Jun 23, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Accounting Science

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Department of Accountancy

The objective of the M.A.S. program is to provide its graduates with the professional skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to be successful, professional accountants in today’s complex business environment.

The program focuses on broad-based accounting knowledge; knowledge in other business disciplines that complements a professional accounting career; the ability to integrate this knowledge to make business decisions; the development of research, communication, technology and team-building skills; and an understanding of ethical issues and expectations for professional conduct.

In addition to the College of Business standards listed under “Graduate Study in Business,” the admission standard for the Department of Accountancy is a minimum 3.00 GPA in undergraduate accountancy courses. Candidates may also be asked by the department graduate adviser to complete an interview either in person or by phone.

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has approved NIU as a participant in IIA’s Endorsed Internal Auditing Program. To receive a IIA certificate of completion, a student must have either a B.S. in accountancy from NIU or an M.A.S. degree from NIU. As part of the certificate requirements students must complete ACCY 562, an approved business elective, and an academic internship (ACCY 473 or ACCY 673) in an internal audit position. A student completing the internal audit course work will have “Completion of internal audit course work as endorsed by the Institute of Internal Auditors” on the official NIU transcript.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

Master of Accounting Science Learning Goals and Objectives

The NIU Master of Accounting Science program provides advanced study in accounting to prepare students for the challenges of the professional practice of accountancy.

1. Our graduates will be technically proficient accounting and business professionals.

Our students will demonstrate a thorough understanding of:

  • technical accounting knowledge appropriate to their chosen programs of study.
  • the integration of accounting and business knowledge in a variety of contexts, including financial statement analysis and business valuation.

2. Our graduates will be prepared to assume leadership roles as accounting professionals.

Our students will demonstrate:

  • an understanding of leadership development theory.
  • the ability to solve problems in an environment of uncertainty or ambiguity.
  • an understanding of how to solve problems with a leadership perspective.
  • effective team management skills.

3. Our graduates will be effective researchers.

Our students will conduct research to develop effective solutions to accounting and business problems, relying on appropriate technology tools, authoritative pronouncements, and data sources.

4. Our graduates will be effective communicators.

Our students will:

  • communicate in a professional manner.
  • demonstrate effective feedback skills.
  • demonstrate effective facilitation skills.
  • exhibit professional business conduct.

5. Our graduates will be ethical accounting professionals.

Our students will identify ethical issues, decision alternatives, consequences, and workable alternative solutions by applying relevant professional standards and codes of conduct.

Phase One

See Phase One Requirements listed under “Graduate Study in Business.”

ACCY 310, or its equivalent, will be accepted as meeting the Phase One requirement of OMIS 507 for entering M.A.S. students.


The Phase One foundation courses will be included in a student’s program of study unless she or he has earned a C or better in corresponding undergraduate courses or a B or better in equivalent graduate courses elsewhere, or has passed the first and only attempt of the Phase One exemption examination. The M.A.S. program director will determine which Phase One graduate courses will be included in each student’s program of courses. Phase One courses must be completed before enrolling in Phase Two M.A.S. requirements. Phase One courses may not be used as Phase Two electives or requirements.

Required Accountancy Courses

The graduate Phase One requirements must be included in the student’s program unless a grade of C or better has been earned in corresponding undergraduate courses, or the student has passed the first and only attempt of the Phase One exemption examination. A student with a baccalaureate degree in accountancy and acceptable undergraduate grades may have already satisfied Phase One requirements. Courses completed for the Foundation of Accountancy certificate meet most of the Phase One accountancy requirements. Earning a Foundation of Accountancy certificate does not waive the admission criteria.

A student must have a C or better in each Phase One accountancy course. A student enrolled in Phase One courses may take Phase Two courses at the discretion of the graduate adviser provided the student has successfully completed all prerequisites for the Phase Two courses and has maintained a 3.00 GPA in Phase One courses. However, any student who has not completed all Phase One courses must maintain a 3.00 GPA or above in all Phase One accountancy courses in order to register for any Phase Two course.

None of the required Phase One accountancy courses may be counted as accountancy electives in Phase Two.

The writing of a thesis is optional. It is recommended that calculus be taken in addition to finite math (equivalent to MATH 210).

Phase Two

The M.A.S. student must select specific courses leading to either the leadership or professional area of study. All M.A.S. students must complete ACCY 670, Accounting Research, or ACCY 645, Professional Tax Research; and ACCY 690, Accountancy Capstone/Financial Statement Analysis and Business Valuation. Students may focus their studies (as noted below) or may work with an adviser to tailor a program of study for the student’s specific academic and career goals.

The student is required to complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of work beyond Phase One and the baccalaureate degree. Of these 30 semester hours, at least 15 semester hours must be in accounting. At least 6 of the 30 semester hours must be in graduate-level courses in related areas outside the Department of Accountancy with the approval of the adviser. The total Phase Two credits accepted in transfer from other institutions may not exceed 9 semester hours.

The student must maintain a minimum of 3.00 in all graduate course work completed in Phase Two.

Leadership Area of Study

Students pursuing the Leadership area of study must also complete ACCY 675, Judgment and Decision Making in Accounting, MGMT 615, Managerial Leadership, and appropriate activities related to professional development in the Leadership area of study. The tracks within the Leadership area of study include financial reporting and assurance, managerial accounting systems, and taxation.

Financial Reporting and Assurance Track

  • Nine College of Business elective hours, with at least three of these hours outside the Department of Accountancy (9)
  • Complete required professional development activities

Managerial Accounting Systems Track

  • Nine College of Business elective hours, with at least six of these hours in Operations Management and Information Systems courses (9)
  • Complete required professional development activities

Taxation Track

  • Nine College of Business elective hours, with at least three of these hours outside the Department of Accountancy (9)
  • Complete required professional development activities

Professional Area of Study

The Professional area of study is designed for working professionals who desire to earn the degree in an evening format while continuing to work full time in an organization.


  • Fifteen College of Business elective hours, with at least six of these hours outside the Department of Accountancy (15)

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