The MSA degree is typically a one calendar year (summer, fall and spring terms) graduate program for students who have earned an undergraduate business degree with a major, or equivalent, in accounting from an accredited school in the United States.
Students without an accounting degree but who have completed significant core accounting courses in US GAAP (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. For international students with an undergraduate major in Accounting the program typically takes two years.
- ACCO 6511 - Taxation - Corporations, Partnerships
- ACCO 6520 - Advanced Corporate Issues
- ACCO 6535 - Fraud Examination Analytics
- ACCO 6570 - Auditing: Ethical, Legal, Professional, Reporting
Elective Business Courses (9-12 credit hours required)
Select 9-12 credits from other graduate level business courses, or with the written permission of the accounting program director, other graduate program, non-business courses, EXCLUDING ACCO 6200, ACCO 6180 and MANA 6170.
Accounting Elective Courses (9-12 credit hours required)
- ACCO 5040/6040 - International Accounting
- ACCO 5045/6045 - International Taxation
- ACCO 5080/6080 - Analysis of Corporate Financial Statements
- ACCO 5119/6119 - Tax Research Seminar
- ACCO 5050/6050 - Accounting Information Systems
- ACCO 6512 - State and Local Taxation
- ACCO 6525 - Governmental Accounting
- ACCO 6530 - Advanced Cost Management
- ACCO 6535 - Fraud Examination Analytics
- ACCO 6570 - Auditing: Ethical, Legal, Professional Reporting
- ACCO 6590 - Accounting Theory
- ACCO 6931 - Topics in Accounting
- ACCO 6935 - Seminar in Accounting
The program does not require a thesis, essay, or comprehensive examination.
This program has rolling admission, which means you may apply any time before the following dates:
- Fall term admissions – August 1 (June 1 for international applicants)
- Spring term admissions – December 15 (October 15 for international applicants)
The application requires the following:
- A completed or nearly-completed four-year baccalaureate degree in accounting (or equivalent accounting course work which is typically 21 hours of U.S. GAAP based accounting courses – this includes 6 hours of Principles courses, Intermediate Accounting, Cost Accounting, Advanced Accounting, one course in Taxation, and one course in Accounting Information Systems) from an accredited college or university. Students without an accounting degree but have completed significant core accounting courses in US GAAP (typically 6-7) will also be considered.
- A completed online application form and $50 fee, waived if you attend an online info session
- Official transcripts from all current and previous colleges except Marquette1
- Minimum 3.00 GPA
- Official test scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Records Exam (GRE). See the GMAT/GRE Waiver policy to see if you're eligible for a waiver
- Essay questions on the application form
- Resume or job profile
- Two letters of recommendation if applying for financial aid
- Possible interview
Additional requirements for international students:
- Two letters of recommendation
- Official TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency
- Possible interview
1Upon admission, final official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities, with certified English translations if original language is not English, must be submitted to the Graduate School within the first five weeks of the term of admission or a hold preventing registration for future terms will be placed on the student’s record.
Tuition:$1,220 per credit for 2021-2022
For a comprehensive listing of merit-based aid (graduate assistantships/fellowships), visit the financial aid webpage. Private scholarships may also be available. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to apply for need-based federal aid (loans) to help fund their educational expenses as well.
As part of the assurance of learning, each program defines and collects data on learning outcomes; statements of the knowledge, skills and attitudes that we want our graduates to possess. We use them for continuous improvement and they are the criteria on which organizations such as AACSB evaluate our accreditation.
The following are the current learning outcomes for the Master of Science in Accounting.
- Apply critical thinking to accounting issues
- Demonstrate Effective Written Business Communication
- Demonstrate effective Verbal Communication skills for Business
- Apply professional knowledge skills of accounting.
- Apply ethical reasoning to accounting/business issues
- Analyze the international environment
For each goal the following are the measurable learning outcomes that are assessed on a regular cycle for assurance of learning.
For the goal --- Apply critical thinking to accounting issues:
- Identify the critical elements of an accounting problem/issue
- Analyze the data/information of the accounting problem/issue
- Derive relevant conclusions about the accounting problem/issue
For the goal --- Demonstrate Effective Written Business Communication:
- Organize the correct information for an accounting/business report
- Develop the appropriate content for an accounting/business report
- Use appropriate writing mechanics
For the goal --- Demonstrate effective Verbal Communication skills for Business:
- Communicate effectively with business professionals
- Deliver an organized accounting/business presentation
- Speak in an organized manner on an accounting/business topic
For the goal --- Apply professional knowledge skills of accounting:
- Demonstrate competence in fundamental skills in financial accounting
- Demonstrate competence in fundamental skills in income tax accounting
- Demonstrate competence in fundamental skills in auditing
- Demonstrate competence in government accounting
For the goal --- Apply ethical reasoning to accounting/business issues:
- Identify ethical issues in accounting/business context
- Critically apply ethical reasoning to an accounting/business situation
- Choose an appropriate course of action based on ethical standards
- Evaluate multiple stakeholders perspective in the accounting/business situation
For the goal --- Analyze the international environment:
- Identify international accounting standards essential to the preparation of international accounting reports
- Differentiate US accounting, auditing and tax standards and international accounting, auditing and tax standards
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.