MBA: Accounting

MBA: Accounting MBA Degree : Online, On-Campus and Hybrid Options

About the MBA: Accounting Degree

Build your career by the numbers with an MBA in accounting from PennWest California.

Choose accounting as the focus of your Master of Business Administration degree, and you can:

  • Expand your knowledge of accounting principles and practices.
  • Build the technical, research and communication skills required for success in accounting.
  • Prepare for a career as an accountant, budget analyst, tax specialist or auditor.

PennWest California’s MBA program incorporates cross-disciplinary core courses that enhance your foundational business knowledge and build decision-making and leadership skills. Specialized courses offer advanced education in areas such as auditing, federal income tax and financial accounting, and electives let you to tailor your degree to match your career interests and goals.

If you intend to sit for the CPA exam and become a certified public accountant, please consider our Master of Accountancy program. 

Flexible options

PennWest California’s 36-credit MBA: Accounting program includes a mix of online and on-campus courses.

  • Online courses are asynchronous, so you have access to learning at any time, no matter where you may be.
  • You may attend on-campus courses in person or virtually, through multimodal web conferencing technology. This “distance learning” option gives you the flexibility to fit classes into your busy schedule or complete your degree entirely online.

You can earn the MBA: Accounting degree in 15 months of full-time study, or on a part-time schedule.

Students wishing to study on-campus or through a combination of on-campus and online coursework (multi-modal) must begin their MBA program in the Fall semester.

Vulcan Nation Podcast

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: MBA in Accounting

PROFESSIONAL TOOLS: As an accounting student in PennWest California’s MBA program, you’ll work closely with industry professionals to develop the technical and research skills that employers value. You’ll learn to use accounting-specific tools such as the FASB Accounting Standards Codification® software and various tax research databases – hands-on skills that may give you a competitive edge in the job market.

CAREER OUTLOOK: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “globalization, a growing economy and a complex tax and regulatory environment” are driving a strong demand for accountants and auditors. Technology may take over some routine accounting functions in the coming years, the BLS reports, but accountants will continue to be valued for their advisory and analytical skills.

MBA VS. M.ACC: What is the difference between an MBA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy degree? While both programs focus on accounting, the MBA instills a broader range of business and leadership skills, while the specialized M.Acc. concentrates on accounting principles and practices, and on preparing for the exam required to become a Certified Public Accountant.

Learn more about applying

Median wage for accountants and auditors in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Projected job growth for accountants and auditors between 2018 and 2028, greater than the average for all jobs.
Degree icon.

Degree Benefits

PennWest California’s MBA degree and its accounting concentration provide the skills needed to maintain accurate and well-organized financial records; examine financial statements for accuracy and legal/regulatory compliance; compute taxes owed and prepare tax returns for corporations, organizations and other entities; and suggest strategies for managing financial risk, reducing costs, increasing revenues and enhancing profits. The program also builds skills in quantitative reasoning and analysis, managerial decision-making and business leadership.

Cap icon.

Graduate Outcomes

Graduates of this graduate-level accounting program are prepared for careers as staff or corporate accountants, accounting clerks, specialists in accounts payable/receivable, budget analysts or financial analysts. The program’s focus on developing leadership skills and a cross-disciplinary perspective positions graduates to move ahead in their accounting or auditing careers.


MBA: Accounting Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs


Course Credits
Core Courses  
MBA 700  Business Foundations 3
MBA 710  Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis 3
MBA 720  Leading the Enterprise 3
MBA 730  Managerial Decision Making 3
MBA 740  Business, Government and Society 3
MBA 750  MBA Capstone 3
Course Options (Specialized Courses)  
ACC 710  Financial Accounting 3
ACC 715  Advanced Federal Income Tax 3
ACC 720  Advanced Financial Accounting 3
ACC 730  Advanced Auditing 3
Business Electives (500-level or higher ACC, BUS, ECO, ENP, FIN, HRM, MGT, MIS or MKT) 6
Total 36

View Cohort Sequences

Admission Requirements

Regular 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 a regionally accredited undergraduate institution

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Regionally accredited Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of a 2.99-2.60 will be conditionally admitted with the stipulation of earning a 3.0 GPA in the first term
    • Regionally accredited Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.59 and below will be reviewed for a decision once the following documentation has been received:
      • Those that have graduated 20+ years ago and are working in a related field, may submit their resume for review.  Those that have not, must complete the GMAT with a 550 or better for consideration.



  • 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
Related Programs

Other MBA Concentrations:

  • Applied economics: Learn to apply economic theory and analysis skills to address issues in business, public policy and behavioral analysis.
  • Business analytics: Explore trends in information technology and transform data into meaningful tools that drive business strategies.
  • Healthcare management: Develop tools and skills pertinent to business careers within a variety of healthcare settings.
  • ManagementEnhance personal leadership competencies and build skills that can be used to solve problems and generate results.


Dr. Stephanie Adam
Associate Professor; MBA Program Coordinator

View profile
Dr. Ahmet Akgun
Associate Professor

View profile
Dr. Adnan Chawdhry
Associate Professor

View profile
Dr. Joshua Chicarelli
Associate Professor

View profile
Dr. Paul Hettler

View profile
Dr. Elizabeth Jones
Associate Professor

View profile
Dr. Richard LaRosa
Associate Professor

View profile
Dr. Mark Lennon
Associate Professor

View profile
Dr. Edmund Matecki
Associate Professor

View profile
Dr. Kimberly Yost
Assistant Professor

View profile