Curriculum

Tippie’s MAc students do exceptionally well on the CPA exam—our 2016 grads achieved a 91% first-time pass rate.

So it might surprise you that we don’t teach to the exam. Instead, we focus on critical thinking and both written and oral communication skills. You’ll develop an incredible foundation in accounting and have the ability to focus on one of four areas. Turns out that’s the best way to ace the exam to begin with.

Four tracks for specialized career prep

Having options is good. Having the flexibility to change along the way is better. We’ve created four tracks to align your focus with your career goals. But you also have the flexibility to explore different areas. Every track has three to four elective courses included. Take law school courses to beef up your tax training, or dive into big data courses to home in on accounting analytics. Explore detailed plans of study for each of these tracks:

Program length: one year vs. two

The number of semesters to graduate depends on your undergraduate major—more specifically, the courses you took. If you majored in accounting in undergrad, you'll probably need just two semesters to complete the MAc degree. Non-accounting majors typically need more time, but it depends on your undergrad courses. Contact us to learn more about your specific situation and what you can expect.

Focus on the future

We’ve focused our curriculum on skills that will not only help you earn your CPA and get a job, but to move up the ladder quickly once you do. The courses you’ll take at Iowa give you a healthy dose of the higher-level skills employers are looking for: problem solving, data analytics, and effective communication.

Learn to solve real problems

Accounting in the real world looks remarkably different than what you may have experienced in undergrad. You don’t always have complete data. Business problems aren’t always well-defined.

In this way, the MAc prepares you for your first day on the job in ways that undergraduate courses cannot. You’ll walk away with higher-level skills, and experience problem solving in a manner that simulates the real world.

Alumni Story
Tim Rosener discusses how his Master of Accountancy experiences launched a prestigious career at a renowned national consultancy.

"Instead of just becoming a number-crunching, repetitive, detail-oriented accountant, I became a more well-rounded individual who could not just look at a problem and give you an answer, but could come up with the best answer because I had a variety of ways of thinking about the problem.”

In-demand skills that get you promoted

Hone your data skills

If you’re paying attention to big public accounting firms, you’ll notice something: they are obsessed with big data and how it’s already changing how they work.

Data analytics is transforming the quality of audit evidence and fraud detection capabilities. It’s giving the auditor the ability to analyze the entire book of transactions vs. having to rely on a sample. More and more, clients are getting more sophisticated with their data practices, which raises the bar for you.

You’ll take at least two analytics courses beyond what you completed in undergrad, and can explore more options if you choose the Business Analytics track.

Communicate like a pro

Even with the best accounting chops, if you can’t communicate, it’s a non-starter. From presenting to executives to writing client reports, the bulk of what you’ll do as an accountant involves communication.

At Tippie, every major class has one (or more) writing assignments that are evaluated by specialized writing consultants from our nationally recognized accounting writing program. You read that right—a writing program just for accounting students.

We progressively improve your writing, not only its composition and clarity, but also your ability to think critically and communicate the same.

 

Core courses

The program is 30 semester hours in total. Courses you'll take vary slightly based on the track you choose. Want even more detail? See course descriptions.

Common courses

You'll complete at least three of these four courses.

  • Design and Use of Cost Management Systems
  • Financial Reporting: Theory and Practice
  • Advanced Auditing
  • Taxes and Business Strategy
Business analytics

All tracks include both of these business analytics courses.

  • Introduction to Modeling with VBA
  • Data Management and Visual Analytics

Beyond the core, you’ll fulfill the requirements of your chosen track and round out your 30 hours with electives.

Joint MAc/JD program

The worlds of law and accounting are constantly intersecting. As financial regulations grow, accounting firms need greater legal expertise, while law firms are seeking counsel with strong accounting fundamentals and tax expertise to navigate complex business and bankruptcy cases.

Turn this intersection into a career opportunity by combining a Juris Doctor (JD) with a Master of Accountancy (MAc) at the University of Iowa. This partnership between two leading colleges on campus give you a way to earn a joint degree in less time than pursuing them separately.

The program includes 18 semester hours of graduate accounting coursework. Up to 12 s.h. Of law courses can be counted as elective credit for the MAc, and up to 12 s.h. of MAc courses can count toward your JD electives. Each program has a separate admissions process; you’ll need to be admitted to both the MAc and the JD before you can be admitted to the joint degree program