United States Taxation Graduate Degree Programs & Schools
Taxation graduate programs teach advanced concepts of accounting and law as it applies the field of taxation. Students may develop a theoretical background and technical expertise in multiple areas including partnerships, corporate tax, international tax, trusts, compensation, IRS code, and estate taxation. In addition to the basics of taxation, taxation graduate programs might cover procedural areas of tax law, as well as research and planning methods. This knowledge may be applicable to several fields, including corporate, public, non-profit and governmental accounting.
Types of Taxation Graduate Programs
Thinking about going into tax accounting, but aren’t quite sure where to start? Taxation may be one specialization within the field of accounting, but it encompasses a variety of different concentrations and focus areas. One important factor in choosing a program that works for you might be identifying your needs and career goals.
First, taxation graduate programs may be designed for several different types of students. Some programs may suit current accountants looking to enhance their career or explore a specialty area. There might also be graduate taxation programs for students without professional experience, whether they just graduated with a bachelors in accounting or work in a related field.
Additionally, each graduate taxation program may focus on one of several specific disciplines. These can be divided up into two categories: personal and corporate taxation.
- Personal taxation may involve elements like income tax preparation for individuals, assistance during tax audits, etc. for clients at a variety of financial levels.
- Business tax, on the other hand, might be a broader category, and may encompass State and Local Tax (SALT), international taxation, sales and use tax (S&U), risk management, federal taxation, income tax
- compliance, internal audits, and more.
If you’re already working in the field, you may already be in a role that addresses one of these specific concentration areas. If this is the case, you may prefer a program that is narrowly tailored to that interest. However, more generalized taxation programs may also be available if you prefer to work on general skills as well as an overview of different taxation areas and types.
Finally, it is important to choose the level of taxation degree that is great for you. You might pursue a doctorate, certificate or masters degree in taxation. Below is an overview of each to help you narrow down your options.
Masters in Taxation Programs
Masters of taxation programs are typically two year programs with a practitioner focus. This means they often emphasize the application of tax law and theory. Most masters in taxation programs require a bachelors degree but each may be designed for students with various levels of experiences. Some may prefer applicants have professional experience and previous coursework in accounting. Others might suit those new to the field or practicing in related areas of business or law. As such, curriculm and application requirements may vary widely.
Popular Graduate Programs in Taxation
Master of Science in Taxation
Accounting - Tax Specialization
Master of Business Taxation
Certificate in Taxation
Regardless, most masters in taxation programs combine courses in theory with case studies, projects or internships. This way students might gain hands on experience and practice applying their lessons in the field. They may also need to complete a capstone project or research thesis before earning their masters degree in taxation.
Some masters in taxation programs might also be designed to help students meet CPA licensing requirements. Details on what will quality vary by state, so it's best to contact your state accounting board if this is important to you.
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Choosing a Masters Degree in Taxation
Are you ready to earn your masters degree in taxation? If so, you might have several choices to choose from, each with different areas of focus and goals. A masters degree in taxation typically falls into one of four categories.
- Master of Science in Taxation Degree: One of the most common options is the MST degree, or Master of Science in Taxation degree. These programs are designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the tax field. They might focus not only on technical accounting skills, but also on building the expertise in tax law necessary to be an effective tax accountant. Within these programs, students often can choose a concentratin, exploring a specific area of taxation through elective courses.
- MS in Accounting - Taxation Degree: You may also choose a more generalized accounting program with a taxation specialization, such as an M.S.A. (Master of Science in Accounting), M.Acc. (Master of Accountancy), or M.P.A. (Master of Professional Accountancy) degree. The specifics on these masters of taxation programs may vary widely, potentially focusing on general accounting knowledge in addition to taxation coursework, or being closer in form to the M.S.T.
- LLM in Taxation Degree: Current lawyers, accountants or those interested in law might prefer an LL.M. program in Tax. An LL.M. degree program is a master of law and typically offered by law schools. As such, coursework focuses more heavily on tax law and regulation.
- MBA - Taxation Degree: Students seeking a broader business background may wish to pursue their Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Taxation degree. These masters in taxation programs provide a core foundation of business principles. Then students explore taxation principles and their applications through a series of concentrated classes.
Additionally, many of the above masters in taxation programs (as well as other potential program offerings) may be available with focuses on a variety of disciplines. Assurance services and international taxation are just two examples. Every school may design their program differently, so it's best to read course lists and contact an admission advisor before selecting your masters degree in taxation.
Taxation Doctoral Programs
Ready to earn your doctorate in taxation? Many tax accounting professionals who choose to earn their doctorate in taxation opt for a J.D., which stands for Juris Doctor or Doctor of Jurisprudence. This is a professional doctorate of law, which is typically earned by completing law school. J.D. candidates may choose to go on to practice law, or to apply their legal knowledge of taxation in other professional settings. If you’re interested in earning your J.D. but haven’t earned your master’s yet, you might even consider dual or continuous programs, as a J.D. in taxation may sometimes be offered in conjunction with an MST or LL.M degree.
You may also be able to find some Ph.D. programs focusing on taxation or tax law. These programs might be less common, but may be great if you’d like to pursue research or teach at the university level. Typically PhDs are organized around a dissertation, allowing students to further focus their education and conduct independent research. You might also wish to look for programs where the faculty is conducting research in your area of interest, as students may be able to work as research assistants.
Most doctorate in taxation programs require a masters degree in a related area. Other application requirements may include test scores, recommendations and professional experience. Contact programs to learn more.
Taxation Graduate Certificate Programs
Tax law or taxation graduate certificate program are shorter, non-degree programs. They provide a concentrated curriculum and therefore might be a great way to build your expertise in a specific area within the field. Potential topics include SALT, federal tax, personal income tax, international taxation, or another area entirely.
Taxation graduate certificate programs might be available for successful applicants both at the master’s and post-master’s levels, and for experienced professionals and novices alike. Graduates may also be able to later apply credits towards a masters in taxation program. Contact an admission advisor if this is of interest to you.
Potential Formats for Taxation Graduate Certificate Programs
Whether you’re getting ready to earn your master’s in taxation, your J.D., or a taxation graduate certificate, great programs might be out there that support your goals and interests. But what about your schedule and learning preferences? Whether you value the structure and services of studying on campus, want the ultimate flexibility of an online program, or fall somewhere in the middle, you might be able to find a taxation graduate program that fits into your life.
On Campus Taxation Graduate Programs
On campus taxation graduate programs might be a great choice for anyone interested in the stability of a brick and mortar campus and schedule and the facilities and services that might be offered there. Local options with an easy commute from home or work, and tax schools in new and exciting locations may be available.
Studying on a brick-and-mortar campus might enable you to become a part of the community through social activities and interactions, networking opportunities, and more. While attending classes in a physical classroom, you might be able to collaborate and interact with your peers and professors, utilize resources like technology labs and libraries, and enjoy services like career counseling, academic counseling, and academic support. Additionally, some taxation schools may have partnerships or relationships with local accounting firms or professionals. This could be helpful as you pursue a career or in securing internship opportuntities. Contact individual schools to learn what resources may be available.
Online Taxation Graduate Programs
If you’re a busy working professional who needs a more flexible option, you might be looking into online taxation graduate program options. This might be a great way to fit that taxation degree into your busy life. On top of that, if you’re considering online options, you might not be limited geographically in the schools you’re able to consider.
Online programs may be offered in two formats:
- Synchronous online taxation graduate programs might be a good choice if you’re looking for an online program that maintains some of the qualities of the physical classroom. Synchronous programs may require students to log into their online course modules at specific times each week to attend activities like live streamed lectures and discussions.
- Asynchronous online taxation graduate programs might be a good option if you emphasize flexibility as a quality in your preferred programs. Asynchronous programs might allow you to complete your course requirements on your schedule, when and where works for you each week.
Additionally, some programs might combine both synchronous and asynchronous courses, allowing students to register for the types of courses that work best for them at that time.
Hybrid Taxation Graduate Programs
Torn between the benefits of campus and online taxation graduate programs? Hybrid graduate programs in taxation might be a great compromise. Hybrid programs may aim to combine the benefits of a physical campus with the flexibility found in online programs. This might be accomplished in different ways. For example, low residency programs might ask students to attend online courses, and complete other program requirements during one or several shorter on campus residencies each semester. Other programs may offer semester-long and accelerated online and on campus options together, allowing students to choose what works for them.
Take the Next Step with our List of 22 Taxation Graduate Programs
Ready to get starting finding that taxation graduate program? Whether you prefer online or on campus, master’s, doctorate, or graduate certificate programs, GradSchools.com can help you find them. If you’d like to narrow down your options a bit more, you may choose to add filters, such as your preferred program level or format, or a preferred location. Once you’re happy with your selections, start reading up on potential programs, and reach out to your favorites for more information or to get the application process started!
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St. John's UniversityMaster of Business Administration: Taxation
Southern New Hampshire UniversityMS Accounting w/conc in Taxation
Purdue University GlobalM.S. in Accounting - Tax Specialization
Villanova UniversityMaster of Taxation LLM in Taxation
Northwestern University School of Continuing StudiesGraduate Tax Program
Bellarmine UniversityMaster of Science in Taxation
University of Southern CaliforniaTaxation Programs Master of Accounting, Master of Business Taxation
Brigham Young UniversityAccounting - Tax
Seton Hall UniversityTaxation
Nova Southeastern UniversityMaster's of Taxation
University of Wisconsin - MilwaukeeTaxation (Business)
Northern Illinois UniversityAccountancy
St. John's UniversityTaxation
University of HartfordMaster of Science in Accounting and Taxation Online