Accounting Information Systems Master of Science Degree

Admissions to program have been suspended.

In response to the growing demand for accountants with strong information technology (IT) skills, the School of Business has introduced a M.S. in Accounting Information Systems (AIS) program. This program consists of 10 courses (30 credits). Five courses in the information systems area are heavily computing oriented, but technical topics will be introduced in a well-coordinated sequence throughout the program. Therefore, students do not need a programming background to start this concentration. The remaining five courses provide a broad perspective on the economic, tax, and financial environment in which accounting operates.

The AIS concentration exposes future consultants and auditors of information systems to the following accounting IT topics:

  • Accounting Information Systems Implementation using Java, Java applet, Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), Graphical User Interface (GUI), Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Extensible Markup Language (XML), Java Server Page (JSP), servlet, multithreading, client-server programming, TCP/IP and UDP.
  • Accounting Databases Design including relational algebra, Entity-Relationship Diagram (ERD), Object Definition Language (ODL), Structured Query Language (SQL), Oracle, Java database Connectivity (JDBC), and the design and implementation of internal controls as database constraints.
  • Data Warehousing and Data Mining for Accountants using UNIX shell script, Exploratory Data Analysis, R/S-Plus, and data mining techniques such as Association Rule Mining, Clustering and Multi-Dimensional Scaling.
  • Accounting Information Systems Auditing focusing on technological and legal background to support technology risk assessment and information assurance consulting. The topics addressed include security modeling, computer security technologies such as Data Encryption Standard (DES), Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), authentication, Digital Signatures, Database security, and related topics.
  • Markup Languages for Accounting including XML, Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), XML Schema Definition (XSD), Document Type Definition (DTD), and Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT)

The AIS concentration is supported by the Graduate Accounting Systems Laboratory. This state-of-the-art laboratory includes a Sun Enterprise Server 450, and IBM Netfinity 5500 server, 3 IBM Netfinity 3000 servers, a Sun Ultrasparc II and Sparcstation 5 running Solaris operating system, eleven PCs running Windows 2000 Professional, an Imac, and a fast Postscript network printer. It is also supported by the School of Business network and the University's Unix cluster with a wide array of software. The laboratory supports Oracle, DB2, as well as SQL Server 2000 environments.

The University at Albany provides individuals exceptional professional training through our master's program. Our students are highly sought after by employers including the largest international consulting & accounting firms. Among the organizations that have recently hired our graduates are Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ayco, IBM and the Office of the NYS Comptroller. Not only have our alumni achieved success in public accounting, many have gone on to become leaders in the community and in the world of business.

The Curriculum
A typical program for a student accepted into full-time graduate study requires the completion of 30 credits. Most students complete the course work in one-year, while others study part-time and complete the program in two or more years. The required courses necessary to complete the program include the following:



Course # Course Description Credits
ACC 522 Statistical Methods for Forensic Accounting and Assurance 3
ACC 553 Digital Forensics 3
ACC 615 Financial Statement Analysis 3
ACC 661 Auditing of Advanced Accounting Systems 3
ACC 680 Research Seminar in Accounting 3
ACC 681 Accounting Information Systems 3
ACC 682 Design of Databases 3
ACC 683 Advanced Topics in Accounting Information Systems 3
BUS XXX Business Elective 3
BUS XXX Business Elective 3
  Total Credits 30


Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to petition the State Licensing Board for a waiver of one year of work-experience, a component necessary for certified public accountant (CPA) licensure in New York State. The MS-AIS program is registered with the Division of Professional Education of the State Education Department of New York and meets the 150- semester credit hour education requirement. In addition our program is accredited by the AACSB, as are all of our Accounting Programs. Very few accounting programs across the country have gained this distinction.