Jun 24, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Accountancy (Professional Accountancy -M.P.A.)

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Admissions Information   

Student Learning Outcomes  

Each applicant is expected to have satisfactorily completed the undergraduate/foundation requirements for study in the Beacom School of Business (see Admissions Information on Accountancy’s Departmental page ).

The M.P.A. degree requires a minimum of 30 graduate hours: a 21-hour graduate accounting core and a group of restricted electives. Plan A (thesis program), Plan B (non-thesis program), and Plan C (internship program) are available options. The Coordinator of the program must approve the remaining restricted elective hours at the graduate level.

All plan options require successful completion of a comprehensive exam prior to graduation. 

Program Overview

To prepare for a career in public accounting, this program provides specialized training in accounting and enables you to meet the 150-hour educational requirement to sit for the CPA exam. Choose the general accounting or the accounting analytics specialization which includes data-centric accounting theories and principles. The flexible online option is ideal for professionals to advance their career while remaining in the workplace. The Beacom School of Business has had International AACSB accreditation since 1949. Learn more at usd.edu/mpa.

DELIVERY: On campus | Online       

Master of Professional Accountancy Plan A (thesis): Total 30 credit hours

  • M.P.A. Graduate Accounting Core 21 credit hours
  • Thesis 3-6 credit hours
  • Restricted Electives 3-6 credit hours

Master of Professional Accountancy Plan B (non-thesis): Total 30 credit hours

  • M.P.A. Graduate Accounting Core 21 credit hours
  • Restricted Electives or Accounting Analytics specialization 9 credit hours

Master of Professional Accountancy Plan C (internship): Total 30 credit hours

  • M.P.A. Graduate Accounting Core 21 credit hours
  • Accounting Internship 3 credit hours
  • Restricted Electives 6 credit hours

Accounting Analytics Specialization: Total 9 credit hours (Plan B only)

Application Requirements

  1. Completed application
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcripts*
  4. Letters of recommendation*
  5. Admission test scores*
  6. Statement of purpose
  7. Resume/CV*

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. For specific program requirements and submission deadline, visit: catalog.usd.edu.

Joint M.P.A. / J.D. Program

It is possible to concurrently pursue an M.P.A. in the Beacom School of Business and a J.D. in the USD School of Law. Nine hours of 700-level accounting coursework may be counted toward the J.D. degree and nine hours of law coursework may be counted toward the M.P.A. degree if both degrees are pursued concurrently. For further information on this joint program, contact both the USD School of Law and the M.P.A. Program Coordinator.

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

Beacom School of Business undergraduate accounting and business 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. 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.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 application to the fast-track option if they meet all of the following criteria: cumulative GPA of 3.25, and upper-level accounting GPA of 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 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 for the M.P.A. program in accordance with the graduate catalog. However, USD undergraduate students planning to pursue the Joint B.B.A./M.P.A. Fast-Track Option have the option to take BADM 582 - Business Policy and Strategy  instead of BADM 482 Business Policy and Strategy to complete the B.B.A. program by substituting another business course from an approved list. Students pursuing this option can replace BADM 323 Information Systems for Data Analytics with another business course from an approved list. The minimum number of credits to achieve both degrees is 150 credit hours. 

Courses or Programs Leading to Professional Licensure or Certification

The educational curriculum for your academic program may or may not meet educational prerequisites for professional licensure or certification in states other than South Dakota. If you are planning to apply for licensure/certification in a state other than South Dakota after completion of your program, please review that state and your program on USD’s Licensure-Track Programs webpage. Licensure-Track Programs

If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference USD’s State Authorization webpage.

State Authorization


Beacom School of Business
605-677-5455 | business@usd.eduusd.edu/business

Graduate Admissions
605-658-6200 | gradadmissions@usd.edu  | usd.edu/grad

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