Suggestions for Scheduling MSA Courses
October 2011

MSA students may find the information below helpful:

  1. 6200:601 Financial Accounting is not a program requirement. However students without prior accounting coursework should take an intro to accounting course (up through the accounting cycle) prior to starting the MSA. The faculty have indicated that it does not matter whether the course is graduate or undergraduate; it's advisable but not mandatory that students have some kind of intro to accounting.
  2. Students should take 6200:520 Advanced Financial Reporting & Analysis after completing 6200:622 Corporate Accounting and Financial Reporting II (or 6200:322). They will do much better in 520 if they take 622 or 322 before starting 520.
  3. Take 6200:610 in Fall or Spring, whenever feasible or summer at the latest as a last resort.
  4. Students should never take 6200:540 Assurance Services and Professional Responsibility at the same time they are taking 6200:658 Enterprise Risk Assessment and Assurance. They will be overwhelmed.
  5. Complete, whenever practical, all foundation courses prior to starting the core graduate program.
  6. Students with non-business undergrad degrees should take two core classes prior to Fall of their second year (perhaps summer prior to the second year). This will help significantly since it will minimize the possibility of having to take five courses in both fall and spring of the final academic year. Some students can handle five courses each semester during the final year of the program but many find it challenging.
  7. Students with non-business undergrad degrees are advised to take electives in primarily Finance or MIS. This is important for compliance with state CPA examination mandates.
  8. Encourage all students to start in the Fall (or summer if they elect to take 6200:601) and then complete the entire program in Spring one year later for accounting undergraduates or two years late for non-accounting undergraduates (if attending full-time).
  9. Students can take the School's approved CPA review (currently Becker) in Summer immediately after graduation, without taking any other courses. The logistics never work out well when students try to take graduate courses and the Summer CPA review at the same time; plus, we recommend against it because of the intensive nature of the CPA review.
  10. Students are encouraged to attempt and pass all four parts of the CPA exams by the end of Summer

Generic MSA Program Schedule

Sample schedule for a full-time student with a non-accounting background:

  • Prior to Fall 2011 – highly recommended - 6200:601 or an introduction to accounting up to completion of the accounting cycle.
  • Fall 2012 - 6200:621, 6200:603, 6500:601, 6200:610
  • Spring 2013 - 6200:622, 6400:623, 6400:602, 6200:540
  • Summer 2013 - 6200:520, 6200:627
  • Fall 2013 - 6200:658, Electives (Finance or MIS electives only if they have non-business degrees)
  • Spring 2014 - 6200:615, 6200:637, 6200:660, electives
    (Finance or MIS electives only if they have non-business degrees)
  • Summer 2014 –Approved Summer CPA Review (currently Becker), Sit & pass all four parts of the CPA exam
  • Fall 2014 – begin full-time employment with CPA exams in hand

Prepared by Dr. Thomas G. Calderon
Chair & Professor of Accounting
The University of Akron
October 2011