Penn State launches online graduate program in taxation

February 16, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A new graduate program from Penn State can help tax professionals gain the expert knowledge they need to advise corporate and individual clients on their tax obligations.

The new graduate taxation program is being offered exclusively online through Penn State World Campus in collaboration with the internationally ranked, AACSB-accredited Penn State Smeal College of Business.

The program consists of two credentials, a 30-credit master's in taxation with courses that explore the foundations of taxation and tax structures in public and private entities and a nine-credit graduate certificate that can serve as a springboard to the master’s degree.

Penn State is accepting applications for the master’s degree and graduate certificate for admission in the University’s fall semester, which starts in August.

“This foundational knowledge is essential for tax professionals who are looking to specialize or advance to a higher-level position in their careers,” said Larry Friedken, clinical associate professor of accounting and the director of the taxation program. “We are excited to open this new program so that it can help students reach their goals.”

The courses in taxation will be taught by the faculty of the Department of Accounting in the Smeal College of Business. Friedken said the courses present case analyses that use real-world examples so students can learn to solve the kinds of issues they could expect to encounter when working with clients.

In the courses, students will learn about developing tax planning strategies to lower their clients' tax burden and increase profit, how the IRS interprets and applies tax law, conducting research and analyzing laws to make recommendations.

Students can choose electives in topics such as business analytics, business administration, management consulting and more.

The master’s degree includes a capstone course in which students will conduct research and perform analyses for a culminating project.

Students who complete their degree can be qualified to work in positions such as tax consultant, tax manager or tax director.

In addition, students may be able to apply credits toward their 150-credit requirement for certified public accountant licensure.

The graduate certificate in taxation gives students a chance to explore the foundational topics in taxation before they commit to a master’s degree. Students may be able to apply the credits from the certificate toward the master’s degree if they apply and are accepted to the program.

Visit the Penn State World Campus website for more information about the master’s in taxation.

Last Updated February 18, 2021