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Master of Accountancy - FORVIS Accountancy Program


Program Overview

Location: Asheville (online Fall 2024)

App Deadline: Apr. 1, Aug. 1, Dec. 15

Pre-Requisites: GMAT (With Exceptions)

Time to Complete: 30 Hours

Scholarships Available

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Virtual Open House

Thursday, January 18, 2024: 5-6:30 p.m.

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University, understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

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The Master of Accountancy degree is designed to provide students with the necessary foundation for successful careers in public accounting, industry, government, and not-for-profit institutions. It prepares students to meet the AICPA and state board 150-hour requirement for licensure as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A concentration in taxation is available through appropriate elective course selection.

Core classes of the Master of Accountancy program are offered evenings at our Biltmore Park location. The address is 28 Schenck Parkway, Suite 300, at Exit 37 off Interstate 26 in south Asheville. See the map. Starting Fall 2024, the program will be fully online.

Required Admission Materials:

  • Online application form and fee
  • Resume
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Copies of transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable for admissions decisions; official copies are required upon admission)
  • Official test scores - GMAT (GRE may also be accepted)*

Personal interviews may be requested. A minimum GMAT score of 450 is recommended. In addition, applicants must present an undergraduate GPA sufficient to demonstrate an acceptable probability of success in graduate level studies. Performance in prerequisite coursework will be considered in the decision process. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee acceptance. The program encourages applications from students with undergraduate degrees in accounting and also from those who have completed degrees in other fields.

Accelerated Bachelor to Master's - ABM Track

High-achieving undergraduate majors from AACSB-accredited schools may be admitted to the Accelerated Bachelor to Master's track, and permitted to take selected graduate courses during their senior year. See the Graduate Catalog for further details.

*The entrance examination requirement may be waived if: the applicant has previously passed the Uniform CPA examination; the applicant has an undergraduate degree with a major in accounting from an AACSB-accredited institution having a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better and a GPA of 3.00 or better in the aggregate of intermediate financial accounting I, intermediate financial accounting II, cost accounting, and income tax accounting; or if the applicant holds a master's or terminal degree.

International applicants should visit the Graduate School's international applicant website for additional requirements.

Core Courses (18 credit hours)

ACCT 605 - Accounting Theory and Research
Conceptual framework of financial accounting, cash flows, financial statements, intangibles, and revenue recognition. Emphasis on accounting and tax research methodology and tools.

ACCT 615 - Accounting Theory and Practice
Liabilities, stockholders’ equity, investments, income taxes, pensions, leases, accounting changes, and disclosure issues.

ACCT 616 - Advanced Accounting Theory and Practice
Consolidated financial statements, international accounting, not-for-profit accounting, and advanced issues.

ACCT 620 - Income Tax Theory and Applications
Federal income tax theory and research; corporations, partnerships, sub-S corporations, LLCs and LLPs, estates and trusts; advanced property transactions including tax deferred exchanges, conversions and recapture.

ACCT 625 - Advanced Accounting Information Systems
Current technology issues and impact on Accounting profession are covered. Topics include internal controls, business processes, systems development, IT controls and database concepts.

ACCT 640 - Auditing
Standards and principles of internal and external auditing, regulatory agency promulgations, and application of the standards and principles in audit and assurance services.


Elective Courses (12 credit hours)

ACCT 601 - Financial Analysis
Concepts of financial and industry analysis with emphasis on evaluation of corporate performance and financial strength.

ACCT 630 - Taxation of Flow-Through Entities
Concepts of flow-through business entities, including partnerships, S corporations, and limited liability companies. Focus on tax consequences for formation, operation, and termination of entities.

ACCT 635 - Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting
Concepts of financial reporting models and practices used in government and nonprofit entities.

ACCT 645 - Advanced Individual Taxation
Emphasis on topics affecting high-wealth individuals such as taxation of investments, charitable giving, alternative minimum tax, foreign income and assets, and compensation and retirement planning.

ACCT 651 - Advanced Managerial Accounting
Concepts underlying financial reports, management applications of cost, and accounting measurement.

ACCT 660 - International Accounting
An overview of international business and international accounting.  Comparisons of domestic and international business models, financial reporting frameworks, government, and taxation.  May include a travel component.

ACCT 683 - Accounting Internship
A supervised work situation providing in-depth experience in Accounting practices. S/U grading.

Students who meet all entrance requirements and enroll on a full-time basis can complete the program in 12 to 18 months. Part-time students, by completing 2 courses each semester and one each summer can complete the program in 24 months. A student may elect to take up to 6 years to complete a graduate degree.

Almost half of our students receive some sort of financial assistance. Full-time students (enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours) may qualify for graduate assistantships, which require 10 or 20 hours of work per week assisting WCU faculty with teaching, research, and administrative duties for a monthly stipend. Graduate assistants may not hold other employment and may not take more than 12 hours graduate coursework.

Other assistance in the form of awards and scholarships are as follows:

  • Full and partial tuition waivers
  • University and Graduate School tuition awards
  • John Beegle Alumni and Friends Scholarship
  • Susan Swanger, CPA, Ph.D. Professional Accountancy Scholarship
  • Advisory Board Scholarships
  • NCACPA (Western Carolina Chapter) Scholarship
  • FORVIS Scholarship
  • Gould Killian Scholarship
  • NC State Board of CPA Examiners

MAcc departmental scholarship funds are available to qualified applicants. Scholarship applications are reviewed on a continuous basis, however most funds are committed to students who have their applications completed by March 31 of each year.


There are several organizations to serve the personal and professional needs of our Master of Accountancy students:

The Cullowhee-based Nu Delta Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi is an internationally-recognized honors business organization for accounting, finance and information systems students and professionals. Dr. Jane Livingstone serves as faculty advisor.

Many students participate as student members of the North Carolina Association of CPA’s (NCACPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).  Student memberships of both organizations are free of charge.

Where is the Master of Accountancy Program based?

Our graduate center is located in Biltmore Park, 28 Schenck Parkway, Suite 300, just off Exit 37 on Interstate 26 in south Asheville. The program consists primarily of evening, face-to-face courses, with occasional hybrid and online course offerings. Effective Fall 2024, the program will be moving to fully online.

How long will it take to complete the Master of Accountancy Program?

That depends. Being a 30-hour program, full-time students who begin the program in the summer or fall semester can complete the entire program in one calendar year by taking 12 hours each in the fall and spring semesters and 6 hours during the summer. Part-time students, and those requiring completion of prerequisites, will take longer.

Is there a time limit for completing my degree?

Yes. All courses taken at WCU and/or transferred in from another institution must be completed within six years.

Can I take classes at another institution and transfer them to apply toward degree at WCU?

Yes, with certain limitations. With advance approval of the Program Director, students may transfer in up to 6 hours of graduate level credit from another regionally accredited institution. Forms are available by request to the Program Director.

Can I take just a class or two, or do I have to be enrolled as a degree-seeking student?

Individuals may be admitted as "non-degree seeking" by applying to the graduate school and providing official transcripts showing completion of an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Upon formal application and acceptance into the program, up to nine hours of graduate courses (with a grade of "B" or better) may later be transferred to apply toward a degree.

  • Accounting Career Day – During fall semester each year WCU hosts employers for an interview day. Employers from business, government, and not-for-profit organizations come to campus to interview both undergraduate and graduate students for full-time, part-time, and internship positions.
  • Accountancy Fall Banquet – Sponsored by many of the companies that recruit our students, the Fall Banquet is an opportunity to recognize our scholarship and award recipients, meet fellow students, alumni, advisory board members, faculty and university administration, as well as just have some fun.
  • Meet the Firms Night – During spring semester each year, WCU hosts an "information fair" in the greater Asheville area where students can informally chat with company representatives.
  • Center for Career and Professional Development – The resources of the WCU Center for Career and Professional Development office is fully available to all WCU students. These include resume preparation, interviewing skills, and job search assistance.

WCU Accounting Programs Fall Kick-off Reception
Thursday, September 21, 2023,  5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wells Event Center, Waynesville, NC
Meet the Firms Night
Spring 2024
Date/Time/Location TBD

MAcc in London

Travel to Europe on a faculty-led trip with the goal of learning more about international accounting and business. Previous international experiences have included London and Amsterdam. In London, we meet with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and other business and accounting organizations, such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Experience international business by visiting locations such as: Mazars, Arsenal Football Club’s Emirates Stadium and Fuller’s Brewery. Students also have the opportunity to experience cultural and historical sites, such as theater at West End, the Tower of London, and more.


Graduate Faculty

Joe Giordano

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Accounting

Joseph Hashem

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Accounting

Marco Lam

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Accounting

Doug Parker

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Accounting

Gloria Sapounova

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Accounting

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