Accounting & Finance

Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

The Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program is designed to develop outstanding graduates who demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to enter the accounting profession and meet future career challenges. The Department of Accounting and Finance provides a student-centered environment that promotes academic excellence, professional and personal growth, a spirit of collegiality, and ethical and professional conduct. The faculty is committed to excellence in teaching and is engaged in research, service, and professional interactions to benefit the University, the accounting profession, and the community.

Western Illinois University is one of only 181 schools worldwide to achieve accreditation by the AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business for its undergraduate and graduate programs in business and accounting. The degree builds upon the broad framework of the undergraduate degree in Accountancy. Graduate Accounting courses emphasize current accounting topics, critical thinking, case studies, accounting theory, and written and oral communication. Classes are limited in size to encourage close interaction between the professor and the student. In addition, the student is allowed to tailor coursework in accounting and business to meet his or her educational and professional goals. A program may be designed to prepare the student for an accounting career in public accounting, industry, government, financial management, or accounting education.

Integrated BB/MAcc Accountancy Program (IAP)

Western offers a unique Integrated Bachelor of Business/Master of Accountancy Program (IAP). The IAP is oriented toward preparation for careers in professional accountancy and is available for students currently enrolled in the undergraduate Accounting program at Western. The IAP is strongly recommended for students interested in a plan of study designed to gain eligibility to sit for the CPA exam. To be admitted to the IAP, students must have completed 60 sh or more, achieved junior-level standing in Accounting courses, and earned a minimum GPA of 3.25 in each of the following: cumulative undergraduate, overall major, and Accounting courses within the major. Students enrolled in the IAP are able to

  • earn six graduate semester hours in their senior year.
  • waive the GMAT.
  • apply for special scholarships reserved for IAP students.
  • sit for the CPA exam upon completion of the program.

Additionally, upon reaching graduate status, IAP students will receive special consideration for graduate assistantships, which provide a monthly stipend and a tuition waiver.

View detailed integrated degree requirements for accountancy.

Benefits of Achieving a Master’s Degree

  • According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, “the additional academic work needed to acquire the technical competence and develop the skills required by today’s CPA is best obtained at the graduate level.”
  • Studies show that students who get a graduate education have a substantially higher rate of success on the Uniform CPA Exam.
  • MAcc degree holders receive starting salaries that are approximately 10 to 20% higher than the starting salaries of those with only a bachelor’s degree.
  • Today’s MAcc holders are successfully performing the roles of business advisors, consultants, CFOs, and CEOs. The U.S. Department of Labor expects accountants to experience growth in the coming years. The bureau’s 2014-2015 Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates 13% growth in accounting and auditing jobs from 2012 to 2022, adding that job candidates with professional designations, especially CPAs, should have the best prospects. Applicants who have a master’s degree in Accounting also may have an advantage.
  • According to the 2014 Salary Guide from Robert Half, when presented with the choice, employers are giving preference–and higher salaries–to professionals who have obtained specialized credentials. The CPA remains the most sought-after designation, and a master’s degree is commonly preferred for senior-level accounting and finance positions.


Western has earned accreditation in both business and accounting by the AACSB International, designating Western Illinois University as among the best business schools in the world. Less than one-third of U.S. business schools and only 15% of business schools worldwide meet the rigorous standards of AACSB International accreditation.

Assistantship and Internship Opportunities

The department has a limited number of graduate assistantships available that provide a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend during the fall and spring semesters, and a tuition waiver during the summer sessions. The graduate assistant’s duties range from providing assistance to undergraduate students in the accounting tutor lab to aiding faculty in grading and/or research projects.

Internships often assist students in differentiating among career paths and provide students with the impetus to complete coursework with a clearer concept of the relationship between academic pursuits and professional development. MAcc graduates have been placed at firms including, but not limited to, John Deere & Co., Caterpillar, Deloitte, McGladrey & Pullen, CliftonLarsonAllen, BDO Seidman, and Accenture after completing an internship with that particular firm.

Alumni Job Titles

  • Accountant FDP
  • Accounting Assistant
  • Assurance Associate
  • E-Commerce Analyst II
  • Financial Consultant
  • Junior Accountant
  • Senior Associate
  • Senior Manager
  • Staff Accountant

Employers of Alumni

  • Black Hawk Trusk
  • Boss Holdings, Inc.
  • Caterpillar
  • Grey, Hunter, Sten
  • Illinois Signal
  • John Deere
  • McGladrey LLP
  • Peter Busey and Associates
  • Subsidiary of AT&T
accountancy student in cap and gown

Please refer to the graduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

Accounting (ACCT) Courses

ACCT 442G Advanced Accounting II

Study of advanced accounting topics including segment reporting, partnerships, SEC reporting, and state and local government accounting.

ACCT 445G The Analysis and Use of Financial Statements

Integration of concepts from accounting, economics, business strategy, and other business disciplines to analyze financial statements for investment and credit decision making.

ACCT 457G Fraud Examination

An examination of the principles and practices for investigating allegations of fraud and financial misconduct. Topics include the elements of fraud, red flags, document examination, interviewing techniques, and report writing.

ACCT 471G Advanced Federal Taxation

A study of advanced topics in federal taxation. The course will address compliance and planning issues in the taxation of corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts, and other advanced topics.

ACCT 513 Accounting for Athletic Administration

An introduction to the basic procedures in accumulating, reporting, and analyzing financial data; the theory and procedures applicable to accounting for not-for-profit institutions; and the accounting methodology for planning, coordinating, and controlling activities of departments of athletics.

ACCT 537 Issues in International Accounting

An investigation of the external and internal reporting problems encountered by multinational business entities and a study of accounting systems in different countries. This course will also review the purpose of international accounting organizations and their role in solving current accounting problems.

ACCT 540 Contemporary Issues in Accounting

A conceptual study of financial accounting and reporting topics with an emphasis on current regulatory and policy issues. Emphasis will be placed on critical thinking, written and oral communication skills, and professional development.

ACCT 547 Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis

An analysis of corporate financial reports and other disclosures, with emphasis on how this information can be used for making investment and credit decisions. This course will also consider the impact of accounting choice decisions on financial reporting and analysis.Not open to undergraduate or graduate accountancy students.

ACCT 551 Advanced Management Accounting/Systems

Application of managerial accounting concepts and techniques to develop, analyze, and interpret information and participate in management decision making processes.

ACCT 580 Advanced Auditing

Advanced auditing functions, techniques, and guidance within internal (operational), regulatory and governmental auditing as independent, but related, fields of study. The course will also cover advanced topics and/or methods of fraud examination, as well as current research in the field.

ACCT 600 Independent Research in Accountancy

Independent reading and study of selected topics in Accountancy.

ACCT 611 Graduate Outcomes Assessment

Requires each Master of Accountancy student to demonstrate his/her proficiency on selected learning goals for the program. The course must be taken near the end of the program.

ACCT 620 Accounting Internship

Integrates accounting theories with application to actual business practices. Students are exposed to a variety of positions within the business firm during the semester. All internships are supervised by a faculty coordinator and an executive in the business firm. Analytic reports of work accomplished by each student are presented to the coordinator.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies, admission to the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program requires a GMAT score of 500 or above, with scores at or above the 25th percentile in both the verbal and quantitative sections and a score of 4 or above on the written portion. An acceptable combination of undergraduate grade point average and total GMAT score is also required. Specifically, either 200 × GPA + GMAT must be at least 1,100 with a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75, or 200 × GPA + GMAT must at least be 1,150 with a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the last 60 semester hours (sh) of undergraduate courses.

The GMAT requirement is waived for students with an undergraduate major in Accountancy having an overall GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) from an institution with AACSB international accreditation. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in business from an AACSB accredited institution with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.60 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) will not be required to take the GMAT exam. International students must also have minimum scores of 550 PBT or 79 IBT on the TOEFL, 220 on the TSE, and 4 on the TWE. All application materials and supporting documents must be received before an admission decision is made.

Degree Requirements

The MAcc program requires the completion of 30 sh of which a minimum of 15 sh must be graduate-level Accounting courses. The challenging core curriculum consists of courses in financial, managerial, and international accounting, and auditing. In addition, several courses outside the discipline are required to provide the student with a diverse, integrated learning experience. These courses are available in, but not limited to, the areas of finance, management, economics, marketing, and information systems and decision sciences.

Academic Advisor: MA Accounting

Ms. Cheryl Westen, MA Accounting Advisor
Location: Stipes Hall 431I
Phone: (309) 298-1023


Director for the School of Accounting, Finance, Economics, & Decision Sciences

Dr. Jessica Lin
Location: Stipes Hall 431
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1152
Fax: (309) 298-2952

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Dean of the College of Business & Technology (CBT)

Dr. Craig Conrad
CBT Email:
Location: Stipes Hall 101
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-2442
Fax: (309) 298-1039

CBT Website

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