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Public Accounting Overview

The Master of Science in Public Accounting is offered to those who want to enter or advance their careers in the profession of public accountancy as certified public accountants (CPAs). 

Our courses integrate advanced study and research in auditing, taxation and financial and management accounting with business courses in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. 

Mercy College offers a supplemental pre-requisite preparatory program for candidates with business or accounting background. 

Career Opportunities

The CPA license opens the door to a vast number of opportunities. 

  • Auditor 
  • Tax Accountant 
  • Controller 
  • Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) 
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFP) 
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) 

Degree Requirements

Requirements for matriculation and admission into the Master of Science in Public Accounting include:

  1. A baccalaureate transcript with 120 credits of prerequisite course in the specific content areas of accounting, business, and liberal arts and sciences are required for entrance into the program. Contact the Accounting Department chairperson for prerequisite course specifics. International students must submit a formal evaluation of all international coursework; an evaluation by World Education Services (WES) is preferred. TOEFL scores must also be submitted. 

  2. A detailed Professional Goals Statement stating the reasons for applying to the program and how the applicant can benefit by its completion.

  3. Interview with the Accounting Department chairperson or designee. Satisfactory GMAT score may be required for applicants with no substantive business experience or GPA below 3.0.

  4. The successful completion of the CPA or CMA Examination or an equivalent examination could be used instead of the GMAT.

$67,000+ Salary 

The Average Annual Pay 
for experienced accountants and auditors in New York is $67,000 annually.

Career & Internship Opportunities

Students at Mercy have worked at the NYS Tax Department, Pepsi, IBM, all big four accounting firms and have completed VAST internships. 

Accomplished Faculty

Our students learn from highly accomplished faculty who have extensive practical experience as former big four firm auditors, controllers and CFOs; extensive experience in CPA exam prep; and leaders and members in some of the most prestigious state and national accounting organizations like: NYSSCPA, AICPA and IIA. 



What You'll Get
The Mercy Advantage

  • Registered NYS 150 credit CPA licensure-qualifying program.
    • Prepares students to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and become a licensed certified public accountant.  
  • GMAT optional
  • Career & Internship opportunities
    • Students at Mercy have worked at the NYS Tax Department, Pepsi, IBM, all big four accounting firms and have completed VAST internships. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the prerequisites for the M.S. in Public Accounting Program?

A Bachelor's degree in accounting from an accredited institution will most likely meet the program prerequisites. If you majored in something other than accounting, you’ll most likely need to take undergraduate prerequisite accounting and/or business courses. Contact the Accounting Chairperson to apply to the prerequisite program and have your undergraduate credits evaluated.

How long is the program?

The 30-credit M.S. in Public Accounting can be completed in as few as 14 consecutive months of study. Many students begin the program each June and finish by the following July. Typically, students take two courses each 10-week term in the evening at the Dobbs Ferry campus and can complete the program in five consecutive terms.

Is the GMAT required?

The GMAT may be required for applicants with no substantive business experience or below 3.00 GPA.

What are the admission requirements for the M.S. in Public Accounting Program?

An undergraduate degree in Accounting or its equivalent and a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher

Are there any requirements for matriculation from the BS to the MS in Public Accounting program?

The Accounting Chairperson must provide written approval for students who are eligible to switch majors to the combined BS/MS program. The student must show the ability to succeed in the MS program. The matriculation between the BS and MS degrees is seamless.

How do I apply to Mercy College?

Students interested in Graduate Business programs should apply to the college through BusinessCAS.

Those interested in the Winter 2020 term should apply to the college through our Graduate Online Application.

Program Details & Curriculum


Courses are divided into sections:

Accounting Courses:18 Credits

Business Courses: 12 Credits

Total: 30 Credits

For a full curriculum listing visit our catalog. 

Program Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to:

  • Use strategic analysis and quantitative methods to solve problems
  • Make decisions utilizing knowledge of accounting, auditing, and taxation concepts and standards
  • Use oral, written, and presentation skills to communicate accounting and other business information effectively
  • Work effectively and collaboratively in teams
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the ethical responsibilities of accountants and auditors
  • Evaluate ethical dilemmas to determine the impact of possible actions on stakeholder groups
  • Conduct research, support hypotheses with evidence, and respond to challenges