The Accounting degree (ACCT) prepares students for professional careers in the private and public sectors. The accounting major is designed to produce accounting professionals who can both generate and apply financial information to solve business problems. Our students learn principles of business and accounting as well as the specific skills and specialized technical knowledge necessary for success in the dynamic field of accounting. Our program emphasizes ethics, critical thinking, written and verbal communication, and effective use and understanding of technology. Our graduates are employed by the assurance, tax advisory, and consulting groups of the top accounting firms as well as Fortune 100 companies. Our proximity to the nation's capitol provides unique opportunities for our graduates to work in government and in the federal practices of public accounting firms. The accounting degree program is separately accredited by AACSB International.

Students interested in CPA certification can apply to the MSA degree to meet the 150 hour requirement for CPA certification in most states. The MSA allows students to meet the 150 hour requirement for CPA certification in most states in only nine months.

Policies

Academic Policies

Students should become familiar with the university's general academic policies in addition to those specific to each academic unit. 

E-mail

George Mason University uses only Mason e-mail accounts to communicate with enrolled students. Students should activate their Mason e-mail, use it to communicate with their school/department/program and other administrative units, and check it regularly for important information.

Study Elsewhere Policy

A student who has matriculated at Mason may transfer a limited number of hours (9 for undergraduates, 6 for graduates) of coursework in School of Business disciplines from another institution (not including registration through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area or coursework completed through the Center for Global Education). Any course attempted elsewhere must take place more than 50 miles from the George Mason University Fairfax campus.

Special instructions for School of Business students: courses that are attempted at a two-year institution may not be used to fulfill upper-level requirements. Any course that a student wished to transfer to fulfill major or graduate-level course requirements in the School of Business must be attempted at an institution accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

For additional information, see AP.1.4.2 Permission to Study Elsewhere.

Undergraduate Internship Policy

The School of Business recognizes the importance of experiential education in both learning to apply theory to practice and positioning students for success in their careers.  Because the School of Business is committed to supporting students' professional success, the School requires that all student internships for credit be registered with the School of Business as either BUS 492 Undergraduate Internship or ACCT 492 Internship in Accounting. Students may enroll in a maximum of 6 credits for these courses. For students in catalog years Fall 2016 and beyond, one internship course may apply to the major, and a second internship course would apply as elective credit. For students in catalog years prior to Fall 2016, a maximum of 6 credits of internship may apply to general electives.

Termination from the Major

A grade of C or higher is required in each of the School of Business listed core courses. Students will not be permitted to make more than three attempts to achieve a C or higher in the following School of Business core courses: ​

Those who do not successfully complete these core courses within three attempts will be terminated from their major and will not be eligible to receive a degree from the School of Business. Students terminated from the School of Business are prohibited from enrolling in any School of Business course. Students terminated from the School of Business are permitted to declare a business minor. For more information about this, see AP.5.2.4 Termination from the Major.

University Consortium

Students should review university policies regarding the University Consortium under Special Registration Procedures in the Academic Policies section of this catalog. Students who have attempted or failed a course at Mason are not permitted to take the equivalent course through the consortium under any circumstance. All consortium registration requests must be submitted to the dean's office at least 3 weeks prior to the first day of classes for the relevant semester at Mason.

Any consortium course that a student wishes to register for to fulfill major or graduate-level course requirements in the School of Business must be attempted at an institution accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Undergraduate Course Overload Policy

The School of Business recommends that undergraduate students attempt no more than 18 credits in an academic semester and no more than 14 credits in a summer term. Students wishing to attempt more than 18 credits must submit a Permission to Overload form to their academic advisor.

To be eligible for a course overload, a student must fulfill all of the following criteria:

  • At least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at Mason
  • Have completed all courses successfully in his/her previous semester with no Fs or incompletes (IN)
  • Complete the Permission to Overload form and obtain an academic advisor's signature

Freshmen and transfer students in their first semesters are not given permission for overloads as they have yet to establish an academic record at George Mason University.

If approved for an overload, the student is responsible for adding the additional class(es) and paying for the related tuition by the official university deadlines.

Appeals Process

The School of Business strives to maintain policies and procedures that are consistent with those of the University, as well as in the best interest of our students. If you have any questions concerning a particular policy or procedure, please contact the Office of Student Success & Academic Services, Room 008 of Enterprise Hall (703-993-1880) or visit business.gmu.edu.

Courses Excluded from any School of Business BS Degree

SWE 401Internship Reflection1
MUSI 394Ethnomusicology Internship1-4
COMM 450Internship in Communication3
FAVS 450Internship in Film and Video Studies3
GOVT 480Internship3
MUSI 496Internship2-6
CONF 370Internship Field Experience1-9
PHIL 306Philosophy Internship3
RELI 426Religious Studies Internship3
ARTH 393Art History Internships3-6
GCH 498Global and Community Health Internship3,6
GAME 491Internship3-4
HAP 498Health Administration Internship (Mason Core)4
HDFS 499Advanced Internship Analysis in Human Development and Family Science3
EVPP 494Internship1-3
ENGH 459Internship1-3
MUSI 395Teaching Internship1-4
INTS 290Internship1-6
INTS 390International Internship1-6
INTS 490Internship1-6
ECON 498Internship3-6
ASTR 409Astronomy Internship3
SPMT 490Internship (Mason Core)12
TOUR 490Hospitality, Tourism, and Events Management Internship (Mason Core)12
CLIM 409Research Internship3
CHIN 490Internship in Chinese Studies1-9
CONS 498Internship1-3
THR 455Theater Education Internship6-12
AFAM 490Internship2-6
KINE 490Kinesiology Internship III (Mason Core)12
AMGT 489Internship in Arts Management1-4
HDFS 498Internship and Analysis in Human Development and Family Science3
ANTH 495Internship1-6
PRLS 490Recreation Management Internship (Mason Core)12
GGS 480GGS Internship1-3
SPAN 490Internship in Spanish1-6
AVT 489Internship in Art and Visual Technology1-6
USST 490Internship3
WMST 400Internship in Women and Gender Studies1-3
CDS 491Internship1-3
HHS 480Research Internship in Health and Human Services3
CRIM 480Internship6-12
HIST 399Internship1-9
RHBS 490RS: Clinical Research Internship3
LAS 490Internship1-6
HAP 480Research Internship in Health and Human Services3
KINE 341Kinesiology Internship I3
SOCW 480Research Internship in Health and Human Services3
MUSI 495Internship in Music Education (Mason Core)6-12
KINE 441Kinesiology Internship II3
PHYS 409Physics Internship3
HHS 492RS: Internship in Clinical Research3
SOCI 416Internship in Sociology1-6
FRLN 490Internship in Foreign Language Studies1-6
ENGR 395Engineering Internship3
GEOL 480Internship1-3
AVT 453Professional Practices3
CVPA 489Field Experience in the Arts3-6
GLOA 495Global Experiential Learning1-18
KINE 330Seminar in Kinesiology3
ECED 490Internship in Early Childhood Education1-6
FRSC 406Forensic Intership3

Banner Code: BU-BS-ACCT

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 120

School of Business students pursuing a BS degree must complete a minimum of 120 credits, including the Mason Core requirements, business foundations, business core and major requirements. In addition, the following requirements must be met:

  • A minimum of 45 credits at the 300- or 400-level.
  • A minimum of 30 credits of School of Business core and major courses at Mason.
  • At least 9 credits required for the specific major and BUS 498 Capstone Course: Advanced Business Models (Mason Core) taken at Mason.
  • A grade of C or higher earned in the business foundations, business core and major requirements.

Students should carefully examine prerequisites for School of Business courses. Students may be removed from a course if they enroll without having fulfilled the prerequisites.

Mason Core Requirements

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed below. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

School of Business Requirement
Additional credit of:
Natural Science 11
Foundation Requirements
Written Communication6
Oral Communication3
Core Requirements
Arts3
Literature3
Natural Science 28
Western Civilization/World History3
Total Credits27
1

The School of Business natural science requirement must be fulfilled by completing two 4-credit laboratory sciences.

2

School of Business students required to complete 8 credits of natural science by completing two 4-credit laboratory sciences.

Note:

Remaining Mason Core requirements are fulfilled with major course work.

Business Foundations

ACCT 203Survey of Accounting3
or ACCT 204 Honors Survey of Accounting
BUS 100Business and Society (Mason Core)3
BUS 103Develop Professional Skills I: Foundational Elements3
BUS 200Global Environment of Business (Mason Core)3
BUS 210Business Analytics I3
BUS 310Business Analytics II3
ECON 103Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
ECON 104Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
Select one of the following: 13-4
Introductory Calculus with Business Applications (Mason Core)
Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)
Analytic Geometry and Calculus II
Applied Calculus
Total Credits27-28
1

MATH 108 Introductory Calculus with Business Applications (Mason Core) or MATH 113 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core) satisfies the Mason Core quantitative reasoning requirement.

Business Core

A grade of C or higher is required in each of the School of Business core courses listed below. Students will not be permitted to make more than three attempts to achieve a C or higher in the following School of Business core courses: ACCT 303 Accounting for Decision Making or ACCT 330 Financial Accounting I, BULE 303 Legal Environment of Business, BUS 303 Develop Professional Skills II: Advanced Elements, FNAN 303 Financial Management, MGMT 303 Principles of Management, MIS 303 Introduction to Business Information Systems (Mason Core), MKTG 303 Principles of Marketing and OM 303 Operations Management. Those who do not successfully complete these core courses within three attempts will be terminated from their major and will not be eligible to receive a degree from the School of Business. Students terminated from the School of Business are prohibited from enrolling in any School of Business course. Students terminated from the School of Business are permitted to declare a business minor. For more information about this, see AP.5.2.4 Termination from the Major.

ACCT 330Financial Accounting I3
BULE 303Legal Environment of Business3
BUS 303Develop Professional Skills II: Advanced Elements3
FNAN 303Financial Management3
MGMT 303Principles of Management3
MIS 303Introduction to Business Information Systems (Mason Core) (Satisfies Mason Core Information Technology requirement)3
MKTG 303Principles of Marketing3
OM 303Operations Management3
Total Credits24

General Electives

General electives may be selected from any University or School of Business course, except courses designated for the Business minor (MBUS). Credits awarded as Associate Degree Elective Credit (ADEC) as part of a student's transfer evaluation are also excluded from general electives.

Select 18-19 credits of electives18-19
Total Credits18-19

Major Requirements in Accounting

Required Courses 1
ACCT 311Managerial and Cost Accounting3
ACCT 331Financial Accounting II3
ACCT 332Financial Accounting III3
ACCT 351Taxation and Managerial Decision Making3
ACCT 361Accounting Information Systems3
ACCT 461Assurance and Audit Services3
Electives
Select one of the following electives: 23
Accounting in a Global Economy
Financial Statement Analysis
Advanced Managerial Accounting
Advanced Financial Accounting
Advanced Federal Taxation
Honors Seminar in Accounting
Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting
Seminar in Accounting
Internship in Accounting
Independent Study
Commercial Law
Advanced Managerial Accounting 3
Advanced Financial Accounting 3
Identifying and Resolving Advanced Issues in Financial Accounting 3
Fraud Examination 3
Identifying and Resolving Advanced Issues in Taxation 3
Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting 3
Professional Accounting Colloquium 3
Directed Studies in Accounting 3
Special Topics in Accounting 3
Total Credits21
1

A grade of C or higher is required in each of the upper-level accounting major courses listed below.  Students will not be permitted to make more than three attempts to achieve a C or higher in the following required Accounting courses: ACCT 311 Managerial and Cost Accounting, ACCT 331 Financial Accounting II, ACCT 332 Financial Accounting III, ACCT 351 Taxation and Managerial Decision Making, ACCT 361 Accounting Information Systems, and ACCT 461 Assurance and Audit Services.  Those who do not successfully complete these required courses within three attempts will not be eligible to receive a degree in Accounting from the School of Business. Students terminated from the BS Accounting program are prohibited from enrolling in any Accounting course.

2

Students who anticipate taking the CPA, CMA, CIA, or other professional exam should consult the applicable regulations and meet with their advisor. State regulations regarding professional examinations may dictate course selections.

3

Students in the MSAccel program and select high performing undergraduates may take graduate courses for undergraduate credit.  Enrollment in a graduate level course in not guaranteed.  Please contact an academic advisor for additional information.

Capstone

Students must successfully complete all Business Core courses to be eligible to enroll in BUS 498 Capstone Course: Advanced Business Models (Mason Core).

BUS 498Capstone Course: Advanced Business Models (Mason Core)3
Total Credits3

Second Majors in Accounting

Students declaring a second major in Accounting must complete the 18 required courses for the major in addition to ACCT 330 Financial Accounting I

Second Major Requirements

ACCT 330Financial Accounting I3
ACCT 311Managerial and Cost Accounting3
ACCT 331Financial Accounting II3
ACCT 332Financial Accounting III3
ACCT 351Taxation and Managerial Decision Making3
ACCT 361Accounting Information Systems3
ACCT 461Assurance and Audit Services3
Total Credits21

Honors in the Major

The School of Business Accounting Honors Program provides highly motivated students majoring in accounting with an enriched academic experience integrating curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular development.  Admission to the Honors Program is by invitation only.  Students who have been found responsible for an Honor Code violation are not eligible for the program.

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and 3.5 GPA in ACCT major.
  • Two academic/professional references.
  • Once admitted to the program, students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 will be dropped from the program.

Curricular Requirements

  • ACCT 330 Financial Accounting I with an A- or better.
  • A grade of B or better in Business Core curriculum courses: BULE 303 Legal Environment of BusinessBUS 303 Develop Professional Skills II: Advanced ElementsFNAN 303 Financial ManagementMGMT 303 Principles of ManagementMIS 303 Introduction to Business Information Systems (Mason Core)MKTG 303 Principles of MarketingOM 303 Operations Management.
  • Honors students must graduate with a 3.0 cumulative GPA and 3.5 GPA in the major.

Co-Curricular Requirements

The student must complete ONE of the following in addition to the curriculum requirements:

  • ACCT 462 Honors Seminar in Accounting or a 600-level ACCT course.
  • Study abroad (e.g., Aachen Dual Degree, Oxford Honors, China, South America).
  • Internship (ACCT 492 Internship in Accounting) Internships where no credit is earned also qualify.
  • Significant work experience (e.g., an experience that is comparable to an internship).
  • Research paper/Thesis as an independent study (ACCT 499 Independent Study) course. (e.g., faculty research, Mason undergraduate apprentice program, QEP).

Extra-Curricular Requirements

  • Attendance at Honors Events, as determined by the Honors Program Director.
  • The student must show a high degree of engagement in a School of Business student organization, preferably in a leadership role.

Requirements for Students to Obtain the Honors Designation

  • Honors students must meet all curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular requirements mentioned above at graduation.

Accounting, BS/Accounting, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified Mason Accounting majors may apply to the accelerated master's degree program and obtain both Accounting, BS and Accounting, MS degrees after satisfactory completion of a total of 144 credits. Graduates will be exceptionally well-prepared for professional school or a PhD program in accounting or a related discipline.

In the accelerated program, six credits of ACCT 600-level courses can be used to meet both bachelor's and master's degree requirements. These six credits will replace six credits of general electives in the student's undergraduate program. Students in the Accelerated MSA program may take any 600-level courses while an undergraduate.

For policies governing all accelerated degree programs, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

Application Requirements

Applicants to accelerated master's programs must have completed at least 75 credits that apply to their undergraduate degree (with at least 24 credits earned at Mason).

Students submit an application online through the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Admission requirements are as follows:

  1. A minimum GPA of 3.00 in at least three accounting courses (e.g. ACCT 330 Financial Accounting I, ACCT 331 Financial Accounting II and ACCT 332 Financial Accounting III) with no grade less than a B- in those accounting courses.1
  2. Review and approval by the MSA program director. 

GMAT is not required.

Interested students should contact the MSA program office for more details about the application process.

1

Excluding ACCT 203 Survey of Accounting

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

On completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, the student submits the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form and is admitted to graduate standing. As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the program director. Permission to take a graduate course for reserve graduate credit is normally granted only to Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation. To apply these credits to the master's degree, students must request that the credits be moved from the undergraduate degree to the graduate degree using the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.