Jun 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Accounting and Finance Division

Associate Dean of Graduate Programs: Jewel Shepherd, Ph.D.
Interim Accounting and Finance Chairperson: Michael Allgrunn, Ph.D.

Beacom School of Business
Master of Professional Accountancy Program
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-658-6532 or 866-890-1MBA 



Associate Professors:

Klaus Beckmann, Ph.D., University of Texas Rio Grande Valey, Finance.

Assistant Professors: 

Feiwei Chen, Ph.D., Washington State University, Finance.
James Driver, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Finance.
Kathryn Enget, Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Accounting. 
Adrian Tippit, Ph.D., University of Texas at El Paso, Finance.
Brian Webb, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University, Accounting.
Nicholas Wilson, Ph.D., University of Nebraska Lincoln, Accounting.

Assistant Professor of Practice:

Erin Cornelsen, M.P.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Accounting. 


Karen Davies, M.P.A., University of South Dakota, Accounting.


Master of Accountancy, Accounting  
Master of Accountancy, Accounting Accelerated Program     


Accounting Analytics (optional)
Business Management (optional)
Finance (optional)
Leadership (optional)

Program Description

The Master of Accountancy, Accounting (M.Acc.) 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 https://www.aicpa.org/becomeacpa/licensure.html. 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. The program is offered online in its entirety. The online courses are scheduled so students can complete the program in as little as one calendar year (after completing foundation courses, their undergraduate equivalents, or challenge exams). Students can “mix and match” face-to-face Vermillion, and online classes for added flexibility. 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.

WICHE Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) eligible program. 

The Beacom School of Business also offers a Master of Business Administration Finance  specialization.

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. 


  1. Completed Graduate Application form found at: https://www.usd.edu/grad/how-to-apply and a non-refundable application fee of $35.
  2. Official transcript(s) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit (in English or with translation). Transcripts must be complete (e.g., if currently enrolled, work-in-progress coursework must be included, foreign transcripts must include a grading scale, and for countries that issue, copy of degree certificate/diploma i.e., India, Nepal, etc.). The USD Graduate School and/or academic units retain the right to require credential evaluations from organizations, such as Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES), for a student if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
  3. Baccalaureate degree must be from an institution with institutional accreditation for that degree. A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.85 on conferred degree and/or graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework is required for full admission. 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 a high school diploma, undergraduate, or graduate degree from an institutionally accredited American college or university or from an accredited institution in the approved list  of English-speaking countries are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. For all other applicants with degrees from other countries, a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT), 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), 8.5 on the TOEFL Essentials, 6.0 on the IELTS Academic, 53 on the PTE, or 110 on Duolingo is required for graduate admission. 

 Additional Program Admission Requirements:

           5. Resume
           6. Prerequisites: An applicant must have satisfactorily completed an undergraduate accounting core either before applying or after admission to the M.Acc. program in preparation for graduate coursework. Challenge exams are also available (see below).

The prerequisite accounting coursework includes:

ACCT 310 Intermediate Accounting I (3 credit hours)
ACCT 311 Intermediate Accounting II (3 credit hours)
ACCT 521 Systems and Cost Accounting (3 credit hours)
ACCT 530 Income Tax Accounting (3 credit hours)
ACCT 550 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 M.Acc. program (challenge exams are also available):

BADM 350 Legal Environment of Business (3 credit hours)
ACCT 210 Principles of Accounting I (3 credit hours)
ACCT 211 Principles of Accounting II (3 credit hours)
BADM 310  Business Finance (3 credit hours) 
BADM 220 Business Statistics I (3 credit hours) 
MATH 121 Survey of Calculus (4 credit hours) 
BADM 425 Production Operations Management (3 credit hours) 
ECON 201 Principles of Microeconomics (3 credit hours) 
ECON 202 Principles of Macroeconomics (3 credit hours)

Challenge exams are available to admitted students who do not have course prerequisites complete. Successful completion of this exam satisfies the course prerequisite requirement, though no academic credit is granted for the prerequisite. Students who do not pass the challenge exam are required to take the prerequisite course or equivalent foundation course. Students needing to complete business prerequisite coursework will work with their advisor for course options.  

B.B.A./M.Acc. Accelerated 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.Acc. concurrently. Students who pursue this accelerated option will be awarded their undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously, upon completion of the two programs. Permission to be awarded the undergraduate degree prior to the completion of the graduate degree is available.

Students may apply for admission to the M.Acc. program using the standard graduate application process after completing 75 credit hours. Applicants for the B.B.A./M.Acc. program are required to submit only two letters of recommendation.

The fast-track option will confer special student status to those admitted, who will then be eligible to take 700-level courses in the graduate program of study upon completion of 90 undergraduate credits and 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.Acc. program in accordance with the graduate catalog. The minimum number of credits to achieve both degrees is 150 credit hours.

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships in the Beacom School of Business are awarded each year on a competitive basis to students meeting the following requirements: full-time or a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours, admitted into the program as “full” status (not provisional status), and classified as an on-campus MAcc, MBA, or MSBA student. Applications for graduate assistantships in the Beacom School of Business are due on April 1.

Application Deadline

  • Three weeks before the start of the semester
    • Summer 2024, Fall 2024, and Spring 2025 starts 
  • Four weeks before the start of the semester  

    • Summer 2025, Fall 2025, and Spring 2026 starts 

Student Learning Outcomes for Accountancy (Accounting -M.Acc.)

Goal #1: Our graduates will demonstrate knowledge of advanced accounting concepts.  (Knowledge)  


  1. Graduates will demonstrate knowledge in the topical accounting areas covered by the required accounting courses.  
  2. Graduates will be able to complete designated course embedded exams.  

Goal #2: Our graduates will demonstrate critical thinking skills through application of accounting concepts in analyzing business issues. (Critical Thinking and Application)  


  1. Graduates will be able to effectively analyze accounting problems.  
  2. Graduates will be able to make appropriate recommendations for decision making.  

 Goal #3: Our graduates will demonstrate professional communication skills. (Professional Communication)  


  1. Graduates will be able to write professionally.  
  2. Graduates will be able to make effective presentations.  

Goal #4: Our graduates will demonstrate ethical decision making skills.  


  1. Graduates will identify common ethical dilemmas in the accounting profession. 
  2.  Graduates will be able to apply ethical principles in resolving ethics dilemmas. 

Goal #5: Graduates seeking specialized MAcc degrees will demonstrate competency in their proposed specialization. 

  1. Graduates will produce professional documentation for a business analytics solution. 
  2. Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of finance concepts and the use of best practices in finance. 
  3. Graduates will employ analytical skills to perform systematic business analyses, identify problems, and suggest solutions.    
  4. Graduates will demonstrate strong oral presentation skills.