The Online Master of Accounting
Accounting is far more than a black-and-white view of numbers. Successful leaders in this multifaceted field build on their accounting knowledge to analyze, interpret and communicate what the numbers mean—and they’re an integral part of executive business decision-making.
Prepare for a career as a business authority. The expert faculty and specialized curriculum of William & Mary’s Online Master of Accounting (MAcc) program develop your abilities to identify and illuminate nuances in data and make leadership decisions. Whether your ambitions lie in public or corporate accounting, you could be prepared to sit for the CPA exam and advance your career in as few as 16 months. More importantly, though, we teach you to think: to go beyond the test and become the best possible accountant and leader in business.
The accounting industry is undergoing a period of profound change at the moment, and there has never been a greater need for accountants who can think critically, communicate effectively and lead with integrity.
Our program is designed to help students build those skills and meet the needs in the industry today.
We have designed the online Master of Accounting program here at William & Mary for flexibility. We have arranged things so that you can work on it in bits and pieces, so that you can listen to certain videos without being in front of your computer, so that you can download spreadsheets and have them as reference. We have really, really focused on the flexibility.
Our program is designed to meet students where they are, whether someone has 10, 15 years experience working in accounting, or if someone is new to accounting and looking for a career change. Our curriculum is very flexible, so we can meet students where they are and put them on a fast track to receiving their degree and launching their career.
Our faculty place a high priority on being accessible to all of our students, and that goes for our online students as well as our residential students. I think our faculty is equally accessible to both students who are here on campus and online students.
The students who go on and get a master’s degree, that extra year of schooling really seems to provide a benefit in terms of once they get in the job, it really sort of helps them propel and accelerate their careers a lot faster.
During my time here at William & Mary, I have been so impressed with our alumni network. When I went to the Securities Exchange Commission as an academic fellow, I immediately came upon three William & Mary alumni who took me under their wings and really introduced me to the place and helped me the entire time I was there.
Throughout the online program, students interact a lot with each other in the online classroom, so students from day one are networking with each other. Our online students come to us with a lot of career experience, and they are expanding their network right off the bat by interacting with each other in the online classroom.
When you complete the online Master of Accounting program here at William & Mary, you will be prepared for success. You will understand all of the important economic arrangements that are pervading the business world today. You will understand the accounting that is critically important to transparently communicating those arrangements to shareholders and to other participants. You will be able to do your own research into financial reporting standards. You will be able to apply analytics to the different business decisions at hand. You will be beyond prepared.
You’re More Than a Test Score
*Students might need to complete up to eight credits of prerequisite courses.
Get to Know the Online MAcc Experience
Use the three tabs below to explore the powerful connections, impressive career potential, faculty expertise and innovative curriculum that are hallmarks of the Online Master of Accounting program.
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You may have years of previous accounting experience or none at all. Your background may be in military service. You may have a history in corporate work or in the not-for-profit world.
Safeguard your finances and ensure your career advancement. With a competitive tuition and just 16 months to degree completion, the Online MAcc degree program helps you spend less and move up sooner. You’re protecting your resources and positioning yourself to advance while accounting students elsewhere are still taking classes.
Your connections at William & Mary will empower your entire career. Our alumni are in high demand with globally respected companies. The nation’s four biggest accounting firms—Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers—seek out our accounting graduates. In choosing the Online MAcc program, you’re giving yourself the best chance to go on to the best future.
You’re more than a number-cruncher. Become an accounting expert.
The specialized expertise you’ll acquire at William & Mary will put you at the cutting edge of modern business. You’ll graduate with new fluency not only in accounting but in business leadership—prepared to make important executive decisions as you thrive in a career that’s in demand everywhere.
Our graduates are:
- Empowered with holistic, leading-edge business and accounting expertise
- Adept at measuring, presenting, interpreting and communicating data to drive decision-making
- Proficient in analytics and driving organizational performance
- Equipped with knowledge and class credits in preparation for the CPA exam
- Ready to move into public accounting or advance into corporate accounting leadership
It’s True: The W&M Faculty is Amazing
Before they were world-class university educators, the top-ranked faculty of the Online MAcc program were working professionals who held a variety of leadership roles in audit and tax functions at Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Widely published in leading academic and professional journals, these innovative experts lead William & Mary’s residential MAcc program. Their commitment to student success is evident through their accessibility, constant support and impeccably high standards.
Dr. Kimberly Smith was an Academic Fellow at the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission and she conducts research for the International Accounting Standards Board. Her work has been published in The Accounting Review, The Journal of Business, the Journal of Management Accounting Research, Issues in Accounting Education, and Accounting, Organizations and Society. Her current research into the effects of off-balance sheet arrangements stems from her work as a principal co-author of the SEC's 2005 Study on Arrangements with Off-Balance Implications, Special Purpose Entities and Transparency of Filings by Issuers.
Dr. Jamie Diaz joined our faculty after a successful tenure as a senior auditor for Deloitte, where she served clients across diverse industries including retail, construction, non-profit and business services. The recipient of William & Mary’s Page Award for graduate teaching, she leads the undergraduate and graduate courses in auditing and accounting analytics. She is actively involved in the American Accounting Association and serves on the Accounting Advisory Board of the University of Richmond.
The Best of Academia and the Professional World
Gain the advantage of learning from prominent industry professionals—colleagues of your deeply connected faculty, and William & Mary Accounting alumni on successful career paths who have risen to leadership positions in globally recognized firms. You will find that the online format is not a hindrance to networking. Their involvement in your coursework enriches the Online MAcc experience and adds powerful connections to the program and your network.
Having completed the Online MAcc degree program, you might join our graduates at:
- Ernst & Young
- Grant Thornton
- Johnson Lambert
- Clifton Larson Allen
Online Master’s Accounting Courses Overview
Prerequisites—3.5 weeks each
Fast Track: BUAD 509A: Financial Reporting (2 Credits)
Fast Track: BUAD 509B: Strategic Cost Management (2 Credits)
Fast Track: BUAD 509C: Individual Income Taxes – Rules and Planning (2 Credits)
Fast Track: BUAD 509D: Audit and Assurance (2 Credits)
Core Courses—7.5 weeks each
Wheel 1: Complete both courses, in either order, before you go on to Wheel 2.
BUAD 5709: Financial Reporting Standards and Analysis (4 Credits)
BUAD 5719: Accounting Analytics and Information Systems (4 Credits)
Wheel 2: Complete these in any order after you complete Wheel 1.
BUAD 5729: Advanced Auditing and Audit Research (4 Credits)
BUAD 5739: Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation (4 Credits)
BUAD 5749: Driving Organizational Performance (4 Credits)
BUAD 5759: Advanced Federal Taxation (4 Credits)
BUAD 5417: Advanced Corporate Finance (4 Credits)
Building on previous courses, this course incorporates richer institutional details and deepens understanding of how firms interact with the financial markets. Topics to be included are: financing investments with capital market imperfections, corporate control, governance, and risk management.
BUAD 5779: Accounting for Complex Business Transactions (4 Credits)
Expedite Your Preparation for the CPA Exam
A Master of Accounting degree is an important step on the path toward becoming a certified public accountant (CPA), and the CPA examination is the most well-known credential of competency in the accounting profession. In order to sit for the CPA exam, most states* require students to complete 150 hours of coursework—the equivalent of five years of school—in addition to specific accounting and business credits.
William & Mary’s specialized Online Master of Accounting program helps you progress toward fulfilling CPA coursework requirements. If you need additional coursework to complete your 150 hours, you’ll be eligible to take any of our online courses, across programs, based on availability and instructor approval.
Our Master of Accounting program’s CPA exam pass rate is in the 90th percentile on the first attempt, as ranked by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.
*Eligibility determined by individual state licensure requirements. To find the requirements of the state in which you hope to gain licensure, start at NASBA.org
Federal Disclosure Statement
William & Mary makes every effort to ensure state licensure or certification is current. State requirements, however, may change. If you are planning to pursue professional licensure or certification in any state or territory, it is strongly recommended that you contact the appropriate licensing agency in that state or territory to seek information and guidance regarding licensure or certification requirements before beginning an academic program. Please see W&M's Disclosure notice for more information. We also encourage all prospective students to review the information available on the NASBA website thoroughly. Students should work with an advisor to ensure they are completing appropriate coursework. They should also be aware of additional, non-educational requirements such as professional work experience.
Finding a Common Ground: The William & Mary Residency
Students in the Online Master of Accounting program arrive with a diversity of personal and professional backgrounds. That’s why our accountancy program includes optional Residency Weekends: opportunities to begin building a shared experience with your cohort, both in terms of topical knowledge and your interpersonal relationships with one another.
We invite you to make the trip to our beautiful Williamsburg campus to meet your online classmates and faculty in person for the first time. In addition to bonding and networking over the course of three days, you will complete a course introducing you to unique aspects of the William & Mary experience and helping develop the interpersonal skills that are essential for any successful business leader. The residency curriculum is structured around three themes:
- Collaboration: Content and exercises designed to capitalize on face-to-face opportunities
- Culture: Experiences to more tightly bind students to the culture of William & Mary and the Raymond A. Mason School of Business
- Connections: Social interactions designed to create relationships between students and faculty that endure beyond the end of the program
Experience Residency Weekend
As a student earning your master's degree in accounting, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in non-credit-bearing Residency Weekend experiences on trending business and accounting topics outside the program. These professional development activities allow you to build a broad range of experiences and hone specific skills. Topics will be specific to your Residence Weekend, but may include:
- Current events in accounting
- State and local government financial reporting
- Accounting for pensions and other post-employment benefits
- Business law
- Forensic accounting
- Sustainability accounting
Residency Weekends are offered twice per academic year. Even if you don’t participate in this optional component, you’ll have access to recordings of the on-campus sessions.
Interested in Our Online Programs?
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