MASTER OF ACCOUNTANCY in ACCOUNTING Master’s Degree in Accounting (M.Acc. Degree)


Propel your career in accounting to a new level.

The accounting profession is advancing rapidly as new technologies and capabilities come into play. Keep your accounting career on track – or prepare to sit for the CPA exam– with the Master of Accountancy program at PennWest California.

This specialized M.Acc. degree program, delivered entirely online, expands your knowledge of accounting principles and practices. You’ll also build the technical, research and communication skills required to remain relevant in this rapidly evolving profession.

Courses required to earn the accounting master’s degree also help students obtain the 150 credit hours required to become a certified public accountant, or CPA. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics acknowledges that accounting professionals who obtain CPA certification hold a competitive advantage in the workforce.

PennWest California’s 30-credit M.Acc. degree program can be completed in four semesters of full-time study, or on a part-time schedule. Students may enroll now; classes begin in Summer 2020.

Meet the demand for highly qualified accountants and CPAs.

PennWest California’s online Master of Accountancy program prepares graduates to thrive as accountants or auditors in public, private or government practice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth of 10% or more in the accounting field through 2026, exceeding the average for all professions.

In the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, where accounting positions make up more than 1% of all jobs, accounting is a larger component of the economy than in most other regions, the BLS reports. 

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Vulcan Nation Podcast

MBA Programs and Master's in Accounting

Listen to the Vulcan Nation podcast as faculty members and graduate admissions counselors discuss PennWest California MBA programs and the new Master's in Accounting degree.


Program Highlights: Accounting Master's Degree

WHAT IS THE M.Acc.?: The Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.) is a specialized accounting degree that prepares students for higher-level positions as auditors or accountants. Unlike an MBA program, which may offer several different concentrations, an M.Acc. program focuses specifically on accounting knowledge, principles and practices; it also helps students prepare for the exam required to become a Certified Public Accountant.   

PROFESSIONAL TOOLS: At PennWest California, students seeking the M.Acc. degree gain hands-on experience with the accounting profession’s most current and relevant tools, including research software and workflow programs. For example, students in the Financial Accounting class conduct research using the latest FASB Accounting Standards Codification® software, the authoritative source for generally accepted accounting principles that apply to nongovernmental bodies.

FACULTY EXPERTISE: PennWest California professors in the Master of Accountancy program are highly qualified and have significant industry experience. For instance, program coordinator Dr. Joshua Chicarelli earned his M.Acc. degree from West Virginia University and a D.B.A. in Accounting from Anderson University. In addition to teaching, he offers consulting services to individuals and businesses, and does pro bonowork for nonprofit organizations.

CPA EXAM PREP: Because the four-part exam to become a Certified Public Accountant  is so rigorous, many individuals use commercial test-prep materials as part of their preparation. Students in the accounting master’s degree program may qualify for discounted CPA exam prep materials through PennWest California’s partnerships with selected commercial vendors. For example, Becker, a leader in CPA exam-prep materials, offers deep discounts to PennWest California students who purchase software. Eligibility for discounts may vary.

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Median pay for accountants and auditors in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Projected job growth nationwide for accountants and auditors through 2026.
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Degree Benefits

All U.S. states and jurisdictions, except for the U.S. Virgin Islands, require an individual to earn at least 150 credit hours from an accredited post-secondary institution before becoming a certified public accountant. Courses required for the online master’s degree in accounting help students become eligible to sit for the CPA qualifying exam. At PennWest California, those courses integrate accounting concepts with practice, so students are better prepared to understand the material being tested on this rigorous exam.

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Graduate Outcomes

What can you do with a master’s in accounting? Graduates of the M.Acc. program at PennWest California are prepared for employment as staff accountants, auditors, tax accountants, governmental auditors and similar positions. Practical, experiential learning empowers graduates to move ahead in the accounting field with confidence in their professional skills and abilities. Students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting can earn the M.Acc. degree in four semesters of full-time study or on a part-time schedule.



Master of Accountancy in Accounting Courses and Admission Requirements



Course Credits
Required Courses 21
ACC 710  Financial Accounting 3
ACC 715  Advanced Tax 3
ACC 720  Advanced Financial Accounting 3
ACC 725  Controllership 3
ACC 730  Advanced Auditing 3
ACC 735  Emerging Issues in Accounting 3
MBA 730  Managerial Decision Making 3
Course Options: Specialized Courses
Select two courses from the following:  
MBA 710  Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis 3
BUS 710  Applied Data Analysis for Business 3
BUS 740  Forecasting and Predictive Modeling 3
ECO 710  Advanced Microeconomics 3
ECO 730  Applied Econometric Analysis 3
Select one course from the following:   
MIS 720  Business Analytics for Big Data 3
MIS 730  Decision Support Systems 3
Total 30

Program Requirements:

Foundation Courses: Applicants who do not possess an undergraduate degree with an accounting major may also be required to take one or more of the three foundation courses:

  • ACC 200  Financial Accounting (3 credits)
  • ACC 301  Intermediate Accounting I (3 credits)
  • ACC 302  Intermediate Accounting II (3 credits)

Program Notes:

  • ACC 200 (Financial Accounting) is a pre-requisite for Intermediate Accounting I.
  • ACC 301 (Intermediate Accounting) is a pre-requisite for Intermediate Accounting II.



Admission Requirements



  • Regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.00 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • GMAT suggested



  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements: Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 3.00 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Professional resume



  • Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

    This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.



  • Complete the Graduate School Application
  • Submit the nonrefundable $35 Application Fee
  • Submit official transcripts by mail or email to:

    • School of Graduate Studies and Research
      PennWest California
      Box 91
      250 University Ave. 
      California, PA 15419
      Phone: 724-938-4187