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100% remote – delivered synchronously online via Zoom

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) takes pride in having one of the oldest Masters of Science in Taxation (MST) in the state. The MST offered through the Silberman College of Business is designed to meet the growing educational and training needs of area professionals.

Silberman College of Business is fully accredited by AACSB International. This prestigious seal of academic approval is attained by only 5% of all business schools globally.

Ten great reasons to join this program

  1. 100% remote – delivered online synchronously on Zoom – convenient and accessible to working professionals.
  2. Affordable – the degree can be earned for approximately $30,000 in tuition.
  3. Designed to meet the educational and training needs of tax professionals.
  4. Provides both practical knowledge and technical expertise.
  5. Benefits both entry-level and experienced professionals. Every student is assigned a free RIA Checkpoint account while in the program.
  6. GMAT may be waived for CPA, EA, CMA, CFP, JD, and MBA AACSB accredited schools and/or based on substantial work experience in tax, accounting, or financial planning.
  7. Faculty have outstanding academic credentials and strong professional backgrounds.
  8. No classes during the peak of tax season. Classes are held during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Classes are normally held in the evenings and occasionally on Saturdays.
  9. Important electives such as ASC 740, International Tax, S Corp, Financial Products, and others.
  10. Graduates employed at the Big 4, mid-sized regional firms, small firms, IRS, and corporate tax departments.

To learn more, contact the program director, Professor Ron West

Specialized focus on taxation

The MS in Taxation program is highly focused and practice-oriented. In scope, it is much more specific than the traditional course of study pursued in an MBA program with a concentration in tax. The MST is dedicated exclusively to the study of taxation.

The program was designed to provide you with both the practical knowledge and technical expertise needed to succeed as a tax professional. The program is ideal for practicing accountants and attorneys, financial planners, recent accounting graduates, and non-accountants wishing to enter the field of taxation. Both entry-level and experienced professionals will benefit from the program.

Emphasis is placed on technical competence in practical applications of current tax law as well as research and planning. Students in the program are exposed to all areas of taxation, including partnerships, corporate, international, trusts, compensation, and estate taxation. Courses not only cover the basics of taxation, but also advanced subject matter and procedural areas of tax law.

See updates from the Department of Accounting, Taxation, and Law: Newsletter (PDF).

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Meet Richard Nelson
Frequently asked questions
  • There are many pathways to admission. Please refer to the Admissions Requirements for further details.

  • Starting in fall 2020, MS in Taxation classes are being offered in a remote format and delivered online. Typically evening classes start at 6 PM. Students will not be required to come to campus, but will need internet access to log into class sessions.

    For students needing to complete pre-requisite classes, such classes may be taken either online or in-person at either our Florham Campus in Madison, NJ, or at the Metro Campus in Hackensack, NJ. Alternatively, and with prior Department permission, pre-requisite classes may be taken at other AACSB institutions with an earned grade of B or better.

    To accommodate the busy schedule of working professionals, classes are offered on weekday evenings, occasionally on Saturdays, and during summers. Classes are generally not scheduled during the peak of tax season.

  • Yes. The cycle of classes typically begins in the fall semester, but you can enter the program at any time, subject to class scheduling. You may take courses at the pace that suits your work-life demands – as many as three classes or as few as one class per semester or even skipping a semester on occasion. All course work (including pre-requisites) must be completed within seven years.

  • Credits in the MS in Taxation program may qualify towards the 150-semester hours of education requirements for obtaining the CPA certification. Details on what will qualify may vary from state to state according to the rules of each state accounting board.

  • Current students and alumni of the program may take courses to enhance their expertise in specific areas or to meet Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements. CPE credits for university and college courses are set forth by the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy in the Law and Public Safety Chapter of the NJ Administrative Code under sections 13:29-6.5(a)(2) and 13:29-6.8(a).

Degree Requirements

The MS in Taxation degree is obtained by completing 30 credits in required and elective courses. Additional prerequisite courses, described below, may be required for those students not meeting the appropriate undergraduate requirements.

The seven core courses (21 credits) are required of all students. The remaining courses (9 credits) may be selected from electives. Subject to prerequisites, there is no set order in which the courses have to be taken.

To graduate, you must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better.

Prerequisite Courses

Several of the five prerequisite courses, including Individual Taxation (ACCT6605 or ACCT4267), must be completed before starting the required coursework in the MS in Taxation. CPAs and accounting majors are typically able to waive four of the five prerequisite courses based on prior coursework. The fifth course, Entity Taxation (ACCT6606), may be taken concurrently with MS in Taxation courses and should be taken as early as possible since this class is a specific prerequisite for several of the MS in Taxation classes. 

The five prerequisite courses are:

  1. Financial Accounting – 3 credits: ACCT 2021ACCT 6400, or course equivalent
  2. Individual Taxation – 3 credits: ACCT6605ACCT4267, or course equivalent
  3. Entity Taxation – 3 credits: ACCT6606 or course equivalent
  4. Business Law – 3 credits: LAW6657 or course equivalent
  5. Finance – 3 credits: FIN3250, FIN3310, FIN 6020, FIN 6400, or course equivalent

A prerequisite course may be waived if you have previously completed the course at FDU (or an equivalent course elsewhere) within the prior five years with a grade of B or better. Waiver of courses is determined based on the review of the department chair.

Required courses (21 Credits)

Elective courses (9 credits)

The remaining three courses (9 credits) may be selected from the following list of electives. Students do not have to complete the required courses before taking electives. Because electives are not generally offered as often as the required courses, students interested in specific electives may wish to sign up for the class when given.

  • TAX6625 Estate & Gift Taxation
  • TAX7705 U.S. International Corporate Taxation
  • TAX7725 Advanced Corporate Tax II (Prerequisite: TAX6622)
  • TAX7730 Income Taxation of Estates & Trusts
  • TAX7750 State & Local Taxation: Corporate & Individual Taxation
  • TAX7752 State & Local Taxation: Sales, Use & Property Taxes
  • TAX8840 Selected Studies: Taxation of S Corporations (Prerequisite: ACCT6606 or TAX6622)
  • TAX8860 Accounting for Income Taxes: ASC 740 (FAS109)

MS in Taxation program learning goals

Upon completion of this program, you will be able to:

  • Analyze tax issues for individuals and various domestic or international business entities. Having studied the conceptual and analytical framework, including real life applications, graduates will be able to propose solutions to tax problems. (Critical Thinking)
  • Analyze and propose effective solutions to ethical problems in tax practice. (Ethical Awareness)
  • Perform research in professional tax data bases. Graduates will be able to produce reports detailing the result of their research in a clear, concise and effective manner. (Information Quality)
  • Produce effective collaboration, leadership, negotiation and communication skills needed for effective tax practice. (Interaction)
  • Evaluate and analyze tax legislation, statutes, court cases, regulations and IRS pronouncements. Graduates will be able to judge tax policy issues. (Perspective)

Teaching opportunities in taxation

The MS in Taxation program at FDU is continually seeking qualified candidates interested in teaching various tax courses.

We are always interested in pre-qualifying candidates who can be added to our pool of potential adjunct faculty. We are particularly interested in candidates willing to teach classes held on Saturdays (mornings or afternoons). Qualified candidates should ideally have a JD/CPA degree with appropriate tax experience. An LLM degree in taxation is a plus.

Interested candidates should email their resume to Professor Ron West, Program Director.

Learn More

Contact the SCB Graduate Advising offices for more information.

Course Descriptions

  • ACCT2021 An introduction to the concepts underlying an accounting information system. Transactions are analyzed, recorded, and summarized into a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. Additional topics include fixed asset acquisitions and disposals, patents, franchises, goodwill, bond amortization, bond premiums and discounts, common and preferred stock issuance, dividends, and treasury stock issuance and retirement.

  • ACCT4267 An introduction to federal taxation. This course studies tax principles as they affect the individual. Topics include identification of the tax payer; income and deductions, deferral and nonrecognition transactions; and converting taxable income into tax liability. Expert computer system will be used in the course.

  • ACCT6605 A first course in taxation for graduate students without prior study in taxation. It examines tax principles as they affect the individual

  • ACCT6606 This course is a sequel to ACCT6605 Federal Tax I.It examines taxation as it concerns business entities, such as C and S corporations, LLC's and partnerships. Students are highly encouraged to take ACCT 6605 first. Anyone who has not will be instructed to self-study certain materials from ACCT 6605 for which the text is same.

  • FIN3250 This is an introductory Business Core course in the fundamental principles and techniques of finance. Topics include: financial management and shareholder wealth creation, understanding and analysis of financial statements, time value of money, fixed income and common equity valuation, capital budgeting, working capital management and multinational financial management.

  • FIN3310 This is an intermediate financial analysis course in risk and return relationships, valuation models, cost of capital, capital structure, capital budgeting, corporate value and value-based financial management, and financial planning and forecasting financial statements.

  • FIN6020 The course covers the essential financial topics for the CPA exam. An introduction to time value of money and financial markets is followed by the valuation of bonds and stocks. Risk return models and capital structure are incorporated into a discussion of the cost of capital. Evaluation of cash-flow and project selection introduces the student to asset valuation. Analysis of financial ratios and of cash conversion cycle lead to an understanding of the short term management of the financial position of the firm.

  • LAW6657 This course covers the essential areas of the Uniform Commercial Code, namely contracts, agency, negotiable instruments, secured transactions, bankruptcy, partnerships and corporations. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Acts are given appropriate coverage.

  • TAX6621 This course is designed to introduce the student to the case method and the use of the Internal Revenue Code as a foundation for tax research and planning. Substantively, the course examines gains and losses, basis rules, capital assets, section 1231, taxation of capital transactions, depreciation and recapture, interest, charitable contributions and tax aspects of divorce.

  • TAX6622 This course introduces the study of corporate taxation. It covers the tax aspects of incorporation, financing the entity, distributions, redemptions and liquidations. S Corporations also are covered, as well as the alternative minimum tax and computation of taxable income and tax.

  • TAX6625 The study of transfer taxes during life and death. Concepts such as gross and taxable estate and gifts will be explored in deatil. The course covers inclusions, deductions, valuation, exemptions, credits and tax computations for gifts and estates.

  • TAX6670 The study of tax law as it pertains to the timing and treatmemt of tax terms. Topics will include the cash and accrual method for income tax, installment sales, inventories (including unicap) , changes in accounting methods, the tax benefit rule, accounting periods, time value of money and the annual accounting period.

  • TAX6850 A study and implementation of tax research technique, including Internet and proprietary research databases. Through a variety of written projects, oral presentations and class material, the student will develop the ability to identify, research and communicate the solutions to a variety of tax issues that are encountered in practice. Emphasis will be on the development of sound research and writing skills.

  • TAX7705 A comprehensive course for corporate tax practitioners who do not choose to specialize in international tax. The course is an intensive course limited in scope. Certain topics, such as foreign tax credit and Subpart F, are covered in the same depth as they are in specialist courses, but offer only limited, if any, coverage of other specialist topics. The goal is to teach those operating in a large corporate environment what they need to know to function as an international tax person. This course covers topics such as the foreign tax credit, sourcing of income, deemed paid credits, separate limitation categories, allocation and apportonment rules and Subpart F.

  • TAX7724 A study of Subtitle F of the Code, dealing with tax procedures applicable to individuals and businesses. Topics include IRS organization, tax aspects of returns, administrative rulings and positions statements, civil litigation in tax and district court, statutues of limitations, various types of assessments, waivers, overpayment and refunds, interest and civil penalties. The course also will include a study of Circular 230, professional rsponsobility, and penalties that apply to practitioners.

  • TAX7725 A continuation of TAX 6622 Advanced Corporate Tax I, this course covers corporate acquisitions and dispositions, including both taxable transactions and nonrecognition reorganizations in depth, followed by reorrganizations within a single corporation and divisive reorganizations. Topics include the judicial doctrine of business purpose, step transaction and continuity of interest. The course ends with a study of the transfer and survival of corporate tax attributes after reorganization.

  • TAX7727 This course concentrates on the tax aspects of acquisitions and dispositions of property. Topics will include like-kind exchanges, involuntary conversions, assignment of income doctrine, disposition of residence, cancellation of indebtedness and limitation of losses, such as at-risk rules and passive activity rules, hobby losses, home office and NOL.

  • TAX7728 The study of the federal taxation of partnerships and partners. The course covers formation, operation and liquidation of a partnership, including the acquisition of partnership interests, compensation of a service partner, treatment of partnership distributions, basis, allocations, liquidations and problems associated with the disposition of partnership interests or property by sale.

  • TAX7730 A study of the federal income taxation of estates and trusts (grantor, simple and complex). The course analyzes tax consequences to fidiciaries, beneficiaries, grantors and other parties from ineption through termination. Topics include general rules for taxation, fidiuciary accounting income, distributable net income, income distribution, compensation of taxable income, various distributions and income in respect of a decedent.

  • TAX7750 A study of the major income and franchise tax issues confronting nonresident individuals, pass-through entities, nonresident shareholders of S corporations and multistate and multinational corporate businesses covered in the context of current litigation and rule-making at the state and local levels. The course also explores tax planning opportunities for the multistate business and the use of transfer pricing in state and local income tax matters. Individual income taxation and the interaction between the state and federal systems also are discussed. Special attention is paid to tax systems used in New York and New Jersey.

  • TAX7752 This course examines the sales, use and property tax schemes prevailing in the United States. Sales and use tax constitutes roughly 33 percent of all state tax collections, whereas property tax constitutes about 50 percent. The course examines the definition of a sale, the nuances relative to a manufacturing and construction, the power of the states to assert jurisdiction over aspects of a transaction occurring beyond their borders and exemptions. Relating to property tax, the course examines State Constitutional Principles of Uniformity and Equal Protection, approaches to valuation, exemption and incentives. Special attention is paid to tax systems used in New York and New Jersey. Other common levies may also be covered.

  • TAX8840 This course undertakes and in-depth study and analysis of the tax laws that apply to S corporations and their shareholders.

  • TAX8860 This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of the financial accounting for income taxes under U.S. GAAP. The course begins with a conceptual framework, and then discusses such practical applications as computing the tax provision, effective tax rate, quarterly and annual reporting, and financial disclosures for income taxes. All major elements of ASC 740 (FAS 109) are considered, as are related pronouncements such as (pre-codification) FIN 48, APB 28, FIN 18, and other accounting guidance. Emphasis will be given to practical application of the accounting standards to ?real-world? situations.