Academic Course Catalogs

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Master of Science in Taxation (MTAX)

The Master of Science in Taxation (MTAX) degree program offers a curriculum that focuses on interactively developing skills needed by tax accountants. It is a specialized program that provides skills to begin a career as a tax accountant and skills to progress to mid- and upper-level positions. In addition to specialized tax knowledge, the program provides students with ethics, leadership, communication and interpersonal skills necessary for supervisor-level positions.

This is a companion program to the Master of Science in Accountancy (MACC) program. All interested students should review the admission process and prerequisite requirements that are discussed under the MACC program. Those processes and prerequisites are also applicable to the MTAX program. In general, students applying to the MTAX program should already have completed an undergraduate degree in accountancy or its equivalent. Since all courses are offered at night over five-week terms, this program will be of primary interest to those students desiring to complete an MTAX program on a part-time basis while remaining employed. Since all courses are only offered once per calendar year, students should carefully plan their program of study prior to beginning the program and should expect that completion will generally take a minimum of one calendar year.

As with the MACC program, students currently enrolled in the BACC program at USD can complete the BACC and MTAX in a combined program format. The admission process is identical to those required by the BACC or MACC Combined Program and prospective students should review the next section of this course catalog for those requirements.

MTAX Program Requirements

The MTAX program is a 30 semester-unit program for those with an undergraduate accounting degree. Additional prerequisite requirements for those without an undergraduate accounting degree are shown under the MACC program. In addition to the prerequisites shown under the MACC program, all MTAX degree applicants will need to have already completed:

ACCT 306 Federal Tax Acct I, and
ACCT 407 Federal Tax Acct II, or their equivalents, as prerequisites to the program.

MTAX Course Requirements (30-Semester Units):

Required Courses (24 semester-units):

A. The following three courses (9 semester-units) in ethics, leadership, communications, and interpersonal skills are all required:
MACC 501 Communications and Ethics for Financial Professionals (3)
MACC 502 Leadership in a Financial Team Environment (3)
MACC 503 Negotiations: Strategy, Practice and Ethics (3)

B. The following five courses (15 semester-units) of taxation courses are all required:
MACC 523 Retirement Planning (3)
MACC 560 Tax Research (3)
MACC 561 Partnership Taxation (3)
MACC 562 Estate and Gift Taxation and Planning (3)
MACC 563 State and Local Taxation (3)
Electives (6-semester units):

Electives are likely from MACC or MTAX, MBA, or other USD programs that directly relate to the field of taxation. These can include MACC 598 – Internship or MACC 599 – Independent Study.
Students must complete a “program plan” indicating their elective selections prior to beginning the MTAX program. However, course substitutions may be made at later points of time upon approval of their faculty mentor and the director of the MACC or MTAX program.

International Experience

MTAX students may participate in a six unit international accounting and European business environment program in London, Paris, and Rome. The primary goal of the course is to immerse students in both IFRS and the European business environment from a physical, cultural, and intellectual perspective with an emphasis on doing business in the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. Students will have the opportunity to personally experience the world of European business at the same time they are learning significant facts and concepts in a classroom setting. This will be accomplished by talking to business professionals, hearing lectures by individuals from Europe, visiting major international accounting firms, following the local press, discussing actual business cases, and classroom experiences. For more information go to: http://tiny.cc/AccountingEurope.

Admission Process For The MTAX Program

Students must complete the following for admission to the MTAX degree program:

1. Complete the Master of Science in Taxation application, including the payment of any applicable application fees.

Note that the above application materials will require students to take the GMAT exam and receive a minimum score of 550 and to submit official transcripts for all prior undergraduate and graduate work. A 3.0 accounting course GPA and 3.0 overall GPA is the normal cutoff for admission. However, applicants with lower prior GPAs will be considered for admission with additional evidence of strong professional accounting or financial management credentials.

BACC/MACC or MTAX Combined Programs

The combined programs allow students to combine their BACC program with either the MACC or the MTAX programs. The combined programs allow students to begin their graduate programs early while they are still completing their BACC program. The actual program requirements for the undergraduate or graduate program are unchanged from those described under the individual programs. BACC students admitted to the MACC or MTAX combined programs may begin taking graduate program coursework starting in the summer after their Junior year. The combined program allows students to complete both their BACC and either the MACC or MTAX degrees in approximately four and one half to five years on a full-time basis.
Undergraduate BACC students interested in meeting the 150-hour requirements to become CPAs are strongly encouraged to consider the combined program option. CPA laws in a majority of states have recently been changed to require 150 units of university credit to receive a CPA certificate. Additional information on this requirement is available from most State Boards of Accountancy.

Only students who are currently enrolled in the BACC degree program at USD are eligible for admission to a combined program. Admitted students will likely enroll in daytime undergraduate courses and evening MACC courses so that both degrees can be completed on a full-time basis in the shortest possible time frame.

Since MACC or MTAX courses are offered in five week terms on a year-round basis, students interested in completing the combined program quickly should plan on taking MACC or MTAX courses during the summers starting after the Junior year. In fact, the MACC or MTAX class schedule has been efficiently designed to allow combined program students to take their MACC or MTAX required courses in the summer between their Junior and Senior years.

Program Requirements

The BACC/MACC or BACC/MTAX combined programs are 154-unit program consisting of the 124-semester unit requirements for a Bachelor of Accountancy degree (see the Undergraduate Course Catalog) and the 30 semester-unit requirements for either the MACC or MTAX degrees. Students interested in either combined program should review the MACC or MTAX program requirements discussed above.

BACC students accepted into the combined program should consult with their faculty mentor, the director of the MACC or MTAX program, and the university’s financial aid office to ensure they enroll in the appropriate mix of undergraduate or graduate courses each semester prior to completing their BACC requirements so that they will maximize their availability of financial aid.

Admission Process For The Combined BACC/MACC Or BACC/MTAX Programs

Students must complete the following for admission to the combined BACC/MACC or BACC/MTAX degree programs:

1. Complete the Master of Science in Accountancy or Master of Science in Taxation Admission Application, including the payment of any applicable application fees.

As discussed below, to be considered for admission into the Combined Program, a student must meet the criteria listed below:

  1. Declared USD Bachelor of Accountancy major only
  2. Completion of a minimum Acct 300 and one additional upper-division undergraduate Accountancy course
  3. Completion of a minimum of 84 undergraduate-semester hours applicable toward their BACC
  4. A 3.0 GPA overall
  5. A 3.0 GPA in all upper-division accountancy courses
  6. A GMAT score of 550 (waived if 3.25 GPA in overall USD coursework)

The application includes the following items:

  1. Application
  2. Two letters of recommendation
  3. Résumé
  4. Personal statement
  5. $80 application fee
  6. GMAT (waived if 3.25 GPA in overall USD coursework)

Upon Acceptance:

  1. You must select a faculty mentor.
  2. You must meet with that mentor and complete an approved “MACC or MTAX Program Plan” prior to the beginning of MACC or MTAX coursework.

Program and Course Sequencing Requirements for BACC/MACC or BACC/MTAX combined program. The following sequencing requirements must be met by all students in the combined program:

  1. Under no circumstances will a student in the combined program be able to receive their MACC or MTAX degree prior to the completion of their BACC degree.
  2. Under no circumstances will completed MACC or MTAX course credit be applied toward any USD undergraduate degree requirements.
  3. Students in the combined program may not enroll in any GSBA prefixed MBA courses that are anticipated to be used as MACC or MTAX electives until they have completed all BACC degree requirement (i.e, GSBA prefixed courses may only be completed after the undergraduate degree is completed).
  4. Students will receive their BACC degree upon completion of the requirements of that degree program.
  5. Students who have received admittance in the combined program must complete their remaining MACC or MTAX degree requirements within five years of completing their BACC degree or must reapply to the MACC or MTAX program.