Apr 23, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024

USC Leventhal School of Accounting

A student walks to the Accounting building.

A student walks up to the Elaine and Kenneth Leventhal School of Accounting on Trousdale Parkway. Photo by William Vasta.

The USC Leventhal School of Accounting is dedicated to maintaining a leadership position in accounting education and research. We are committed to educational programs that seek to establish in each graduate the potential for career development into the highest executive levels of public accounting, controllership, financial management and management of accounting information systems. The accounting curriculum explores not only the state of the art but also seeks to explore the accounting discipline’s future structures and directions. Relevant concepts and techniques from other academic disciplines are drawn upon and integrated into all accounting programs.

Accounting education has been an integral part of USC since 1920, when the Department of Accounting offered a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. The Leventhal School of Accounting was established in 1979 in recognition of the growing importance of accounting to our economy and broader society. It continues to rank as one of the premier AACSB-accredited accounting programs in the nation.

Currently the Leventhal School of Accounting undergraduate program offers Bachelor of Science Accounting and Accounting and Finance  degrees. Some undergraduate students may be eligible for our progressive degree program, an efficient way to complete both undergraduate and graduate degrees. An accounting minor is also offered to students outside the USC Marshall School of Business. Also at the undergraduate level, the school offers a minor in risk management.

Graduate programs include Master of Accounting; Master of Business Taxation; Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals; and a Juris Doctor/Master of Business Taxation in conjunction with the USC Gould School of Law. A PhD Accounting program is offered through the doctoral program in the Marshall School of Business.

USC Leventhal School of Accounting
Accounting 101
(213) 740-4838
FAX: (213) 747-2815
Email for Graduate Programs: MAcc.MBT@marshall.usc.edu 
Email for Undergraduate Programs: lsoa_undergrad@marshall.usc.edu



William W. Holder, DBA, CPA, Dean, Alan Casden Dean’s Chair of Accountancy

Mark L. DeFond, PhD, CPA, Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs*

Lori Smith, BS, Associate Dean, Leventhal Graduate Programs

Smrity Randhawa, PhD, Associate Dean, Leventhal Undergraduate Programs*

Shane M. Heitzman, PhD, Academic Director of Accounting and Finance Degree

Megumi Horinouchi, BA, Senior Administrator

Cathy Cowan, BS, Director of Academic Programs

Arthur Alba, MA, Director of Undergraduate Programs

Erica Ramirez, MPA, Operations Manager


George Bozanic and Holman G. Hurt Chair in Sports and Entertainment Business: S. Mark Young, PhD*

Deloitte & Touche LLP Chair in Accountancy: Richard Sloan, PhD

A. N. Mosich Chair in Accounting: Mark L. DeFond, PhD, CPA*

Accounting Associates Professor of Accounting: Clive Lennox, PhD

Accounting Circle Professor of Accounting: Regina Wittenberg Moerman, PhD

Arthur Andersen & Co. Alumni Professor of Accounting: Mark Soliman, PhD*

Joseph A. DeBell Professor of Business Administration: TJ Wong, PhD

Robert R. Dockson Professor in Business Administration: Patricia Dechow, PhD

Ernst & Young Professor of Accounting: Sarah E. Bonner, PhD, CPA*

KPMG Foundation Professor of Accounting: K.R. Subramanyam, PhD

Professors: Randolph P. Beatty, PhD, CPA*; Sarah E. Bonner, PhD, CPA*; Patricia Dechow, PhD; Mark L. DeFond, PhD, CPA*; William W. Holder, DBA, CPA; Clive Lennox, PhD; Daniel E. O’Leary, PhD, CPA, CMA, CISA; Richard Sloan, PhD; Mark Soliman, PhD*, CPA; K.R. Subramanyam, PhD; Charles W. Swenson, PhD*, CPA; Regina Wittenberg-Moerman, PhD; TJ Wong, PhD; S. Mark Young, PhD*

Associate Professors: John J. Barcal, JD, CPA*; Shane M. Heitzman, PhD; Tracie Majors, PhD, CPA; Maria Ogneva, PhD; Shiing-Wu Wang, PhD*

Assistant Professors: Shelley Xin Li, PhD; Matthew Shaffer, PhD; Lorien Stice-Lawrence, PhD; David Tsui, PhD; Forester Wong, PhD

Professors of Clinical Accounting: Ruben A. Davila, JD, MBA, CPA*; Cecil W. Jackson, PhD, CPA*; Rose M. Layton, MAcc, CPA*; Shirley Maxey, BA*; Patricia Mills, JD, LLM*; Smrity Randhawa, PhD*; Francisco Román, PhD; Andreas Simon, PhD*, Lori Smith, BS

Associate Professors of Clinical Accounting: Zivia Sweeney, MBA, CPA*; Taylor Wiesen, PhD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Accounting: Michael C. Paranal, JD MBA, MBT, CPA*

Professor of the Practice of Accounting: Tony Aaron, MBA, CFA

Associate Professors of the Practice of Accounting: George Braunegg, MBA, CPA; Kristen Jaconi, JD*; Gregory M. Kling, MST, CPA

Emeritus Professors: Merle Hopkins, PhD*; Joseph L. Keller, MS, CPA; Thomas W. Lin, PhD, CMA; Kenneth A. Merchant, PhD, CPA; Theodore J. Mock, PhD; John Owens, BS; ZoeVonna Palmrose, PhD; Leslie Porter, PhD; Kenneth Simmonds, MBA, CPA*

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science, Accounting

The USC Leventhal School of Accounting offers the Bachelor of Science, Accounting (BS) degree designed to provide students with a broad foundation in accounting and business while helping them develop research, communication, critical reasoning and data analysis skills necessary for entry and success in business enterprises and the accounting profession. The undergraduate curriculum also prepares students for entry into the professional program leading to a Master of Accounting or Master of Business Taxation degree.

Bachelor of Science, Accounting and Finance

The Bachelor of Science, Accounting and Finance degree is offered jointly by the Leventhal School of Accounting and the Marshall School of Business. It offers qualified students an opportunity to gain an educational foundation in both areas.

Master of Accounting

The Master of Accounting (MAcc) program provides an integrated curriculum designed to prepare graduates for careers in professional accountancy, public accounting, industry and government. Students may choose an emphasis in Professional Accountancy, Data and Analytics, or Strategic Finance. This degree allows students the opportunity to study accounting in greater depth and in more areas of specialization than in undergraduate accounting programs or in MBA programs with concentrations in accounting. Students have flexibility in elective choices to reflect their career goals.

Master of Business Taxation

The Master of Business Taxation (MBT) degree is offered to both full-time and part-time students. The program is designed for accountants, attorneys and business professionals who wish to learn or improve skills and knowledge through participation in advanced tax study. Students have flexibility in elective choices to reflect their career focus and goals. The part-time program is referred to as the MBT for Working Professionals (MBTWP).

Juris Doctor/Master of Business Taxation

The USC Gould School of Law and the Leventhal School of Accounting offer this dual degree program. Admission to the JD program offered by the Law School is required before applying to the MBT program offered by the Leventhal School of Accounting.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Marshall School of Business offers the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in conjunction with the Graduate School. A student electing to major in accounting may design a research program that emphasizes auditing, financial accounting, information systems, management accounting or taxation. More information on the doctoral program is available in the USC Marshall School of Business  section of this catalogue, or contact the doctoral office at (213) 740-0674 or the director of doctoral studies in accounting at (213) 740-4838.

Admission to Master’s Programs

The Leventhal School of Accounting seeks individuals who have the potential for outstanding achievement in accounting or taxation. The Admissions Committee uses the holistic review model. Candidates are reviewed on the merits of their application and the merits of the applicant pool for the year in which they seek admission.

Applicants to the full-time programs are not required to have previous work experience. Applicants to the part-time MBT program (MBTWP) are required to have a minimum of one year full-time professional experience related to taxation after receiving an undergraduate degree.

Application to the Master’s Programs

An admission decision requires the following: (1) a completed USC Leventhal School of Accounting online graduate application (available at gradadm.usc.edu/); (2) a non-refundable application fee; (3) one official transcript from the registrar of each college or university attended (undergraduate and/or postgraduate); (4) two letters of recommendation; (5) a professional résumé; (6) an official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score report or, for JD/MBT applicants or attorneys, an official Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score report; and (7) an essay. Finalists must also complete an interview.

Applicants for the JD/MBT dual degree program should apply to the Leventhal School of Accounting for admission to the MBT program in the second semester of their first year in the USC Gould School of Law. In addition, current Law School transcripts and a “letter in good standing” from the registrar of the Law School must be submitted as part of the application. The same Leventhal School of Accounting admission criteria apply to the MBT portion of the JD/MBT program.

International Students

In addition to the application requirements noted above, all international students must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. A letter of financial support is also required.

MAcc/MBT for Current USC Students

The Leventhal School of Accounting offers the opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years or less. This simplified, early admission process is for current USC students who have demonstrated exceptional academic success in undergraduate studies and who have completed a minimum of 70 units of course work. Strong SAT scores may be substituted for GMAT scores for continuing USC students only.

Please see a Leventhal School of Accounting academic adviser for further information and to develop a course plan proposal.

Application Deadlines

Full-time MAcc and MBT – Applicants are urged to file a completed application as early as possible. For applications to the full-time programs that begin in summer or fall, the online application system is generally open beginning early October. For more information regarding application deadlines go to our website: marshall.usc.edu/programs/graduate-programs/accounting-masters.

MBT for Working Professionals – For more information regarding application deadlines go to our website: marshall.usc.edu/programs/graduate-programs/accounting-masters.

Residence Requirements

Subject to approval of the Leventhal School of Accounting, the maximum number of transfer credits that may be applied toward the master’s degree is 3 units. To be applied to the degree, transfer work must have been completed within five years of admission to the master’s program. Graduate transfer credit will not be granted for course work taken elsewhere after a student has been admitted and enrolled at USC. Credit will only be allowed for courses (1) from an AACSB-accredited graduate school, (2) of a quality of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale, (3) constituting a fair and reasonable equivalent to current USC course work at the graduate level, and (4) fitting into the logical program for the degree. Transfer course work is applied as credit (CR) toward the degree and is not included in the calculation of a minimum grade point average for graduation.


With the written approval of the Leventhal School of Accounting, waiver of required courses may be granted to students based upon prior academic work. All waived courses must be replaced with approved electives. Students should carefully read their program evaluation form to know what electives must be taken if they are granted subject waivers.



    Bachelor’s DegreeMinorMaster’s DegreeDual DegreeGraduate Certificate



      Major Restrictions

      Enrollment in most 500-level business courses by non-business graduate students requires special permission. For information about the registration application process for non-business students, visit the Schedule of Classes.

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