Master's Degree in Professional Accounting

School of Accounting and Information Systems

Degree: Master of Science
Major: Professional Accounting
Hours: 30

Master of Science (M.S.A) - Accounting

Delivery Options:

Degree Description

The Master of Science in Professional Accounting is the first STEM designated degree in a graduate program in a Texas public university. It provides students the opportunity to take 30 semester hours of graduate courses and obtain a graduate degree. As currently designed, it is an innovative graduate program composed of both in-class and distance learning classes. While students pursuing a career in public accounting are candidates for the program, accounting professionals in the corporate, governmental or not-for-profit sectors also seek graduate degrees in accounting or to become licensed CPAs and are also candidates for admission.

For students without any previous undergraduate study in business who wants to become CPA-exam ready, the Lamar University M.S. in Professional Accounting degree may be completed in as few as 72 credit hours. Typically, students without a business background will take five accounting leveling courses courses, including ACCT 2301 (with a "B" or better), the nine business leveling courses and the 10 courses required by the program. 

Students do not need to be admitted into the M.S. in Professional Accounting program to take the accounting prerequisite and business leveling courses.

Why Study Accounting at Lamar?

Accounting is the underlying foundation of business and provides information to all stakeholders (e.g. management, investors, lendors and regulators) in their evaluation of the financial performance of corporate, governmental and non-profit organizations. The Master of Science in Professional Accounting is designed for students majoring in accounting at LU or other accredited colleges or universities, as well as students who did not major in accounting. The program can be completed in as little as nine months (fall and spring).

The Master of Science in Professional Accounting is designed to provide students with the necessary technical knowledge, communication skills and critical thinking abilities for successful careers in accounting and can satisfy all educational requirements adopted by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy to sit for the CPA exam in the state of Texas. Lamar University's College of Business is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. 

Online M.S. Professional Accounting

Courses You May Take

Advanced Auditing: Advanced study of the role of auditors as a profession. In depth discussion of professional ethics and liability to clients and other third parties. Study of audit failures, employing the case method. Also, the use of statistical sampling methods in auditing.

Business Ethics: This course covers any right/wrong actions taken by corporations. It covers areas such as: business law (e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley); public policy (e.g. SEC guidelines); organizational ethics (e.g. corporate governance) and corporate social responsibility (e.g. obligations to community and stakeholders). Both descriptive and normative models of unethical and ethical decision making in business are analyzed to assist the student as a potential business person in an effect to make more informed ethical decisions. Additional reading and cases relevant to the accounting profession are also included.

Oil and Gas Accounting: This elective course focuses on accounting principles related to the oil and gas industry.

Fraud Examination and Forensic Accounting Principles: Survey of the field of forensic accounting and fraud examination focusing on the skills required by accounting professionals to identify, detect and prevent fraud. On a daily basis, businesses are subject to fraud. This course will prepare students to answer the questions most frequently associated with fraud including: who committed the fraud? Why was the fraud perpetrated? How was the fraud executed and concealed? The topics covered include: fraud detection and investigation techniques, types of fraud, sources of evidence, risk factors, deterrence, whistleblowers, legal concepts and ethnics.

Career Paths

Accountants are viewed as integral in the global economy and are required to not only have knowledge of accounting principles and practices in preparing and reporting financial information to stakeholders, but are required to possess analytical, research and communication skills. 

Primary Careers

Public and corporate accounting, information systems and analysis, taxation

Career Areas

  • CPA
  • Taxation consulting
  • Analyst
  • Corporate accounting
  • Government accounting
  • Industry accounting

Median Salary


Types of Employers

  • Local government and industry
  • State government
  • Federal government
  • Corporations
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Small business

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Ricardo ColonDr. Ricardo Colon
Department Chair
Ms. Clare Burns, CPAMs. Clare Burns, CPA
M.S. PA Director, Instructor
Dr. Orrin SwiftDr. Orrin Swift
Assistant Professor