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More Than Audit and Tax

The USC MACC program consists of a total of 30 credit hours (10 courses), and takes 12 months to complete for students with an undergraduate degree in accounting. Students select one of two core tracks, and complete remaining hours via elective courses. 

Core Curriculum

Tomorrow's accountants will rely on more than just a deep understanding of debits and credits. Continuously changing business trends and economic climates challenge accountants to use a wide variety of skill sets to serve their clients. Our MACC program is constantly reaching out to professionals to determine which skills you will need to succeed in today's -- and tomorrow's -- accounting profession. This is why our core MACC curriculum focuses on ensuring you will:

  • Possess a strong technical knowledge of accounting principles
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills to: 
    - Identify client problems, issues and opportunities; and develop sound solutions and recommendations
    - Analyze data, identify and react to trends, and develop sound solutions and recommendations
  • Exhibit the communication skills necessary to interact well with clients, coworkers, and other professionals. 

Program Tracks

Students in the MACC program must select one of two tracks and complete the degree requirements for that track:

  • Business Measurement and Assurance (BMA) 
    - Provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills for positions in auditing, IT audit, risk assurance, advisory services, financial reporting, and more.
  • Taxation (TAX)
    - Provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills for positions as tax accountants in public accounting and industry.

Specializations and Elective Courses

Outside of our core MACC curriculum, we encourage you to pursue your own professional and academic interests with elective courses. We have pre-approved electives in accounting, marketing, management, international business, and management science. Additionally, you can take virtually any graduate-level course offered at USC-Columbia as an elective -- including study abroad courses.

We are not a lock-step program that forces students through the same classes. We provide two tracks to differentiate our core programs between taxation and non-taxation students, but our goal is to help you explore different business concepts; interact with different types of business people/students; and, further your targeted professional specialization or career path.

We know this leaves you with a lot of choices, so we have created elective groups, or as we call them “specializations,” to help you focus in on what you really want to learn. Additionally, we offer two certificate programs that allow our students to graduate with both a MACC degree and a certificate in their interest area. Both specializations and certificate programs can be completed within the traditional 30 credit hour MACC program.


  • CPA Exam Preparation
  • International Business
  • Advisory - Consulting Services
  • Advisory - Transaction Services
  • Managerial Accounting (CMA)
  • Small Business/Firm

Certificate Programs:

  • Systems/IT - Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - SAP TERP10 Certification
  • Business Analytics
More information on our specializations and certificate programs can be found here.

Professional Exam Competency Requirement

To complete our program, you are required to complete our Professional Exam Competency Requirement (PEC). The PEC is completed by either passing all or parts of the CPA exam, or by passing all or parts of our simulated CPA exam online through Gleim.  

Prerequisite Courses

You are not required to have an undergraduate degree in accounting to be admitted into our MACC program. We have two categories of required prerequisite courses: business core and upper level accounting. Most accounting undergraduates will satisfy all of our prerequisite requirements. If you are missing prerequisite courses prior to entering our MACC program, you will be required to complete these courses in addition to the 30 MACC program credit hours (10 courses). Please note that taking prerequisite courses may extend your MACC program beyond our traditional 12-month completion cycle.

Business core prerequisite courses

Broad business courses essential for the accounting profession (including passing the CPA exam):

  • MATH 122 - Business Calculus (If you have not previously taken ECON 221 and 222)
  • ACCT 225 - Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • ACCT 226 - Introduction to Managerial Accounting
  • ACCT 324 - Survey of Commercial Law
  • ECON 221 - Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 222 - Principles of Macroeconomics
  • MGSC 291 - Statistics for Business & Economics
  • FINA 363 - Introduction to Finance
  • MGMT 371 - Principles of Management
  • MKTG 350 - Principles of Marketing

It is highly recommended that all business core classes be taken at a four-year institution. All courses at or above the USC 300-level must be taken at a four-year institution.

Upper level accounting prerequisite courses

Technical accounting skills typically learned via undergraduate accounting program:

  • ACCT 401 - Financial Accounting I (Intermediate I)
  • ACCT 402 - Cost/Managerial Accounting I (Intermediate Cost/Managerial)
  • ACCT 403 - Tax I (U.S. Individual Income Tax)*
  • ACCT 404 - Accounting Systems I
  • ACCT 405 - Financial Accounting II (Intermediate II)*
  • ACCT 406 - Auditing I*

Accounting course descriptions can be found on the Accounting Courses page. Click on the course title to view a sample syllabus.

All upper level accounting prerequisites must be delivered in the classroom to satisfy the prerequisite requirements. Courses taken on-line or by distance education will not be accepted. *ACCT 403, ACCT 405 and ACCT 406 must be taken at an educational institution in the United States. **If an undergraduate institution has three intermediate financial accounting courses, then it is likely that all three of these courses will be required to meet the ACCT 401 and ACCT 405 prerequisite requirement.

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