Program Purpose

The mission of the MAcc Tax program is to achieve excellence in tax education and to cultivate a passion for life-long learning founded on the values of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The core values of the program are:

  1. Student focus - We view students as our primary customers and our partners in learning.
  2. Scholarship - We endorse a broad definition of scholarship as evidenced by quality and peer review. Scholarship relating to discovery, integration, application, and teaching are all valued and the integration of teaching, research, and practice is encouraged.
  3. Product leadership - We identify our product as the education process experienced by our students and measure the quality of our product by the skill, professionalism, and character of our alumni. Hence we strive to be known as product leaders by graduating the best students. Being product leaders means that we are constantly innovating and continuously improving the learning process, that we exhibit creativity in teaching and pedagogical approaches, that we constantly develop and improve our competencies and skills, and that we strive to attract the best and brightest students into our programs. Product leadership requires that faculty be active in academic and professional organizations in order to be exposed to the latest developments in our fields.
  4. Stakeholder connectivity - We cultivate long-term relationships with key stakeholders, especially recruiters. Rather than pursuing one-time transactions, our goal is to understand and fill stakeholder needs better than our peer institutions. By virtue of this close relationship with, and ultimate knowledge of, key stakeholders, we build partnerships that are mutually beneficial to both the program and our stakeholders.
  5. Leadership development - We produce graduates who will become leaders in their homes, churches, communities, and organizations. These leaders are developed by providing classroom experiences that: (1) integrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ with secular learning, (2) focus on skill development as well as knowledge transmission, (3) provide a global perspective, (4) use the latest proven technology, and (5) demonstrate and develop ethical values and behavior.
  6. Communication and respect - Open communication and respect for every stakeholder guides all SOA activities. Open communication means that, where possible, both positive and negative information is shared. Full and fair disclosure allows for personal development through the process of constructive self-criticism. Our approach is to encourage, support, and facilitate excellence.

The School of Accountancy maintains a website that has additional information for applicants and other interested students:

SOA Website [1]

An overview document of our program at the School of Accountancy is located here: [2]

Curricular Structure

MAcc Tax Accounting students who enter the program from the BYU accounting undergraduate program are required to take 81 credits of coursework beginning with the Accounting Junior Core. Students must have a minimum of 150 university credits hours to receive the MAcc and BS degrees concurrently. Students in the integrated program take 24 credits in the Accounting Junior Core, 3 credits of business law, 21 credits general management, 24 credits in general tax, 3 credits of a tax elective, and 9 credits of electives, of which at least 6 must be non-accounting.

Students who apply to the MAcc Tax Accounting program with a bachelor's degree must have completed the business fundamentals, intermediate accounting 1 and 2, accounting systems, cost/managerial accounting, auditing, and introduction to corporate taxation at a college/university in the United States prior to beginning the program.  These students are required to take 33 credits, which includes 21 credits in general tax, 3 credits of a tax elective, and 9 credits of electives.

Graduate Catalog


Learning Outcomes

The MAcc Tax Accounting program is an integrated five-year program with an accounting and tax component that begins in the third academic year with the Accounting Junior Core, builds on a broad graduate education in business, and finishes with a specific focus on tax. Tax offers a dynamic and challenging career in today's society. The complexity of tax laws, coupled with their relevance to virtually every transaction in today's business environment, has generated an immense demand for tax specialists. Tax specialists are required in every phase of public accounting, business, and government. To be adaptable to changes, the student tax specialists are trained to perform tax research. The changing tax laws, regulations, and rulings make continual updating a way of life for the tax professional. Students who graduate with a MAcc Tax Accounting degree generally work for large public accounting firms, industry, government, and small practitioner firms.  The program also includes a track to prepare students to subsequently enter a PhD program at another university.

Stronger Testimony of Jesus Christ

Express a stronger testimony of Jesus Christ and of his gospel.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Faith and testimony
Hard Work

Work hard and appreciate hard work.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Competence
Master Accounting and Business Content

Demonstrate mastery of content areas of accounting and business.

Courses that Contribute: ACC 561 ACC 566 ACC 522 ACC 523 ACC 561 ACC 562 ACC 563 ACC 568
Linked to BYU Aims: Quantitative reasoning, Human knowledge
Think Critically

Think critically:  evaluate information objectively through research, data analysis, and technical knowledge resulting in high quality professional judgments.

Courses that Contribute: ACC 566 ACC 523 ACC 561 ACC 563
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly
Use Technology

Use Technology: Become comfortable and curious using technology to solve problems and enhance performance.

Courses that Contribute: ACC 523 ACC 563
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Quantitative reasoning
Interact with Others

Interact with others: Act ethically, work well with others, communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, appreciate and leverage diversity, embrace culture, and be able to lead and to follow.

Courses that Contribute: ACC 522 ACC 523 ACC 562 ACC 563
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively
Embrace Continuous Learning

Embrace continuous Learning:  Actively engage in continuous improvement, desirous and able to be self-taught and learn new concepts.

Courses that Contribute: None
Linked to BYU Aims: Lifelong learning, Lifelong service

Evidence of Learning

Direct Measures

  1. Instructor assessment at the course level. This includes: written quizzes, written exams, project evaluations, research papers, skill proficiency exams, homework that strengthens student skill development, student self-assessment and peer reviews.
  2. Placement of students in positions related to their degrees
  3. Evaluations by fellow group members
  4. Success of student groups at national competitions
  5. External assessment of student skills through participation in various regional and national competitions.
  6. An evidence room with various examples of student exams, quizzes, projects, assignments, and papers and what is an A, B, and C grade
  7. Video tapes of student presentations
  8. Placement of students in graduate degree/programs

Indirect Measures

1. Success of student groups at national competitions
2. Placement of students in graduate degree/programs
3. Pass rates on professional examinations
4. SOA rankings in published polls and surveys
5. Job and career placement data
6. Alumni surveys
7. Student focus groups
8. Student exit surveys
9. Recruiter surveys
10. Student course and instructor evaluations

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement

All students complete course evaluations at the end of every course. These reports are given to the faculty member and reviewed by the Director of the School of Accountancy. Prior to graduation, every student participates in an exit interview. Feedback is gathered from the student on class quality, the operation of administrative offices, club activities, and general input on what might be done to improve the School of Accountancy. This feedback is provided in written form to all faculty.

The tax faculty analyze and evaluate program assessment information every semester after the completion of exit interviews. A meeting is held at the beginning of the school year to determine areas of improvement for the coming year. Progress on improvements is monitored by the group leader of the tax faculty and reported to the chair of the department curriculum committee and the department executive committee as needed.  The chair of the department curriculum committee reports any changes to the college curriculum committee as needed.

The program is reviewed internally by the Associate Director, the SOA Executive Committee, and the department curriculum committee. The program is evaluated twice a year by the Board of Advisors, which is comprised of alumni and other experts external to the university. The Career Services Office provides feedback on the placement of students and observations by recruiters. This information is shared with faculty and discussed at an annual faculty retreat in August. The executive committee periodically benchmarks the program with other highly-ranked programs in accounting. All assessment information about faculty is filed in the office of the Director, and information about the students and program is filed in the office of the Associate Director.