Graduate School of Management
MS Accounting FAQs
What is the 150 credit rule?
There is a national 150 credit-hour requirement for membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA): In 1987, the AICPA adopted by a vote of its membership a requirement that, after the year 2000, applicants for membership in that organization must have completed at least 150 collegiate-level semester hours. This requirement applies only to membership in that organization; by itself, it affects neither the requirement to sit for the CPA exam nor to obtain licensure to practice public accountancy in any state. However, in accordance with the AICPA's requirement, many states have adopted statutes requiring 150 semester hours for sitting for the AICPA examination. Thus, no individual will be able to qualify for membership in the AICPA after January 1, 2000 without this additional education.
Currently, 47 jurisdictions have laws and/or regulations in effect that mandate the 150-hour credit requirement for new CPAs. Three additional jurisdictions (New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) have passed the requirement with a future effective date. With the passage of bills in California, New Hampshire, and Vermont in 2010, only 2 jurisdictions have yet to pass the 150-hour credit requirement: Colorado and the Virgin Islands. Wisconsin has passed legislation implementing the 150-hour credit requirement effective January 1, 2001.
Can I attend the MSA program on a part-time basis?
Yes, but keep in mind that many of the MSA courses are offered during the day. If your work schedule allows for this you can attend part-time.
How long will it take?
The MSA degree is a one-year graduate program for students who have earned an undergraduate business degree with a major, or equivalent, in accounting. For those students without an undergraduate accounting degree the length of the program will exceed one year and the length will vary based on the individual’s undergraduate coursework.
Are there any graduate assistant positions available?
There are opportunities for graduate assistant positions to work with the accounting faculty. As part of their duties the graduate assistants conduct interviews and write articles for Accounting Magazine, which is sent to our alumni each summer. Graduate students interested in completing a PhD program will have the opportunity to work on research projects with the faculty.
What type of job can I get when I graduate?
Graduates of the MSA program are prepared for careers in public accounting, audit or tax, internal auditing, corporate accounting such as financial reporting or management accounting, investment banking, governmental and not-for profit organizations and PhD programs.
My undergraduate degree was not in accounting. Can I still participate in the MSA program?
We require applicants to the MSA program to have an undergraduate degree in accounting from an accredited school. Students without an accounting degree who have completed significant core accounting courses (typically 6-7) will also be considered. Depending on the course coverage, students will be required to complete the undergraduate coursework in accounting areas that you have not had previous coverage of material prior to enrolling in graduate accounting courses.
Will I have an advisor?
Yes. The Director of the MSA Program will be your academic advisor. The Director determines each MSA student’s course of study and meets with each MSA student at least twice per academic year to monitor progress and ensure that the necessary courses required for graduation are taken.