Accounting Leaders


Add Valuable Accounting Skills to Your Resume

Merrimack College offers a Master of Science in Accounting online for students who have earned a non-business, non-accounting undergrad degree. This 38-credit program includes all foundational accounting and business courses needed to qualify to sit for the CPA exam and for CPA licensure.

This program allows professionals with other job titles to make the transition into an accounting career. Economics, finance, communications and other professionals who work for government entities, non-profits and other organizations can add to their resume and obtain the skills necessary to move into accounting roles within their organization. Other professionals will benefit from a CPA license as they make a move toward tax preparation and audit representation.

Merrimack’s online accounting degree offers a variety of electives that center on the key competencies today’s employers are looking for, giving your accounting resume the extra valuable skills that make you stand-out from other candidates. There are no prerequisites for this 100% online program and students can finish in less than two years, even while completing the foundational accounting courses missing from their undergrad education.

Why Should You Earn Your Accounting Master’s Degree?

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Prepare for the CPA Exam

The Merrimack accounting master’s program meets the MA CPA exam and licensing requirements. Students who complete the program as designed will meet the 30-credit hours required by Massachusetts for licensure in addition to the 120-hours of undergraduate work needed to sit for the CPA exam. The master’s program covers the 18 necessary graduate accounting credits in Financial Accounting, Auditing, Taxation and Management Accounting. Non-accounting, non-business majors take additional courses to cover the Foundations of Accounting requirement. Students from other states should check their specific CPA requirements by visiting the NASBA website.

Get There with a Master’s in Accounting Online

Your expertise can help you succeed in one of these top accounting jobs. 

Financial Manager
Financial Analyst
Personal Financial Advisor


Master’s in Accounting online courses for non-accounting majors (38 credits)

Complete additional courses to earn a certificate in Business Analytics or Organizational Leadership. Speak to an advisor for more information.

Have to take if no undergraduate coverage in Financial and Managerial Accounting

This is the first in a two-course sequence of core intermediate financial accounting courses examining the theory and practice of financial reporting. The course will begin with a review of fundamental accounting concepts, the accounting cycle, the conceptual framework of accounting, and the basic financial statements. The focus of the course is the study of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP), primarily as applied to the asset side of the balance sheet, including measurement and disclosure issues and appropriate accounting methods.

This course continues the sequence of core intermediate financial accounting courses examining the theory and practice of financial reporting. The focus of the course is the study of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP), primarily as applied to the liabilities and equity side of the balance sheet and more complex accounting topics (investments, accounting for income taxes, pensions, leases, revenue recognition, etc.), including measurement and disclosure issues and appropriate accounting methods.

This course studies federal tax law as it applies to individuals. It emphasizes the determination of gross income, deductions and credits, as well as the identity of the taxable person, tax accounting and timing principles. It involves an overview of applicable tax statutes, regulations, and rulings, and will provide an awareness of the history and tax policy considerations behind various Internal Revenue Code provisions. Each student will learn how to assess the tax implications of decisions, will develop an ability to recognize limitations in the tax law as it exists today, and will learn how to assess where additional research is necessary to adequately resolve tax issues. Finally, the course introduces flow-through entities such as partnerships, S-Corporations, and C-Corporations.

This course is designed to provide a foundation in auditing, assurance, and related services. Students develop skills in the creation and conduct of audit procedures and the research of audit-related topics. In the context of a risk assessment model, the course provides a working knowledge of audit risk, sampling, tests of controls, and substantive testing for each major audit area and the determination of the appropriate opinion based on audit findings. Internal auditing, fraud examination, and the impact of evolving information technology on the audit process will also be discussed.

This course will provide the student with an understanding of accounting as an information system. Specifically, the course will give the student hands on experience with understanding the structure of an accounting system and also the use of accounting software as a tool. Frameworks for analyzing internal control systems and understanding the structure and risks of IT based systems are also covered.

This course will focus on the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and Common Law practices related to commercial transactions, particularly those relevant to accountants and auditors. Topics include contract law, the Uniform Commercial Code, agency law, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies, securities regulations, bankruptcy, property laws, and accountant/auditor liability.

Effective writing and speaking skills are necessary for a career in management. This course is designed to help students develop a process for thinking and writing strategically. Students will learn how to analyze message, purpose, and audience; develop strategies for structure and style; construct persuasive arguments; and review for tone, organizational flow, and quality of evidence. This course will enable students to develop and demonstrate their ability to deliver formal and informal presentations and written reports in the context of addressing business challenges. Students will also learn communication strategies, principles, and methods as well as interpersonal skills that are essential for success in business. Students will have the opportunity to receive instructor and peer feedback.

This course will strengthen students’ skills and abilities to analyze data at a level required by top employers. The course will delve into assignments that build mastery of productivity tools commonly used by managers. Several workshops will develop skills for using computer-based technologies to locate, access, evaluate, manipulate, create, store, and retrieve information to express ideas, perform sophisticated analysis of data, and communicate information and results with others. Students learn how to build spreadsheet models to perform scenario analysis, analyze the impact of uncertainty, and formalize trade-offs in the context of business decisions. Students will integrate a variety of supporting materials to deliver a thorough business presentation. By the end of the course, students will have a more analytic view of business decision-making and be more adept at analyzing data and presenting results in a business context.

Course description in progress

Course description in progress

Can choose business analytics courses, organization leadership courses, or mix in whatever business electives are of interest and available.

Discover the Merrimack Difference


At Merrimack College, we’re proud of our long history of providing quality degrees to students entering the job market. Our faculty are more than just teachers. We are committed to helping you grow — academically, personally, and professionally — so that you graduate as a confident, well-prepared leader.

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