Strength in Numbers: Expand Your Potential with an MPS in Accounting Degree

This accelerated, innovative curriculum provides the accounting and business expertise you need to stand out from the competition and lead with confidence.

Prepare for a successful accounting career—and for the CPA exam—with a graduate degree from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Our STEM-designated program, based in Ithaca, NY, can be completed in under a year, putting you on the fast track to professional success.

Why the Johnson School? Flexible. Personal. Versatile.

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Our highly flexible graduate program in accounting allows you to customize your academic experience with electives to meet your professional interests and career goals.

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From one-on-one advising to a Johnson School alumni network of 15,000+, you’ll receive plenty of support during and after your academic journey at the Johnson School.

Students walk on the sidewalk outside of Sage Hall with “Johnson 75th Anniversary” banners on the light posts.


Accounting is broader than you might think. With exciting, in-demand specializations in the field, this degree prepares you for a range of business functions and leadership roles.

MPS in Accounting at a Glance

In less than a year, you can build technical accounting skills, expand your financial knowledge, and prepare for success in a steady, well-paying field.

Degree Awarded

MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization


Ithaca, NY

Program Format

Full-time residential and STEM-designated

Program Schedule

10 months

Master’s in Accounting vs. MBA: What’s the Difference?

As you explore graduate business and accounting degrees, you might be wondering about the difference between an MBA and MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization. Here’s a brief explanation:

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MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization

A Master of Professional Studies (MPS) with an accounting specialization offers a rigorous business curriculum with a laser focus on accounting. The degree provides solid preparation for the CPA exam.

Woman smiling sitting in soft seating looking at another person.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is aimed at candidates with professional experience who are pivoting their careers into fields such as finance, consulting, marketing, technology, or general management.


Our STEM Designation: Benefits of a Tech-Focused Graduate Degree

Data drives decision-making. That’s why tech-savvy accounting professionals will always have an edge. Our MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization provides much more than a basic MS in accounting STEM program, providing expertise in analytics, databases, and other technologically driven tools and practices.

The STEM designation also allows international students with an F-1 visa to become eligible for a two-year extension, allowing them to work in the US in an approved STEM field for up to 36 months.

What You’ll Learn: MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization Curriculum

With a combination of a rigorous technical accounting core and a wide range of customizable electives, our innovative program prepares you for success in industries like public accounting, financial services, real estate, and consulting. Plus, built-in research projects allow you to hone valuable critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills.


Accounting Core

Build a solid foundation in key aspects of accounting and financial reporting, including:

  • Advanced Accounting
  • Auditing & Assurance
  • Federal Income Taxation
  • Financial Statement Analysis

Accounting Electives

Develop specialized accounting knowledge through electives of your choice, such as: 

  • Cost Accounting
  • Financial Modeling
  • Fraud Examination
  • Systems & Analytics in Accounting

General Electives

Customize your degree with electives from across the Johnson School; choose from options like: 

  • Finance & Ethics
  • Management Presentations
  • Leading Agile Innovation
  • Managerial Economics

Headshot of Alistair Dias.

“The MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization provided the perfect blend of finance and accounting courses such as Investments, Evaluating Capital Investment Projects, Taxation for Corporations and Partnerships, and the list goes on. The MPS in Accounting program provided me the flexibility to learn different finance courses that I have always wanted to learn and kept me focused on preparing for the CPA exam.” —Alistair Dias MPS ’23

Admissions Criteria: Is an Accounting Master’s Program Right for Me?

The MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization program is best suited for candidates with a background in business, including undergraduate-level accounting coursework.

For Cornell Students and Alumni

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration, or any other Cornell undergraduate degree plus one of Cornell’s business minors
  • Business Law and Intermediate Accounting I

For Students outside of Cornell

  • Completion of bachelor’s degree
  • Coursework equivalent to Cornell’s business minor plus Business Law and Intermediate Accounting I

Accounting Career Outcomes: Success After Cornell

After earning their master’s in accounting—or sometimes while still in the program—our students find accounting-related roles in a variety of industry sectors and organizations. A graduate degree also boosts your earning potential: Our alumni are compensated well, and they often receive considerable sign-on bonuses.

  • 99% Received Job Offers*
  • 97% Accepted Job Offers*
  • $75,692 Average Base Salary in the US
  • $5,942 Average Signing Bonus

*within six months of graduation

Our Career Management team works with recruiters from top companies to fill specialized and high-level accounting positions across the US and around the world. Our expansive alumni network connects students and graduates to accounting career opportunities.


Our Faculty: Study with Leading Industry Experts

Our MPS accounting faculty members are nationally recognized, award-winning scholars, practitioners, and educators. Their broad range of research interests and industry experience includes asset management, financial reporting decisions, auditor assurance strategies, behavioral economics, business ethics, and corporate finance.


Headshot of Professor Eric Lewis.

Our Director: Meet Eric E. Lewis

As founding director of the MPS in Management, Eric. E Lewis, PhD, oversees day-to-day operations and works closely with program faculty and staff on student recruitment, advising, and career planning. Here’s a brief snapshot of his academic and professional career:

Educational Background

Lewis earned an MBA in accounting and a PhD in engineering systems from Union College and a BS in finance from Siena College.

Industry Expertise

Prior to academia, Lewis was managing director for a boutique consulting agency and specialized in litigation support.

Research Interests

His professional and academic research focuses primarily on business valuation and cryptocurrencies.

Professional Affiliations

A member of the American Accounting Association, Lewis has served in committee and leadership roles within the organization.

The Student Experience: Living and Learning at the Johnson School

For Maria, it was the wide range of experiences her peers bring to the classroom. For Angus, it was finding his worth. And for Charles, it was being pushed out of his comfort zone while still feeling at home.

Our students continually say they value and enjoy the close-knit, family atmosphere at the Johnson School. While you’re here, you’ll build meaningful, lasting relationships with your classmates and professors.


Our Community: A Closer Look at the Johnson School

When you pursue a graduate degree at the Johnson School, you’ll have access to classes, faculty, research opportunities, student organizations, and support services from across the three schools that make up the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business—and the extensive resources of the broader Cornell community.

Why Johnson?

A community of ambitious learners. A brilliant faculty. An expansive alumni network. A host of academic support services. These are just a few of the many benefits of choosing the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Why You Should Join Johnson

Campus Tour

Stately academic buildings on a sprawling, historic campus. High-tech learning spaces in the heart of a thriving college town. Mountains, gorges, lakes, and waterfalls. Get a feel for our vibrant learning community.

Explore Campus

Industry Advantages

Our acclaimed faculty and accomplished alumni have expertise in every business function and sector. We’re especially known for our deep expertise in consulting, entrepreneurship, investment banking, and technology.

See Our Expertise

Mursilat Saquib wearing a bright blue sweater with water in the background.

“Cornell and the Johnson School have alumni presence all over the world. Even after graduation, it is incredible to witness how invested the alumni have been in my continued success and how open they are to mentor and guide me. It has been impactful to see the opportunities that have come my way due to our shared Cornell experience.” —Mursilat Saquib MPS ’22


How to Apply: MPS Admissions

If you plan to earn a graduate degree in accounting—especially if you’re leaning toward accounting STEM programs—we encourage you to explore our admissions requirements and process in more depth.


A Guide to Submitting Your Application

Applying to graduate school can feel overwhelming at times. To help you through the process, we put together an application guide, complete with a checklist of materials you’ll need to gather and submit.

Application Details: Key Dates and Deadlines

Interested in applying to the Johnson School’s graduate accounting program? The application period typically opens September 15, and you’ll have a few rounds of deadlines to consider.

  • December 1 Round One
  • January 15 Round Two
  • March 1 Round Three
  • April 15 Round Four**

**After the fourth round, applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


Financing Your Accounting Graduate Program

Johnson School graduate students typically rely on a combination of federal and private student loans to finance their education and living expenses. Cornell University’s Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment is an excellent resource for identifying the best options for your situation.

Other options for financial assistance include:

Scholarships for Accounting Students

All applicants to the MPS/master’s in accounting programs are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.

Fellowships for Cornell Undergraduates

The Reisch Fellowship sponsors a select number of Cornell undergraduate students who wish to pursue a master’s in accounting at the Johnson School. These need-based awards require a separate application.


Learn More: Get Accounting Program Information

If you’ve been considering advancing your education with a master’s degree in accounting, we encourage you to learn more about the Johnson School’s innovative, STEM-designated program. Start the conversation by requesting information today.

Request More Info

MPS Questions: More Details about Our Graduate Accounting Program

What is an MPS, and how does it differ from an MBA or master’s in accounting? What’s the program like, and what can I do after graduation? We’ve gathered answers to some of our most common questions about postgraduate accounting degrees here:

MPS Next Steps: Start Your Application Today!

You’ve explored, researched, and compared accounting master’s programs and determined that the Johnson School is a good fit for your goals. What now? We encourage you to take the next step and start the application process.

To get started, register or log in to the Cornell Graduate Admissions website.