Online Master of Science in Accountancy


The curriculum for the online Master of Science in Accountancy is designed with the philosophy of preparing graduates to excel in their careers from the start. Students take 12 courses and have the option to take three business classes, allowing them to complete the program in 18 months by taking two 10-week courses simultaneously. The coursework includes comprehensive coverage of accounting principles and theory, practices and methodologies and utilizes real-world business challenges to develop problem-solving skills.

Accountancy Courses

This course covers the core principles of accounting. Students will also gain an understanding of financial statements as well as knowledge of how to prepare balance sheets, income statements and statements of cash flow. Additional concepts covered include:

  • Accounting terminology
  • Elements of financial statements
  • The accounting cycle

This course focuses on flow of accounting information in organizations, and the role accountants play in risk mitigation and disaster recovery for their organizations. It focuses on topics related to accounting technology, including database management tools and the acquisition of accounting information systems. Students will gain an understanding of security, internal controls and the use of information technology in financial decision making, including:

  • Objectives and procedures of internal control
  • Typical business documents and reports
  • System documentation through flowcharts and other techniques
  • Systems analysis and design

This is the first course of intermediate accounting. It is designed to aid students in understanding and applying more advanced accounting principles and concepts through critical analysis of accounting and asset valuation methods. Other topics include:

  • Financial statements
  • Methods and problems in valuation and reporting
  • Current assets and liabilities
  • Property, plant and equipment; intangibles

This course focuses on how to use internal accounting information to make sound managerial decisions. Emphasis is placed on understanding business transactions in the context of cost and managerial accounting analysis, including:

  • Cost accumulation and cost behavior
  • Budgeting and breakeven analysis
  • Performance measurement
  • Contribution approach to income measurement

This course further develops students’ intermediate accounting knowledge and skills. It is designed to assist students in preparing and understanding financial statements alongside additional complex accounting concepts, including:

  • Stockholders’ equity and earnings per share
  • Investments and revenue recognition
  • Income taxes, pension, leases
  • Statement of cash flows

The course covers the substantial issues related to accounting for acquisitions and subsequent consolidation of business entities with a focus on developing problem-solving skills. Students will gain opportunities to apply the theory and skills they’ve learned in other courses to real-world accounting problems. Other topics covered include:

  • Relevant standards governing financial accounting practice
  • State and local government accounting, and not-for-profit accounting
  • Alternatives to current financial accounting standards

This is the first of two courses of auditing. It provides an introduction to auditing theory and standards. The course covers the role of the auditor as a professional in a legal, ethical and business context. Other concepts include:

  • Generally accepted auditing standards
  • Communication, ethical and other skills and attributes required of a professional accountant
  • Audit planning and the internal control structure
  • Audit evidence and auditor’s reports

The purpose of this course is to examine the U.S. taxation of individuals and includes an in-depth study of the methods of the determination of tax. The course is designed to provide a deeper understanding of tax topics, including:

  • Inclusions and exclusions
  • Deductions and credit
  • Rates of taxation and special tax computations
  • Tax aspects of property transactions

This is the second of two courses in auditing. The course emphasizes the implementation and application of generally accepted auditing standards to financial transactions, and it is intended to provide experience with common tools and procedures such as sampling and data analysis. Other concepts include:

  • Sampling techniques used in tests of controls
  • Internal control in accounting information systems
  • Audit tools, software and techniques
  • The role of internal auditors

The purpose of this course is to examine the U.S. taxation of corporations and partnerships and includes an in-depth study of the methods of the determination of tax. The course is designed to provide a deeper understanding of tax topics, including:

  • Capitalization, depreciation and amortization
  • Tax accounting periods and methods
  • C and S corporations
  • Partnerships, trusts, gifts and estate
  • International taxation

This course covers the legal and regulatory aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides knowledge of business structures underlying accounting transactions, including:

  • Legal liability of accountants
  • Laws of employment, contracts, property, tort, sales, agency, disclosure, banking
  • Securities regulation and antitrust
  • Public regulation and disclosure laws

This is intended as the final course in the program and provides exposure to financial accounting policy issues. The course challenges students to critically analyze the formation of accounting policies using real-world examples. It is designed to provide an understanding of the current state of financial accounting, with topics including:

  • Research and writing for accounting professionals
  • Critical evaluations of basic issues such as income determination
  • Current FASB agenda items, including theoretical, empirical, practical aspects

Business Courses

We also recommend the following business courses for students without a prior business degree. These are optional and not required.

  • ECO 502 – Analysis of Business Conditions
  • FIN 455 – Principles of Financial Management
  • MGT 504 – Fundamental Operations Management
  • GSB 500 – U.S. Business Culture & Practice*

*Required for international students; may be waived for those students with a prior U.S. degree.

Request Information

To learn more about DePaul University’s online MSA program fill out the fields below to download a brochure. You can also call (800) 950-0232 (toll-free) or (312) 676-6438 to speak to one of our admissions advisors.

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