We don’t just make accountants. We make problem solvers.
The skills you need to enter accounting are markedly different from the ones you need to be a successful accountant.
It's not like undergrad, where the answers were black and white. The Master of Accountancy (MAC) is all about the gray areas. The same gray areas you’ll run into headfirst when you enter the working world.
The MAC Program teaches you how to sift through information to find the problem. You’ll figure out how to solve it, and—because your peers likely came up with different answers—you’ll convince others that your answer is the right one.
These skills are difference-makers in the real world. When you interact with clients, answers are rarely clear. You need to operate on a higher level—one that’s comfortable with ambiguity, where your communication is clear, and your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills are honed to a razor-sharp edge.
Employers demand these skills, and they're the same ones that the top-ranked Tippie College of Business Master of Accountancy delivers. You’ll bring them all to the table when you earn your MAC at Tippie.
At a glance
in Iowa for CPA pass rate
First-time CPA pass rate
Employed after graduation
MAC students can choose to dive deeper into specific areas to get specialized expertise.
Technology, globalization, and complex financial instruments have upped the ante. Auditors need sophisticated know-how to address new risks. This track delves into finance and information systems; it’s ideal for auditing, assurance services, and corporate finance careers.
Consulting and assurance services in particular demand MAC grads with the ability to organize, analyze, and interpret data. This track lets you dive deep into a high-demand area of expertise that helps your resume stand out.
These days, accountants have a seat at the management table. That seat means you need to understand how other areas of the business work, like marketing and production. Ideal for careers in management/cost accounting, controller’s office, and manufacturing consulting.
Over 7.6 billion hours a year are spent complying with the tax code. Needless to say, demand for tax specialists is higher than ever. With a focus on tax, you’ll learn current and future tax issues, and how to find answers through research in any tax environment Congress creates.
CPA: the credential that opens doors
The same way that a law degree signals mastery of the law, a CPA license tells your employer that you’ve mastered the vital elements of accounting, and shows your dedication to the trade.
Most states—including Iowa—require 150 semester hours of coursework to be CPA licensed. The MAC is a 30-semester-hour program that bridges the gap between a 120-hour undergrad degree in accounting and the requirement for CPA licensure.
Need more reasons to earn a MAC? Test-taker data show that Tippie MAC students do better on the CPA exam than those with only an undergraduate accounting degree.
Tuition and fees
The Iowa MAC Program is one of the Big Ten's most affordable programs. Many students receive teaching assistantships (awarded by the program) that give you a tuition scholarship and discount on university fees.
30 hours that count
There’s good reason to earn your 30 hours at the graduate level versus taking more undergrad courses. A 2016 research study* from the American Accounting Association shows beyond a shadow of a doubt: a master’s degree helps you get promoted in accounting careers at the Big Four accounting firms. Especially when that degree is a MAC.
*Attained Education and Promotion in Public Accounting, Brink, Norman, and Wier; August 2016, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 301-320.
It’s not debits and credits that add up to a successful accounting career. It’s higher-level thinking about business decision-making.
Want proof? Follow the career of Tim Rosener (MAC12), a senior associate at PwC in Minneapolis who provides risk consulting services to companies ranging from Fortune 100 healthcare providers to fast food giants. But it was in Iowa’s Master of Accountancy courses that he learned to apply accounting concepts to complex business scenarios.Read Story