May 21, 2022  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Accounting and Finance Division

Master of Professional Accountancy Coordinator: Marcie Sariol, Ph.D.
Accounting and Finance Chairperson: Thomas Davies

Beacom School of Business
Master of Professional Accountancy Program
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-677-5232 or 866-890-1MBA



Davies, Thomas, 1987, Chair, Division of Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Black Hills Corp. Distinguished Professor of Accounting, LL.M.,  University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1992.
Ragothaman, Srinivasan, 1991, Accounting and Black Hills Corp. Distinguished Professor of Accounting, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1991.

Associate Professors:

Butler, Stephen, 2013, Accounting, Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1982.
Korte, Leon, 1992, Accounting, Ph.D., University of Nebraska, 1992.
Porter, Jason, 2014, Accounting, Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2006. 
Stephenson, Teresa, 2014, Accounting, Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2006.


 Master of Professional Accountancy  

Program Description

The Master of Professional Accountancy (M.P.A.) program provides specialized training in accounting and related fields for those who wish to prepare for a career in public accounting. In addition, the program enables students to meet the 150-hour educational requirement to sit for the CPA exam in most states, although requirements vary by state. Students can find information about CPA requirements in each state by visiting In addition, the program provides training in accounting and related subjects for students seeking careers in industry, government service, or accounting education. The primary objectives of this degree program are: 1) to develop judgmental ability relating to the production and use of accounting information; and 2) to assist in the development of professional competence.

The program is offered as a twelve-month, full-time, face-to-face program on the Vermillion campus and as a fully online program. Students can “mix and match” face-to-face Vermillion, and online classes for added flexibility. The program is offered online in its entirety. The online courses are scheduled so students can complete the program in as little as two calendar years (after completing foundation courses, their undergraduate equivalents, or challenge exams). The Vermillion and online programs have identical entrance and graduation requirements, and the courses are taught by the same faculty. Graduation requirements are identical for all modes of delivery, and the timelines for completion discussed herein assume that all foundations coursework has been completed before the start of the program.


  1. Completed Graduate Application form found at: and a non-refundable application fee of $35.
  2. One official transcript verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit (in English or with translation) must accompany an application. Official transcript of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels are required for all students. The USD Graduate School and/or academic departments retain the right to require an Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES) evaluation for a student if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
  3. Each applicant must have a baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from an institution with full regional accreditation for that degree (minimum GPA of 2.85). Each graduate program may admit students on provisional status per university policy.
  4. Applicants with degrees from countries other than the United States who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited American college or university are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. For all other applicants, a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) or 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, or a minimum PTE score of 53 is required for graduate admission. Applicants from or who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from these English-speaking countries (UK, Australia, Canada [except Quebec], Ireland, or New Zealand) are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score if their academic records indicate that English was the classroom language for the majority of their schoolwork.
  5. Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose and resume.

 Additional Program Admission Requirements:

  1. A satisfactory score on the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is required. Applicants may qualify for a waiver of the GMAT score requirement under the conditions listed below.
  2. Three (3) letters of recommendation are required.  At least one (1) of these references must be professional in nature (i.e. a supervisor) and all references should be familiar with the applicant’s strengths, weaknesses, and work ethic.
  3. Prerequisites: An applicant must have satisfactorily completed an undergraduate accounting core either before applying or after admission to the M.P.A. program in preparation for graduate coursework.  Challenge exams are also available.

    The prerequisite accounting coursework includes:

    ACCT 310 Intermediate Accounting I (3 credit hours)
    ACCT 311 Intermediate Accounting II (3 credit hours)
    ACCT 320 Cost Accounting (3 credit hours)
    ACCT 360 Accounting Systems (3 credit hours)
    ACCT 430 Income Tax Accounting (3 credit hours)
    ACCT 450 Auditing (3 credit hours)

    The student must have completed the following business prerequisite classes or their equivalent as an undergraduate or while enrolled in the MPA program (challenge exams are also available):

      BADM 350 Legal Environment of Business (3 credit hours)
      BADM 351 Business Law I (3 credit hours)
      ACCT 520 Foundations of Accounting (3 credit hours)
      BADM 505 Foundations of Finance (3 credit hours)
      BADM 520 Foundations of Calculus and Statistics for Business (3 credit hours)
      BADM 525 Production Operations Management (3 credit hours)
      BADM 580 Foundations of Marketing and Organizational Behavior (3 credit hours)
      ECON 580 Foundations of Economics (3 credit hours)

Beacom School of Business GMAT Waiver

Students applying to the Beacom School of Business graduate programs are eligible for a GMAT waiver if they qualify under one of the following four categories.  A GMAT wavier does not necessitate admission to a Beacom graduate program.

GMAT Waiver for AACSB Accredited Undergraduate Students:

1.) Students must have graduated with an undergraduate or graduate degree from an AACSB Accredited Business School within the previous 12 semesters to be eligible for a GMAT waiver. The 12 semester timeline is from the time of graduating with the undergraduate or graduate degree to the first semester enrolled in courses as a degree seeking graduate student at USD and includes spring, summer, and fall semesters.
2.) Students must meet undergraduate/graduate GPA requirements to be eligible for a GMAT waiver.
     A.) Cumulative of at least 3.25 for undergraduate (or gradute if applicable)
     B.) Major GPA of at least 3.25 for undergraduate students or Program of Study GPA of at least 3.25 for those holding graduate degrees (student must provide major courses).

GMAT Waiver for Students who have taken the LSAT or MCAT:

1.) Students must provide an official copy of their LSAT or MCAT score.
     A.) Students with an overall scaled LSAT Score in the 50th percentile are eligible for a GMAT waiver.
     B.) Students with an overall MCAT Score in the 49th percentile and a Critical Analysis and Reasoning Score in at least the 37th percentile are eligible for a GMAT waiver.

GMAT Waiver for Students who have taken the GRE:

1.) Students must provide an official copy of their GRE score.
2.) Students who meet the following GRE score requirements are eligible for a GMAT waiver.
      A.) A verbal score in at least the 45th percentile
      B.) A quantitative score in at least the 45th percentile
      C.) A combined score (verbal plus quantitative) of at least 306. (This equates to a GMAT score of approximately 530)

GMAT Waiver for Students with an Earned Doctoral Degree or Pursuing a JD or MD at USD

1.) Applicants to Beacom Graduate Programs with an earned doctoral degree from an accredited institution are eligible for a GMAT waiver.
2.) Applicants to Beacom Graduate Programs currently admitted to the USD School of Law pursuing a JD or the USD School of Medicine pursuing an MD or MD/PhD are eligible for a GMAT waiver.

*All percentiles are based on the GRE/GMAT/LSAT/MCAT exams’ most recent published percentile rankings.

Accounting Mission

Our mission is to prepare students to become successful accounting and business professionals in an environment that promotes critical thinking and encourages ethical business practices led by a faculty empowered to contribute to the profession through the exchange of ideas among scholars and service to our stakeholders.

B.B.A./M.P.A. Fast-Track Option

Beacom School of Business undergraduate majors meeting requirements for entry into the M.P.A. program may opt to complete both the B.B.A. and M.P.A. concurrently. Students who pursue this fast-track option will be awarded their undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously, upon completion of the two programs.

Students may apply for admission to the M.P.A. program using the standard graduate application process after completing 75 credit hours. Applicants for the B.B.A./M.P.A. program are required to submit only two letters of recommendation.  Students applying to the B.B.A./M.P.A. program are not required to provide a GMAT exam score for admission to the fast-track option if they meet all of the following criteria: cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 and GPA within major of at least 3.25.  Applicants who do not meet the above criteria are required to provide a GMAT exam score, which will be evaluated along with all application materials in a manner consistent with applications to the M.P.A. program.

The fast-track option will confer special student status to those admitted, who will then be eligible to take 700-level courses to apply for graduate assistantships. Students must complete the requirements of the B.B.A. program in accordance with the undergraduate catalog and the requirements of the M.P.A. program in accordance with the graduate catalog. The minimum number of credits to achieve both degrees is 150 credit hours.


A limited number of graduate assistantships are awarded each year on a competitive basis to fully admitted, full-time, on-campus M.P.A. students. Applications for graduate assistantships are due on April 1.