Business: Accountancy, M.S.
Master of Science in Accountancy
About the Degree
The Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) is a 30-credit degree program designed to help students from different backgrounds become capable accounting professionals. This degree allows students who have accounting undergraduate degrees to broaden their business knowledge with coursework in information systems and finance. Students without an accounting background are often admitted into the program but must take up to 24 credits of foundation courses in addition to the 30 hours of core graduate credits needed to earn the degree. In this degree, students can pursue either a professional accountancy option or an accounting information systems option.
Students in the Accelerated BS/MSA program may pursue an emphasis in either professional accounting or accounting information systems. Most students pursue the professional accounting option. Students who wish to pursue the accounting information systems option must earn at least 12 graduate credits in accounting information systems or management information systems.
Students in the program study financial reporting, auditing and assurance, taxation, cost management, project management, enterprise risk, business law and regulation, accounting systems and internal control, financial decision making, financial management, and business analytics. All students must complete a capstone course, which includes a significant project management module and a hands-on project that integrates their knowledge.
Salary and Career Outlook
All of the Big Four, most regional and local public accounting firms, as well as Fortune 500 companies and governmental entities actively MSA students. During the last two years, almost 100 percent of students who were eligible to work in the USA had full-time employment in the profession prior to graduation. We expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. Employers consider The University of Akron’s School of Accountancy as one of the leading programs in Northeast Ohio. About 40 employers visit the campus each fall to recruit our students. Starting salaries offered to MSA graduates are competitive.
Most Accelerated MSA students begin their careers in public accounting or industry. Starting salaries average approximately $50,000 per year.
Students in the MSA program normally receive full-time employment offers by the time they graduate. Five to 10 percent of graduates seek admission to Ph.D. programs. Normally, most students who graduate from the program take the CPA exam in the summer immediately after graduation and pass all four parts by the end of the fall.
This degree is distinctive because of it prepares students for a profession that is consistently in high demand. The structure of the program gives students unique opportunities to develop competencies in financial reporting, finance, project management, information systems, taxation and enterprise risk. Students blend their studies in a manner that takes consideration of their strengths and interests. Teamwork, effective communication skills, and ethics and professional responsibility are interwoven across the curriculum. Additionally, a capstone course allows students to develop a more integrated perspective of accounting and financial management.
Graduate Coordinator: Dr. William Hauser
Business Administration Building, Room 405
Graduate School: Heather Blake
Polsky Building, Room 467