Accounting (MSA)

The specialized Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) is designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of students from different backgrounds. It offers accounting majors the flexibility to combine their accounting backgrounds with coursework in information systems and finance. Students who are new to the field of accounting are able to gain the skills to pursue a career in the field of accounting. Students may pursue either a professional accountancy option or an accounting information systems option. The MSA offers students the opportunity to develop substantive knowledge, skills, and abilities in accounting.

Students are encouraged to begin the program in the fall semester. Students needing pre-MSA foundation level courses may start in summer.

Admission Requirements

  • GMAT (score of 500 or better preferred) or GRE, LSAT, PCAT, or MCAT scores. Test waivers may be granted for students holding an advanced degree or those with three or more years of work experience beyond conferral of the bachelor's degree. Contact the Graduate Programs Office in the College of Business Administration for waiver request process.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • Undergraduate degrees in accounting from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent.
    A non-accounting undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent.

Application Deadline

(This program is a fall start only, students may begin in summer to take basic financial accounting course if needed)
  • August 1 for Fall enrollment

International Student Applications

It is recommended that international students apply six weeks prior to these dates to allow time for admission and I-20 visa processing.  I-20 forms are processed by UA Immigration Services in the International Center. Proof of English Proficiency is required by producing an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score.

Additional Information

For Students With Non-business Undergraduate Degrees (3 credits) Summer Session

Students lacking an accounting background should begin the program in the Summer semester prior to starting the MSA and enroll in a financial accounting course to gain the requisite background to pursue the MSA. This is highly recommended but not mandatory. Students may have difficulty in the program if they lack such a course. We recommend the Summer before in order not to delay graduation. The course level (grad or undergrad) and college where they take the course is flexible. Our preference is, however, an accredited business school. The following course may be taken at UA:

6200:601 Financial Accounting 3

Pre-MSA Foundation Courses* (12 credits)

All foundation courses must be taken prior to courses in the MSA program. An exception to this policy may be made by the chair of the School of Accountancy for student who have received waivers from foundation courses.

6200:603 Accounting Decision Support Systems 3
6400:602 Managerial Finance 3
6400:622 Business Law and Regulation 3 OR 6400:321 3
6500:601 Business Analytics and Information Strategy 3

All Pre-MSA financial reporting courses with the exception of 6200:540 must be completed prior to taking courses in the MSA program.

Pre-MSA Financial Reporting Courses* (12 credits)

6200:621 Corporate Accounting and Financial Reporting I or 6200:321 Financial Reporting & Analysis I (or 321) 3
6200:622 Corporate Accounting and Financial Reporting II or 6200:322 Financial Reporting & Analysis II (or 322) 3
6200:610 Process Analysis and Cost Management or 6200:301 Cost Management and Control (or 301) 3
6500:540 Assurance Services and Professional Responsibilities 3

* Students who have no accounting experience or course work should take 6200:601 Financial Accounting or a comparable undergraduate course, prior to enrolling in courses.

Total Foundation Credits 24

MSA Core Courses

Accounting and Assurance Core
6200:615 Enterprise Systems and Internal Control 3
6200:637 Contemporary Accounting Issues 3
6200:658 Enterprise Risk Assessment and Assurance (To be taken in the first semester of non-foundation work.) 3
6200:660 Accounting and Assurance Project (Students must complete all-foundation courses and 658 in order to gain instructor approval for this capstone course) 3
6200:520* Advanced Financial Reporting and Analysis** 3
Total Required Core Credits 15

**Students must complete a different course if they took a similar advanced accounting course at the undergraduate level. Students in the AIS option are not required to take this course (6200:520)

Taxation Core (3-6 credits)

6200:627 Federal Taxation if not completed 6200:330 and 6200:531 3
6200:531 Business Entity Taxation (if completed only the equivalent of 330-individual tax) 3
6200:628 Tax Research 3
6200:631 Corporate Tax I 3

* Students are required to take a different taxation course if they have completed the equivalent of 6200:627 or 6200:531. Students are required to complete at least one course but no more than two courses in the taxation core.

Accounting Electives (0-6 credits)

6200:554 Information Systems Security 3
6200:629 Tax Crimes and Forensics 3
6200:659 Assurance Services and Data Mining 3
6200:570 Governmental Accounting 3

*These electives are open only to students who have not previously completed similar courses.

Information Systems Electives (12 Credits)

6500:520 Management of Data Networks 3
6500:643 Analysis and Design of Business Systems 3
6500:641 Business Database Systems 3
6500:645 Software Development and Quality Assurance 3
6500:678 Project Management 3

The Chair of the School of Accountancy may approve or substitute other relevant information systems courses not listed above. Students pursuing the Accounting Information Systems Option must complete a minimum of 12 credits of information systems courses (Accounting Electives and Information Systems courses).

Finance Electives (0-15 credits)

6400:631 Financial Markets and Institutions 3
6400:645 Investment Analysis 3
6400:674 Strategic Financial Decision Making 3
6400:678 Capital Budgeting 3
Total Credit Hours 30-54

Assistantship/Scholarship Information

Not all departments offer graduate assistantships. Students should inquire with the department directly to determine assistantship availability.

Financial Aid Information

Paying for college is a vital part of the education process. It is important to be informed of the many sources of aid available. Student loans are available to degree-seeking graduate students. Information on student loans can be found through the Office of Student Financial Aid. The Office of Student Financial Aid is located in Simmons Hall.

Tuition and Fees

Current tuition and fees schedules can be found through the Office of Student Accounts.

Page maintained by The Graduate School. Request a change to this page.