Graduate Studies


Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements | Integrated Degree | Profile

Interim Director: Jessica Lin
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Jessica Lin
Graduate Coordinator: Cheryl Westen
Office: Stipes Hall 431
Telephone: (309) 298-1152 Fax: (309) 298-2952
Location of Program Offering: Macomb

Graduate Faculty


  • Charles Pryor, Ph.D., Mississippi State University
  • Soon Suk Yoon, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Associate Graduate Faculty
Associate Professor

  • Zhiqiang Yan, Ph.D., Georgia State University

Assistant Professor

  • Jennifer McGarry, DBA, DePaul University

Learning Outcomes

For student learning outcomes, please see

 Program Description

The WIU School of Accounting, Finance, Economics and Decision Sciences provides a student-centered environment that promotes academic excellence, professional and personal growth, a spirit of collegiality, and ethical and professional conduct.

The School’s curriculum and activities develop outstanding graduates who demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to enter the accounting profession and to meet future career challenges.

The Master of Accountancy program provides students with a choice of two different emphases designed to prepare students for two different sets of career paths.  The Public Accounting emphasis focuses upon the content and skills necessary to prepare students for careers in public accounting with particular emphasis on preparation for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.  The second emphasis in Managerial Accounting focuses upon the broader business-accounting skills with special emphasis on preparation for the Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA) exam.  Regardless of path chosen, students graduating with the MA Accounting degree are ready to meet the rigors of today's job market and industry/licensing standards.

The Master of Accountancy program with an emphasis in Public Accounting and preparation for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam initiated the CPA Project, which is recognized as an accounting profession diversity pipeline initiative.

The Master of Accountancy degree is designed as a one-year program for candidates with accounting degrees from accredited institutions or as a two-year program for candidates whose business degree is not in accounting. Candidates who do not possess degrees in business disciplines should anticipate a time frame of approximately three years to complete all background courses and graduate course requirements.

The faculty is committed to excellence in teaching and is engaged in research, service, and professional interactions to benefit the university, the accounting profession, and the community.

 Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Program

Go to for details and program offerings.

 Admission Requirements

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 OR
  • A 3.0 or higher GPA for the last two years (60 s.h.) of undergraduate work
  • *GMAT score of 500 or above, with scores at or above the 25th percentile in both the verbal and quantitative sections and a score of 4 or above on the written portion.
  • An acceptable combination of the undergraduate grade point average and total GMAT score is also required. Specifically, either 200 x GPA + GMAT must at least be 1,100 with a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75, or 200 x GPA + GMAT must at least be 1,150 with a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the last 60 hours of undergraduate courses.
  • International students must also have minimum scores of 79 iBT on TOEFL or 6.5 on IELTS.
  • All application materials and supporting documents must be received before an admission decision is made.

*The GMAT requirement is waived for students with an undergraduate major in accountancy having an overall GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) from an institution with AACSB International accreditation. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in business from AACSB-International accredited institutions with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.60 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) will not be required to take the GMAT exam.

Students may take graduate accounting courses as non-degree graduate students; however, they may not enter the Master of Accountancy program until all admission conditions are met.

Each prospective Master of Accountancy candidate must demonstrate academic background equivalent to that of an undergraduate accounting major at Western Illinois University, including mathematics equivalent to a first course in calculus. All academic courses fulfilling the background requirement must have been completed with a grade of C or better. The Graduate Committee for Accountancy will evaluate each transcript individually to determine any background courses which a student must take as part of the Master of Accountancy degree program.

Required Background Accounting Courses (or equivalents):

ACCT 341 Intermediate Accounting I
ACCT 342 Intermediate Accounting II
ACCT 343 Intermediate Accounting III
ACCT 351 Management Accounting
ACCT 371 Principles of Taxation
ACCT 451 Accounting Systems and Control
ACCT 480 Financial Auditing

Required Background Business Courses (or equivalents):

ACCT 307 Accounting for Managers and Management Decisions
BL 431 The Law of Commercial Transactions
CS 302 Spreadsheet and Database Applications
ECON 408 Economics for Decision Makers
FIN 331 Financial Management I
STAT 171 General Elementary Statistics

 Degree Requirement

Each prospective Master of Accountancy candidate is required to complete a graduate program of study, subject to approval by the Graduate Committee for Accountancy. The program must be submitted for approval after the completion of nine semester hours and before completion of 15 semester hours.

Master of Accountancy programs must include the following:

I. Core Courses: 3 s.h.

ACCT 551 Advanced Management Accounting/Systems (3)
ACCT 611 Graduate Outcomes Assessment (0)

II. Complete one of the following emphases: 15 s.h.

A. Public Accounting (CPA)

ACCT 470G Tax II (3)
ACCT 540 Contemporary Issues in Accounting (3)
ACCT 541 Advanced Accounting Concepts I (3)
ACCT 542 Advanced Accounting Concepts II (3)
ACCT 580 Advanced Auditing (3)

B. Managerial Accounting

ACCT 445G Financial Modeling and Statement Analysis (3)
ACCT 455G Advanced Management Accounting (3)
ACCT 547 Corporate Financial Reporting & Analysis (3)
ECON 538 Economics for Managers (3)
Accounting elective (3)

III. Integrative Experience: 12 s.h.

Graduate-level business courses that must include at least 3 s.h. of DS coursework (12)


All courses selected are subject to the approval of the Graduate Advisor and the Graduate Committee for Accountancy. No more than 50% of the degree program (15 s.h.) may be taken at the 400-G level.

Application of the School of Graduate Studies policies with respect to transfer and extension credits will be implemented on an individual basis.

 Course Descriptions

Accounting (ACCT)

445G (cross-listed with FIN 445G) Financial Modeling and Statement Analysis. (3) Students will identify problems, analyze results, and make decisions regarding the impact on financial statements through development of models in electronic spreadsheets. Financial statements, capital budgets, risk, capital structures, takeovers, and other financial topics will be analyzed. Prerequisite: ACCT 341 or FIN 331 or permission of the instructor.

456G CMA Preparation. (0) Provides an overview of the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credentialing process including the sitting requirements, examination options, and preparation methods. Students will be expected to purchase the designated review materials and follow the outlined study schedule. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: ACCT 351 or permission of the instructor.

457G Fraud Examination. (3) An examination of the principles and practices for investigating allegations of fraud and financial misconduct.  Topics include the elements of fraud, red flags, document examination, interviewing techniques, and report writing. Prerequisites: ACCT 200 or 201, or permission of the instructor.

470G Tax II. (3) A study of income taxation with emphasis given to researching and communicating tax topics relevant to corporate entities and partnerships. Prerequisites: ACCT 371 with a grade of C or better or permission of the instructor.

471G Tax Research.  (3) Tax research tools and methods are used to investigate advanced tax planning and compliance topics.  Prerequisite: ACCT 371 and ACCT 470 with a grade of C or better.

472G EA Preparation. (0) Provides an overview of the Enrolled Agent (EA) credentialing process including the sitting requirements, examination options, and preparation methods. Students will be expected to purchase the designated review materials and follow the outlined study schedule. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: ACCT 201 or permission of the instructor.

500 CPA Overview & Preparation. (0) An overview of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credentialing process including sitting requirements, examination options, and preparation methods. Students must purchase the designated review materials and should enroll in one or more of the subsequent review courses. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the Master of Accountancy program.

510 CPA Regulation. (1) Students review, learn and demonstrate knowledge of concepts in Business Law, the regulation of professional tax accountants, and the professional practice of accounting in individual, entity, and multistate taxation to finalize preparation for the CPA examination. Prerequisites: ACCT 500, ACCT 372, and BL 431 or permission of the instructor.

520 CPA Financial Accounting and Reporting. (1) Students synthesize and demonstrate knowledge of concepts and apply them to the practice of Financial Accounting and Reporting to finalize preparation for the CPA Exam. Prerequisites: ACCT 500 and ACCT 343 or equivalent.

530 CPA Business Environment and Concepts. (1) Students synthesize and demonstrate knowledge of the Business Environment and Concepts as applied to the practice of professional accounting and finalize their preparation for the CPA Examination. Prerequisites: ACCT 500, ACCT 351, ACCT 451, BCOM 320, DS 303, FIN 331, IS 340, MGT 349 or equivalents.

537 Issues in International Accounting. (3) An investigation of the external and internal reporting problems encountered by multinational business entities and a study of accounting systems in different countries. This course will also review the purpose of international accounting organizations and their role in solving current accounting problems. Prerequisite: ACCT 307 or equivalent.

540 Contemporary Issues in Accounting. (3) A conceptual study of financial accounting and reporting topics with an emphasis on current regulatory and policy issues. Emphasis will be placed on critical thinking, written and oral communication skills, and professional development. Prerequisite: ACCT 342 or equivalent with a grade of C or better.

541 Advanced Accounting Concepts. (3) A study of advanced topics in financial accounting (Equity Investments, Consolidations, Hedges, & Derivatives). Prerequisite: ACCT 343 with a grade of C or better.

542 Advanced Accounting Concepts II. (3) A study of advanced topics in accounting, including not-for-profit and governmental entities. Prerequisite: ACCT 343 with a grade of C or better.

547 Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis. (3) An analysis of corporate financial reports and other disclosures, with emphasis on how this information can be used for making investment and credit decisions. This course will also consider the impact of accounting choice decisions on financial reporting and analysis.Not open to undergraduate or graduate accountancy students.  Prerequisite: ACCT 307 or equivalent.

551 Advanced Management Accounting/Systems. (3) Application of managerial accounting concepts and techniques to develop, analyze, and interpret information and participate in management decision making processes. Prerequisite: ACCT 451 or equivalent with a grade of C or better.

580 Advanced Auditing. (3) Advanced auditing topics, research and cases that emphasize the analytical skills and professional judgment required to formulate audit options. Prerequisite: ACCT 480 or equivalent with a grade of C or better.

600 Independent Research in Accountancy. (3, repeatable to 6) Independent reading and study of selected topics in Accountancy. Prerequisite: Completion of six graduate hours in accounting and permission of Graduate Committee.

611 Graduate Outcomes Assessment. (0) Requires each Master of Accountancy student to demonstrate his/her proficiency on selected learning goals for the program. The course must be taken near the end of the program. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Completion and/or co-enrollment in at least 24 s.h. of graduate level business courses.

620 Accounting Internship. (1–9, repeatable to 9) Integrates accounting theories with application to actual business practices. Students are exposed to a variety of positions within the business firm during the semester. All internships are supervised by a faculty coordinator and an executive in the business firm. Analytic reports of work accomplished by each student are presented to the coordinator. Graded S/U only. Prerequisites: Completion of six hours of accountancy courses and prior approval of the Graduate Committee.