When you join the M.S. in Accounting Program, you choose between two tracks to focus your graduate studies: Financial Reporting & Assurance and Tax Consulting. In the fall semester, our entire Program completed “Accounting Policy,” “Leading for Success in the Accounting Profession,” “Communicating Effectively as Accounting Professionals,” and “Data Management and Analytics.” Students in the Financial Reporting & Assurance Track were then free to choose two electives. Students in the Tax Consulting Track also completed “Taxation of Partnerships and Flow-Through Entities” and were able to select one elective.
My Fall Semester Schedule
Typically in the fall semester, you will be in class for about four and a half hours, Monday through Thursday. I spaced my classes out through the day to give myself a break so that I could either study or go to the gym. Group work is emphasized in the fall, and my group met twice per week to ensure we were all still on task. Your group is assigned to you during the first week of the Program, and you work together for the four required classes that all students take. Depending on which elective courses you take, you may be placed in additional, different groups. No classes take place on Fridays, so these days are used for networking with potential employers, studying, hanging out with friends, or having group meetings. I loved that we had classes together as a cohort. It was a great way to meet and get to know all of my M.S. in Accounting classmates!
My Spring Semester Schedule
In the spring, the only class that everyone in the Program is required to take is “Taxes and Business Strategy.” You will have mandatory classes based on your track as well. The Financial Reporting & Assurance Track is required to take “Corporate Financial Reporting” and “Forensic Accounting.” The Tax Consulting Track is required to take “Tax Research” and “Taxation of Corporations and Their Shareholder’s Transactions.” I love my spring schedule because time is built into your schedule for studying. I like to get my work done early so I can go to basketball games and enjoy time with friends. The spring is also when many students will study for the CPA if they are planning to take parts of the exam during the semester. Again, no classes are held on Fridays, so the day is open to how you want to spend it. Many of the spring classes also require group work. In the spring, however, you are able to choose your teammates for your various classes you are taking.
Please note this is the sample schedule and coursework for the Class of 2020. Required courses and elective choices are subject to change from year to year. The most updated list of graduate accounting course offerings can be found on the University of Virginia Graduate Record.