5: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

General Information | Programs and Degrees Offered | Admission Information
Financial Assistance | Graduate Academic Regulations
Requirements for Specific Graduate Degrees | Departments and Programs | Faculty

Non-Departmental | Anthropology | Art | Asian and Middle Eastern | Asian Studies | Astronomy
Biochemistry | Biology | Biological and Physical Sciences | Biophysics | Cell and Molecular Biology
Cell Biology | Chemistry | Classics | Commerce | Drama | Economics | English | Environmental Sciences
French | German | Government and Foreign Affairs | Health Evaluation Sciences | History | Linguistics
Mathematics | Microbiology | Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics | Music | Neuroscience
Pharmacology | Philosophy | Physics | Psychology | Religious Studies | Russian and East European Studies
Slavic | Sociology | Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese | Statistics | Surgery

Department of Commerce
Course Descriptions | Departmental Degree Requirements

Course Descriptions

COMM 521 - (3) (Y)
Introductory Auditing

Prerequisites: COMM 310, COMM 311, and COMM 312
Auditing includes the planning, processes (gathering evidence), and judgments required to render an opinion on an entity’s financial statements. The course deals with evidence theory, risk identification, and professional judgment. Audit methodology is examined through study of auditing standards and the concepts and procedures developed to implement the standards. Other topics include professional ethics, auditors’ liability, internal control assessment, audit program development, working papers, types of audit tests, and audit reports.

COMM 530 - (3) (IR)
Selected Topics in Commerce

Prerequisite: Fourth-year Commerce student or graduate student and permission of instructor
Seminar on current issues in commerce.

COMM 531 - (3) (Y)
Advanced Financial Accounting

Prerequisites: COMM 311, COMM 312
Covers accounting and financial reporting for business combinations (including consolidated financial statements), international accounting issues, foreign currency translation, accounting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and accounting for partnerships. Emphasis is balanced between conceptual understanding of major issues and technical accounting requirements.

COMM 546 - (3) (Y)
Federal Taxation II

Prerequisite: COMM 445 or permission of instructor
An analysis of the federal income tax and its application to corporations, shareholders, partnerships, partners, and estate and gift transactions. Basic concepts and tax attributes relating to the alternative forms of operating a business are also considered. Provides the basic skills required to do tax research.

COMM 711 - (3) (Y)
Financial Accounting Theory

Prerequisite: Nine credits of Accounting, including COMM 311 and COMM 312 or equivalent
A seminar in which students research various financial accounting theory topics and review the works of eminent accounting scholars before developing their own opinions in a series of papers. Those views are shared and refined in class discussion.

COMM 714 - (3) (Y)
Management Accounting Seminar

Prerequisites: COMM 314, COMM 326, and COMM 485
Study of current developments in management accounting with emphasis on cost information about activities, behavioral implications of accounting information, and the link between information and strategy. Case studies are used heavily to apply, expand, and refine the ability to design and evaluate cost management systems. Group work is emphasized, including in-class presentations.

COMM 721 - (3) (Y)
Advanced Auditing

Prerequisites: COMM 310 and COMM 521
Extends students’ exposure to current developments in the field of auditing. Topics include current issues facing the profession, statistical and nonstatistical applications in auditing, and other types of accountant’s reports. The concepts learned in this course and from the introductory course are used to develop an audit plan for a major corporation.

COMM 722 - (3) (Y)
Contemporary Auditing Issues

Prerequisite: COMM 521 or equivalent
Examines the legal, professional, and regulatory responsibilities of auditors in today’s business environment. Using cases from actual audit practice, students consider a variety of contemporary auditing issues. Provides a critical assessment of the auditor’s role in the external financial reporting process, with particular focus on the changing expectations of users of this information, especially from the perspectives of investors and regulators.

COMM 730 - (3) (Y)
Taxation of Multi-jurisdictional Business Operations

Primary focus is on tax implication of outbound (U.S. business operating abroad) and inbound (foreign business operating in the U.S.) transactions. Includes tax planning for businesses operating in more than one taxing jurisdiction. A small portion of the course is reserved for state and local (multistate) tax issues.

COMM 731 - (3) (Y)
Professional Practice Management

Prerequisite: Graduate standing
Introduces the many challenges and issues of operating and managing a professional services firm successfully. The competitive business environment facing professionals has resulted in dramatic changes in the ways in which professional services firms manage their operations and market their services. Although the focus is on public accounting firms, the issues examined are germane to the management of other types of professional services organizations as well. Topics include organizational structure, strategic management, professional services marketing, quality control, client satisfaction, human resources issues, and future trends.

COMM 732 - (3) (Y)
Accounting Policy

Prerequisites: COMM 311 and COMM 312
The theories underlying financial measurements of events that effect reporting entities. Includes the historical development of accounting thought and how it has been influenced by social, political, and economic forces. The structure and methodology of theory are analyzed, and objectives, postulates and principles are examined. Cases explore current issues and firm policies in financial reporting.

COMM 745 - (3) (Y)
Taxation of Corporations and Their Shareholders

Prerequisites: COMM 445 and COMM 546 or equivalent
Income tax impact of the organization, operation, and liquidation of corporations; taxation of corporate distributions, including dividends, redemption of corporate stock to pay death taxes, redemption of corporate stock in the contraction of the corporate business, and other redemptions and corporate divisions; and penalty taxes imposed upon corporations for nonpayment of dividends.

COMM 746 - (3) (Y)
Corporate Reorganizations and Consolidated Returns

Prerequisite: COMM 745
Technical and conceptual framework of the rules, regulations, judicial precedents, concepts, and strategic planning considerations relevant to the federal income taxation of corporate mergers and acquisitions; corporate divisions; corporate recapitalizations, bankruptcy and insolvency reorganizations; and consolidated federal income tax returns.

COMM 747 - (3) (Y)
Federal Estate and Gift Taxation

Prerequisite: COMM 445 or equivalent
Discussion and application of gift and estate tax problems facing gratuitous inter vivos and testamentary transfers of a taxpayer; generation skipping transfer tax; relevant income tax issues; estate planning techniques.

COMM 748 - (3) (Y)
Taxation of Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, and S Corporations

Prerequisite: COMM 445 or equivalent
Technical and conceptual framework of the rules, regulations, judicial precedents, concepts, and strategic planning considerations relevant to the federal income taxation of partnerships and their partners, limited liability companies and their owners, and S corporations and their shareholders. Special emphasis on tax and non-tax factors relevant to the selection of the organizational form best suited for the conduct of a particular business.

COMM 749 - (3) (Y)
Tax Research

Prerequisite: COMM 445 or equivalent
Provides exposure to the various statutory administrative and judicial sources of the tax law, how to find and identify pertinent authorities, and how to read, interpret, and apply them to resolve novel and complex client-specific scenarios. Assists in the development and refinement of problem recognition skills and analytical and legal reasoning abilities. Develops the skills required to effectively communicate research findings. Provides exposure to some of the more important aspects of tax practice and procedure. Assists in the development of a conceptual understanding of the tax laws and demonstrates the practical importance of that understanding.

COMM 750 - (3) (Y)
Professional Services Marketing

Prerequisite: COMM 351 or equivalent
Service organizations (i.e., banks, transportation companies, hotels, hospitals, educational institutions, professional services) require a distinctive approach to marketing strategy— both in its development and execution. Builds and expands on ideas from other marketing courses and looks at how the ideas already learned can be applicable to service firms.

COMM 761 - (3) (IR)
Special Topics

Prerequisite: Graduate standing
Seminar on current issues.

COMM 762 - (3) (Y-SS)
Organizational Behavior

Prerequisite: COMM 361 or equivalent
Highly interactive graduate seminar focusing on major organizational behavior topics, including personality and perception, decision making, group processes, motivation, and leadership. Transfers theoretical concepts to practical application through the use of self assessment, experiential exercises, selected readings, and class discussion.

COMM 771 - (3) (IR)
Financial Controls and Systems

Prerequisite: COMM 371 or equivalent
Financial decision-making using the tools developed in other courses, accounting information, and information from alternative sources (i.e., non-accounting). Studies the effect of financial decisions on the value of the firm and how various information can affect such decisions. The strengths and weaknesses of various information are reviewed.

COMM 772 - (3) (Y)
Financial Analysis

Prerequisite: COMM 371 or equivalent
Corporate finance problems, including cash budgeting and forecasting, capital budgeting, capital structure, valuation, and the supply of financial resources are discussed. The relationship between the accountant and these problems is stressed. The course is taught using both cases and lectures with the aim of providing both a practical and theoretical base.

COMM 773 - (3) (Y)
Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management

Prerequisite: COMM 371 or equivalent
The risk/return of investment alternatives are discussed in a capital asset pricing model framework. Subjects include the theory of efficient markets, stock and bond valuation models, capital market structure and regulation, and portfolio management.

COMM 784 - (3) (Y)
Global Competition

Introduces graduate students to the issues and challenges of competing in the international market place. A corporate global strategy course, integrating the disciplines of business (e.g., accounting, finance, marketing, systems, human resources, etc.) into a framework acknowledging the world’s cultural and geographic diversity. Intended to foster students’ creativity, critical thought, and appreciation of different value systems. Both theory and practice are examined.

COMM 790 - (2) (Y)
Teaching Practicum

Develops teaching skills and techniques. Philosophy of teaching; learning theory; presentation skills; simulated teaching exercised with videotaping and critiques. Study of teaching by lecture, cases, and cooperative learning. The best students are offered teaching positions for one or two semesters.

COMM 895 - (1-6) (S-SS)
Supervised Research

Research into special problems, or for the master’s thesis, taken under the supervision of a professor. A written proposal must be approved by the Director of the M.S. Program before registering. The final paper, of potentially publishable quality, must be submitted to the director by the last day of final examinations.

COMM 897 - (3-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research

For master’s research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.

COMM 898 - (3-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research

For master’s thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.


Continue to: Departmental Degree Requirements
Return to: Chapter 5 Index