University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Master of Professional Accounting

The Master of Professional Accounting program (MPA) provides rigorous preparation at the graduate level for students to achieve success in their chosen professional accounting career path. The MPA program offers three concentrations for targeted future professional career paths in accounting, including Assurance and Analytics, Taxation, and Corporate Accounting.

A Master’s Degree Designed for Accounting Leaders

Accounting students

Program Overview

All students will take core classes related to accounting professionalism, analytic skillsets and advanced financial accounting. Students will take additional classes based on their chosen concentration.

  1. Assurance & Analytics provides students with a foundation for applying technology and analytical methodologies to data-centric accounting environments. Students will be able to navigate data environments, employ analytical tools, and apply them to business decisions and risk analysis.
  2. Taxation provides students a broad foundation for understanding the taxation of entities and the relationship of taxes to the overall business decision process. Students will be able to analyze tax problems, interpret the relevant tax code, and identify tax strategies for complex tax situations and business scenarios.
  3. Corporate Accounting provides students a broad foundation for understanding the production and use of accounting information in corporate business environments. Students in this concentration will acquire skills to navigate public reporting environments, internal business operations, and financial decision making.

All concentrations, which will appear on the student’s transcript, provide opportunity for professional internship credit, can lead to qualification for the Certified Public Accounting exam.


Master of Accounting Degree

Master of Professional Accounting

Program Length: 1 year

Program Start Date: Fall

Application Deadline:
March 1

Curriculum Overview
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Admissions Information
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Entrance Test: GMAT
Students may be eligible for a GMAT/GRE test waiver with a 3.2 undergraduate GPA or 3 years of professional work experience. Please review our master's admissions policies.

Program Cost
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Career Outlook

Jobs and Salaries


National median pay for accountants with a master’s degree.


Number of people employed as accountants and auditors in the United States


Projected numeric change in the number of employed accountants and auditors from 2018 to 2028 (+6% change. The average growth rate for all occupations is +5%.)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor



Courses and Program Schedule

Students whose previous studies have fulfilled requirements of the common body of knowledge in business and accounting will be required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate work. The required common body of knowledge in accounting includes:

  • introductory taxation
  • intermediate financial accounting
  • audit
  • accounting information systems
  • cost accounting

The degree program does not require a thesis or comprehensive exam. Successful completion of the Masters of Professional Accounting program from the University of Arkansas can qualify a student to take relevant professional examinations.

To obtain the Master of Professional Accounting degree, students must complete the following 30 hours of coursework.

Accounting Core Courses 9 credit hours
Areas of Concentration: 18 credit hours


Professional Accounting Internship: To ensure that students acquire the skills necessary for career success, the program strongly encourages all students to obtain additional training directly related to the MPA program prior to graduation. Students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to complete an accounting internship for academic credit, ACCT 535V . The program considers this training an integral part of the curriculum that allows for the practical application of the theoretical principles taught in accounting courses. If students do not participate in an internship experience, they can utilize three credit hours of general graduate business electives. Electives are chosen by the student in consultation with and approval of the Program Director in the Department of Accounting (ACCT). With the approval of the Program Director, senior-level (4000+) courses may be taken for graduate credit.

Areas of Concentration: Electives in the concentrations are chosen by the student in consultation with and approval of the MPA Program Director in the Department of Accounting (ACCT). With the approval of the MPA Program Director, senior-level (4000+) courses may be taken for graduate credit.


Admissions Requirements and Prerequisites

The program is open to students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and who can present evidence of their ability to do graduate work. In addition, they are expected to have already mastered basic accounting concepts or, demonstrated, with an official GMAT test score, the ability to master accounting concepts taught in the program.

Other admissions criteria can be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students entering the program are expected to have completed undergraduate business and accounting coursework. Prior courses must either have been successfully completed within the five years prior to entry to the program, or the student must provide other evidence of current knowledge in these areas. Otherwise, applicants may be required to repeat or complete selected courses, in addition to their degree coursework.

Students from all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

After admission, the student must maintain a 3.00 grade-point average on all graduate coursework and all accounting coursework. Additionally, the student must receive a letter grade of at least a “B” in 75 percent of the courses attempted.

Prerequisites required for entry to the Professional MAcc program include the following:

  • Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
  • Finite Math or Calculus
  • Basic Statistics
  • Business Law
  • Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial/Cost Accounting
  • Accounting Technology
  • Auditing
  • Taxation

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