Master of Accounting Academics

Personalize your journey at William & Mary

Our Approach

Undergraduates from all backgrounds benefit from the nine-month STEM-Designated MAcc program at William & Mary. Our world class faculty care deeply about our students' successes and are committed to developing your technical skills and business acumen using a collaborative, team-based methodology that replicates a true business setting.

In the fall, develop professional expertise through a series of required courses designed to give you the skills you need to navigate the ever-changing world of Accounting. Learn how to research professional standards, analyze complex transactions and understand the issues confronting Accountants in the field today.

In the spring, design your program of study to broaden your knowledge or specialize in an area of expertise. Take advantage of one of our market-driven Emphases or the opportunity to intern with a CPA firm during tax season. 

STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics

STEM-Designated Program

William & Mary’s Master of Accounting Program allows you to merge business acumen and leadership with highly technical skills to solve complex problems in today's workplace.

Candidates enrolling in the STEM-designated residential MAcc Program may be eligible for an extension of their post-study Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa up to 3 years. For additional information or to set-up a pre-interview appointment, please contact [[m|macc]] or 757-221-2910.

Unique Academic Experiences

  • Accounting Analytics

  • Audit & Assurance

  • Experiential

  • Taxation

  • Valuation & Advisory Services

  • Dual Degree

  • Ph.D. Preparation Program

Core Curriculum, phd preparation program, and dual degree

Enhance your degree and ultimately you career by choosing one of our market-driven areas of emphases, or deepen your academic pursuits through a dual degree or PhD prep program.

Learn More

 

Core Curriculum

Offered as a full-time two-semester program with additional summer boot camp for non-accounting majors, William & Mary's Master of Accounting Program is your next step to a career in the accounting industry. We built our MAcc Program to meet the diverse needs of our students; the curriculum is designed to give you the flexibility to choose an academic plan that best aligns with your individual interests, optional academic and professional experiences are tailored your professional goals and the program's STEM-Designation means international students eligible for an OPT visa extension upon graduation.

Program Snapshot
program snapshot

Fall Semester

Advanced Auditing & Audit Research | 3 Credits

Advanced Federal Taxation | 3 Credits

Accounting for Complex Financial Transactions | 3 Credits

Financial Instruments & Derivatives | 2 Credits

Accounting Analytics & Information Systems | 3 Credits

Business Skills for Professional Accountants | 2 Credits

DC Financial Markets Trek (Optional Elective) | 1 Credit

Winter Break
Spring Semester

Current Issues in IT & Accounting Analytic (Sprint) Required | 1 Credit

Electives* | 13 Credits
*12 Credits for students who participate in the Fall semester DC Financial Markets Trek
Course Descriptions
course descriptions
Core Courses
course descriptions
Accounting for Complex Financial Transactions

BUAD 5029 | 3 Credits

Expands and integrates knowledge of U.S. and international generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in a rigorous study of financial reporting issues with significant income statement and balance sheet implications. Builds on the Financial Markets Module to develop an in-depth understanding of complex financial transactions. Incorporates related academic literature and research into financial reporting standards.

Current Issues in IT & Accounting Analytic (Sprint) Required

BUAD 5039 | 1 Credit

Develops an understanding of current issues in information technology and accounting analytics, such as the design and security of large accounting databases. This intensive, hands-on course emphasizes the use of analytical and statistical tools in the context of current issues affecting the accounting profession. Students will conduct analyses, interpret findings, and use data visualization tools to communicate the results of their analyses.

Accounting Analytics & Information Systems

6239 | 3 Credits

This course will introduce data analytics skills and techniques relevant to various field of accounting, with a focus on the role of accounting information systems and controls pertaining to data quality. Students will engage in descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analysis of large datasets, using a variety of software tools. Students should leave this course with the skills necessary to translate accounting and business problems into meaningful information, and actionable proposals that they can provide to managers and data scientists.

Business Skills for Professional Accountants

BUAD 5069 | 2 Credits

Enhances several key abilities necessary to function in a professional accounting environment. Topics include: clearly communicating technical knowledge, exercising professional judgment, protecting and upholding professional integrity, how to develop and maintain professional relationships, how to generate and provide useful data to help inform business decisions, and the responsibility to help boards fulfill fiduciary duties and in maintaining safe and productive financial markets. Particular focus is on oral and written communication, data analysis, and project leadership.

Financial Instruments & Derivatives

BUAD 5079 | 2 Credits

Expands the accounting professional's understanding of the most important financial instruments and derivatives. Examines their economic functions, contractual features, market mechanics, valuation, and specific uses in investment and corporate financial practices such as risk management. Special attention is given to debt securities and the securitization process, as well as commonly used derivative instruments.

Advanced Auditing & Audit Research

BUAD 6199 | 3 Credits

Expands and integrates knowledge of U.S. and international generally accepted auditing principles (GAAS) in a rigorous study of financial reporting issues with significant balance sheet implications. Topics include advanced treatments of analytical procedures, audit planning, risk assessment, internal controls, audit evidence, audit documentation, and auditing fair. Incorporates related academic research, research into auditing standards, and contemporary auditing issues.

Advanced Federal Taxation

BUAD 6269 | 3 Credits

To provide the accountant and the manager with the ability to recognize tax factors that influence business decisions and to integrate them into the business decision-making process. This will include the development of a tax foundation, the ability to read and apply the Code and Regulations, the ability to conduct tax research using both online and offline tax research data bases, the ability to engage in effective tax planning, and the ability to present the identified tax consequences in both oral and written presentations. Ethical influences will be identified and discussed as related to taxation and the related business decision.

DC Financial Markets Trek | Optional

BUAD 6951 | 1 Credit

Elective Courses

Students who participate in the Fall semester DC Financial Markets Trek choose a minimum of 12 credits of electives, otherwise choose a minimum of 13 credits.

Other MBA or Law School electives may be taken and counted toward the MAcc degree requirements with the approval of the Chair of the Accounting Department. Electives vary year-to-year based on availability, and may be restricted based on demonstrated prerequisite coursework.

course descriptions
Integrated Winter Field Experience

BUAD 6129 | 4 Credits

This course is designed to assist students in successfully integrating workplace issues into past and future academic education. Students will learn to use academically rigorous conceptual frameworks in analyzing and solving problems that arise in the field.

Driving Organizational Performance

BUAD 6149 | 3 Credits

This course will cover managerial accounting topics such as: customer lifetime value estimation, cost of service delays, cost of quality analyses, time-driven Activity-Based-Costing, profit planning along the value chain, financial and operational forecasting, outsourcing, supplier choice and performance measurement, and analyses of profit drivers. This course replaces the Accounting for Business Strategies course, which met the cost credit requirement.

Taxation & Business Strategy

6159 | 3 Credits

This economics-based course provides a conceptual framework for understanding tax issues in the context of business decisions and business strategy. Students learn about how taxes relate to major decisions throughout the firm's life cycle: choice of organizational form, employee compensation, investment opportunities, international operations, and business combinations. The key conceptual components include: (1) consideration of the tax implications for all parties to the transaction; (2) consideration of both explicit and implicit taxes, such as lower before-tax rates of return on tax-favored investments; and (3) consideration of both tax and non-tax costs. Although this course focuses on the current U.S. federal income tax system, ultimately the course provides a useful framework for thinking about all tax regimes (i.e., across countries and over time).

Business Law

BUAD 6169 | 3 Credits

Following an introduction of the American legal system, Business Law will expose students to an in-depth look at contract law, commercial law, including the Uniform Commercial Code's Articles on Sales, Negotiable Instruments, Secured Transactions and Creditors Rights. Additional topics covered include bankruptcy, agency law, business organizations, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLC, and corporations.

Estate & Financial Planning

BUAD 6189 | 3 Credits

This course provides an introduction to the principles of estate and financial planning, with an emphasis on tax planning opportunities. Topics include a study of the estate and gift tax laws, effective use of trusts and life insurance, valuation techniques, integrated family tax and financial planning, succession planning for the closely-held business, and elections available to taxpayers. Also featured are debt management, retirement planning and investment planning, with an emphasis on issues facing both younger professionals as well as high net worth individuals.

Govt & Non-profit Accounting

BUAD 6209 | 3 Credits

This course is designed to expose graduate business students to the financial accounting and auditing issues related to state and local governmental and not-for-profit organizations in the United States. Students will review the body of accounting and auditing literature, specifically related to organizations in the public sector. Due to time constraints, Federal government accounting will not be addressed.

Financial Statement Analysis, Modeling, and Valuation

BUAD 6229 | 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the elements of financial statement analysis and increases students' ability to extract and use information from financial reports. While financial statements are prepared in accordance with specific accounting rules and principles, most of the numbers in financial statements are based on a set of assumptions and choices made by management. In this class, students learn how to identify and adjust for the effects of accounting choices on the comparability of reported earnings and other accounting performance measures across countries, across firms, and over time. Students also learn how to evaluate circumstances where accounting rules can cause disruptions in trends making it difficult to forecast earnings and free cash flows. In addition, students learn techniques to identify techniques to identify earnings management, as well as assess whether the financial statements reflect the riskiness of the firm. Finally, because many large companies operate in a global environment, the class will examine problems created by differences in accounting standards across countries (e.g., U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles versus International Financial Reporting Standards), as well as issues inherent in multinational companies such as how foreign currency affects financial statements.

Programming and Data Analysis for Accountants

BUAD 6249 | 3 Credits

This course introduces programming tools and data analysis techniques from the analytics realm as they relate to the accounting profession. The course gives an overview of the questions and tools that accounting professionals encounter. With an emphasis on turning data into actionable knowledge, students will encounter a practical and hands-on introduction to commonly used programming tools.

Forensic Accounting & Fraud Examination

BUAD 6279 | 3 Credits

This course is an introduction to forensic accounting. Forensic accounting encompasses those services an accountant provides to assist a court or a client in settling a legal dispute and includes the following specialized knowledge and skills: 1) accounting, auditing, economics, finance, business law, quantitative methods, statistics, and tax; 2) investigative skills to collect, analyze, and evaluate evidential matter; and 3) written and oral communication skills. The content of this course will include: 1) fraud and financial investigation services; 2) litigation consulting and expert witness services; and 3) computer forensics. To illustrate concepts, the class will discuss high profile cases (e.g., investment frauds such as Madoff and financial statement frauds such as WorldCom, Enron, etc.). Guest speakers who possess specialized expertise may present on selected topics (e.g., fraud investigation, interviewing and interrogation techniques, cybercrime and digital forensics analysis, and the legal environment).

Taxation of Mergers & Acquisitions | Marshall-Wythe School of Law

BUAD 6289 | 3 Credits

Selected Problems in the Taxation of Mergers & Acquisitions. This advanced course focuses primarily on corporate transactions and by using a series of examples, this course will explore different ways to structure both nontaxable and taxable combinations of business entities considering the tax goals and consequences of such transactions, and the role of the tax lawyer in representing a party to a business combination.

Partnership & LLC Taxation | Marshall-Wythe School of Law

BUAD 6299 | 3 Credits

This course is an introduction to the federal income tax treatment of partnerships, including LLCs treated as partnerships, and their owners. Topics covered will include the tax classification of business entities as partnerships, partnership formations, allocations of partnership income and losses to partners, transfers of ownership interests by partners, distributions from partnerships to partners, terminations of partnerships, and a comparison of "S corporations" to partnerships.

Current Research in Accounting

BUAD 6359 | 1 Credit

Students read and discuss current academic research papers presented by William & Mary faculty and external accounting researchers. This course is open to any student interested in how research informs business practices and is well-suited for students considering careers in academia. Attendance at research presentations is required. Topics change each year so this course may be repeated once for credit.

State & Local Taxation | Marshall-Wythe School of Law

LAW 322 | 3 Credits

The State and Local Taxation course considers taxation imposed by states and local governments in a variety of contexts including the taxing of income, sales and use, property, and business licenses. This course will benefit students entering either a tax practice or a general business practice. Topics to be covered in the course will include: the key elements of the major business taxes and individual state income tax; the constitutional restrictions applicable to the taxation of interstate businesses; the handling of audits; and the conduct of administrative and judicial appeals. The course will use Virginia's tax system as an illustrative model for issues that are common to most jurisdictions. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their class participation and on a series of written assignments including administrative protests of hypothetical audit assessments and initial court pleadings.

Corporate Taxation | Marshall-Wythe School of Law

LAW 438 | 3 Credits

This course is an introduction to the federal income taxation of corporations and their shareholders. Topics covered will include the tax classification of business entities, incorporation and capital structure, taxable and non-taxable dividends, stock redemptions, corporate liquidations, corporate reorganizations, and an overview of "S corporations."

 

Tatiana Montes

Tatiana Montes '22

"The MAcc program really is a holistic experience because the professors aren't just there to teach you, they're there to guide you and foster your interests."