Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA)
Dr. Rick Lillie
Office: Jack Brown Hall, Room 547
Mohammad Bazaz, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
John Dorocak, LLM. (Tax), CPA, University of Florida
Sung-Kyoo Huh, Ph.D., Kent State University
John Jin, Ph.D., University of Arizona
Wulung Li, Ph.D., University of Texas, Dallas
Richard Lillie, MAS, Ed.D., CPA, Northern Illinois University
Samantha Liu, Ph.D., University of North Texas
Vishal Munsif, Ph.D., Florida International University
Master of Science in Accountancy Requirements (45 units)The Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) prepares students for a wide range of employment opportunities in public accounting, industry, finance, government and nonprofit organizations. The program is designed to produce individuals who are qualified with knowledge and skills in Professional Accounting and Accounting Information Systems. Graduates of the program are prepared to successfully challenge a professional examination for entry into the selected area; committed professional and career development beyond their formal education into highest executive levels of the selected area; capable of becoming leaders who exhibit high standards of ethical conduct within the profession; and prepared to pursue doctoral and research studies.
Admission to the Program
To be admitted to the Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program, you must first satisfy the university's general graduate program requirements, complete admission procedures by the appropriate application deadline, and be classified as either graduate conditionally classified or graduate classified. The following diagram depicts CSUSB general Graduate Studies requirements.
General Admission Requirements for Graduate Programs
There are four general admission requirements:
- 1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
- 2. Be in good academic standing with last college or university attended.
- 3. Grade point average of 2.5 or higher in last 90 quarter (or 60 semester) units attempted.
- 4. Satisfactorily meet other standards prescribed by the university.
Use CSU Mentor to to submit your MSA program application and pay the nonrefundable application fee. Pay close attention to the filing deadlines at CSU Mentor.
Categories of Admission
To begin MSA studies, you need to be admitted to the program as either Graduate Conditionally Classified or Graduate Classified. If you are admitted as Graduate Conditionally Classified, this means that you need to complete one or more prerequisite courses before you can begin 500 or 600-level MSA courses. The MSA Coordinator will work with you to determine appropriate prerequisite courses to complete. If you are admitted as Graduate Classified, you are ready to begin 500 and 600-level MSA courses. The MSA Coordinator will work with you to develop your MSA Study Plan.
The Post BA/BS Unclassified and Post BA/BS Classified categories are not applicable to the MSA program.
If you believe you might qualify for admission to the MSA program because of unique circumstances (e.g., you are judged to posses sufficient academic, professional and other potential to merit special consideration), you may petition for admission under special action. Submit your petition to the MSA Coordinator, Department of Accounting and Finance chairperson, or to the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Specific Admission Requirements for the MSA Program
In addition to the general requirements of the university, the MSA Program has specific admission requirements. The following diagram depicts specific MSA requirements that must be met in order to qualify for classified graduate status.
Degree from Other Colleges or Universities
To be accepted into the MSA program, you must have a BA or BS degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university. Your degree preferably should be in accounting or a closely-related business concentration. The MSA degree program is a specialty degree, designed to prepare you to meet the 150 Hour (225 quarter units) education requirement needed for licensure as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in California and throughout the United States.
Acceptable GMAT Score
The minimum acceptable GMAT score for the MSA program is 470. In certain cases, the GMAT examination requirement may be waived by providing proof of completion of graduate degrees (e.g., J.D., Ph.D., M.D., etc.), or by providing proof of passing the Uniform CPA Examination (CPA Examination). Recent CSUSB accounting graduates (within the past five years) who meet admission requirements for the MSA 3:2 Program option may request a waiver of the GMAT Examination requirement. Contact the MSA Coordinator or Department Chairperson for details.
Acceptable Admission Score of 1,050
The following formula shall be used to determine an acceptable GMAT score for admission to the MSA program. Formula: (GPA x 200) + (GMAT score) shall be great than or equal to 1,050. The grade point (GPA) shall be 2.5 or higher based on the last 90 quarter (60 semester) units. The minimum overall GMAT score is 470.
Graduate Writing Requirement
Applicants to the MSA program will be required to pass (or have passed) the upper-division writing requirement before being fully classified into the MSA program. The writing requirement can be satisfied through one of the following ways:
- Completion, with a grade of "B" (3.0) or better, within seven years prior to acceptance into the MSA program of MGMT 306 at CSUSB, or a "306" course offered by another CSUSB department (e.g., EDUC 306, ENG 306, HUM 306, NSCI 306, or SSCI 306). [All graduate and post-baccalaureate students, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, and who earned a minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL, or a minimum score of 213 on the Computer Based TOEFL, who fail to achieve a score of "B" (3.0) or higher in one of the 306 courses will be required to retake any 306 course.]
- Completion, with a grade of "B" (3.0) or better, of an equivalent advanced expository writing course at another college or university with seven years prior to acceptance into the MSA program. The course must be approved by the Graduate Studies Office.
- Satisfactory completion of the Writing Requirement Exemption Examination (WREE) offered at CSUSB, taken within seven years prior to acceptance into the MSA program.
Prerequisite Courses or Equivalents
Competence in prerequisite courses may be demonstrated by:
- Formal completion of the course or its equivalent.
- Credit by examination. Inquiries about a challenge examination shall be directed to the MSA Coordinator or Department Chairperson.
- Waiver based on specialized work experience must have documentation of work directly related to the course to be waived, and must be approved by the MSA Coordinator or Department Chairperson. Student requesting waiver of any prerequisite course must petition the MSA Coordinator or Department Chairperson.
- Prerequisite courses (or equivalents) at CSUSB include:
- ACCT 503 (or the undergraduate equivalents ACCT 211/ACCT 212).
- ECON 503 (or the undergraduate equivalents ECON 200/ECON 202).
- FIN 503 (or the undergraduate equivalents FIN 313/FIN 314).
- MGMT 230 (Business Law)
- ACCT 372 (Intermediate Accounting)
- ACCT 373 (Problem Areas in Intermediate Accounting)
- ACCT 426 (Personal Income Tax)
- ACCT 440 (Financial Statement Auditing)
NOTE: ACCT 503, ECON 503, and FIN 503 are intensive introductory courses taught at an accelerated pace and cover material otherwise available in two lower-division courses. Students who may have difficulty with accelerated courses should consider enrolling in the individual equivalent courses. Consult with the MSA Coordinator or Department Chairperson for more information.
Advancement to Candidacy
Once you satisfy all admission requirements and have completed prerequisite courses, if any, you advance to candidacy status. This means that you are ready to begin MSA 500 and 600-level course work.
To be advanced to candidacy, you must have
- Achieved classified standing.
- Completed at least 16 quarter units of applicable graduate-level course work at the university, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 ("B").
- Worked with the MSA Coordinator to set up your MSA study plan.
Requirements for Graduation
MSA graduation requirements are presented in the following diagram.
MSA Graduation Requirements (Professional Accounting Option)
The MSA program requires successful completion of a minimum of 45 quarter units of acceptable graduate-level work consistent with the MSA Study Plan Worksheet developed with the MSA Coordinator. The 45 quarter units must be completed within a 7 year period. At least 32 of the 45 quarter units must be completed at CSUSB.
The 45 quarter units shall include at least 24 quarter units of 600-level course work. For most candidates, the 24 quarter units will include the five required 600-level courses plus one 600-level elective course. Of the 45 quarter units, at least 20 quarter units must be completed AFTER advancement to MSA candidacy. Completion of the five required 600-level courses should satisfy this requirement.
Once admitted to the MSA program as conditionally classified or classified, candidates must maintain a 3.0 ("B") grade point average for all MSA course work. The minimum acceptable grade for any MSA course is a 2.0 ("C").
After advancement to candidacy, you must successfully complete a culminating experience. Culminating experience options will be announced by the Department of Accounting and Finance at a later time.
MSA Required Courses (20 Quarter Units)
ACCT 610: Financial Reporting and Disclosure (4)
ACCT 615: Controllership (4)
ACCT 620: Internal Auditing and Management Control (4)
ACCT 625: Seminar in Accounting Information Systems (4)
ACCT 629: Seminar in Tax and Business Decisions (4)
MSA Elective Courses (25 - 28 Quarter Units Selected in Consultation with the MSA Coordinator)
ACCT 536: Corporate and Partnership Taxation (4)
ACCT 539: Advanced Accounting (4)
ACCT 541: Advanced Auditing (4)
ACCT 556: Estates and Gifts and other Specialized Taxation Topics (4)
ACCT 574: Reporting Issues in Intermediate Accounting (4)
ACCT 605: Healthcare Accounting and Financial Analysis (4)
ACCT 606: Accounting for Managerial Decision-Making (4)
ACCT 642: International Accounting (4)
ACCT 690: Advanced Topics in Accounting (4)
ACCT 695: Graduate Independent Study (1-4)
FIN 602: Financial Theory and Corporate Finance (4)
FIN 622: Entrepreneurial and Venture Finance (4)
FIN 651: Financial Institutions and Markets (4)
FIN 653: Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management (4)
FIN 654: International Finance (4)
FIN 680: Corporate Financial Strategy (4)
Accounting Information Systems Option
The MSA Accounting Information Systems Option is not currently offered. Contact the MSA Coordinator or the Department of Accounting and Finance Chairperson for more information.
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