2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Professional Accounting, MS (Distance Learning)

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Kofi Appiah Okyere, Director of Graduate Accounting Programs, 619 Whitman School of Management, 315-443-3587, kaokyere@syr.edu

Program Description

The online M.S. in Professional Accounting is a distance learning version of the M.S. degree in professional accounting program. This unique program allows students to complete the M.S. degree and the 150 hour CPA requirement while working in accounting or related fields.


The Whitman School has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) since 1920.

The M.S. in Professional Accounting degree meets the educational requirements for CPA licensure in New York State and most other 150-hour states.


  • Applicants will be considered for the program based on their GMAT score, previous academic experience, work experience, professional references, and personal statements. The GMAT may be waived for students if they have:
  • five or more years of relevant work experience, or
  • an undergraduate degree in accounting with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, or
  • an undergraduate degree in business with a GPA of 3.2 or higher and at least one year of work experience, or
  • an undergraduate degree in any field with a GPA of 3.4 or higher and at least one year of work experience, or
  • a master’s degree in any field.

Participants in the 30-credit program must have a qualified undergraduate degree in accounting. Students who have little or no academic experience in accounting will work with an academic advisor after being admitted to the program in order to identify the appropriate coursework needed to successfully complete the online MS in Professional Accounting degree. It is common for an additional 2-6 courses to be required to build this foundation of accounting knowledge. The program can typically be completed in 24 months or less. Students with an undergraduate degree in business will often take fewer additional courses than a student without a degree in business.

Financial Support

Students may apply for several loan programs to cover the cost of attendance such as the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, the Federal PLUS Loan, or various alternative/private education loans. Students must be enrolled at least half-time during each term in which they wish to be borrow an educational loan. 

Student Learning Outcomes

1.Have an advanced understanding of the major functional areas of accounting.
2.Be effective, persuasive communicators.
3.Demonstrate skills in accounting research, critical thinking and problem solving, supported by appropriate analytical and quantitative techniques.
4.Demonstrate the ability to think strategically about the relationship between business decisions and accounting policy implications.

Degree Requirements

Accounting Elective (3 credits)

Three Electives (9 credits)

3 credits of electives chosen from a select list of courses

Transfer Credits

Students can transfer a maximum of 6 credits of coursework. The credits must be graduate level taken from an AACSB accredited business school. A grade of “B” or higher is needed to transfer in the credits. The grade itself does not transfer.

Satisfactory Progress

Students are required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher to meet degree requirements.

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