The Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) is intended to meet the needs of those who have studied accounting and wish to further develop their expertise. For many students, the MSA will satisfy the 150-hour education requirement to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Students have the option to complete the MSA degree with a concentration in financial accounting & reporting (FAR), forensic accounting, internal auditing or management accounting and taxation. Eligible students may earn up to six units of electives through an internship for approved, real-world experience acquired during their degree program.
The Master of Science in Accounting can be obtained in person through our evening program in San Francisco, or completely online. The evening and online venues allow students to earn their degrees at their own pace.
The Tax and Accounting Career Fair is held late in September, at which public accounting firms, government agencies and corporations meet and hire Golden Gate University students. Internship opportunities may be available for eligible students for up to six units of elective credit.
Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the master of science in accounting program will:
- be able to identify accounting issues, research and effectively communicate the results orally and in writing.
- have a defined body of knowledge of essential accounting principles and doctrines, including but not limited to the following, and be able to critically apply these principles to practical situations and to adapt to changing work environments: revenue recognition; IFRS; auditing; internal controls; control environment; materiality; ethics, both practical implementation and professional responsibility; and fraud.
- be prepared to be effective accounting decision makers in an increasingly international business environment.
- have an understanding of the business, legal, professional, and ethical context for a career as a professional accountant, including the ability to identify and appropriately act when ethical dilemmas are encountered in the activities of a professional accountant.
- have experience and skill in accomplishing objectives by collaboration.
The Path2CPA option makes the journey to an advanced degree quicker and less expensive. Students can earn a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) in as little as one year after completing GGU’s Accounting, BS or Business, Accounting Concentration, BS . The Path2CPA option can also satisfy the 150-hour education requirement for CPA licensure. Pursuing this option eliminates the requirement to apply for the MSA program and no GMAT/GRE test score is required.
The Path2CPA includes the following graduate-level courses: ACCTG 351B Advanced Studies in Business Law and ACCTG 351C Communication and Analysis of Financial Information for Accountants . The graduate-level courses will be included in the unit totals and GPAs for both applicants’ undergraduate Accounting and graduate-level Accounting degree programs. Students whose average GPA in the two graduate-level courses falls below a 3.00 GPA will be conditionally admitted to the Master’s programs.
Requirements for the Master of Science in Accounting
The Master of Science in Accounting program requires 30 units of graduate coursework. Courses listed carry three semester units of credit unless otherwise noted.
Computer Proficiency Requirement
Applicants are expected to have access to current levels of computing and including the internet and to have a working familiarity with computers and the software applications appropriate for graduate study.
Math Proficiency Requirement
Applicants are expected to possess a level of mathematical skill at least equivalent to Intermediate Algebra (MATH 20 ). Students may meet this requirement by satisfying one of the screening criteria. For further information refer to our website.
Economics Proficiency Requirement
Students are expected to possess a level of economic skill and knowledge at least equivalent to that attained in ECON 1 or ECON 2 .
Finance Proficiency Requirement
Students are also expected to possess a level of economic skill and knowledge at least equivalent to that attained in FI 100 .
Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement
Students are expected to possess a level of writing skill and knowledge equivalent to ENGL 201 . Students may meet this requirement by satisfying one of the screening criteria. For further information, refer to our website. https://www.ggu.edu/shared-content/enrollment/proficiency-requirements/#graduate-writing-proficiency
Two or more concentrations may be earned in the Master of Science in Accounting program. In addition to the course requirements for the concentrations, students must complete the proficiency and advanced program requirements. Elective courses may apply to more than one concentration. All of the courses required for each concentration must be completed prior to graduation. Students may not request additional concentrations after their degrees have been conferred. The student’s diploma will list all of the concentrations successfully completed prior to graduation.
The following concentrations are available:
Accounting Proficiency Requirements - 15 units
Accounting proficiency requirements will be waived for those students who have passed the US CPA examination. Additionally, individual courses will be waived for students who completed them at GGU, or who completed comparable courses at other regionally accredited four-year degree granting institutions, with grades of “B” or better.
Advanced Program - 30 units
Forensic Accounting Concentration - 12 units
The MSA forensic accounting concentration is intended to meet the needs of those who have studied accounting and wish to develop specialized forensic accounting expertise. It includes courses in fraud auditing, financial statement investigations, complex discovery and data management, the role of the expert and expert report, bankruptcy and insolvency, economic damages, valuation and lost profits.
The concentration in forensic accounting requires completion of the master of science in accounting proficiency and prerequisite requirements, core courses, plus nine units of required courses, 12 units of limited electives chosen from the list, and three units of additional electives as described below.