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:
April 15

Curriculum Overview
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Admissions Information
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Required Test: GMAT

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.

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Accounting Students

International Students

International applicants must submit an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score or complete the Intensive English Language Program (Spring International Language Center) and receive an English proficiency recommendation for admission.

Students who hold non-immigrant status in the United States in the F-1 or J-1 categories are responsible for coordinating any necessary authorization for employment with the Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS). F-1 and J-1 students are strongly advised to discuss training options with the ISS office early in their program, and to make themselves aware of limitations and restrictions related to F-1 or J-1 employment authorization benefits.


New & Noteworthy

Three New Business Graduate Degrees Created to Meet Industry Demand

Three New Business Graduate Degrees Created to Meet Industry Demand

Walton College now offers three new graduate degrees: Master of Professional Accounting, Master of Applied Business Analytics and Master of Science in Supply Chain Management. Classes begin fall 2020.

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Dean Emeritus Williams Named to Accounting Hall of Fame

Dean Emeritus Williams Named to Accounting Hall of Fame

Doyle Z. Williams, dean emeritus of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, will be inducted into The Accounting Hall of Fame in 2020.

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Do you play a musical instrument? Are you good at geometry? These are questions that Barry Bryan might ask a student considering accounting as a major. It’s been his experience that these skills often make for good accountants.

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