The Master of Accountancy (M.Acc. or M.Acy.), alternatively Master of Science in Accountancy (M.S.Acy.) or Master of Professional Accountancy (M.P.Acy.) is a graduate professional degree designed to prepare students for public accounting and to provide them with the 150 credit hours of classroom, but mostly clinical hours, required by most states before taking the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination.
Similar graduate programs exist in Canada, where certain universities such as University of Waterloo's School of Accounting and Finance, or Carleton University's Sprott School of Business, offer the MAcc and waive all required education requirements up until the Common Final Examination (CFE) in order to become a Canadian CPA.
This specialty program usually runs one to two years in length and contains from ten to twelve three semester credit courses (30 to 36 semester hours total). The program may consist of all graduate accounting courses or a combination of graduate accounting courses, graduate management, tax, leadership and other graduate business electives. The program is designed to not only prepare students for the CPA examination but also to provide a strong knowledge of accounting principles and business applications.
Note that in other countries, the degree's purpose may differ. Where the Bachelor of Accountancy is the prerequisite for professional practice, for example in South Africa, the Master of Accountancy comprises advanced coursework in a specialized area of accountancy (computer auditing, taxation...), as opposed to CPA preparation as above. It may also be offered as a research based program, granting access to doctoral programs.