Master of Professional Accountancy | Academics

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MPAc Academics

To operate effectively and meet the challenges present in today’s increasingly international and dynamic business environment, you must possess both professional acumen and well-developed technical knowledge and critical thinking skills in a wide-range of functional areas.


Through our innovative curriculum designed to emphasize both career/professional development and technical mastery, you gain the essential skills and knowledge necessary to master these challenges and to succeed at major corporations and accounting firms across the globe.

 

Featured Pathway

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The MPAc Environmental, Social, and Governance Pathway (ESG) is designed to address the accounting profession’s need for accounting graduates that understand the important elements of ESG and how they impact an organization’s strategic, operational, and reporting objectives. The pathway will provide students with the foundation they will need not only to become effective auditors, tax professionals, and advisors to firms grappling with ESG issues, but also with skill sets they can leverage to launch into sustainability accounting focused professional roles.

UCI MPAc students will begin developing their foundation in ESG in a required Advanced Audit and Assurance course in the fall. To complete the ESG Pathway, students will then be required to take the following two ESG specific elective courses:

  • Corporate Governance
  • Sustainability Accounting

In addition, students will have the opportunity to participate in various sustainability initiatives at UCI, including with the UCI Sustainability Resource Center.

Please visit our Specialized Track section below for additional information on these courses.

  • Tracks Specialized Tracks: Data Analytics in Partnership with Deloitte and Taxation
  • 2-Year Option Available for Domestic Students
  • CPA CPA Eligibility: Meets educational requirements to be licensed for the CPA

Program Structure, Courses and Tracks

Students are required to complete no less than 11 courses including 7 required courses for a minimum of 44 units.


Fall

Advanced Auditing and Assurance Services (4 units)
Financial Statement Analysis and Forecasting (4 units)
Professional Research and Communication (4 units)
Taxes and Business Strategy (4 units)
MPAc Emerging Topics in Accounting (2 units)

Winter

Advanced Managerial and Cost Accounting (4 units)
Electives (4-8 units)

Spring

Ethics in Accounting and Business (Capstone) (4 units)
MPAc Emerging Topics in Accounting (2 units)
Electives (8-12 units)

Students are required to complete no less than 11 courses including 7 required courses for a minimum of 44 units.


Year 1

Fall

MPAc 238: Advanced Audit and Assurance Services (4)
MPAc 291: Professional Research and Communication (4)
MPAc 230: MPAc Emerging Topics in Accounting (2)

Winter

MPAc 235: Advanced Managerial and Cost Accounting (4)
Electives (4)

Spring

MPAc 239: Ethics in Accounting and Business (4)
Electives (4)


Year 2

Fall

MPAc 231A: Financial Statement Analysis and Forecasting (4)
MPAc 232: Taxes and Business Strategy (4)

Winter

Electives (6)

Spring

MPAc 230: MPAc Emerging Topics in Accounting (2)
Electives (4)

 

Kirsten Smith

"I wanted a degree to show for the extra hours needed for the CPA license. Some people just take extra classes, but having a specific degree will help my credentials stand out more. Also, I wanted a more relatable postbaccalaureate education to my skill and knowledge level." - Kirsten Smith, MPAc '21

David Levinson

"Working in the tax field and running my own tax firm, my schedule could go from 40 hours a week to 80 hours a week on a dime. Having the part-time program as an option was very conducive to the chaos of tax season and allowed me to allocate time appropriately." - David Levinson, MPAc '21

Anna Hoang

"With the support from school, the program, and the advisors, I have landed my dream job." - Anna Hoang, MPAc '20

William Leonard

"Studying for the CPA became easier once I procured employment because the material I learned in class started to make more sense and easier to comprehend given I'm doing what I studied in the classroom on the job." - William Leonard, MPAc '19

Jamey (JL) Etherton

"I appreciated the help I received from the career service team, especially Gina Cho. They were very helpful with my specific concerns and questions regarding my job interviews." - JL Etherton, MPAc '19

Pathway

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Pathway

Corporate Governance

This course combines practitioner and academic perspectives on effective management of corporate boards of directors. The course helps students understand effective strategies in board governance including the selection of board members, the roles of the major board committees (nominations and governance, audit, and compensation), the legal requirements for board members, managing relations with stockholders and the CEO, and the role of the board in developing corporate strategy.

Students will improve their communication, problem solving and critical thinking skills with respect to corporate governance and related legal and ethical issues.

This course will introduce students to the:

  • History of corporate governance and an understanding of corporate governance
  • Expectations of different shareholders and stakeholders
  • Roles, responsibilities and liabilities of the board of directors and board committees
  • Structures, processes and culture of an effective board
  • Dynamics of the board relationship with the CEO and with the company’s shareholders
  • Board’s role in strategy and how boards have dealt with COVID-19
  • Corporate governance for privately held companies

 

Sustainability Accounting

This course is practical in nature and combines a focus on the fundamental principles of sustainability with a close examination of several sustainability reporting frameworks. Upon completion of the course, students will understand the challenging and often competing interests between business, regulatory, social and technological efforts occurring globally in the field of sustainability. Students will develop a working understanding of the challenges and limitations of sustainability reporting systems and the developmental opportunities that these represent.

This course will introduce students to the:

  • Develop a working knowledge of ESG reporting frameworks and sustainable business practices
  • Differentiate, critique and apply standard reporting methods of sustainability practices
  • Develop the ability to identify the economic viability of sustainable practices in the real-world environment

Read highlights and recognitions from UCI Sustainability

 


3-Course Tracks

To prepare students for the continually changing digital landscape, the MPAc program now offers a 3-course Data Analytics Track developed in Partnership with Deloitte, as well as a 3-course Tax Track.  As space is limited, admission into a track is not guaranteed. Students interested in being considered for the data analytics or tax track must complete a separate program office application in the Fall. Those accepted into a specific track are guaranteed a seat in each course within the track.  Students who have not submitted an application or not admitted into a track may still have the option of enrolling into track courses on a space available basis.

 


3-Course Data Analytics Track

Today’s evolving technological landscape is rapidly changing the way firms approach the preparation, management, and control of financial data.  The increased use and reliance on data analytics technologies within and across organizations, has created demand for professionals with specialized skill sets capable of leveraging this technology and enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of analytics in accounting and auditing applications. UCI’s MPAc Program, in Partnership with Deloitte, offers a unique Data Analytics track to address these changes in the profession. 

3-course track in Data Analytics

  • Introduction to Data Analytics: This course provides students with a broad overview of data and analytics strategies, techniques and use-cases. It prepares students to identify opportunities for analytics, build analytics while addressing supporting dependencies, such as data quality, and developing the right mindset to not “abuse” analytics. The course focuses on case study and project based learning to simulate analytics-based problem solving and business strategy development.
  • Data Analytics for Audit: This course focuses on applying data analytics in financial statement and internal control audit settings.  Specifically, students will learn to implement and interpret data analyses in the planning, testing, and evaluation stages of an audit.
  • Advanced Data Analytics: In this course, students explore emerging topics in analytics, as well as the application of data analytics in specialty settings, such as cybersecurity, forensics, etc.

 


3-Course Tax Track

Learning to identify, analyze, and accurately report tax-planning opportunities is an integral practice for domestic and international businesses alike. Through UCI’s Tax Track, students will gain a deeper understanding of how taxes influence business decisions, learn to evaluate widely used tax planning strategies, and develop the skills to apply the appropriate provisions for financial reporting.

3-course track in Taxation

  • Taxes and Business Strategy (Core): In this course, students will learn to identify, understand, and evaluate tax-planning opportunities. The focus is on tax planning concepts and the effects of taxes on business decisions rather than on detailed tax rules, compliance, or legal research.
  • Special Topics in Taxation: This course provides students with an understanding of specific hot topics associated with income tax planning strategies for domestic and global businesses.  Topics include equity compensation strategies, stock vs. asset acquisitions, research and development tax credits, choice of entity, international tax planning, net operating loss utilization and limitations, and multi-state income taxation.
  • Accounting for Income Tax: This course provides an in-depth understanding of the objectives and principles of income tax accounting for financial reporting.  Students will learn to apply the provisions of ASC 740 in the preparation of tax provisions and footnotes, including how to address uncertain tax positions and valuation allowance calculations.

MPAC 230. MPAc Emerging Topics in Accounting
Provides students with information and practical skills for success in the program and for professional accounting and business career planning, and with discussions of current issues confronting the accounting profession. 

MPAC 231A. Financial Statement Analysis and Forecasting
Develops skills to analyze corporate financial reports. Topics include profitability, risk analysis, cash flow analysis, revenue and asset recognition, and valuation. The skills are useful for students to evaluate financial reporting quality, detect earnings management, and predict firms' financial performance.

MPAC 232. Taxes and Business Strategy
Develops a student's ability to identify, understand, and evaluate tax-planning opportunities. The focus is on tax planning concepts and the effects of taxes on business decisions rather than on detailed tax rules, compliance, or legal research.

MPAC 235. Advanced Managerial and Cost Accounting
Design of cost information and systems used to plan and control organizational activities; procedures used to account for unit, process, and program costs; cybernetic evaluation of costing procedures; cost estimation, analysis, and accounting via computers.

MPAC 238. Advanced Auditing and Assurance Services
Designed to provide advanced coverage of topics and emerging issues in auditing, assurance services, and fraud detection. Provides a deeper understanding of the fundamental concepts of auditing, assurance services, and developing hot-topics within the auditing profession. 

MPAC 239. Ethics in Accounting and Business
Designed to introduce students to the intellectual principles of ethical decision making by emphasizing the theories of ethics and their application in the business, and specifically, accounting professions. MPAC capstone course with a final comprehensive exam for the program.

MPAC 291. Professional Research and Communication
Combines research of the professional accounting literature on a range of technical topics with a written communication and oral presentations of the findings.

Winter Electives

MPAc 231B

Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation II

MPAc 293

Corporate Governance

MPAc 246

Advanced Taxation

MPAc 242

Introduction to Data Analytics for Accounting

MPAc 241

Accounting Internship

MPAc 299

Individual Study

 

Spring Electives

MPAc 245

Accounting for Income Tax

MPAc 244

Data Analytics for Audit

MPAc 243

Advanced Analytics for Accounting

MPAc 290

Sustainability Accounting

MPAc 241

Accounting Internship

MPAc 299

Individual Study

I’ve wanted to be a tax professional since I entered the world of public accounting, so the specialty track was a huge bonus. It was appealing to me to dive deeper into special topics by professors who are actively still in the tax world and have had successful careers.

The University of California Irvine's Master of Professional Accountancy program has determined that our curriculum meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the state of California. We are unable to determine if the curriculum meets the educational requirements for any of the remaining U.S. states and jurisdictions. You are encouraged to contact the appropriate licensing agency for your location or wherever you desire to be licensed or certified to seek information and additional guidance.  A great place to start in understanding CPA educational requirements is the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy: https://nasba.org/. In addition to general information about the examination procedure and licensure requirements, this site includes links and contact information for each state board: https://nasba.org/stateboards/.