review, applicants are expected to show significant strength in at least three of the four areas listed above. An applicant unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements may be granted provisional admission. Provisional status lasts through the initial semester of admission. Applicants whose documentation does not satisfactorily demonstrate readiness for graduate study may be denied admission. A deferred decision may be granted when a file is incomplete or when a denied decision is not appropriate. The decision of the Committee is final.

Classroom Time Flexibility

All of the graduate degree programs offered by the Department of Accounting can be completed by individuals who work full-time and wish to attend class in the evenings. Each student's program of work must be approved by the Accounting Graduate Advisor and must include a minimum of 37 semester hours. A minimum of 28 semester hours must be taken at The University of Texas at Arlington.  During the final semester, students who have written a thesis must defend the thesis in an oral examination.

Transfer Credit Applied to Master's Degree

University policy allows students to transfer in no more than nine hours of transfer credit into a graduate program. Equivalent coursework completed at other institutions of recognized standing prior to admittance into the UTA masters' program may be transferred to a masters' degree program after evaluation and approval.  Courses from other universities taken after a student has been admitted into a masters' program at UT Arlington must be approved in advance by the Department of Accounting Graduate Studies Committee. To request transfer credit, students must complete the Transfer of Graduate Credit form and obtain approvals from the Department of Accounting's graduate advisor and chair of the Department of Accounting's Committee on Graduate Studies. As a general rule, transfer credits will not be approved for core graduate courses in any of the department's masters' programs or for transfer credits taken without prior approval. Other courses which are not considered suitable to a student's program of work will not be approved.The department's transfer credit policy is in addition to the university's regulation on transfer credit and course waivers. Transferred courses do not appear on the UT Arlington Official Transcript and grades earned in transferred courses are not included in calculating a student's UT Arlington graduate grade-point average.

Departmental Grade and Graduation Requirements

Students enrolled in accounting degree programs are subject to the grade requirements for academic probation and graduation as specified under the general regulations of the Graduate Admissions.

Admissions Requirements

Admission Criteria

The Department has two alternative sets of conditions that allow applicants to be unconditionally admitted without review by the Department's Admission and Petition Committee. The Departmental Graduate Advisor reviews all applications and determines if they qualify for admission under one of these two sets of criteria. Applicants who do not satisfy any of the following sets of conditions for unconditional admission are referred to the Departmental Admission and Petition Committee for consideration.

Unconditional Admission without Committee Review

Applicants qualify for unconditional admission without the need for review by the Departmental Admission and Petition Committee if they meet any one of the following two sets of unconditional admission criteria:

Unconditional Admission Set #1: GMAT Condition

Individuals who meet each of the following two conditions are given unconditional admission:

  • Applicant holds an earned bachelor's degree from an AACSB accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work and
  • GMAT total score is at least 550 with verbal and quantitative score at the 40th percentile or higher, on both.

Unconditional Admission Set #2: GMAT Waiver Condition

This unconditional admission set #2 focuses on satisfying any one of the following criteria.

  • Graduated from UTA within three years of expected entrance into the graduate program with a minimum GPA of 3.25 in their major and overall;
  • Graduated from an AACSB accredited college or university with an earned bachelor's degree, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their major and overall, holds a current recognized professional accounting credential or license (e.g., certified public accountant, certified management  accountant, certified financial analyst, chartered accountant);
  • Graduated from an AACSB accredited college or university with an earned bachelor's degree, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their major and overall, and completed another postbaccalaureate degree (e.g., master's degree, JD degree, LLM degree, MD degree, Ph.D. degree).

Admission with Committee Review

Applicants who require committee review are considered for admission using the following factors, with no single factor used as the primary criterion for making admission decisions.

  • Undergraduate and graduate GPA (overall, major, and last 60 hours) and program accreditation status of the applicant's degree granting institution;
  • Score on the GMAT (including separate scores on the verbal and quantitative portions);
  • Applicant's professional work experience and professional certification/licensure; and
  • Letters of reference and personal statement provided by the applicant.

By considering the totality of the applicant's circumstances, including the factors listed above, the Admission and Petition Committee will evaluate an applicant's readiness to successfully complete one of the Department's graduate programs. Depending on the judgment of the committee, the decision may be to grant unconditional admission, probationary admission, provisional admission, deferred admission, or to deny admission. The decision of the committee is final.

An applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate a sufficient level of skill with the English language to assure success in graduate studies as defined under Admissions Requirements and Procedures in the Graduate Catalog.   International applicants must submit a TOEFL score or IELTS score that meets the standards as listed in the admission requirements.

Pre-enrollment Competency (or deficiency) Requirements

If students have not satisfactorily completed all of their pre-enrollment competency (deficiency) requirements, they will, in addition to their program of work, also be required to complete those pre-enrollment competency courses.  If college courses constituting the pre-enrollment competency requirements have not been completed with a grade of A or B, students must include these courses in their program of work.  A grade of A or B is required for each pre-enrollment competency (deficiency) course included in the program of work.  Deficiency courses may be completed at the undergraduate level but core courses must be completed at the graduate level.

Master of Science in Accounting

This program is designed for students who have an undergraduate degree in accounting or a degree in business administration with a major in accounting who wish to specialize in an area of accounting other than tax. The student, with the assistance and consent of the Graduate Advisor, will develop a course of study designed to meet his or her educational needs in light of previous academic work and career objectives.

The M.S. in Accounting requires the student to complete a minimum of 37 semester hours of coursework, 24 of which must be in specified courses in the accounting discipline:

ACCT 5133PROFESSIONALISM IN ACCOUNTING1
ACCT 5318STUDIES IN AUDITING3
ACCT 5319FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING III3
ACCT 5320GOVERNMENTAL AND NONPROFIT ACCOUNTING3
ACCT 5321RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING ISSUES3
ACCT 5329CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN ACCOUNTING INFORMATION SYSTEMS3
or ACCT 5335 DESIGN OF ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS
ACCT 5340STUDY OF FEDERAL INCOME TAX FOR ENTITIES OTHER THAN INDIVIDUALS3
ACCOUNTING ELECTIVES6
BUSINESS ELLECTIVES12
Total Hours37

Master of Professional Accounting (MPA)

The MPA program is designed for individuals who hold an undergraduate degree in any major other than accounting (economics, engineering, finance, liberal arts, management, mathematics, science, etc.) . The MPA program requires the student to complete a minimum of 43 semester hours of coursework, 30 semester hours of which must be in specified courses in the accounting discipline:

ACCT 5133PROFESSIONALISM IN ACCOUNTING1
ACCT 5311FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING I3
ACCT 5312FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING II3
ACCT 5314PRINCIPLES OF FEDERAL INCOME TAX3
ACCT 5315ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS ANALYSIS3
ACCT 5316AUDITING CONCEPTS AND PRACTICES3
ACCT 5319FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING III3
ACCT 5321RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING ISSUES3
ACCT 5322ACCOUNTING FOR MANAGEMENT PLANNING AND CONTROL3
Accounting Electives6
Business Electives12
Total Hours43

For those individuals who hold an undergraduate business degree, the MPA will normally require 43 hours of coursework. For those individuals who hold an undergraduate degree in a non-business discipline, the MPA will normally require 46 hours of coursework. Regardless of undergraduate background, the MPA degree requires a total of 27 hours of accounting plus 6 hours of accounting principles as a pre-enrollment requirement. Thus, MPA graduates will have a total of 33 hours of accounting.

Master of Science in Taxation

The Master of Science in Taxation (MST) is designed for students who have an undergraduate degree in accounting or a degree in business administration with a major in accounting who wish to specialize in taxation. The student, with the assistance and consent of the Graduate Advisor, will develop a course of study designed to meet his or her educational needs in light of previous academic work and career objectives.

The degree requires a minimum of 37 semester hours, 27 semester hours of which must be in specified courses in the accounting discipline.  Of the required accounting semester hours, 18 of those semester hours must be in specified courses in the area of taxation beyond ACCT 5314 PRINCIPLES OF FEDERAL INCOME TAX:

ACCT 5133PROFESSIONALISM IN ACCOUNTING1
ACCT 5319FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING III3
ACCT 5339TAX PLANNING AND RESEARCH3
ACCT 5341TAXATION OF PASSTHROUGH ENTITIES3
ACCT 5342TAX PROBLEMS OF CORPORATIONS AND SHAREHOLDERS3
ACCT 5347FEDERAL TAXATION OF GIFTS AND ESTATES3
Tax Accounting Electives6
Accounting Electives6
Business Electives9
Total Hours37

Certificate in Taxation

To support The University of Texas at Arlington's mission to provide lifelong learning opportunities to the community, the Department of Accounting offers qualified applicants an opportunity to participate in a graduate Certificate in Taxation.  This is a non-degree seeking program.  The program offers graduate courses in specific areas of taxation as a means of

  • maintaining and promoting their professional development in an interactive environment;
  • acquiring continuing education hours necessary to maintain a professional certification;
  • furthering their opportunity to participate in a graduate degree program. Subject to the applicable degree requirements, up to 4 courses taken in the certificate can be applied toward a master's degree;
  • providing quality cost-efficient staff training;
  • interacting with other professionals and developing a dialogue that can improve your practice's efficiency and effectiveness. A number of our professors in the program are either currently with the Internal Revenue Service or in practice in the area of specialization associated with the course.

Admission Requirements

The Tax Certificate is a post-baccalaureate educational opportunity available to degreed applicants. It is narrower in scope and shorter in duration than any of the department's graduate degree programs. To qualify, an applicant must

  • have an undergraduate degree;
  • have a grade point average of 3.0;
  •  

A GMAT score and letters of recommendation are not required for admission to the certificate.

Information About Status as a Certificate Student

Special student status characteristics:

  • Must be approved by the Admissions Committee
  • No more than twelve (12) hours of work earned as a special student may be applied to a graduate degree at UT Arlington.

A person who is admitted as a certificate student and later seeks admission to a degree program must submit a regular Graduate Admissions Application form, pay the application fee, submit all required documents, and meet all admission requirements, including admission tests and any additional requirements established by the degree program.

Application to a Graduate Program

Admission as a certificate student in no way guarantees subsequent unconditional admission into a graduate program or the Graduate Business School.  Anyone who enters a certificate program and later seeks a graduate degree at the College of Business may apply 12 hours of coursework toward that degree program if done within 6 years of completion of the certificate by petitioning Graduate Admissions through her/his prospective academic department. Only grades of A and B may be  applied toward graduate credit.

Terms of Admission

Once admitted, participants may take up to four (4) of the approved courses. The terms of admission allow participants to take only the specific courses approved for the certificate. Participants would not be allowed to take courses outside of their certificate requirements without applying for and having been accepted into the graduate program.

Current Graduate Students

Graduate students currently enrolled in a UT Arlington graduate program may also earn the certificate by notifying the Accounting Advisor of their intent to participate in the certification program and by successfully completing the prescribed number of classes in their degree program.

Available Courses

The Certificate in Taxation requires students to take and successfully complete, with a minimum GPA of 3.0, four advanced tax courses. Those students entering the Certificate of Taxation without having taken the equivalent of the undergraduate tax course will also be required to take a "foundation" course, ACCT 5314 PRINCIPLES OF FEDERAL INCOME TAX. The four advanced tax courses are limited to ACCT 5339 TAX PLANNING AND RESEARCH and three additional courses selected from the following:

ACCT 5341TAXATION OF PASSTHROUGH ENTITIES3
ACCT 5342TAX PROBLEMS OF CORPORATIONS AND SHAREHOLDERS3
ACCT 5345STATE AND LOCAL TAXATION3
ACCT 5346TAX PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE3
ACCT 5347FEDERAL TAXATION OF GIFTS AND ESTATES3

Courses appropriate for the certificate have been selected because their subject matters directly relate to materials needed by professionals engaged in tax-related activities. Full course descriptions for these advanced courses are included in The University of Texas at Arlington's Graduate Catalog.

Grade Point Average While in the Certificate Program

All participants in the certificate must meet the normal GPA requirements of Graduate Admissions, College and Department of Accounting. In particular, they must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 in order to receive the certificate.