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One-Year Program FAQs

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Do I need a bachelor's degree to apply?

Yes. You must have completed your bachelor's degree before you are eligible to start the Program. You may apply before your bachelor's degree is conferred, but you cannot begin the Program until after you graduate.

Are there any courses that I have to have completed before beginning the Program?

Yes. There are six fundamental accounting courses that are prerequisites for entering the One-Year MAcc Program:

  • ACCTG 211: Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making
  • ACCTG 403w: Auditing
  • ACCTG 404: Managerial Accounting
  • ACCTG 405: Principles of Taxation
  • ACCTG 471: Intermediate Financial Accounting I
  • ACCTG 472: Intermediate Financial Accounting II

If you have not completed some or all of these prerequisite courses, they are offered at Penn State University Park during the summer prior to the start of the One-Year MAcc Program. Alternatively, you can take the equivalents of these courses at another university.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to apply?

You do not necessarily need to be a U.S. citizen, however, you must be eligible to work in the United States at the time of application. This means that you must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or an F-1 visa holder at the time of application.

One Year MAcc Program

How long does the One-Year MAcc Program take?

The One-Year Master of Accounting Program lasts for one year. Coursework begins at the end of August each year and students will graduate with their degree in August the following year.

When do students begin the Program?

Students admitted are admitted to begin in the fall semester only.

Can I complete the Program on a part-time basis? Is distance learning or an on-line program available?

The One-Year MAcc Program can only be completed on a full-time basis at the University Park campus and is not available online, as of now.

I’m not interested in earning my CPA license, but I would like to earn a master's degree. Is the MAcc Program still a good fit for me?

No. You would be better suited for another master's program, such as an MBA program.

Current Penn State Students

I'm currently a junior/senior and I am interested in the One-Year MAcc Program. What classes should I take before I finish my undergraduate degree?

Juniors and seniors intending to pursue the One-Year MAcc should avoid scheduling courses that are duplicative of the One-Year MAcc curriculum (see table below) as part of their undergraduate studies.

Juniors and seniors conditionally admitted to the One-Year MAcc must not schedule courses that are duplicative of the One-Year MAcc curriculum as part of their undergraduate studies.

Undergraduate/Graduate Course Equivalents and Description
Penn State Undergraduate Course Equivalent Penn State MAcc Course Course Description
ACCTG 406 ACCTG 806 Corporate Taxation
ACCTG 432 ACCTG 432 Accounting Information Systems
ACCTG 440 ACCTG 440 Advanced Managerial Accounting
ACCTG 473 ACCTG 873 Advanced Financial Accounting
ACCTG 481 ACCTG 881 Financial Statement Analysis
ACCTG 483 ACCTG 803 Forensic Accounting
B LAW 444 B LAW 444 Advanced UCC
FIN 405 FIN 531 Financial Management

Applicants are advised to consult with Dr. Scott Collins with questions regarding undergraduate course selections.

International Students

Please know that at the time of application, you must be eligible to work in the U.S. in order to be eligible for the One-Year MAcc Program.

What does "eligible to work in the U.S." mean?

Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, must hold an F-1 visa at the time they submit an application. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or F-1 visa holders (at the time of application) are not eligible for the One-Year Master of Accounting Program and will not be considered for admission.

Can I apply for the One-Year MAcc Program and obtain an F-1 visa after I am accepted or prior to starting the program?

No. You must hold the F-1 visa at the time that you are applying to the program. Students without it will not be considered for admission.

What are the eligibility requirements for international students?

International students follow the same application process as domestic students. International students are also required to submit a TOEFL test score.

How will I be contacted about visa documentation and where can I find more information?

Once you are accepted into the One-Year MAcc Program, the University Office of Global Programs will contact you by email with a link to use to submit your visa documentation. Documentation can be express shipped via a third-party provider. The Global Programs website contains a lot of information that is helpful for international students, from financial and eligibility information to housing.

What are the financial guarantee requirements for international students?

Financial guarantee requirements can be found at the Global Programs website.

Is a three-year degree acceptable?

Penn State uses Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) to compare degree equivalents. ECE does not consider a three-year bachelor's degree to be equivalent to a four-year U.S. degree. Please check ECE's website to evaluate your degree if you have any questions.

Please note, Penn State does not accept World Education Services (WES)'s evaluations.

Starting the Application Process

How do I receive an application package?

All applications are now processed online via the GRADS portal. Therefore, there is no paper-based application.

What is the application process?

Applicants are required to complete the Graduate School's Electronic Application including remitting an application fee and submitting or uploading the required documentation.

Application Deadlines

When should I apply?

Seniors interested in the One-Year MAcc are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to receive a prompt indication of whether they are conditionally admitted to the program. As a senior, knowing whether you have been conditionally admitted will greatly assist you in choosing courses for the rest of your undergraduate studies. Conditional admits will be given a list of courses to complete as part of their undergraduate studies. Seats in the program fill quickly, so it is best to apply as early as possible.

If you are currently a junior and interested in the program, please contact Dr. Scott Collins, the One-Year MAcc Program Director, prior to applying to the program. Dr. Collins will help map out your remaining semesters and discuss the program with you prior to applying.

What are the application deadlines?

The application deadlines are listed on the Application Information page. However, because the application is comprehensive and you will be asked to submit transcripts and letters of recommendation, we recommend starting at least a month prior to the application deadline.

If you are currently a junior, you should discuss your plans with Dr. Scott Collins, One-Year MAcc Program Director, before submitting an application to the One-Year MAcc Program.

Will you consider late applications?

The electronic (GRADS) application MUST be completed by the deadline to be considered on-time. However, you may have as much as one week after the deadline for transcripts and letters of recommendation to be received. Incomplete applications will NOT be forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review.

Can I receive a refund of my application fee if my application is late?

Application fees are non-refundable.

Application Materials Needed

Where can I mail application materials?

Please have your transcripts sent to the following address:

One-Year MAcc Program
Accounting Department
Smeal College of Business
354 Business Building
University Park, PA 16802
What materials are needed to apply?

Please see the information on the Application Information page.

Can I submit my application if I am missing a required item (i.e., GMAT results, originals of my transcripts)?

We cannot proceed with evaluating your application until all materials are submitted. However, you may submit your application before our office has received all of your application materials (transcripts, GMAT, etc.). Please note that you have one week past the application deadline to have all materials submitted to our office. Otherwise, your application will not be considered for admission.

GMAT Tests

What is the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Test?

The GMAT test is a standardized test that measures the verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills of an individual applicant, which can be a predictor of an applicant's ability to be successful in a rigorous academic environment. The GMAT test is administered by [the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)](

Is the GMAT required?

The GMAT is required for admission. Official score reports must be sent directly from the reporting agency (you MUST have GMAC send your scores electronically to the One-Year Master of Accounting Program).

I need to have my official GMAT score report sent to Smeal. What is your school code?

The GMAT code is ZZ8-HD-53.

Are there circumstances in which the GMAT can be waived?

A GMAT score is required for everyone who is not a current Penn State undergraduate student. Current Penn State students with an SAT score already on file with Penn State can waive the GMAT requirement.

What is the average GMAT score for accepted students? Is there a minimum score?

Please check class statistics for up-to-date information.

If I take the GMAT more than once, which score will you consider?

We will consider the highest score.

Can I submit a GRE score in place of a GMAT score?

No. We do not accept GRE scores under any circumstances.


What is the TOEFL test?

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a test used by colleges and universities to determine English proficiency.

What is the school code to send the TOEFL to your program?

The Smeal school code for TOEFL is 2660.

I have taken the IELTS. Do I need to take the TOEFL?

Although the Admissions Committee prefers the TOEFL scores, we will accept the IELTS.

How do I know if I need to submit a TOEFL test score? Is there a waiver for the TOEFL test?

All international students are required to submit a TOEFL score, unless they have already received their bachelor's degree in the United States. Candidates who are U.S. Permanent Residents do not need to submit a TOEFL score. All others need to submit a TOEFL score.

The TOEFL requirement is not waived.

I am an international student who is in the process of completing my undergraduate degree in the U.S. I will graduate within in the next few months. Can the TOEFL be waived for me?

No. The TOEFL requirement is not waived under any circumstances. All international students are required to submit a TOEFL score, unless they have already received their bachelor's degree in the U.S.

What is the minimum TOEFL that you require? The One-Year Master of Accounting Program does not have a minimum TOEFL requirement. However, we would prefer that applicants have at least or around a score of 100 on the TOEFL.

Transcripts, Diplomas, etc.

What is required for transcripts, diplomas and/or degree certificates?

Two official transcripts are required from each university or institution attended. If the transcript is not in English, a certified translation must also be included along with the original transcripts. Send the registrar of every college or university you've attended a request for two official transcripts. International students may also be required to submit diplomas and/or degree certificates in addition to the transcripts.

I am a current or past Penn State student. Do I need to have official Penn State transcripts sent to you?

No. Current or past Penn State students do not need to have transcripts sent to our office. Also, if you took courses at another institution and transferred them into Penn State you do not need to obtain a transcript form the other institution, as it would already be on file.


Is there a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) required for admission?

There is no minimum GPA requirement, although most of our accepted students have GPAs above 3.5.

Recommendation / Reference Letters

How shall my referees submit their recommendation letter?

All recommendation letters should be submitted electronically via the GRADS application system. You will be asked to provide email addresses for your referees during the application process – please verify that the email addresses you provide are valid and correct. Emails to referees are not sent by the GRADS system until the application is submitted. You will receive an email when each reference is submitted and you can also check on references received by logging into your application. Please do not mail or email copies of your recommendation letters.

I am a current (or past) Penn State student and would like a faculty member at the Smeal College of Business to submit a recommendation letter on my behalf. How should they submit their letter?

The Accounting Department has developed an alternative evaluation form that we encourage the faculty members at the Smeal College of Business to use. The faculty member will be contacted by the Accounting Department once your application is submitted and the alternate evaluation form will be provided to them. Please continue to list the faculty member's name on your application and once the alternate form is submitted by the faculty member, your application will show it was received.

I did not attend Penn State, but can I have my recommendation letter writers submit the alternative evaluation form like the Smeal College of Business faculty members?

No. The alternative evaluation form is restricted to use by the Smeal College of Business faculty members. Please have your recommendation letter writers submit their letters on the electronic GRADS system.

How can I resend the link for the recommendation letter to my referees?

Log-in to your application. You will then see a button that says "Send Reminder" next to the names of your referees. Click on this button to resend the email to your referees.

Who should I pick to write my recommendations?

Recommendations should be from at least two people who you feel are able to present an accurate evaluation of you. Each individual will receive an automated e-mail via the online application system; therefore, it is important that you provide a valid e-mail address for each reference. Instructors and recent work or military supervisors are most appropriate. Recommendations from personal friends, relatives, academic advisers, or family acquaintances are not appropriate.

May I submit more than two recommendations? How many recommendation letters are needed?

Yes. You must have at least two recommendations for your application to be considered complete, so for this reason it is a good idea to list more than two referees in your application.


What is the cost of tuition for the Program?

There is no differential in-state vs. out-of-state tuition rate for the One-Year MAcc Program. The tuition for the One-Year MAcc Program is listed on the Admissions page.

It is possible for accounting juniors and seniors to meet the 150 credit-hour requirement without receiving a Master's degree or any other graduate degree. In the case of a Pennsylvania resident, the tuition cost of taking additional undergraduate courses, that can be used to satisfy the 150 credit-hour requirement but which are beyond those required to meet the Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, may be significantly less than the cost of enrolling in the One-Year MAcc Program.

Application Fee

How much is the application fee and what is the method of payment?

The application fee is $65 and it is non-refundable. This fee is paid on the Graduate School’s website. You will receive instructions for payment during the application process. If paying by check or money order, please make it payable to The Pennsylvania State University. International money orders or checks must be drawn on a U.S. bank. Bank-to-bank transfers are not accepted. Please note that applications without fees cannot be processed.

Can the application fee be waived?

No. The application fee covers our costs to process applications and therefore cannot be waived.

Submitted Application Status and Decisions

Will you inform me when you receive my application?

Within one to three days after completing your application, the GRADS online application system will send you a message to let you know that your application was successfully submitted and how to make changes to your application. You will also receive an email with your PSU ID and PIN approximately 48 hours later. The PSU ID is a permanent ID number assigned to you starting from the time you are an applicant and will be your ID as a student. Therefore, you will want to retain these emails for future reference.

Will you inform me if my application is complete?

If you log into your application to check the status you will be notified there if your application is complete. Please do NOT contact the Accounting Department or the Director of the Program to check your status. Once all application materials are received, your status will be updated on your application.

How many applications do you receive each year, and how many do you admit?

During the 2012-13 academic year, we received 193 applications for the One-Year MAcc Program, while 46 offers of admissions were extended.

During the 2011-12 academic year, we received 209 applications for the One-Year MAcc Program, while 32 offers of admissions were extended.

When and how will I be notified of the committee's decision?

Once your application is complete, it is prepared for the Admissions Committee for review. Decisions are communicated via email and are communicated very shortly after they are available. Due to the number of applications, please do NOT contact the Accounting Department or the Director of the Program for a decision as it is very unlikely that additional information will be available.

When do I need to make a decision if I receive an offer?

After an offer of admission has been extended, a non-refundable tuition deposit is due within 60-days to secure your seat in the Program. If the deposit is not paid within 60 days then you forfeit your offer of admission.

Can I request feedback on my application if I am not offered admission?

Due to the volume of applications we receive each year, the admissions committee does not offer feedback on individual applications.


May I reapply if I wasn't accepted previously?

Yes. Candidates who submitted an application and were not offered admission may re-apply but not for the same academic year, e.g., an applicant who was not admitted for Fall 2013 may re-apply for Fall 2014. You will want to update your application in the GRADS system (references, resume, etc.). Please do not create a new application as it will only be flagged and merged with your old application at a later date. Since this is a new review, the application fee will need to be paid again.

Do you keep applications and materials submitted in prior years?

We do not keep materials submitted in prior years, unless an applicant submitted an application. Applications and all supplemental materials (including test scores and transcripts) are kept on file for up to three years after the year of application, and then destroyed. If you submitted an application during this time, you may request that we pull your supplemental materials from your previous application for use during this application. Include your full name, PSU ID number and the admission period to which you applied.


Who can I contact with questions?

Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions to see if your question is answered here. If it is not, then you may email us at Please make sure to read the FAQs before emailing us with your question.