University of Virginia
The Rotunda at U.Va.
2003-2004
GRADUATE RECORD
Graduate School of Commerce
General Information  |  Admission and Financial Aid  |  Financial Aid Information  |  General Requirements  |  Degree Programs  |  Faculty
Ernst & Young Account Program
Master of Science in Accounting - Tax Consulting
M.S. Accounting Course Descriptions
Master of Science in the Management of Information Technology

Degree Programs

Ernst & Young Account Program

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The Graduate School of Commerce, in partnership with Ernst & Young, LLP, offers a unique, customized accounting program for students who want to earn their master's degree while working for Ernst & Young. Applicants are recruited for the program by Ernst & Young. Upon admission by the McIntire School's admissions committee, students also become employees of Ernst & Young. For additional information, please visit the Ernst & Young website at www.ey.com/careers/masters.


Master of Science in Accounting - Tax Consulting

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The Master of Science in Accounting—Tax Consulting is an innovative and rigorous program that provides students with a deep and comprehensive understanding of the tax law and of how strategic tax planning can facilitate the achievement of the personal, investment, and business objectives of individuals and organizations. In addition, students are challenged to develop a functional awareness of the context within which competing tax strategies must be evaluated including the underlying business and legal issues, economic ramifications, and financial statement effects associated with each alternative. The program equips its graduates with the technical knowledge, the strategic insight, and the broad array of core competencies required to successfully pursue productive and fulfilling careers in tax consulting.

The Master's Program is designed to meet the needs and objectives of both traditional full-time graduate students and working professionals. The program is conducted in an executive format on the historic grounds of the University of Virginia over a period of 12 consecutive months. Classes begin the last week of May. After this first 5-day session, classes meet every other Thursday, Friday, and Saturday throughout the summer, and on alternate Fridays and Saturdays throughout most of the academic year [September-May]. A second 5-day session is conducted in early January. In order to accommodate the special needs of working professionals, significant breaks occur during the federal income tax filing deadline and during tax season.

Program Prerequisites Students entering the program are expected to have completed the following undergraduate courses:

  • Introduction to Accounting I and II
  • Intermediate Accounting I
  • Federal Taxation I (Principles of Taxation for Business and Investment Planning)
  • Federal Taxation II (Taxation of Corporations, Partnerships and Estates) is strongly recommended.

Admission Requirements Admission to the Master of Science in Accounting—Tax Consulting Program is highly competitive. Prior to the matriculation in the Master's Program, candidates must have earned a bachelor's degree with a successful GPA from an accredited collegiate institution and show high promise for success at the graduate level. Other factors considered for admission include letters of reference, strong performance on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), honors, awards, and extracurricular activities. Relevant work experience, if applicable, is also considered. International students whose first language is not English must also submit a TOEFL scores. A $40 application fee is required which can be paid online with the application. If accepted, a non-refundable deposit of $500 will be required and is credited toward the first tuition payment. For more information or to access the online admissions services, please visit the website at or contact:

Office of Graduate Admissions
P.O. Box 400173
McIntire School of Commerce - University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4173
(877) 349-2620 [toll-free]
e-mail: msaccounting@virginia.edu

Grading Policy Grades are awarded only to those students who are registered for, and who complete a course for, credit. The letter grade symbols used for grading graduate students in the Accounting program are: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F. Students are required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 to remain in the program and graduate. All courses are on a credit basis only.

Note: A student who earns six credit hours of sub-standard performance ("C") is placed on probation; a probationary student who earns one additional grade of C is dropped from the program. A student who receives of non-performance ("F") is dropped from the program.

Course Structure, and Faculty Please refer to the website at www.commerce.virginia.edu.


M.S. Accounting Course Descriptions

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GCOM 731 - (3)
Strategic Business Advising and Communication

This course is designed to help students develop basic advising competencies while exposing them to the dynamics of strategy, process, technology, and change management advising. The course is structured to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge, simulated experience, and active discussion of three different topics relevant to the total advising experience: (1) the advising engagement lifecycle, (2) various methodological approaches and tools used by advisors in structuring and solving clients' problems, and (3) strategic-thinking and behavioral techniques that facilitate the advising process. Time is also devoted to the active listening, feedback, coaching, constructive conflict, and meeting facilitation skills that make effective communication possible.

GCOM 732 - (1 1/2)
Accounting Policy

The objectives of this course are: (1) to examine accounting policy making at the standard setter (FASB) and regulator (SEC) levels and at the individual company level; (2) to examine the dynamics among corporations (preparers), the accounting profession (auditors), and users of financial statements in accounting policymaking; and (3) to enhance [through case discussions of decisions in financial reporting] the ability to evaluate accounting conventions, particularly with regard to how those decisions reflect economic reality, quality of earnings, and the company's strategies. A major research project requires students to analyze and evaluate a company's accounting policy choices. The specific topics include: FASB's conceptual framework; business strategy and accounting strategy; earnings management; quality of earnings; restructurings; intangibles; research and development; software expenditures; environmental liabilities; contingent liabilities and other liability issues; and interim reporting.

GCOM 733 - (1 1/2)
Business Risk and Business Controls

The objectives of this course are: (1) to understand the various risks that a firm faces in a global economy that may prevent it from achieving its business objectives; (2) to understand how an integrated control framework can be developed to monitor risk; and (3) to understand some consultative methodologies for undertaking a risk and control study of a firm. Numerous cases are discussed. The specific topics include: risk framework; control framework; value chain analysis; critical performance factors; building an ethical climate; crisis management; virtual corporation and risk management; risk and control debacles, and risk and control issues in the marketing function.

GCOM 741 - (3)
Research, Analysis, Writing, and Communication

This course is designed to equip students with the special investigative skills, and the technical tools, techniques, and insights required to analyze, interpret, summarize, and present complex financial, tax, accounting, and business related issues in a manner that is both understandable and supported by documentary evidence. This course has been designed to expose students to the various statutory, administrative, and judicial sources of the tax law. Case studies are used throughout the course to assist students in developing and refining their proficiency in identifying issues, locating and interpreting pertinent authority, and effectively and professionally communicating their conclusions. Students learn how to use several commercially available research tools [LEXIS/ NEXIS, RIA CheckPoint, etc.], analytical tools [e.g., financial modeling tools and simulation tools], and presentation tools more creatively, more efficiently, and more effectively. This course will assist students in developing and refining problem recognition skills and analytical and legal reasoning abilities. It places considerable emphasis on the development and refinement of effective oral and written communication skills. The course contains short modules on tax procedure, leadership, teamwork, and business ethics.

GCOM 742 - (2)
Tax Jurisprudence: Pervasive Tax Doctrines and Their Practical Application

This innovative course promises to be of interest and immense practical value to all tax professionals—regardless of their areas of practice and specialization. It examines the tax law from a nontraditional perspective: It analyzes the evolution and development of each of the statutory and judicial doctrines that collectively give rise to the "conceptual framework" of the U.S. federal income tax law and then illustrates their practical application to a host of sophisticated and contemporary fact patterns. These familiar doctrines have broad practical application throughout virtually all areas of federal income taxation. They include: the "realization" doctrine, the "assignment of income" doctrine, the "claim of right" doctrine, the "Arrowsmith" doctrine, the "functional equivalence" doctrine, the "functionally unrelated" doctrine, the two "tax benefit" doctrines, the "substance over form" and "step transaction" doctrines, the "annual accounting period" concept, "legal transition," and several others. One of the objectives of this course is to arm students with theoretical and practical insights that will measurably enhance their ability to (1) to understand, retain, and apply the tax law; (2) to more effectively identify the tax issues lurking in a given set of facts; and (3) to develop more creative and credible solutions to the problems or opportunities that these tax issues create.

GCOM 743 - (3)
Tax Strategies for Limited Liability Companies and Other Conduit Entities

This case-oriented, transaction-based course addresses the various legal, business, and tax issues arising in connection with the start-up of new business and with the formation, operation, distributions, reorganization, and termination of liability companies, partnerships, S corporations and other conduit entities [e.g., real estate investment trusts and mutual funds]. The course provides in-depth coverage of the technical rules of Subchapters K and S and places special emphasis on the identification and implementation of tax-planning strategies available to conduit entities and their owners. The course contains modules on entrepreneurship and accounting for partnership transactions.

GCOM 744 - (4)
Tax Strategies for Corporations and Shareholders

This case-oriented, transaction-based course addresses the various business, tax, and accounting issues arising in connection with the formation, operation, and termination of domestic corporations and their shareholders. The course provides in-depth coverage of the technical rules of Subchapter C, and places special emphasis on the identification and implementation of tax planning strategies available to corporations and their shareholders.

GCOM 745 - (5)
Corporate Mergers, Acquisitions, Divisions and Recapitalizations

This eclectic, case-oriented, transaction-based course addresses the various financial, tax, and accounting issues arising in connection with corporate mergers, acquisitions, divisions, and recapitalizations. It presents a detailed introduction to the qualitative and quantitative valuation techniques used in analyzing proposed transactions. Students are exposed to the vast array of legal, tax, and accounting issues that arise in connection with negotiating, structuring, closing, and reporting these transactions and how these various factors impact corporate value. Tax due diligence and financial statement analysis are also covered.

This course also examines the conceptual themes and the technical rules that govern the filing of consolidated tax returns [and compares and contrasts the those rules with the generally accepted accounting principles that govern the preparation of consolidated financial statements]. SFAS 109 (tax provision) is also covered in this course.

GCOM 746 - (3)
Tax Strategies for the Executive and the Entrepreneur

This is an eclectic course that addresses the federal income, estate, and gift tax issues and strategies that arise in connection with executive compensation [stock options, nonqualified deferred compensation strategies, etc.], planning for the death or incapacity of the owners of a closely held business [buy-sell arrangements, succession planning, etc.], gratuitous inter vivos and testamentary transfers of large wealth. The course provides in-depth coverage of federal estate and gift taxes, the generation-skipping transfer tax, and the use of trusts. Related business issues [nontax aspects of executive compensation and business succession planning] and related financial accounting principles are also covered.

GCOM 747 - (4)
International Business and Investment Transactions

This eclectic, case-oriented, transaction-based course addresses the various financial, accounting, and tax issues arising in connection with a wide range of international business and investment transactions. It presents a detailed introduction to international finance [e.g., accessing international financial markets, managing foreign exchange risk, and using various financial instruments], and comprehensive coverage of international taxation and tax planning strategies [including transfer pricing, foreign tax credit planning, Subpart F, etc.]. The course also contains a module on U.S. accounting principles applicable to multinational transactions and operations, and on the managerial accounting aspects of control systems for multinational business operations. Students are exposed to international accounting standards promulgated by the International Accounting Standards Committee. The tax and accounting systems of several countries are compared and contrasted with those of the United States. The course also contains a module on state and local taxation.

GCOM 751 - (1-3)
Independent Study and Supervised Research

Students taking this course will explore areas and issues of special interest that are not otherwise covered in the graduate curriculum. Research is conducted under the supervision of a professor chosen by the student. This course is offered at the discretion of the supervising professor. The Director of the Master's Program in Accounting must approve a requesting student's written proposal prior to registration for the course. In addition to other requirements imposed by the instructor, the course requires a final paper of publishable "law review" quality be completed and submitted prior to the end of the semester.

GCOM 752 - (1-3)
Overseas Study: International Business, Finance, and Taxation (Elective)

This course begins with a directed self-study program on international business and cultural issues that is designed to prepare students to get the most out of their overseas field trips. In mid-May, students leave the United States for 3 weeks of travel overseas. During this period students travel to several cities and meet with corporate executives, high-ranking government officials, accounting and tax professionals, etc. This worthwhile program has been an unqualified success in each of the 20+ years that it has been offered by the School. Students generally have a choice of itineraries: Western Europe or Far East.


Master of Science in the Management of Information Technology

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The McIntire School of Commerce is a recognized leader in developing technology-savvy business decision makers. The MS MIT program provides an intensive, collaborative learning experiences that teaches business and technology professionals how to deliver greater business value through the effective management and use of information technologies. The program is based on 30 credit hours with a curriculum that synthesizes management, finance, accounting, marketing, strategy, and leadership skills with technical knowledge of IT architecture, e-business, enterprise systems, data communication, and datawarehousing. The program is conducted in an executive format, which allows professionals the option of completing a master’s degree while remaining on their job. Students may complete their coursework in 12 months by attending classes every other Friday and Saturday in Charlottesville or in 16 months by attending classes every other Saturday in Reston, Virginia. Both sections join for an initial two-week residency in Charlottesville at the McIntire School of Commerce. The 16 month program meets for an additional one-week residency in Charlottesville toward the end of their first year. Both sections follow the same curriculum just at a different pace..

Program Prerequisites The Master of Science in the Management of Information Technology requires that candidates have successfully completed an bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university prior to admissions and have a minimum of two years of relevant professional work experience including significant managerial or technical involvement with an IT project, program or product. There are no specific requirements as to undergraduate major or prerequisite coursework required.

Admission Requirements Admission to the Master of Science in the Management of Information Technology is highly competitive. Prior to the matriculation in the Master's Program, candidates must have earned a bachelor's degree with a successful GPA from an accredited collegiate institution and show high promise for success at the graduate level. A minimum of two years of professional work experience at least some of which must be relevant technical or managerial experience in information technology is required for consideration. Other factors considered for admission include letters of reference, strong performance on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), quality and relevance of work experience, honors, awards, and extracurricular activities. International students whose first language is not English must also submit a TOEFL scores. Candidates with a minimum of eight years of professional work experience beyond their bachelor's degree and who possess a strong record of academic achievement may request a waiver of the GMAT requirement. A $40 application fee is required which can be paid online with the application. If accepted, a non-refundable deposit of $500 will be required and is credited toward the first tuition payment. For more information or to access the online admissions services, please visit the website at or contact:

Office of Graduate Admissions
P.O. Box 400173
McIntire School of Commerce - University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4173
(877) 349-2620 [toll-free]
e-mail: msmis@virginia.edu

Grading Policy Grades are assigned using the following criteria:
A = Exceptional Performance
B+ = Very Good Performance
B = Good Performance (satisfactory or expected graduate work)
B- = Below Expected Performance
C = Poor Performance (not satisfactory but marginally passing for a particular course)
F = Failure or Non-Performance (no credit given for course)

Note: A student who earns six credit hours of sub-standard performance ("C") is placed on probation; a probationary student who earns one additional grade of C is dropped from the program. A student who receives of non-performance ("F") is dropped from the program.


 
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