What Coursework is Required for a Master’s in Taxation?

coursework for masters in taxation

A Master’s in Taxation is one of the college programs designed for students who want to work in taxation and finance jobs. Most of the graduates of these programs become tax preparation specialists. They are the ones who handle the preparation of the taxes that individuals and companies must file. Specialists can help their clients find deductions and loopholes they can use to reduce the amount they owe. They can also assist those who need to file taxes from previous years and those who owe money in back taxes. Graduate programs in taxation usually include some of the same classes.

Foundation Courses

The colleges that offer taxation programs usually require that students have some experience in taxation and some fundamental knowledge before they enroll in a graduate program. Students will submit their transcripts to show the courses they took. If the college determines that the student did not take the number of prerequisites required, it may ask that he or she take some foundation courses. Those classes can include Introduction to Taxation, Financial Accounting and similar classes. Most schools allow students to take those classes in the summer and begin the full program in the fall with their peers.

Required Classes

Students who already have knowledge of financial topics and principles can start the full program at the beginning of a semester. Their schools will ask them to take some required courses. Most Master’s in Taxation programs include required classes such as Tax Research and Corporate Taxation. The research course prepares students for handling some of the issues that might occur when they file taxes and show them how to research new tax topics. Classes on corporate taxes will focus on how to file taxes for corporations and large companies. Most schools offer courses on nonprofit taxation and individual tax preparation too.


Though taxation graduate programs prepare students to handle the taxes of any of their clients, most programs allow students to pick elective courses that cover some unique topics. Estate Planning and similar electives show students how they can help clients plan what to do with their homes and properties when they pass away and how they can help clients who inherited money or properties. Electives can also include classes on filing taxes at the state and local levels or the practices used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Other Program Features

Students can study taxation today through traditional programs and via online programs. Both types will prepare them to handle the needs of their future clients. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 68,000 people work in tax preparation and earn a mean wage of just over $47,000 a year. Students can earn more money starting out when they have more experience, which they can earn through their schools. Some of the top programs require that students work in tax preparation clinics on the campus and that they prepare taxes for low-income families and individuals. They can also gain experience through internships that their schools can help them find.

Many students who want to work in finance and accounting positions think they need to earn degrees in those fields, but they can also find work with an advanced degree in taxation. Master’s in Taxation programs include required and foundation classes, electives and the chance to gain professional experience.

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