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How to get accepted to your first-choice MAC program


You’re ready. Ready for the challenge. Ready for the rewards. Ready to earn a Master of Accounting degree.

So what’s the process? And more importantly, how do you maximize your chances of getting in to a top program?

Though every MAC program will have somewhat different requirements, there are several common steps.

1. Choose the schools you’d like to apply to. You may have one favorite program you really want to get in to, but you may also want to have a couple other options in mind. If you haven’t already visited the campus or at least contacted the admissions officers at schools you’re interested in, now’s the time.

2. Mark admissions deadlines on your calendar. Even if those admissions deadlines are months away, now’s the time to start getting organized. Put the admissions deadline for each school you plan to apply to on your calendar.

3. Make a list of the requirements for each school. Do they accept both Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scores, or do they prefer one test over the other? How many letters of recommendation do you need, and from who?

>> Get more tips on tackling admissions requirements. Download “A Checklist for Success”.

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4. Schedule a date to take the GRE and/or GMAT, and then start studying. You can get self-study guides online or in bookstores, or you might choose to take a guided test-prep class. There are also free test preparation software and guides available for the GMAT and the GRE.

5. Polish your resumé. Many MAC programs will want to review your resumé as a way of assessing how suitable and well prepared you are not only for grad school, but also for a career as a leader in accounting. You should include your undergraduate and any other academic work, job experience, military experience, volunteer and leadership activities, honors and awards you’ve received, and travel activities, such as study-abroad programs.

6. Ask for recommendation letters. Different MAC programs may have different requirements for recommendation letters, so make sure you get the details from admissions officers. Some schools will ask for one or more letters specifically from a former teacher or a former manager, for example. Think about professors, current and former bosses, and others who are familiar with you and who could judge your ability to succeed in graduate school. Contact them well in advance, and ask if they would be willing to endorse you with a letter of recommendation.

>> Need more recommendation letter help? Download “A Checklist for Success.”

7. Write a strong statement of purpose and/or application essay. Here again, the exact requirement will vary from school to school, but don’t wait to start on this part. This is not the time to pull an all-nighter. The Writing Center at UNC has several helpful tips on writing strong application essays.

8. Last, but not least, consider how you’re going to pay for the program. Ultimately the school you attend should have a financial aid office that can help you with loans, scholarships, grants and other forms of aid. But you’ll be farther along if you start figuring out how much graduate school is going to cost — tuition, books and living expenses for the duration of the program — and what kind of support you’ll need.

If you’re applying to several programs, you’ll probably have quite a few questions. We’ve asked our very own admissions team to share some of their hard earned feedback from reviewing countless applications and conducting hundreds of interviews. You won’t believe some of the common mistakes applicants make!