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Darla Moore School of Business

Frequently Asked Questions

General Program Information

Does the MACC program require prospective students to have work experience?

The MACC program does not have a work experience requirement, and there is no recruiting penalty for not having full time work experience. Students entering the MACC program typically do so immediately after completing their undergraduate degree.

Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in accounting to be accepted into the MACC program?

No. However, you must have a bachelor’s degree, and satisfy our business core and upper level accounting prerequisite courses. If you are missing prerequisite courses prior to entering our MACC program, you will be required to complete these courses in addition to the 30 MACC program credit hours (10 courses). Please note that taking prerequisite courses may extend your MACC program beyond our traditional 12-month completion cycle.

Students with degrees from an international college or university must have completed an academic program equivalent to an American bachelor’s degree. Students with three-year degrees will not be accepted into the program and will be required, at a minimum, to complete an additional year of study before entering the program.

International students who have not completed the required prerequisite courses or a degree equivalent to an American bachelor’s degree should consider completing these at the University of South Carolina or another accredited four-year institution in the United States before applying to the MACC program.

What prerequisite courses are required for the MACC program?

There are two types of prerequisite courses required for the MACC program: business core and upper-level accounting.

Business core prerequisite courses represent broad business courses essential for the accounting profession (including passing the CPA exam). These are general business topics typically covered by an undergraduate business degree. It is highly recommended that all business core courses be taken at a four-year institution. All courses at or above the USC 300 level must be taken at a four-year institution.

Upper-level accounting courses represent the technical accounting skills typically learned via an undergraduate accounting degree. All upper level accounting prerequisites must be delivered in the classroom to satisfy the prerequisite requirements. Courses taken online or by distance education will not be accepted. Certain upper level accounting prerequisites (ACCT 403: Tax I, ACCT 405: Financial Accounting II and ACCT 406: Auditing I) must be taken at an educational institution in the United States.

Please visit our Curriculum page for a listing of all prerequisite courses.

You are not required to have an undergraduate degree in accounting to be admitted into our MACC program. If you are missing prerequisite courses prior to entering our MACC program, you will be required to complete these courses in addition to the 30 MACC program credit hours (10 courses). Please note that taking prerequisite courses may extend your MACC program beyond our traditional 12-month completion cycle.

If I was not a business and/or accounting major, how can I complete the prerequisite courses?

If you meet all of our admission requirements including undergraduate GPA, GMAT and TOEFL/IELTS (international students only) and already have an undergraduate degree other than accounting, it is preferred that you complete any prerequisite courses at the University of South Carolina after being admitted to the MACC program. Alternatively, applicants in this category can take the prerequisites at another four-year institution prior to starting the MACC program.

If you do not meet all of our admission requirements, we recommend taking prerequisite courses at the University of South Carolina or another four-year institution as an undergraduate student. Your performance in these courses, along with your retaking of any required entrance exams (GMAT, TOEFL/IELTS) will be important factors for your admission in a future term.

How long does it take to complete the MACC program?

The MACC program consists of 10 courses (30 credit hours). Most full-time students who enter the program with a full-time job offer complete the program in two regular (fall and spring) semesters of 15 hours each.

Students who start the program without a full-time job or job offer are only allowed to take four classes in the fall semester in order to participate in recruiting. This traditionally results in students taking summer classes to complete the program within one year.

Students completing prerequisite courses may take longer to complete the MACC program depending on the number of courses they are missing.

Are summer classes required?

Summer classes are not required, but may be necessary if you participate in fall recruiting. Students participating in recruiting (all students without a full-time job offer) are not allowed to take more than four classes during the fall semester. With 10 courses to complete within the MACC, and typically no more than five courses being allowed during the spring semester, you will traditionally need to take a summer class to complete the program.

If you do not have a summer internship, we recommend taking at least one class the summer before fall recruiting so that you can graduate in May and focus on passing any remaining parts of the CPA exam after graduation. You may also take classes, and graduate, the following summer.

Summer classes typically last for either the month of June or the month of July. MACC classes traditionally offered during the summer are ACCT 505: Government and Nonprofit accounting and ACCT 504: Legal Issues for Accountants. Some elective courses are normally available through the Professional MBA program as well.

Can I attend the MACC program on a part-time basis or at another USC campus?

The MACC program was designed as a full-time program and the majority of the students attend on a full-time basis. All of the required graduate accounting and tax courses are only offered on the Columbia campus during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. They meet for one hour and fifteen minutes on either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.

We have had students complete the program on a part-time basis. However, if you want to take classes part-time and are currently employed, you need to have a very supportive employer to accommodate with our class times. Class participation is a big factor in MACC course grades, so in-class attendance is mandatory. The program is not currently offered on online, as distance education, or at any other USC regional campus.

What is the rate of job placement after graduation for students who went through the USC MACC Program?

Past placement of MACC students has been excellent. Over the past several years, almost 100 percent of USC MACC students who are permanent residents of the United States have been placed by the time they graduate.

Some of the primary factors in job placement are:

  • Undergraduate and graduate grades (Undergraduate grades are of particular importance as recruitment takes place in the fall term, which is generally the first semester of enrollment)

  • Willingness to relocate

  • The job market at the time of graduation

  • Service and work history

  • GMAT exam score


  • Your ability to communicate effectively and sell yourself to potential employers

Job placement rates for international students vary based on the student’s background and academic profile. International students who have attended and graduated from a four-year institution in the United States in combination with a MACC degree historically have a better chance for domestic job placement. Due to immigration laws and market conditions, those students who have completed an undergraduate degree outside of the United States in combination with a MACC degree have encountered greater challenges with domestic hiring.

Application Process

What is involved in applying for the MACC program?

To apply for the MACC program, you need to complete an online application. Your application will contain the following required items: 

  • Official school transcripts of all prior college work. If all of an applicant’s undergraduate course work was completed in the USC system (Aiken, Columbia or Upstate), a transcript is not required.

  • GMAT exam scores (GRE exam scores are not acceptable)

  • Essay/statement of career objectives (uploaded to the online application)

  • A current resume (uploaded to the online application)

  • Two letters of recommendation (we prefer the online submission of recommendations).

  • TOEFL or IELTS exam scores (required ONLY of international students who have not earned a 4-year degree in the United States)

The current application fee is $100. USC-Columbia students qualifying as MACC Scholars are exempt from the GMAT exam requirement. To learn more about the MACC Scholars program, please visit our Financing Your MACC page.Conditional admissions pending future acceptable GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS exam scores are not given. The MACC admissions committee will not review applicants and make an admissions decision until ALL application materials (including the application fee) are received.Additional application and admissions information is available on our Admissions and Admissions Process pages. Please visit our Admissions page for our online application checklist.

When is my application due?

We have various application deadlines for each entry term. View our deadlines and learn more on our Admissions Process page. If you wish to apply after the final deadline for your desired entry term, please contact us.

International students should apply at least 30 to 45 days earlier to allow additional time for processing immigration and visa documents.

Applicants seeking merit based financial awards (fellowships, graduate assistant positions, and other financial awards) are encouraged to attend our Decision in a Day event(s) (for fellowship consideration) or apply as early as possible to allow for the best chance at obtaining these awards. Awards are given on a first come basis to qualified admitted students.

What should my GMAT score be?

We do not have a minimum GMAT requirement. Generally, your GMAT score should be 570 or above. Applicants with GMAT scores lower than 570 may be required to take the exam at least twice before being considered for admissions. The average GMAT score for students admitted to the MACC program is around 590. GMAT scores must be no more than five years old. The GRE exam will not be accepted.

USC-Columbia students qualifying as MACC Scholars are exempt from the GMAT requirement. To learn more about the MACC Scholars program, please visit our Financing Your MACC page. There are currently no other GMAT exemptions provided by our MACC program.

For information about or to register for the GMAT exam, call 609-771-7330 or 1-800-462-8669 (U.S. or Canada)

What should my undergraduate GPA be?

The average undergraduate GPA for students admitted to the MACC program is typically around 3.6. Generally, on a 4.0 scale your overall GPA should be 3.0 or above and your upper level accounting GPA should be 3.0 or above. It is highly unlikely that an applicant with an upper level accounting GPA of less than 3.0 will be admitted. Please visit our Curriculum page for a list of upper level accounting prerequisites. Please note that any additional junior or senior-level accounting courses taken not listed in the linked list of prerequisites are also included in your upper level accounting GPA. However, lab grades, internship grades and business core prerequisite courses are not included.

What should my IBT TOEFL or IELTS score be?

International students must have a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the IBT version, including the following minimum scores for each section:

  • Reading: 22

  • Listening: 22

  • Speaking: 26

  • Writing: 24

If the IELTS is taken in lieu of the TOEFL exam, a minimum score of 7.0 is required on each section of the exam.

Exam scores must be no more than two years old. International students graduating from a U.S. institution with at least three years of studying within the United States may qualify for an exemption of this requirement.

Please visit our International Students page to find more admissions requirements and other information for international students.

Is an interview required for acceptance into the MACC program?

The general answer is no. However, at our discretion, we may require an oral interview to ascertain the English-speaking skills of an international student.

Would I be a competitive applicant?

Competitive applicants typically have an overall (or last 60 hrs) GPA of 3.25+ and a GMAT score of 570+ (50th percentile). These are not specific admissions requirements, however, as each applicant is evaluated individually and assessed on the admission committee's view of their potential to excel in our program. If you would like to have a pre-application workup performed to provide you a personalized view of your admissions potential, please email us a copy of your unofficial transcript(s) and exam scores to

More information about our application and our admissions process can be found on our Admissions and Admissions Process pages.

We encourage you to attend one of our MACC Events to learn more about our program.

Financing Your Degree

What fees are involved in the MACC program?

The MACC program uses a program fee instead of tuition. The 2015-2016 MACC program fee is:

  • $528 per credit hour ($15,840 for the 30 credit hour program of study) for South Carolina residents

  • $1,031 per credit hour ($30,930 for the 30 credit hour program of study) for nonresidents

Students who need prerequisite courses will be charged the same per credit hour fees for these additional courses. Fees are generally adjusted during the summer session of each year.

Nonresident students qualifying as a MACC Scholar or serving as a graduate assistant receive in-state program fee rates. Nonresident may also receive other financial awards to reduce their program fee rates from the standard nonresident rate.

Is merit-based financial aid available (fellowships and graduate assistant positions)?

Yes. Visit Financing Your Master's Degree for more information regarding merit-based financial awards.

Merit-based awards are quite competitive. Finalists for these awards generally have GPA's and GMAT scores that are substantially above the program averages. International applicants TOEFL/IELTS scores must meet the minimum requirements including individual section requirements in order to be competitive for merit-based aid.

Your application for admission is your application for merit-based aid. There is no additional application. All qualifying applicants will be considered.

What is the MACC Scholars Program?

The MACC Scholars program rewards students for their excellent performance in their undergraduate studies and on the GMAT exam. Qualifying students automatically receive an award package of either a $2,000 fellowship for South Carolina residents, or a $500 fellowship paired with an additional award of $15,090 (for 2015-16 academic year) to cover the difference between in-state and out-of-state program fee rates for South Carolina nonresidents.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for the MACC Scholars program, please contact us.

How much do the fellowships and graduate assistant positions pay?

Interview fellowship awards for 2014-2015 ranged from $3,500 to $11,340. Other financial awards begin at $250 per semester. Graduate assistants receive a stipend of $2,000 per semester. MACC Scholars recipients receive a fellowship of either $2,000 or $500 depending on their SC residency status. Nonresidents receiving MACC Scholars awards and graduate assistant positions receive additional awards to reduce their program fees to the SC resident rate. Other nonresidents may also qualify for awards reducing the standard nonresident rate.

How much do I have to work as a graduate assistant?

MACC graduate assistants either work with faculty as teaching assistant or serve as a recitation leader for principles accounting classes. Both positions require working a maximum of 10 hours per week.

Are student loans available to MACC students?

Yes. Currently graduate students may borrow from several student loan programs. These programs are constantly changing. For specific program requirements and application materials, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships:


International students generally do not qualify for U.S.-based student loans.

Other Questions

Is the MACC program accredited?

Yes. The Moore School and the School of Accounting are both accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

AACSB Accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in business education, and is earned by less than five percent of the world's business programs. The Darla Moore School of Business is one of only 716 business schools globally that maintains AACSB Business Accreditation, and one of only 181 institutions in the world to also maintain a specialized AACSB Accreditation for accounting.

Are there opportunities to visit the MACC program?

Yes! We offer a variety of events that get you on campus, get your questions answered, and get you directly in touch with our current students, faculty, program director and admissions team.

Visit our MACC Events page to learn more about our events, including: On-Campus Information Sessions, MACC One-on-Ones, Decision in a Day, and MACC: Day One.

I can't make it to Columbia. How can I learn more about the MACC program?

Can't make it to Columbia? No problem. Watch an information session from your living room, or catch us in your city during one of our MACC on Tour events.

Visit our MACC Events page to see when we're heading to your town, or how to connect with us virtually.

Who do I contact for additional information about the MACC Program?

If you have any additional questions regarding the USC MACC Program, including administrative questions about the application process, event registration, admissions, financial awards, Etc., please contact:

Jared Jones
Master of Accountancy Program Director
Darla Moore School of Business
University of South Carolina
1014 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208

To receive the most thorough answer to your MACC Program questions, please include the following in your email requests:

  • All of your transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable; we can obtain current USC student transcripts)

  • GMAT score(s) if you have taken the exam (unofficial scores are acceptable)

  • TOEFL or IELTS score report if they have taken (international students only; unofficial scores are acceptable)

  • A current resume (not mandatory, but extremely helpful)

  • A brief (one or two paragraph) statement of your career objectives (not mandatory, but extremely helpful)

If you feel that an in-person meeting would be more beneficial to you, we are happy to meet with you. Please contact us in advance to schedule a time.

How do I find out more about CPA hour requirements?

We recommend the following sources for great information about the accounting profession and CPA hour requirements:

American Institute of CPASs (AICPA): A wealth of information about the profession, including links to the various state CPA exam and license requirements. We encourage signing up for a free affiliate/student membership if you qualify.

South Carolina Association of CPAs (SCACPA): Student and Educators section contains useful information for aspiring and new CPAs -- including scholarship opportunities. We encourage joining SCACPA as a student member if you qualify.

Institute of Management Accountants (IMA): A great source of information about corporate accounting. We encourage joining IMA as a student member if you qualify.