The Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) is intended to meet the needs of career changers, those who have earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S., or have passed all four parts of the Certified Public Accounting exams. The MSA degree helps students further develop their expertise and stay at the forefront of the accounting profession with courses in data analytics, accounting ethics and professional responsibilities, and communication and analysis of financial information. The Master of Science in Accounting primes students for the next step in their careers.
For many students, the MSA will satisfy the 150-hour education requirement to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Students can tailor their MSA degree with elective courses in a variety of topic areas, including tax. 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, web-conferencing, or completely online. The evening, web-conferencing and online options allow students to earn their degrees at their own pace.
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 302 and ACCTG 351B . 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.
Declaring Program Concentrations
Students may declare concentrations when they have completed the coursework required for their desired concentrations, or after the “Last Day to Drop Course without Tuition Charge” (per the Academic Calendar) for their final terms, if they will be able to complete their concentrations in their final terms.
To be eligible to declare concentrations, students must have already completed the required concentration coursework, or be able to complete it in their final terms without requiring waivers, substitutions, or directed study courses, unless they are approved in advance by the department chair, program director, or dean.
Students may declare up to two concentrations in a given degree program. Students seeking to declare more than two concentrations will be required to appeal to the dean or vice president of academic affairs for approval. Students’ diplomas will list the concentrations that they had successfully completed at the time their degrees were conferred. Students may not declare additional concentrations after their degrees have been conferred.
The following concentrations are available:
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.
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. See Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement for more information.
General Proficiency Requirements
Accounting Foundation - 15 units
Accounting foundation requirements will be waived for those students who have passed the U.S. CPA examination. Additionally, individual courses will be waived for students who completed them at GGU, or who completed comparable courses at other regionally accredited degree granting institutions, with grades of “B” or better.
Advanced Program - 18 units
Core Required Courses - 12 units
Core Elective Courses - 6 units
Two of the following:
Management Accounting Concentration - 12 units
Management accountants are trusted to guide critical business decisions and drive strong business performance. Their skills encompass a mix of operations, management and strategy.
Many accounting professionals are already leveraging their broad business acumen to drive sustainable business success. To fully understand the scope of their Impact and knowledge, many of these skills must be acquired.
The concentration will assist students to achieve the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and/or the Certified Management Accountant (CMA).