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ECON-MPA Curriculum

The purpose of the ECON-MPA is to provide outstanding UT economics undergraduates with a graduate accounting education to broaden their knowledge and maximize their career opportunities. This goal is accomplished through a curriculum that enables these students to complete four graduate accounting courses in their senior year and reserve them for credit toward a Master in Professional Accounting (MPA) degree.

 

Framework of the ECON-MPA

Here is the general structure of the ECON-MPA:

  • Advising and Registration

    ECON-MPA participants will receive academic and career advising services from the MPA Program Office. The MPA academic advisor will assist students in adjusting their schedules to include the graduate courses during an add/drop access period. Students will be required to secure the appropriate signatures on the “Reservation of Course for Graduate Credit” form in order to reserve the graduate credit toward the MPA degree.

  • MPA Coursework

    Senior year — Students admitted to the ECON-MPA through Graduate Select Admissions will begin graduate MPA coursework in their senior year while they are still classified as undergraduates. Senior year MPA graduate coursework will be taken concurrently with the completion of the students' economics B.A. degree requirements. Subject to MPA program modifications and students' academic backgrounds, the following core accounting courses are to be completed in summer, fall and spring semesters of an ECON-MPA participant's senior year:

    Summer (senior year)

    ACC 381 – Financial Accounting

    Fall (senior year)

    ACC 387.1 – Managerial Accounting

    ACC 380K.11 – Introduction to Taxation

    Spring (senior year)

    ACC 380.4 – Introduction to Assurance Services

    These accounting core courses are the prerequisites for subsequent coursework in the MPA program. Prior to acquiring graduate standing, ECON-MPA students are limited to 12 hours of graduate coursework.  To remain in good standing in the program, ECON-MPA participants must meet same standards of satisfactory performance as other MPA degree candidates.

    Graduate year(s) — After acquiring the B. A. degree and graduate standing, ECON-MPA students may continue their graduate MPA coursework (see the Degree Requirements tab on this page for course info). With graduate standing, an ECON-MPA participant must satisfy all MPA degree and program requirements. If a student's status is changed to graduate standing but the student is not awarded his/her B. A. degree, the graduate standing will be removed and MPA degree progress will not continue until the B. A. degree is conferred.

  • Tuition

    Undergraduate tuition. As undergraduates in their senior year, entering ECON-MPA participants will pay the undergraduate tuition on all of their undergraduate and graduate coursework. ECON-MPA participants will have access to certain MPA resources including, but not limited to, academic and career advisory services, career workshops, and the MPA career fair.

    Graduate tuition. As graduate students in the MPA program, ECON-MPA participants will pay graduate tuition on their remaining MPA coursework. Please refer to the Office of Accounting's tuition and fee rates page ["Professional (excluding Law) Tuition" chart] for graduate MPA tuition rates.

  • CPA Exam

    In general, eligibility to sit for the CPA Exam in the State of Texas includes the following educational requirements (in semester credit hours):
    150 College credit hours
    30 Accounting hours at the upper-division level (including accounting theory and research)
    24 Business hours at the upper-division level (including business communications)
    3 Ethics hours (course must be pre-approved by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy)

    The ECON-MPA incorporates the 150- and 30-hour requirements above. It does not incorporate all 24 hours of the business requirement. ECON-MPA participants who wish to qualify for the CPA exam in Texas will need to complete courses beyond the B.A./MPA degree requirements if they have not completed any upper-division business coursework as an undergraduate student. Prospective ECON-MPA students should consider gaining upper-level business coursework through Business Economics or Business Foundations.

  • Graduate Standing

    Requirements

    To be eligible for graduate standing in the ECON-MPA, the participant must have completed, or be enrolled in, courses that enable completion of his or her B.A. degree by the semester of graduate standing,

    Procedure

    In the final semester of their B.A. degree, ECON-MPA participants initiate a change in status from undergraduate to graduate standing by completing a one-page Graduate Select Admissions form, which is provided by the Graduate School at the time of admission to the ECON-MPA. The completed application is submitted to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC). Form deadlines conform to graduate application deadlines set by GIAC, which are typically one month prior to the start of full-time graduate studies. Through the Graduate Select Admission Program, no application fee, transcript fee, or standardized test score requirement is associated with acquiring graduate standing in the ECON-MPA.

    Even though ECON-MPA participants are accepted into the Graduate School Select Admission Program, they are not guaranteed automatic admission to graduate school. All participants must maintain the outstanding academic record that they have established as they progress through the rest of their bachelor's degree program. Participants may be denied admission to graduate school upon completion of their bachelor's degree if their academic record falls below the standards set by the MPA program or the Office of Graduate Studies. If a student's status is changed to graduate standing but the student is not awarded his/her B.A. degree, the graduate standing will be removed and MPA degree progress will not continue until the B.A. degree is conferred.

Pre-Enrollment Requirements

The following undergraduate courses are pre-enrollment requirements for the ECON-MPA and should be completed with a passing grade prior to applying for Graduate Select Admission:

  • Differential and Integral Calculus (M 408C or the equivalent) 
    Introduction to the theory and applications of differential and integral calculus of functions of one variable; topics include limits, continuity, differentiation, the mean value theorem and its applications, integration, the fundamental theorem of calculus, and transcendental functions.
  • Sequences, Series, and Multivariable Calculus (M 408D or the equivalent) 
    Introduction to the theory and applications of sequences and infinite series, including those involving functions of one variable, and to the theory and applications of differential and integral calculus of functions of several variables; topics include parametric equations, sequences, infinite series, power series, vectors, vector calculus, functions of several variables, partial derivatives, gradients, and multiple integrals.
  • Introduction to Microeconomics (ECO 304K or the equivalent)
    Analysis of the economic behavior of individual consumers, firms, and workers; special attention to the role of markets.
  • Introduction to Macroeconomics (ECO 304L or the equivalent)
    Analysis of the economy as a whole (its organization and the basic forces influencing its growth and development); money and banking, national income, public finance, and international linkages.
  • Microeconomic Theory (ECO 420K or the equivalent)
    A survey of neoclassical and contemporary theories of the principal determinants of prices and of the role of prices in economic organization.
  • Macroeconomic Theory (ECO 320L or the equivalent)
    Theory of the determination of national income, employment, and the price level, with policy implications.
  • Economic Statistics (ECO 329 or the equivalent) 
    Methods of statistical analysis and interpretation of quantitative data in the field of economics.
  • Fundamentals of Financial Accounting (ACC 311 or the equivalent)

    Concepts and their application in transaction analysis and financial statement preparation; analysis of financial statements.

    You should complete ACC 311 (or the equivalent) prior to applying to the ECON-MPA to strengthen your admissions application. Under extenuating circumstances, if you are accepted to the ECON-MPA and have not completed this pre-enrollment requirement, you will be required to enroll in ACC 311-Fundamentals of Financial Accounting in the first 6-week summer session. ACC 311 (or the equivalent) is a prerequisite to ACC 381-Financial Accounting, a graduate-level MPA core course that is offered in the second 6-week summer session.

    Economics majors who wish to enroll in ACC 311 in the McCombs School of Business in the fall or spring should complete an Enrollment Control Petition. Traditional BBA courses that are typically restricted to McCombs business students are available to all UT students during the summer. The Business Economics Option Program is highly recommended as an option to fulfill this course requirement.

  • Fundamentals of Managerial Accounting (ACC 312 or the equivalent) 
    Introduction to cost behavior, budgeting, responsibility accounting, cost control, and product costing.

     

    You should complete ACC 312 (or the equivalent) prior to applying to the ECON-MPA to strengthen your admissions application. ACC 312 (or the equivalent) is a prerequisite to ACC 387.1-Managerial Accounting, a graduate-level course which is offered in the fall and spring semesters. Economics majors who wish to enroll in ACC 312 in the McCombs School of Business in the fall or spring should complete an Enrollment Control Petition. Traditional BBA courses that are typically restricted to McCombs business students are available to all UT students during the summer. The Business Economics Option Program is highly recommended as an option to fulfill this course requirement.

The MPA program prefers that the pre-enrollment courses be completed at The University of Texas at Austin. However, the course equivalents may be completed at any degree-granting, accredited 4-year university or community college if approved by the Department of Economics. Ideally, students should complete all required pre-enrollment courses prior to applying. However, students that are enrolled in one of the upper-division courses at the time of application (such as ECO 320L) may still apply for nomination to the ECON-MPA as long as they have already completed the other required upper-division economics courses (ECO 420K, ECO 329) prior to application.

Additional pre-enrollment requirements that do not require the completion of coursework include the following:

  • Computer spreadsheet proficiency (e.g., Excel)
  • Proficiency in English (if English is not your native language)

Applicants concerned with their competency in spreadsheet proficiency should consider enhancing their spreadsheet skills prior to enrolling in the MPA program. If an international student's scores on the TOEFL are below an acceptable level, he or she most likely will not be accepted to the ECON-MPA.

Core Courses

The MPA degree program requires the completion of 42 semester hours of coursework as outlined in the Degree Requirement Summary tab on this page.

  • Students may waive up to two core courses and reduce their MPA program to 36 credit hours (the minimum required for the degree) if the equivalent is completed at a four-year college or university prior to entering the MPA program.
  • If students complete the equivalent to more than two core courses prior to enrolling in the MPA program, an accounting or business elective(s) will be substituted for the core course(s) so that coursework is not repeated.

The completion of a minimum of 19 hours of accounting is required, including a minimum of 4 accounting courses beyond the core. Determination of any waivers or substitutions will be made during initial advising, after a student has been admitted to the MPA program. Syllabi or course descriptions may be requested for review before a waiver or substitution is approved.

Course descriptions and the basis of the waiver or substitution for each course are described below.

Core Course Descriptions

  • ACC 180C - MPA Distinguished Speaker Lyceum (1 cr.) 
    The MPA Distinguished Speaker Lyceum is a distinctive feature of the MPA program which gives students the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with outstanding professionals from accounting practice and the business community, both from Texas and across the nation. Throughout the fall, prominent representatives of accounting practice, business, and government speak to students about a variety of important issues affecting professionals today. In this way, students gain insights about professional life and current issues and topics beyond what is usually covered in textbooks. MPA students enjoy becoming acquainted with some of the people whose names appear regularly in The Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Accountancy, and similar business periodicals. Required for all MPA students.
  • ACC 381 - Financial Accounting (3 cr.) 
    Financial Accounting covers concepts and issues involved in the preparation and interpretation of financial statements and the use of this information to evaluate and control an organization. May be waived on the basis of two semesters of financial accounting, including one semester of intermediate accounting, at the undergraduate level with a grade of B or better. Please note that students who do not qualify for the Financial Accounting waiver will be required to complete two courses during the second 6-week summer session, which begins in mid July.
  • ACC 387.1 - Managerial Accounting (3 cr.) 
    Managerial Accounting discusses the origination, processing, and operational uses of accounting information for management purposes. The course integrates within a business setting the topics of cost determination, economic analysis, capital budgeting, and management and financial controls. May be waived or substituted on the basis of two semesters of managerial accounting, including cost accounting, at the undergraduate level with a grade of B or better.
  • BA 285T - Financial Management (2 cr.) 
    Financial Management examines the theory and practice of corporate finance with a focus on a corporation's investment and financing decisions. Major topics include risk and return, valuation, asset markets and market efficiency, capital budgeting, capital structure, dividend policy, and derivative securities. May be waived or substituted on the basis of two semesters of finance, including business or corporate finance, at the undergraduate level with a grade of B or better.
  • LEB 380.30 - Legal Environment of Business for MPAs (3 cr.) 
    Legal Environment of Business for MPAs enhances the students' understanding of legal processes in order that they may make effective and efficient business decisions. The course will also improve the students' skills in recognizing and managing legal and ethical risks in business decision making. May be waived or substituted on the basis of one semester of business law (taken at a U.S. college or university), which includes a background of the U.S. legal system, contract law, tort law, and agency/employment law, at the undergraduate level with a grade of B or better.
  • ACC 380K.1 - Financial Accounting Standards and Analysis I (3 cr.) 
    Financial Accounting Standards and Analysis I (Intermediate Financial) teaches students current accounting principles and their application. This course also includes the interpretation and evaluation of a company's financial statements. May be waived or substituted on the basis of two semesters of intermediate accounting at the undergraduate level with a grade of B or better.
  • ACC 380K.4 - Introduction to Assurance Services (3 cr.) 
    Introduction to Assurance Services provides a basic understanding of the audit process, while focusing on the value of assurance services and internal control from the decision-maker's perspective. May be waived or substituted on the basis of one semester of introductory auditing at the undergraduate level with a grade of B or better.
  • ACC 380K.11 - Introduction to Taxation (3 cr.) 
    Introduction to Taxation develops an understanding of the economics of taxation, a basic comprehension of federal income tax laws and the rudiments of tax research, and a framework for integrating tax planning into accounting and business decisions. May be waived or substituted on the basis of one semester of introductory taxation at the undergraduate level (taken at a U.S. college or university) with a grade of B or better.
  • ACC 380K.13 - Information Technology for Accounting and Control (3 cr.) 
    Information Technology for Accounting and Control examines networking, databases, security, the Internet, and other technology used to support management and accounting controls in all types of organizations, from start-up enterprises to the largest e-commerce firms. May be waived or substituted on the basis of one semester of accounting information systems, including coverage of business processes and accounting control systems, at the undergraduate level with a grade of B or better.

MPA Degree Requirement Summary

Core Requirements: 18-24 Hours
 Course Number Course Title  Hours 
 ACC 180C MPA Distinguished Speaker Lyceum 
 ACC 381 Financial Accounting
 ACC 387.1 Managerial Accounting 
 BA 285T Financial Management 
 LEB 380.30 Legal Environment of Business for MPAs
 ACC 380K.13 Information Technology for Accounting & Control 
 ACC 380K.1 Financial Accounting Standards & Analysis (Intermediate)  3
 ACC 380K.4 Introduction to Assurance Services 
 ACC 380K.11 Introduction to Taxation 
Financial Reporting & Assurance Track: 18 hours
Course Number Course Title Hours
ACC 380K.2 Financial Accounting Standards & Analysis (Advanced) 3
ACC 380K.7 Financial Statement Analysis 3
 ACC ______ Auditing elective 3
 ACC ______ Graduate accounting elective 3
  Two graduate business electives 6
Managerial Accounting & Control Track: 18 HOURS
Course Number Course Title Hours 
ACC 383K.2 Management Auditing & Control
ACC 387.4 Strategic Control 3
ACC 380K.12 Computer Audit/Systems Security (recommended) or graduate accounting elective 3
 ACC ______ Graduate accounting elective 3
  Two graduate business electives
Taxation Track: 18 hours
Course Number Course Title Hours 
ACC 384.1 Tax Research Methodology 
ACC 384.2 Taxation of Entities I (Corporations)
ACC 384.3 Taxation of Entities II (Partnerships)
ACC 384._ Tax topic
  Two graduate business electives
Generalist Track: 18 hours
Course Number Course Title Hours 
ACC ______ Graduate accounting elective
ACC ______ Graduate accounting elective 3
ACC ______ Graduate accounting elective
ACC______ Graduate accounting elective 3
  Two graduate business electives

The minimum number of hours for the MPA degree is 36, including a minimum of 19 hours in accounting and 4 accounting courses beyond the core. The maximum number is 42 hours.

Accounting course descriptions

ECON-MPA Coursework Example

The following is only an example. This sample plan assumes that the ECON-MPA student is not interning, achieves summer graduate standing, is pursuing either the Financial Reporting & Assurance or Taxation track, and does not waive or substitute any accounting coursework. The nature and length of a student's program may vary based on his or her background, special interests, internship and coursework opportunities, CPA examination plans, and other factors.

   
 Semester Credit Hours
 Taxation Financial Reporting
 Summer - academic year 1 (senior standing)
 ACC 381 Financial Accounting   3  3
 Fall - academic year 1 (senior standing)
 ACC 387.1 Managerial Accounting 
 ACC 380K.11 Introduction to Taxation 3 3
Spring - academic year 1 (senior standing)
ACC 380K.4 Introduction to Assurance Services 3 3
Summer - academic year 1 (graduate standing)
Financial Reporting & Assurance Track:
ACC 380K.13 Info Tech for Accounting and Control 3
Business Elective 3
Taxation Track:
ACC 380K.13 Info Tech for Accounting and  Control 3
Business Elective 3
Fall - academic year 2 (graduate standing)
Financial Reporting & Assurance Track:
ACC 180C MPA Distinguished Speaker Lyceum 1
ACC 380K.1 Financial Accounting Standards & Analysis I 3
ACC 383K._ Audit Elective 3
BA 285T Financial Management 2

Business Elective 3
Taxation Track:
ACC 180C MPA Distinguished Speaker Lyceum 1
ACC 380K.1 Financial Accounting Standards & Analysis I 3
ACC 384.1 Tax Research Methodology 3
ACC 384.3 Taxation of Entities II (Partnerships) 3
BA 285T     Financial Management 2
Spring - academic year 2 (graduate standing)
Financial Reporting & Assurance Track:
ACC 380K.2 Financial Accounting Standards & Analysis II 3
ACC 380K.7 Financial Statement Analysis 3
Accounting Elective 3
LEB 380.30 Legal Environment of Business for MPAs 3
Taxation Track:
ACC 384.2 Taxation of Entities I (Corporations) 3
LEB 380.30 Legal Environment of Business for MPAs 3
ACC 384._ Tax Topic 3
Business Elective 3
Total Hours: 42 42