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Graduate Degrees

The USC Leventhal School of Accounting offers two graduate degrees: the Master of Accounting (M.Acc.) and the Master of Business Taxation (M.B.T.). The M.Acc. program provides an integrated curriculum designed to prepare graduates for careers in professional accounting, public accounting, industry and government. Through its integrated curriculum, students have the opportunity to study accounting in greater depth than in undergraduate accounting programs or M.B.A. programs with concentrations in accounting. The M.B.T. program provides in-depth specialization in taxation to prepare the student for a successful career as a tax professional.

The Leventhal School of Accounting also offers the dual Juris Doctor/Master of Business Taxation (J.D./M.B.T.) degree program in conjunction with the USC Gould School of Law. The combination of broad legal education with detailed tax specialization prepares graduates for fast-track careers in law and accounting tax practices.

The Marshall School of Business offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in conjunction with the Graduate School. A student electing to major in accounting may design a research program that emphasizes auditing, financial accounting, information systems, management accounting or taxation. For more information on the doctoral program, see the Marshall School of Business section of this catalogue, or contact the doctoral office at (213) 740-0670 or the director of Doctoral Studies in Accounting at (213) 740-5025.

Admission to Master’s Programs

The Leventhal School of Accounting seeks individuals who have the potential for outstanding achievement in accounting or taxation. The Admissions Committee takes into consideration the candidate’s academic record, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the professional resume, recommendation letters and written essays. Candidates are reviewed on the merits of their application and the merits of the applicant pool for the semester in which they seek admission.

Applicants to the full-time programs are not required to have any previous work experience. Applicants to the part-time M.B.T. program are required to have a minimum of one year full-time professional experience in tax after receiving an undergraduate degree.

Application to the Programs

To ensure a place in a program and adequate time to receive an admission decision, it is important to submit completed application materials to the Leventhal School of Accounting Master’s Programs Admissions Office through the online application system well in advance of the term in which the applicant wishes to register. If work is still in progress, the applicant should state specifically what courses are in progress and an estimated completion date.

For all programs, an admission decision cannot be made without the following: (1) a completed USC Leventhal School of Accounting online graduate application (available at; (2) an application fee of $85; (3) one official transcript from the registrar of each college or university attended (undergraduate and/or postgraduate) whether course work was completed or not. If all college or postgraduate work has not been completed, transcripts must be requested when work in progress is completed and degree is earned; (4) two letters of recommendation from faculty members or employers; (5) a written essay, not to exceed two pages, describing your career plans and how a M.Acc. or M.B.T. degree will help you achieve these plans; (6) a professional resume summarizing your background; (7) an official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score report or, for J.D./M.B.T. applicants or attorneys, an official Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score report; and (8) an interview.

Interviews are required for all qualified applicants to the full-time M.Acc. and M.B.T. programs. If you live outside of the U.S., telephone interviews are required. The graduate admissions advisor will contact applicants to discuss scheduling an interview after an application is complete.

Following the requirements noted above, applicants for the J.D./M.B.T. dual degree program should apply to the Leventhal School of Accounting for admission to the M.B.T. program in the second semester of their first year in the USC Gould School of Law. In addition, current Law School transcripts and a “letter in good standing” from the registrar of the Law School must be submitted as part of the application. The same Leventhal School of Accounting admission criteria apply to the M.B.T. portion of the J.D./M.B.T. program.

International Students

In addition to the application process mentioned above, international students must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or from the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). A letter of financial support is also required. Transcripts from international universities must be submitted in the original language, as well as in English. The transcripts may have either percentile grades or letter grades.

Progressive Degree Programs: Bachelor of Science, Accounting/Master of Accounting and Bachelor of Science, Accounting/Master of Business Taxation

The Leventhal School of Accounting offers students who have demonstrated exceptional academic success in undergraduate accounting the opportunity to earn both the Bachelor of Science, Accounting, and a master’s degree in five years. Applicants to the program must have completed 64 units of course work and must submit their applications before completing 96 units of course work. AP units, IB units and course work taken prior to high school graduation are excluded from the unit count. Applicants to the progressive degree program in Accounting may not have to submit GMAT scores.

The application for admission to a progressive degree program must be accompanied by an approved course plan proposal and letters of recommendation from two USC faculty members in accounting. The requirements for both the B.S. and the master’s degree must be satisfied. For more information on progressive degree programs, see this section.

Application Deadlines


Full-time only:
Jan. 10 – All international applicants
March 31 – U.S. citizens/permanent residents


Jan. 10 – All international applicants
March 31 – U.S. citizens/permanent residents

M.B.T. – Working Professionals program (part-time):
Nov. 1 – All applicants for the spring semester
June 1 – All applicants for the fall semester

We recommend that applicants to the full-time master’s programs who wish to be considered for scholarship submit all application materials by January 10. For applications received after this date, financial awards will be given only if funds are available.

Application decisions will be made on a rolling admission basis until the programs are filled. Applicants are urged to file a completed application as early as possible. Applications that arrive after the regular deadline will be considered on a space available basis. The summer program is limited to a maximum of 75 students, so applicants for this part of the program should submit applications as early as possible.

Change of Degree Program

Students currently enrolled in a USC degree program who wish to change their degree status to the Master of Accounting or the Master of Business Taxation programs must submit a formal application to the Leventhal School of Accounting.

Limited Status

The Leventhal School of Accounting does not permit students to take classes prior to receipt of completed application materials and a positive recommendation by the Admissions Committee. Students completing a program at another accredited university outside of Los Angeles may take courses in the Leventhal School of Accounting. They must provide a letter from their dean stating that the requested classes will be accepted for transfer to their degree program.

Retention of Files

Files for applicants who (1) were not admitted, (2) did not complete their files or (3) declined admission will be purged 12 months after the semester for which they applied. Files for graduated students will be purged after five years.

Residence Requirements

Subject to approval of the Leventhal School of Accounting, the maximum number of transfer credits that may be applied toward the master’s degree is three units. To be applied to the degree, transfer work must have been completed within five years of admission to the master’s program. Graduate transfer credit will not be granted for course work taken elsewhere after a student has been admitted and enrolled at USC. Credit will only be allowed for courses (1) from an AACSB-accredited graduate school, (2) of a quality of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale, (3) constituting a fair and reasonable equivalent to current USC course work at the graduate level, and (4) fitting into the logical program for the degree. Transfer course work is applied as credit (CR) toward the degree and is not included in the calculation of a minimum grade point average for graduation.

Duplication of Courses

Ordinarily, courses may not be repeated for credit. For courses that may be repeated for credit, the maximum amount of credit is indicated after the unit value.


Subject waiver of required courses may be granted to students based upon prior academic work. All waived courses must be replaced with approved electives.

Students should carefully read their program evaluation form to know what electives must be taken if they are granted subject waivers. To be granted a subject waiver in a particular field, the student must have (1) completed at least two relevant courses in the field at the upper division or graduate level, (2) earned a grade of B or better, and (3) completed the courses no more than five years before entering the master’s program at USC from an AACSB accredited business school (or equivalent economics department).

Further information regarding the waiver policy in the Marshall School of Business may be obtained from USC Leventhal Graduate Programs, Accounting 101, (213) 740-4838,