With the rate of growth of businesses at an all-time high, the demand for professionals who understand tax laws will always be present.
A Masters in Taxation is a highly specialized field of accounting that is generally geared towards working professionals who wish to understand the basics of taxation and/or focus on a specific area such as corporate or individual taxes. Graduates will be able to synthesize and prepare different solutions when it comes to taxation issues confidently upon completion of this degree.
What kind of taxation degree should you get?
There are many different types of Taxation Masters programs, with the main ones being a Master of Science in Taxation or a LL.M. in Taxation. An MS in Taxation builds upon undergraduate accounting knowledge and goes further into tax law, while an LL.M. is ideal for those who are interested in later pursuing a J.D.
Some schools also offer certificate programs for those that wish to gain a little more expertise in taxation, without taking the full time to complete an entire degree program. In addition, there is also the option of getting a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA), Master of Accountancy (M.ACC), or Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA). While these programs focus on accounting more generally, many schools give the option of focusing on taxation.
For those that wish to pursue a Certified Public Accountants (CPA) certification, both Taxation and Accounting Masters generally meet the requirements, but one should check with the individual schools before applying. If you aren’t sure how much time you can dedicate on campus, check out College Choice’s Best Online Master’s in Taxation.
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How much money do people with a master’s in taxation make?
People who have a Masters in Taxation make 5-10% more than those with a masters in any field, with an average salary of $60,000 to $120,000 depending on seniority, location, and profession. According to Payscale, a tax manager makes an average of $97, 960, a senior tax manager makes $129,497, and a tax director makes about $149,101 yearly. The most popular and profitable cities for this career is Boston, Chicago, New York, Phoenix, and Los Angeles.
A degree in taxation generally prepares students to become an accountant or auditor. An accountant prepares various financial statements and tax forms, as well as balance and check fiscal reports. Auditors help businesses with their taxes and other financial reports to make sure they are free of error. A Masters in Taxation prepares people to become a CPA, who advise businesses on financial matters.
What are the requirements for a master’s in taxation?
While each university is slightly different, in general students must have taken general accounting, business, mathematics, and economics courses that are covered in an undergraduate degree. For those who do not have a degree in accounting, admission into an MS Taxation program is still possible as long as the required courses are taken at an accredited university. Students are also required to meet the minimum GPA requirements and have a strong GMAT score.
CollegeChoice has ranked the best Masters in Taxation programs after compiling data on institutional excellence and student success from a variety of sources such as the IPEDS database, the U.S. News & World Report, Payscale, and individual college’s websites.
Institutional excellence is graded on a variety of factors, such as endowment, entering students’ test scores, graduation rate, etc., while student success is ranked by expected starting salary, financial aid, average indebtedness, etc.
Golden Gate University was founded in 1901 but has its roots during the California Gold Rush in the early 1850s. Today the university focuses on adult education and aims to prepare students for the professional world. GCU is ranked the number one college for adult learners according to the Washington Monthly. Its Taxation program is also rated number one in the nation by TaxTalent.com.
GCU’s Master of Science in Taxation is one of the most prestigious tax programs in the country. All graduates will be prepared to handle the various challenges of a tax professional.
Sample Courses: Federal Tax Procedure, Property Transactions, Federal Income Taxation of Partners and Partnerships, etc.
Program Formats: accelerated Cohort (9 months) versus traditional Non-Cohort (2-4 years)
Internship participation strongly encouraged
All classes are taught by tax practitioners and lawyers who have experience and knowledge in the field. In addition, many “Big Four” firms are known to hire GCU graduates. The MS in Taxation program also has an impressive alumni history, who are currently employed in the government or own their own firm.
Fordham University is a private Jesuit, Catholic university located in New York City. Its mission statement can be summarized with its three ideals: strive for excellence, care for others, and fight for justice. The Gabelli School of Business, which houses its Master of Science in Taxation, was quoted as a “big winner of 2016” by Poets & Quants. In addition, it was among the Top 10 List in 2017 for Top Business Schools for Accounting or Taxation by FindMBA.
Fordham’s MS in Taxation is an ideal program for professionals who wish to gain technical expertise in taxation.
Two Options: one-year full-time program or part-time program that can take up to two years
Areas of Study: general tax, international tax, estate and gift tax, accounting, and communications
This program is taught by the best professionals in New York’s financial sector who could serve as future connections for graduates. Some possible corporations that are in need of taxation experts include banks, brokerage firms, private businesses, accounting firms, etc. Currently graduates work at a variety of top firms such as PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, Morgan Stanley, etc.
California State University-Fullerton is a public research university that was founded in 1957. As of September 2017, the U.S. News & World Report ranks CSUF among the nation’s top Most Innovative Schools. The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, which offers its Master of Science in Taxation, is also included in the 2017 edition of the Princeton Review’s Best 295 Business Schools.
CSUF’s MS in Taxation prepares students to enter into careers in law firm tax departments and as CPAs. All students regardless of their undergraduate background are encouraged to apply.
Sample Courses: Problems in Taxation, Taxation of International Business Operations, State and Local Taxation, Taxation of Employee Compensation, etc.
Accelerated program available for working professionals
Although any students may enter this program, students holding an undergraduate degree in Business Administration or Accounting will be able to waive certain degree requirements. All students must pass the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and have an undergraduate degree of 3.0 or better in order to be considered for this program. Students without a business-related degree should go online for additional admission requirements.
Villanova University is a Roman Catholic school founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. Following the Catholic Augustinian tradition, Villanova is dedicated to serving the community with a strong liberal arts education inspired by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It has received numerous rankings, such as being ranked among the U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Colleges in the National Universities category, and the third best college for economic value by The Economist.
Villanova’s Masters in Taxation (MT) program in the Charles Widger School of Law takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Taxation. This nationally recognized program allows professionals to stand out and advance in their career.
Required Core Courses: Survey of Tax, Tax I and II, Professional Responsibilities in Tax and Researching & Writing, Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders, and Partnership Taxation
100% online program available
All MT classes are taught by professors who have worked in Big Four accounting firms, the IRS, the nation’s Treasure Department, and notable law firms. With access to such great connections, some potential jobs upon completion of this program are tax manager, chief financial officer (CFO), CPA, etc.
DePaul University is a private Catholic institution founded in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission, following the teachings of St. Vincent de Paul. DePaul is ranked one of the Best National Universities by the U.S News & World Report for the upcoming year of 2018, and the third best city college in the nation by The Princeton Review for the year of 2014. Its business school, which houses its Master of Science in Taxation (MSTAX) is also nationally recognized for its undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degree programs.
DePaul’s MS in Taxation is designed for working professions who wish to attain the highest level of responsibility in their current careers, becoming more competent in their technical and analytic skills.
Sample Courses: Federal Income Tax Procedures, Transactions in Property, Comparative Tax Systems, Estate and Gift Taxation, etc.
45-53 estimated total hours required
The MSTAX program has been repeatedly ranked among the top five tax programs in the nation according to TaxTalent, the largest online network of tax professionals. In addition, many alumni of this program currently work in major firms such as Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, Grant Thornton, etc.
Arizona State University-Tempe is a public research institution founded in 1964 that is nationally ranked for its programs, research, faculty, and educational excellence. For the past three years, ASU was ranked the number one college in the nation for innovation by the U.S News & World Report. It was also ranked among the best graduate schools in the U.S. The nationally acclaimed W.P. Carey School of Business hosts ASU’s Masters in Taxation (MTax) program.
ASU’s MTax degree is a nine-month program that fulfills the coursework requirement for a CPA certification in the state of Arizona or California.
Sample Courses: Multi-Jurisdictional Tax, Taxation of Pass-Through Entities, Taxes and Business Strategy, Family Tax Planning and Wealth Transfer Taxation, etc.
Concurrent degree program where students can earn a Master of Legal Studies and Taxation (MTax/MLS)
Due to the rigorous nature of this program, students must satisfy certain prerequisites in order to be considered for this program. Students with an undergraduate degree of accounting or finance would have fulfilled most of the requirements. All classes in the W.P. Carey School are small, individualized, and taught by professionals to help students advance in their career.
Bentley University is a private business university that was established in 1917 as an accounting and finance school. It has since grown to offering both undergraduate and graduate degree programs focusing on preparing students for the professional world. Bentley is ranked number five in value in the nation by The Economist. The McCallum Graduate School of Business was also ranked among the Best Business Schools in 2015 by the Princeton Review, as well as number four for salary earning potential according to Payscale.
Bentley’s Master of Science in Taxation produces strong professional candidates for major leading businesses in the nation. It is ranked number seven out of the Top 40 MS in Taxation Programs by Online Accounting Degrees.
Sample Courses: Corporations and Shareholders, Transactions, Mergers and Acquisitions, Intellectual Properties, etc.
Small class size (average of 36 students), merit awards ($8,130 median award), and 91% domestic placement rate
100% of Bentley MS Taxation graduates find a job within three months of graduation. The average median starting salary is $62,000. The top four employers recruiting from Bentley are Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and Raytheon. Some potential careers include but are not limited to tax consultant, senior tax accountant, tax analyst, etc.
Northeastern University is a private research university located in Boston that was founded in 1898. It has been ranked among the top 50 national universities by the U.S News & World Report for the past five years. The university has nine colleges, including the D’Amore-McKim School of Business which offers its Master of Science in Taxation degree. D’Amore-McKim is nationally recognized for its various undergraduate and graduate business programs.
Northeastern’s MS in Taxation is a part-time program developed for working professionals to advance in their career. This program focuses on understanding the Internal Revenue Code.
Three start times (January, May, September), small classes (10-20 students), and convenient class schedule (Monday-Wednesday one night per week)
Required Core Courses: Federal Tax Issues and Analysis, Corporations and Shareholders, Estate and Gift Taxation, Tax research Methodology, Tax Practice, Procedures & Ethics, and Partners and Partnerships
The MS in Taxation program meets the academic requirements for the Certified Financial Planner Examination, as well as the 150-hour requirement for the CPA licensure (if accounting major and core requirements met). Therefore, students are able to deepen their understanding of taxation and move up in a more managerial position in their career.
The University of Albany is a four-year public university founded in 1844 that is part of the State University of New York system of higher education. It offers 120 undergraduate and more than 125 masters, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. The School of Business offers a wide variety of programs, and is ranked among the top three public colleges and universities for business in the state of New York according to the U.S. News & World Report.
The University of Albany’s one-year Masters of Science in taxation (MS-Tax) allows students a deeper understanding of tax law, regulations, and cases.
Sample Courses: Principles of Tax Research, Corporation Taxation, Taxation of Partnerships, Seminar in Taxation and Financial Planning, etc.
Option to take one tax law course each semester at the Albany Law School
The MS-Tax program covers a variety of topics, such as state and interstate, corporation, partnership, international, estate and gift taxation, deferred compensation, profit sharing, consolidation, and tax research. Many graduates are recruited from Big Four companies, CPA firms, and government entities.
The University of Southern California was founded in 1880 in the city of Los Angeles and has grown to become an internationally recognized private research institution. The university has about 44,000 undergraduate and graduate students spanned across its 23 schools. The Marshall School of Business, which houses its Master of Business Taxation (MBT) degree, was founded in the 1920 as a global hub for entrepreneurial thinking.
USC’s one-year MBT program not only professionally prepares students to understand the relevant issues in taxation, but also instills ethical principles and professional standards to help graduates make good decisions.
Sample Courses: Tax Theory and Ethics, Taxation of Individuals, Family Wealth Preservation, Tax Research and Professional Responsibilities, etc.
Access to USC’s Leventhal Career Services
Global Accounting Experience course that allows students to analyze the economic and political tax systems of the U.S. and China
The MBT program is ranked the fifth in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report. It has a successful employment rate, with 97% of domestic students and 79% of international students being placed in relevant fields upon graduation. The average starting salary for graduates of this degree is $60,000, with the average low being $48,000 and the average high being $85,000.
Mississippi State University is located in Starkville and is a comprehensive, doctoral degree-granting institution that was founded in 1878. Its main purpose is to learning, research, and service. MSU is currently ranked the second top public university and the second best value college in 2018 both for the state of Mississippi by Niche. The Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy, which offers its Taxation program, is a professional school devoted to preparing students for careers in the accountancy and business world.
MSU’s Master of Taxation (M.TX.) degree builds upon undergraduate knowledge to advance students in their accounting and taxation careers.
Sample Courses: Research in Tax Practice and Procedures, Advanced Individual Taxation and Wealth Management, Financial Accounting Theory, etc.
Graduate assistantships (financial aid) available to qualifying students for part-time work during the program duration
Because prior knowledge of accounting and business is required for admittance into this program, students should look online as to what prerequisite courses must be taken. In addition, because of the interdisciplinary nature of the M.TX. program, eligible students may also wish to pursue an MBA or a Ph.D. in Business Administration.
The University of Miami, chartered in 1925, is one of America’s top research universities with over 16,000 students. In fact, its research and sponsored program expenditures surmount to $323.8 million, ranking 61st in the nation in expenditures of federal funds for research and development. UM has 11 schools and colleges, including its School of Business Administration which offers its Master of Science in Taxation (MST).
UM’s MST degree is designed for those who wish to focus on accounting, but follow a career in taxation.
Sample Courses: Partnership Taxation, Auditing Seminar, Forensic Accounting, Financial reporting Implications of Income Taxes, etc.
Accelerated program available for bachelors who can obtain the MST degree in one-year following their undergraduate education
Because most graduates plan on becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), interested students should go online and check how many hours and which courses they need to take in order to qualify to sit in on the exam. Interested students should also see additional requirements for licensure as a CPA.
The University of Baltimore is a public university that offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. Established in 1925 originally as a private college, the school became a public institution and is currently part of the University of Maryland System. UB has four colleges including the College of Public Affairs, the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, and the Merrick School of Business which provides its Master of Science in Taxation degree.
Beginning in 1987, UB’s MS in Taxation was created after the business boom that led to a greater need for people who understand accounting and taxation principles. This program challenges students and gears them toward a career as tax advisers.
Sample Courses: Data Analysis and Decisions, Auditing/Accounting Information Systems, Fundamentals of Federal Income Taxation, etc.
Fulfills the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination in the state of Maryland when combined with a bachelors in accounting
Graduates can expect to have a solid understanding of federal tax law, be able to analyze tax statutes and regulations, and develop techniques for solving tax-related issues. Some areas of study that this program covers includes estate and business planning, partnership taxation, bankruptcy taxation, real estate taxation, etc.
The University of Denver was founded in 1864 originally as the Colorado Seminary. It has since evolved from its Methodist roots into a nationally recognized four-year, private institution. DU’s educational approach is to “learn by doing,” meaning all students are given the opportunities to partake in research, one-on-one development with professors, and discussion-centered classes. In 2016, DU was ranked among the top 100 universities in the country by the U.S. News & World Report. DU’s Graduate Tax program, which is a joint LL.M. in Taxation and Master of Taxation program, is currently ranked 11 among the best tax LL.M. programs according to TaxProf Blog.
UD’s Graduate Tax program began in 1975 after the demand for trained tax specialists was on the rise. All class work is based on the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations.
Degrees Granted: Master of Taxation (M.T.), LL.M. in Taxation, and concurrent J.D. and LL.M.
UD’s Taxation program graduates have been known to be recruited by Big Four accounting firms and other major businesses. Some 2016 recruits included Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Anton Collins Mitchell, etc. The Graduate Legal Studies Associate Director offers one-on-one career counseling to prepare students for the rigorous job hunting and recruiting process.
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