Taxation meeting

Master ofTaxation

Program summary

Gain specialized knowledge in tax law, research, analysis, and planning. Emerge with the expertise to guide an organization’s critical tax management strategy. This 100% online degree program provides you with a world-class education delivered at a pace that fits your active lifestyle. No GRE/GMAT needed.

100% Online

Complete your Penn State course work at your own pace and 100% online.

Application deadline

Apply by April 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

30 Credits$1,132 per credit

Nationally Recognized

US News and World Report graduate business badge
Select graduate business programs are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Gain Skills to Become a Highly Valued Tax Adviser

  • Enhance and broaden understanding of tax law complexities and procedures.

  • Resolve conflict with the IRS.

  • Help companies see the tax consequences of starting a new division, expanding to a new geographic region, or becoming an international brand.

  • Research issues, conduct cost-benefit analysis, and proactively make recommendations to boost profits and ease client tax burden

  • Effectively communicate complex technical and legal topics.

  • Foster strong client relationships and make strategic business-building recommendations.

Online Courses in Taxation, Procedure, and Policy

The graduate degree program's tightly focused taxation curriculum is supplemented with business-related course work to help make you a more well-rounded adviser. Early-career taxation students may also use credits earned in specialized taxation courses to meet the 150-credit requirement to sit for the CPA exam.

This graduate program's core course work explores critical topics related to international taxation, corporate taxation, tax procedure and policy, and more. Our master’s in taxation program takes a practical approach, engaging you with course work that integrates real-world case studies.

Required Courses (21 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on the tax law treatment of corporate formations, operations, distributions, mergers, and acquisitions, as well as accounting for income taxes.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides a culminating experience for Master's in Taxation students, allowing them to apply knowledge learned in core tax courses to conduct and document in-depth legal research and analysis within the domain of tax law.

  • 3
    credits

    Delivers an overview of domestic and international tax policy issues by examining applicable tax reforms, theories of tax law, and interdisciplinary topics; the course will focus on the taxation of individuals including applicable requirements, deductions, and consequences.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores tax issues faced by corporations as well as estate and gift taxation. Topics include mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy, and corporate tax reforms.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to U.S. federal income tax, covering the basics of taxation of individuals, corporations, flow-through entities, and property transactions.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides a survey of the law defining the taxation of pass-through entities including partnerships, S-corporations, limited liability companies, and trusts.

  • 1.5
    credits

    Explores the U.S. federal income tax system as applicable to international taxation and its effects on individual and organizational decision-making; students gain the knowledge to evaluate legal jurisdiction, residency, and income sourcing, along with planning to optimize transfer pricing and income deferral.

  • 1.5
    credits

    Provides students with an understanding of state and local taxation, including personal and corporate income tax, sales and use tax, and legal limitations to taxation.

Electives (select 9 credits)

Students will complete 9 credits of elective courses. A list of elective courses approved to count towards the degree requirements will be maintained by the program office. This list may change over time in response to student feedback and market demand.

Business Analytics Elective Courses

  • 3
    credits

    Development of methods for prescriptive analytics with a focus on business supply side decisions and risk mitigation.

    • Prerequisite

      BAN 840

  • 3
    credits

    Explores the use of descriptive analytics concepts, tools, and techniques throughout a wide range of business scenarios and problems.

    • Prerequisite

      previous work experience and/or academic background with statistics

  • 3
    credits

    Explores the use of predictive analytics tools and techniques throughout a wide range of business scenarios and problems; includes a subset of methods such as neural networks, machine learning, social media analytics, and more.

Accounting Elective Courses

  • 3
    credits

    Principles of the risk-based approach to the audit of financial statements, with special focus on financial information systems.

    • Prerequisite

      MBADM 811

  • 3
    credits

    Examination of the internal organizational accounting procedures that establish accountability within organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    Accounting rules, practices, and applications that characterize the accounting presentations that for-profit organizations provide to the public.

Other Elective Courses

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on the development and application of business architecture as a holistic discipline that produces a common understanding of the organization that is used to align strategic objectives and tactical initiatives.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides an understanding of key issues, concepts, and methodologies associated with business transformation and management consulting; helps students identify and define organization problems, highlight pain points, map workflows, explore business models, investigate strategic alignment, develop recommendations, present business cases, and deliver prototype solutions.

Optional Global Immersion Experience

This learning experience is designed to enhance your ability to communicate cross-culturally, adapt to evolving business environments, and manage some of the key risks and benefits of operating on a global scale. The Global Immersion trip may include visits to corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities, as well as meetings with executives and government officials to learn about international business from those experiencing it firsthand in the country you are visiting.

The Global Immersion trip and corresponding course(s) will be offered each spring.* Please note that course work is required both before and after the trip. Online students may pursue the Global Immersion experience/courses in one of two ways:

  • Option 1: Take BA 836 for 1 credit in a spring semester. The 1-credit course will include the trip and associated pre/post-work. BA 836 would be an additional credit on top of the 30 required to graduate.
  • Option 2: Take BA 836 for 1 credit AND BA 835 for 2 credits during spring semester. Together, the 3 credits will involve more extensive course work in this subject area than just the 1 credit alone and will include the trip. The 3 combined credits for BA 835 and 836 may replace one 3-credit program elective course with approval. Please contact the program office with any questions.

We aim to have enough students across programs to allow students to choose from 3–4 locations each spring. Past trips for the full-time and executive students have included Johannesburg, South Africa; Shanghai, China; Prague, Czech Republic; and Santiago, Chile. The trip choices will be made by the program faculty directors based on global business climate, and corporate and alumni relationships, that will allow for the most fruitful experience.

Please contact the program office at [email protected] for more details, including fee structure, upcoming dates, and locations. Please note that students pay course tuition as well as an additional trip fee to participate in the Global Immersion experience.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Start or Advance Your Career

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You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.


Job Titles Related to This Degree

When you branch off into a career in taxation, you serve as a client advocate — someone who promotes tax compliance and limits tax liability in accordance with tax laws.

Taxation specialists tend to have a more consistent client base and more predictable schedules with greater work-life balance compared to some other areas of accounting. Program graduates may fill a variety of tax adviser roles with the "Big 4" and other accounting firms, large and midsize corporations, the Internal Revenue Service, government agencies, banks, hospitals, universities, and more.

The following roles are often held by people with this type of degree:

  • Accountant
  • Internal Auditor
  • Revenue Tax Specialist
  • Tax Accountant
  • Tax Compliance Officer

Employment Outlook for Occupational Fields Related to This Degree

Estimates of employment growth and total employment are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to change. While these occupations are often pursued by graduates with this degree, individual outcomes may vary depending on a variety of factors. Penn State World Campus cannot guarantee employment in a given occupation.

Accountants and Auditors

4.4%
employment growth (10 years)
1,402,420
total employment

Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents

0.6%
employment growth (10 years)
50,610
total employment

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

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From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Ready to Learn More?

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State master's degree?

Apply by April 15 to start May 13. How to Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

Learn about this program's tuition, fees, scholarship opportunities, grants, payment options, and military benefits.

Graduate Tuition

Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2024 Scholarship Opportunity

Applicants for the summer 2024 and fall 2024 terms may be eligible for the Deloitte Foundation Accounting Scholars Program (DFASP), which supports strengthening a diverse student population and the pipeline of diverse talent entering the CPA profession. See website for more information and how to apply.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,132 per credit
12 or more$13,587 per semester

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,143 per credit
12 or more$13,723 per semester

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

Penn State Smeal Advantage

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Smeal College of Business is committed to being your partner in lifelong learning. Smeal offers programs, support, and resources for every career stage and life circumstance that will prepare you not only for your next great opportunity but also for the one after that.

More options, greater flexibility, and a commitment to lifelong learning

The desire for knowledge and professional growth spans a lifetime. That is why the Penn State Smeal College of Business offers a portfolio of professional graduate programs for all stages of your career. In partnership with Penn State World Campus, Smeal makes it easy to customize a learning plan to your unique career aspirations and busy schedule. Penn State Smeal offers you a lifetime of learning with more concentrations and one of the most integrated, flexible offerings of online and residential programs in the United States.

Penn State Business building

An entire team dedicated to your success

Personal advising — Our experts will explain the many options that Penn State Smeal offers and will help you refine your career strategy and craft the educational experience best suited to your interests. It all starts with a simple, but critical question: “What are your goals?” 

Career coaching* — Our Alumni Career Services team will support you across all career stages with professional advancement opportunities and coaching to help you stay focused on achieving your goals.

Delivering the best of online and in-person learning for a rich educational experience

We understand that today’s professional learners want meaningful discussion and interaction with faculty and classmates along with the technologies and flexible approaches of contemporary online learning. By aligning the best of both worlds, we bring richness, depth, and diversity to the overall educational experience.

Courses designed to engage and motivate the professional student

Creative Teams consisting of a lead faculty member, a Teaching Support Specialist (TSS), and an Instructional Designer use advanced analytics to develop and deliver contemporary graduate courses that promote application and engagement. We strive to innovate in ways that others don’t. 

A real-world perspective

  • Industry professionals inside the virtual classroom — Many of Penn State Smeal’s courses feature industry professionals who have been in the trenches and work hard to make an impact every day. These individuals, most of whom hold a Smeal graduate degree, partner with our renowned faculty to provide a rich academic context with real-world application.
  • Global immersion* — This unique, optional experience will enhance your ability to communicate cross-culturally, adapt to evolving business environments, and manage the risks and benefits of operating on a global scale. Any student pursing a full degree from Smeal may participate in this optional, faculty-led experience for elective credit. Previous destinations have included Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; Prague, Czech Republic; Santiago, Chile; and Zagreb, Croatia.

One of the largest and most influential networks in the country

At Penn State, you are part of a worldwide community of instructors, learners, and more than 750,000 alumni who support one another and make a meaningful impact. 

More than 90,000 Smeal alumni benefit from connections around the globe as well as networking events, podcasts, webinars, a powerful LinkedIn community, and opportunities for volunteerism.

Impact Smeal Day — This day provides alumni and professional graduate students with the opportunity to come to campus and interact with current students, network with other alumni, gain professional insights, and hear about college initiatives. The day is designed so that you can sign up for the sessions that work for your schedule.

* Services are available only to students and alumni of Penn State Smeal’s degree programs and online degrees led by Smeal and delivered through the World Campus. Students and alumni of online graduate certificates are not eligible to receive these benefits unless they are also enrolled in a degree program.

Earn a Valuable Credential along the Way

A figure walking on a path that includes a certificate part of the way through their progress

Many courses in the master’s program may be double counted toward requirements for one or more graduate certificates. This allows you to add a respected credential to your résumé faster and begin to recoup your educational investment sooner.

Certificate Program Related to This Degree

The following certificates may be earned while in pursuit of your degree — in some cases with taking little to no additional course work. 

  • 9-credit Graduate Certificate in Taxation 
  • 9-credit Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics 
  • 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Accounting Foundations 

A separate application and program acceptance are required for each credential. Please consult with a program representative for full details. Email us at [email protected].

Depending on the elective courses you select, taxation students may also earn a 9-credit graduate certificate — without taking any additional course work.

Jump-start your career as a tax accountant or specialist with the Graduate Certificate in Taxation. This online certificate increases your depth of knowledge in tax policy and procedure and serves as a springboard to an advanced degree. Our tax courses can also help you prepare for the CPA exam.

Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Taxation

A Unique Emphasis on Tax Analytics

As business data has become more complex, firms need experts in tax analytics. By developing analytics expertise in tandem with your tax degree, you gain the technical tax skills and practical experience to retrieve and process large volumes of data to gain better insight into your clients’ businesses.

Who Should Apply?

The Master of Taxation program is ideal for early- to mid-career professionals who already have a bachelor's degree and possess a background in auditing, accounting, or finance.

AACSB Accredited

This program is AACSB Accredited

The Penn State Smeal College of Business is AACSB accredited, an honor reserved for the top 5% of business schools worldwide. This program is competitively priced compared to other AACSB–accredited programs.

Set Your Own Pace

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Whether you are looking to finish your program as quickly as possible or balance your studies with your busy life, Penn State World Campus can help you achieve your education goals. Many students take one or two courses per semester.

Our online courses typically follow a 12- to 15-week semester cycle, and there are three semesters per year (spring, summer, and fall). If you plan to take a heavy course load, you should expect your course work to be your primary focus and discuss your schedule with your academic adviser. 

To Finish Your Degree in One to Two Years

  • Take 3–4 courses each semester

To Finish Your Degree in Two to Three Years

  • Take 2–3 courses each semester 

To Finish Your Degree in Three to Four Years

  • Take 1 course each semester

Convenient Online Format

This program's convenient online format gives you the flexibility you need to study around your busy schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education and prepare yourself for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving your home.

A Trusted Leader in Online Education

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Penn State has a history of more than 100 years of distance education, and World Campus has been a leader in online learning for more than two decades. Our online learning environment offers the same quality education that our students experience on campus.

Information for Military and Veterans

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Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, and application instructions.

Professional Licensure / Certification

Qualify for a CPA certificate and license to practice public accounting.

CPA Licensure Requirements

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), and the Federation of Schools of Accountancy (FSA) all support the 150-credit hour education requirement for entry into the accounting profession.

All CPA candidates must pass the Uniform CPA Examination to qualify for a CPA certificate and license (i.e., permit to practice) to practice public accounting. While the exam is the same no matter where it is taken, every state/jurisdiction has its own set of education and experience requirements that individuals must meet. If you plan to sit for the CPA exam pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit our Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.

How to Apply to Penn State

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Apply by April 15 to start May 13

Application Instructions

Deadlines and Important Dates

Complete your application and submit all required materials by the appropriate deadline. Your deadline will depend on the semester you plan to start your courses.

  • Summer Deadline

    Apply by April 15 to start May 13
  • Fall Deadline

    Apply by July 20 to start August 26
  • Spring Deadline

    Apply by November 15, 2024, to start January 13, 2025

Steps to Apply

  1. For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

  2. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

    Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time. 

    Test Scores — GRE/GMAT scores are not required and will not be accepted.

    English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

    Program-Specific Questions/Materials

    Statement of Purpose — A 2–3 page essay articulating career and educational goals

    Vita or Résumé — A listing of your professional experience

    Additional Information — May be requested by the program

  3. To begin the online application, you will need a Penn State account.

    Create a New Penn State Account

    If you have any problems during this process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

    Please note: Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application or create a new Penn State account. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.

  4. You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

    • Choose Enrollment Type: "Degree Admission"
    • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus

    Checking Your Status 
    You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form. 

    Technical Requirements  
    Review the technical requirements for this degree program. 

  5. 5. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

Applicants who are in the military qualify for an application fee waiver. Contact us to request the military fee waiver code.

Contact Us

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Have questions or want more information? We're happy to talk.

To learn more about the Master of Taxation, or for questions regarding the program curriculum or your application status, contact:

Penn State Smeal College of Business
Professional Graduate Programs Office
Phone: 814-865-5290
[email protected]

For general questions about Penn State World Campus or how to apply, please contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
[email protected]

Learn from the Best

The Master of Taxation is offered in partnership with the Penn State Smeal College of Business, and courses are taught by Smeal faculty.

Faculty

  • Lawrence Friedken

    • Degree
      LL.M., Taxation, University of Florida
    • Degree
      J.D., University of Pittsburgh
    • Degree
      B.S., Accounting, Penn State

    Lawrence Friedken is a clinical associate professor of accounting and director of the Master of Taxation program. Prior to joining the Penn State Smeal College of Business, Larry headed the University’s payroll and tax functions and was a department head for the local office of a Big 4 tax department. Larry has taught university tax courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for more than 20 years. He specializes in individual, corporate, and exempt organization tax issues. Larry was the recipient of the Alexander Loeb Award for the second highest score in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on the November 1987 CPA Exam.

  • Gregg K. Furuya

    • Degree
      Master of Business Taxation, University of Southern California
    • Degree
      MBA, Financial Accounting, University of Southern California
    • Degree
      B.S., Finance, University of Southern California

    Gregg K. Furuya spent his entire professional career with Deloitte Tax. He was a tax partner for twenty-five years and retired as an office tax managing partner. He has served a wide variety of clients and industries, including publicly traded companies, large private companies, closely held businesses, and tax-exempt organizations. His industry experience had been primarily in the real estate, consumer services, and hospitality industries. He has assisted entities through formation, operation, restructuring, and liquidations, working through transactions and tax technical and practical issues.

  • Edward R. Jenkins

    • Degree
      MBA, Penn State
    • Degree
      Master of Taxation, Villanova University School of Law (Joint LL.M. program)
    • Degree
      B.S., B.A., Economics, Penn State

    Edward R. Jenkins, CPA, CGMA, is a seasoned business executive with an extensive educational background in business. That combination of experience and education provides practiced realism in his writing and teaching. His teaching interests include taxation, accounting, international business, and finance. His research interests include taxation, accounting, and finance, with special interests in multinational taxation, mergers and acquisitions, and ASC 740.

    Jenkins is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Tax Executive Committee (TEC). The eighteen members of the committee are responsible for tax policy and advocacy for the AICPA; TEC provides advice to Congress, Treasury, and the IRS regarding statutes, regulations, and other policy/procedure matters. Additionally, TEC is responsible for the development and maintenance of enforceable professional standards of tax practice for CPAs.

  • Michael Rosenberg

    • Degree
      LL.M., Taxation, New York University Graduate Law School
    • Degree
      J.D., Brooklyn Law School
    • Degree
      B.S., Accounting, Penn State

    Michael Rosenberg practiced as a tax attorney for forty years at Packman, Neuwahl & Rosenberg in Miami, where he spent much of his time advising foreigners investing in, doing business in, or immigrating to the U.S., as well as advising U.S. persons investing, doing business, or emigrating abroad. He was also employed with Deloitte Touche, where he was an international tax manager and a member of that firm’s U.S. international tax group. Michael has taught for Florida International University, Florida Gulf Coast University, and the University of Miami Law School. He also created international tax courses for the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Michael co-authored and authored several books. He was a co-founder of the Florida Bar-FICPA International Tax Conference, for which he served as a co-chair for more than twenty years.

  • Kristy M. Schenck

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Accounting, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S, Accounting, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Kristy M. Schenck has been a clinical associate professor of accounting at Penn State Smeal College of Business since 2019. Prior to joining Smeal, she was an assistant professor of accounting at Bucknell University for seven years. Before entering academia, Dr. Schenck became certified as a CPA and spent time working in a variety of areas in the accounting field, including as an auditor for the Department of Defense and for PricewaterhouseCoopers.


Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State master's degree?

Apply by April 15 to start May 13. How to Apply