Online Master of Science in Accountancy


DePaul University’s Master of Science in Accountancy curriculum is designed so that students can start enhancing their careers on day one. It delivers a combination of foundational principles, advanced theory and practical applications that apply to a wide range of accounting job roles and professional goals.

The MSA degree comprises 8 core courses plus 4 electives for a total of 48 credit hours. Students can complete the program in as little as 18 months by taking two courses per term.

What to Expect in the Courses

  • Coursework is designed to be studied at your own pace with weekly assignments and deadlines.
  • Courses are 10 weeks long with an exam on the 11th week.
  • Plan to spend 10 to 15 hours per week on each course.
  • Each course typically includes a combination of video lectures, online homework or quizzes, exams, and other study materials.
  • Asynchronous courses include an optional weekly Zoom meeting led by the faculty instructor.
  • All core courses are available online, while most elective courses can be taken online as well, with a few offering the option to attend either online or in-person.
  • Students who start at the same time will move through the degree program together as a cohort.

If you have any questions about the curriculum or courses, call an admissions advisor at (800) 950-0232 (toll-free) or (312) 676-6438.

Course Listings and Descriptions

Required Core 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 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

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

Elective Courses

Introduction to cost and managerial concepts and techniques. Topics include cost accumulation (job, process, standard costing, and activity-based costing), cost behavior, breakeven analysis, budgeting, contribution approach to income measurement, joint and by-product costing, cost allocation methods, and their relevance for decision-making.

ACC 500 is a prerequisite for this class.

A study of the process by which accounting policies are formulated. The students are asked to make critical evaluations of basic issues such as income determination and current issues such as Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) agenda items in light of their theoretical, empirical, practical, and political aspects. Students are expected to demonstrate an ability to use the accounting research literature. Students should plan to take this capstone course at the end of their degree program. This course is intended to be taken toward the end of the MSA program.

ACC 543 is a prerequisite for this class.

This course focuses on financial statement fraud. Skills taught in this course include using financial statement analysis to detect fraud in financial statements and valuation skills that can be used to value both public and private firms in cases of shareholder and partnership disputes, divorce cases etc. Students are given a chance to use these skills to detect and investigate fraud within a company’s financial statements.

Auditing II is a sequel to Auditing I (ACC 547). Auditing II builds upon the understanding and application of the Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) Standards of Fieldwork to both analyze and evaluate audit procedures chosen and evidence obtained regarding classes of transactions and account balances. The course highlights common tools and techniques for planning and conducting audits including the use of sampling and data analysis when performing tests of controls and substantive tests.

This course addresses the overall role that internal audit plays as a critical part of an organization’s control and governance structure. The course includes a case that incorporates the complete internal audit process for a hypothetical company, including identification of risk, planning, execution of fieldwork, and reporting. This course also covers the strategic role and operations of an internal audit function from three key perspectives: the chief audit executive, the chair of the audit committee, and the CEO or CFO. The relative roles and relationships with the organization’s external auditor and the organization’s risk and control functions are also addressed.

ACC 500 is a prerequisite for this class.

The course will familiarize students with basic audit analytics knowledge, skills and tools, and expose students to real-world audit analytics-related issues and potential solutions. With an emphasis on hands-on problem-solving capabilities, this course develops students’ analytics mindset in the context of auditing by using Caseware IDEA.

This course will provide students with exposure to the various data analytic concepts and tools applicable to tax. It will also provide opportunities to apply these concepts and tools to sample data sets from the business world. In addition to understanding when and how to use these tools, the student will also learn how to exercise appropriate judgment with respect to tax decisions that stem from the data analysis. Students in the course will also see how process design and automation are impacted by the types of data available to the tax professional.

ACC 551 is a prerequisite for this class.

Study of federal income taxation of corporations and shareholders with emphasis on transactions between the corporation and its shareholders. Topics include corporate formations, nonliquidating distributions to shareholders, stock redemptions, and corporate liquidations.

ACC 558 is a prerequisite for this class.

This course examines sources of tax law used during a tax research project by making use of the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury regulations, Treasury rulings and administrative pronouncements, judicial decisions, and other sources. Students examine the weight of authority of each source of tax law and the structure of databases used by tax professionals to build a conclusion to the tax issue being researched.

ACC 548 is a prerequisite for this class.

This course is a statistical overview of concepts taught in elementary and intermediate statistics classes but with more emphasis on understanding and interpretation of outcomes and findings. Report writing, article critiquing, and team projects will be utilized. This course will cover selected general statistics, including basic sample descriptives, categorical data analysis, including odds and risk ratios, estimation and hypothesis testing, and basic regression and ANOVA technique. Logistic regression will also be covered. The course will emphasize data analytics and data projects.

This course will focus on fraud principles that relate to asset misappropriations, corruption, and fraudulent financial statements. Emphasis will be on examination, review, and analysis of a variety of fraud schemes, including discussion of investigative strategies and controls used to detect and prevent the impact fraud has on an organization.

This course introduces students to the field of data mining and data analytics, which has been defined as the extensive use of data, statistical and quantitative analysis, and exploratory and predictive models to drive decisions and actions. With an emphasis on hands-on problem-solving capabilities, this course further develops students’ analytics mindset and data-driven decision skills.

ACC 615 is a prerequisite for this course.

This course covers the aspects of the legal environment of special concern to accounting practitioners, including: the ethical standards of accounting practice, legal liability of accountants, contract law, property law, tort law, commercial paper, the laws of agency, sales laws, banking, agency, partnerships, corporations, trusts and wills, suretyships, secured transactions, bankruptcy, employment law, securities regulation, antitrust, and public regulation and disclosure laws.

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.

DePaul University has engaged AllCampus to help support your educational journey. AllCampus will contact you shortly in response to your request for information. About AllCampus. Privacy Policy. You may opt out of receiving communications at any time.

* All Fields are Required. Your Privacy is Protected. Are you enrolling from outside the US? Click here.