It's a fact of life that taxes are complicated. Savvy experts who can navigate the latest tax legislation and effectively plan for whatever may come next are in demand.
The Online MS in Taxation program at Northeastern's D'Amore-McKim School of Business will help you excel in the ever-evolving realm of tax laws and regulations. Through Northeastern's future-focused lens, you’ll study the latest taxation issues and challenges brought about by developments in technology, federal laws, and international policies. In addition, you'll learn to hone your uniquely human skills like creativity and problem solving that will make you an effective modern business leader.
This one-of-a-kind, experience-powered program is designed for those with a tax or accounting background and is suited to your busy schedule and seasonal work requirements.
Graduate in as few as 16 months
Two study tracks: Taxation of Entities and Taxation of Individuals
Courses limited to 20 students
Vast global alumni network—find connections, access expert opinions, and gain industry insight
Why this program?
At D'Amore-McKim, your project-based coursework and the knowledge you gain from your fellow experienced classmates and professors will help you leverage many different real-world applications in your tax career. You'll graduate ready to lead with a unique perspective on taxation issues as they relate to global economic and technological developments.
Northeastern’s Online Master of Science in Taxation at a glance:
Earn a degree from a Top 40 research university
Study an expertly-designed curriculum to supplement your current professional experience, giving you a comprehensive understanding of modern tax principles
Learn from a faculty of taxation, accounting, and finance industry leaders who use their own work and research when building your curriculum
Take part in intimate online courses that foster a strong peer network and allow for robust interaction with your faculty
Tailor your degree by selecting a track in Taxation of Entities or Taxation of Individuals
Listen to lectures, access course materials, and submit assignments by deadlines at your own pace each week
Take advantage of flexible scheduling options; courses are generally seven weeks long, and if needed, you can choose when to stop or take a break to plan around your busy tax season
Expand your network and connect with other experienced tax professionals by gaining access to 40,000 distinguished alumni from D’Amore-McKim and 235,000 alumni from Northeastern
Start when you’re ready with a selection of start dates in spring, fall, and winter
Earn your degree in as few as 16 months
Choose from two tracks
The Online MS in Taxation features two tracks of study. Choose between Taxation of Entities or Taxation of Individuals depending on your specialization or area of interest.
Taxation of Entities
Advance your expertise in local, state, and international taxation; flow-through entities; and corporate accounting.
Taxation of Individuals
Expand your knowledge of insurance, investments, trusts and estates, income tax liabilities, and retirement plans.
At Northeastern’s D-Amore-McKim School of Business, the Online MS in Taxation has been designed for resilient, lifelong learners like you. It's perfect for experienced tax professionals who want a deeper understanding of the principles and practice of audit, taxation, and corporate governance.
This program includes experience-powered learning opportunities, which is the hallmark of a Northeastern education. You’ll be embedded in project-based work where you can apply your knowledge right away and become a more creative and agile employee.
The Online MS in Taxation program consists of 30 credit hours which spans 15 credit hours of required courses and 15 credit hours for electives based on your chosen study track.
You'll learn best when you are challenged and supported. That’s why Northeastern's academic environment is rigorous, guided, and flexible. You'll focus on one course at a time for an intensive learning experience. Start when you're ready at one of Northeastern's multiple start times each year and plan your class schedule to fit your needs.
You can complete the program in as few as 16 months, and your dedicated student services advisor will be with you each step of the way from planning your schedule, to asking tough questions that will challenge your perceptions, to helping you build your community.
ACCT 5230 – Federal Tax Issues and Analysis (3 credit hours)
Gives a broad examination of tax authority as it guides action on tax issues, including personal and business decisions. Examines the tax structure with a specific focus on income and expenses for individual taxpayers. Emphasizes property transactions (including the calculation of basis, gain/loss, and the resulting tax treatment). Also incorporates tax planning and research related to these issues.
ACCT 6231 – Corporations and Shareholders (3 credit hours)
Provides an in-depth study of tax issues related to the corporate form and the corresponding tax implications for shareholders. Given the importance of corporations in the federal income tax system, an understanding of the tax issues related to this type of business is essential for tax professionals. Topics include capital formation and structure, the operations of the corporation, distributions, dividends and redemptions, sales and liquidations, and taxable and tax-free reorganizations. Prerequisite: ACCT 5230 or ACCT 6230.
ACCT 5232 – Estate and Gift Taxation (3 credit hours)
Focuses on the study of the taxes common to the transfer of property and wealth. Topics include gift tax deductions and exclusions, estate valuation, state tax deductions and exemptions, and tax rates. Also explores planning opportunities for these wealth transfer taxes. Prerequisite: ACCT 5230 or ACCT 6230.
ACCT 6235 – Partners and Partnerships (3 credit hours)
Provides an in-depth study of the tax issues related to one of the central flow-through entities, the partnership. The increasing popularity of flow-through entities as an organizational form has made an understanding of the tax issues related to this type of entity an important area of study for tax professionals. Topics include capital formation, operations, transactions between the partner and the partnership, distributions, sales of partnership interests, and liquidation of the partnership. Prerequisite: ACCT 5230 or ACCT 6230.
Offers students an opportunity to develop and refine their tax research skills through practical exercises. Covers the creation of various sources of tax authority. Exposes students to the procedures used in dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), with an emphasis on practitioner responsibilities. Reviews the organization of the IRS, filing requirements, appeal procedures, civil/criminal statutes, assessments, and protests. Includes a study of the value and moral judgments inherent in the field of taxation, including client confidentiality, disclosure of false or misleading information, and advice counter to the law or public good.
Your electives will depend on your chosen study track:
Taxation of Entities
ACCT 6239 – State and Local Taxation (3 credit hours)
Addresses the most common types of taxes imposed by state and local governments. Examines state and local income, sales, excise, property, and city taxes. Emphasis is on the underlying principles governing the application of each type of tax and the interrelationships where they exist. Prerequisite: ACCT 5230 or ACCT 6230.
ACCT 6240 – International Taxation: Inbound Transactions (3 credit hours)
Addresses the taxation of foreign individuals or corporations receiving income from sources, or conducting business, in the United States. With the globalization of the economy, a greater number of taxpayers must consider the impact of international taxation. Topics include the sourcing of income, taxation of passive income, taxation of income connected to a U.S. trade or business, branch-level taxes, issues of foreign-owned U.S. corporations, income tax treaties, and transfer pricing. Prerequisite: ACCT 6231 or ACCT 6235.
ACCT 6241 – International Taxation: Outbound Transactions (3 credit hours)
Examines the federal taxation of U.S. individuals receiving income from sources or conducting business in foreign jurisdictions. An increase in the number of U.S. individuals and corporations operating in other countries has enhanced the importance of an understanding of international transactions for tax professionals. Examines sourcing of income, allocation and apportionment of deductions, foreign tax credits, taxation of U.S. citizens and residents abroad, controlled federal corporations, passive foreign investment companies, foreign currency translations and transactions, and special entities. Prerequisites: ACCT 6231 and ACCT 6235.
ACCT 6243 – Advanced Flow Through Entities (3 credit hours)
Offers an in-depth look at the tax consequences of businesses formed as flow-through entities (including partnerships, S corporations, and LLCs). Discusses allocation rules, liability sharing rules, disguised sales rules, partnership debt workouts, the S corporation election, and tax treatment of shareholders in an S corporation. Prerequisite: ACCT 6231 or ACCT 6235.
ACCT 6265 – Tax Accounting for Income Taxes (3 credit hours)
Investigates the reporting of uncertain positions and accounting treatment accorded current and deferred income tax liabilities and expenses. Topics include accounting for uncertain tax positions, accounting methods and periods (particularly in cases where the accounting and tax records differ), special elections available to taxpayers, installment reporting, inventory methods, long-term contract accounting, and cash vs. accrual reporting.
Taxation of Individuals
ACCT 6246 – Retirement Plans (3 credit hours)
Examines employee benefit plans including requirements for qualification, funding, coverage, and distribution requirements. Discusses a variety of plans including pension, profit-sharing, CODAs, IRAs, SEPs, TSAs, and stock plans. Prerequisite: ACCT 5230 or ACCT 6230.
ACCT 6248 – Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates (3 credit hours)
Examines the general rules for the taxation of estates and trusts. Topics include trusts that distribute current income only, grantor trusts, irrevocable trusts, charitable vehicles, income in respect of a decedent, estates and trusts that may accumulate income or may distribute corpus, and treatments of excess distributions and beneficiaries. Prerequisite: ACCT 5232.
ACCT 6249 – Financial Planning for Investments (3 credit hours)
Surveys the investment products that can be used for financial planning. Emphasis is on constructing the investment plan, the investment policy statement, the asset allocation strategy, and implementation recommendations. Prerequisite: ACCT 5232.
ACCT 6250 – Financial Planning for Insurance (3 credit hours)
Surveys insurance products used for financial planning. Topics include life, accident, health, disability, long-term care, homeowner, auto, and personal liability, with emphasis on personal risk management and the use of insurance products in the financial planning process. Prerequisite: ACCT 5232.
Examines advanced strategies for maximizing personal goals (including probate avoidance, tax minimization, and asset protection) related to property passed from one generation to another. Emphasizes trust vs. will planning and other vehicles for estate planning; the principles of estate taxation; the impact of employee benefits, trusts, and their taxations; and life insurance policies and associated annuities.
Your application to this Online Master of Science in Taxation program will require the following:
Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
English proficiency, both written and verbal, is necessary for success in D’Amore-McKim classrooms. If you are not a native English speaker, Northeastern requires a standardized test of English language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo in lieu of TOEFL, or PTE Academic scores) unless you completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree at an accredited institution where English is the language of instruction, or you have worked full-time for two years in the United States or other native English-speaking environment.
Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. GPA of 3.25 or higher on a scale of 4.0, or GMAT required
Undergraduate or graduate course in taxation with a grade of 3.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0
A minimum of two years of tax experience including one busy season or hold one of the following credentials: JD, CPA, CFP, or Enrolled Agent
*Applications are reviewed holistically and the admissions committee takes into account a wide variety of application criteria. Factors that may strengthen your application include STEM-designated and business degrees, professional designations or certifications, or an optional GMAT score. If you do not meet a minimum requirement listed above, you are still encouraged to apply.
Tuition and fees
2020 - 2021
D’Amore-McKim School of Business Programs $1,640 (per credit hour)
Explore several financing options available, including subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans, private education loans, employer-sponsored tuition assistance, and an annual installment payment plan.
*All tuition and fees are subject to revision by Northeastern University’s Board of Trustees
Double Husky Scholarship (tuition only)
Are you a Northeastern graduate who is considering going back to school to earn a business master’s credential? The Double Husky Scholarship helps Husky alumni finance their graduate education by providing a tuition discount of 25 percent for eligible graduate programs at D'Amore-McKim.
Yellow Ribbon Program
Northeastern University supports veterans through a combination of scholarships and financial aid. If the cost of your tuition and fees exceeds the maximum annual Post-9/11 GI Bill payment, you may apply to the program to cover your additional expenses. Active military members and their spouses are not eligible, but are invited to apply after completing their service.
About Northeastern University
Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university and the recognized leader in experience-powered lifelong learning. Their world-renowned experiential approach empowers students, faculty, alumni, and partners to create an impact far beyond the confines of disciplines, degree, and campus.
Their locations—in Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; London; Portland, Maine; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Toronto; Vancouver; and the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant—are nodes in their growing global university system. Through this network, Northeastern expands opportunities for flexible, student-centered learning and collaborative, solutions-focused research.
Northeastern’s comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate programs—in on-campus, online, and hybrid formats—lead to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools. Among these, Northeastern offers more than 140 multidisciplinary majors and degrees designed to prepare students for purposeful lives and careers.
About the D’Amore-McKim School of Business
Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business prepares people and organizations to thrive in a global business environment of rapid-fire change driven by converging digital technologies. The school develops leaders and innovators who are proficient in human, data, and technological literacies; global in outlook and entrepreneurial in mindset; and invested in lifelong learning for themselves and their teams.
Accreditation and ranking
Northeastern is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
The D'Amore-McKim School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International—the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide
Shaped by an experience-powered mission, Northeastern's voice is one of empowerment. Many faculty members are also current full-time or part-time tax practitioners who incorporate real-world expertise in audit, tax, and corporate governance into their teaching approach. Accounting professors at Northeastern have won prestigious university and school teaching awards and are dedicated to their students' success, even in times of uncertainty.
Each faculty member shares Northeastern's commitment toward creating a global ecosystem for research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. They have deep experience leading in today’s rapidly changing world. This includes pioneering scholars and business leaders who are committed to individual student success.