You might not have thought when you began your undergraduate studies that you would end up working in – and wanting to advance in – the field of accounting. Many students choose a general business administration degree program so they can develop a diverse background of business skills but end up in accounting roles. You need a graduate education to progress to higher-level roles, but you might wonder if you can pursue a master’s in accounting degree now without having specifically studied accounting at the undergraduate level.
Master’s in Accounting Schools for Non-Accounting Undergraduates
The good news is that it’s certainly possible for former students of general business programs to go to graduate school for accounting. There are some master’s in accounting degree programs that only admit candidates who majored in accounting as undergraduates, but many schools require only a small amount of accounting coursework for admission, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.
In fact, a number of colleges and universities – including some of the best online master’s in accounting programs in the nation – are intended specifically to help students in situations like yours. Master’s in accounting programs designed for non-accounting students often look for candidates with bachelor’s degrees in liberal arts or general business. In these programs, your classmates won’t have a specific undergraduate accounting background, either, so you won’t feel left behind. Earning a master’s in accounting degree may take longer for students without an accounting background, but that may not be the case at all schools.
Kaplan University, in particular, is one highly-rated school that focuses on preparing students with general business educational backgrounds for management positions in accounting. The curriculum includes coursework in business communications and ethics, corporate accounting and advanced editing and allows students to pick from several academic specializations.
Graduate Accounting Prerequisites for Non-Accounting Majors
Different schools have different prerequisites. Some online colleges may require students to have only completed foundation classes like Principles of Accounting I and II and possibly Intermediate Accounting I and II. Others might require additional prerequisite coursework, such as:
- Business Taxation
- Cost Accounting
- Managerial Accounting
Fortunately, these and similar courses are already part of many undergraduate general business programs, so you may already have fulfilled the requirements necessary for admission. If you haven’t taken some of these courses, you may have to either limit your college selection to schools with more lenient prerequisite admission requirements or take additional courses before pursuing your master’s in accounting degree.
For students who entered the field of accounting with a general business degree, knowing that there are master’s in accounting programs tailored specifically for candidates without an undergraduate accounting degree is just the first step. Next, you can start your graduate college search by learning about the academic programs, tuition costs and unique features of the nation’s best online master’s in accounting programs.