Westfield State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a concentration in accounting and a Master of Science in Accounting. The Master of Science allows the student to complete the additional 30-credit hours required to fulfill the educational requirements for the Certified Public Accountancy license in Massachusetts. The two programs may be combined for a five-year, 150-hour program.
The objective of the Master of Science in Accounting program is to prepare accounting students for management positions in accounting. The program will build on the knowledge and tools from the students' undergraduate education, allowing them to achieve a greater degree of sophistication in accounting and auditing. This will provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to have successful careers in public and private accounting. The program will:
- strengthen students' theoretical foundation in multiple areas of accounting and auditing,
- expand students' critical thinking and research skills in accounting, auditing, and business,
- develop students' oral and written communication skills,
- aid the student in developing interpersonal skills such as leadership and teamwork,
- enhance students' understanding of ethical and professional issues in accounting and auditing, and their ability to respond to ethical dilemmas in the profession, and
- fulfill the 150-hour educational requirement for professional certification as a public accountant in Massachusetts and several other states.
Students will be better prepared for examinations required for the Certified Management Accountant, the Certified Internal Auditor, or the Certified Fraud Examiner designations.
Minimum entrance requirements for the M.S. in Accounting program include:
- Students applying to the Advanced Curriculum: A bachelor's degree with either a major or concentration in accounting from an accredited institution.
- Students applying to the Foundation Curriculum: A bachelor's degree with either a major or concentration in a business related discipline from an accredited institution. Other degrees may be acceptable; however students would likely need to take additional courses to meet the requirements for the Certified Public Accounting Examination and subsequent licensing.Prerequisite courses for applicants that do not hold a bachelor's degree in a business related discipline:
- ACCT 0104 Principles of Accounting I (or equivalent); Prerequisite: MGMT 0107 Software Applications in Management
- ACCT 0105 Principles of Accounting II (or equivalent)
- FINC 0207 Financial Management (or equivalent)
- MGMT 0241 Business Law* *Course may be waived with acceptable alternate law course.
- An undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
- Three letters of recommendation, including a minimum of one academic reference.
- A written statement of purpose and intent to complete the Master of Science in Accounting.
Specific Degree Requirements
The Master of Science in Accounting curriculum is divided into two components: the Foundation Curriculum and the Advanced Curriculum. All students must complete a comprehensive examination near the end of their program of study.
Foundation Curriculum (up to 21 credits)
The Foundation Curriculum is applicable for students who have not fulfilled all necessary prerequisite courses. Students complete the Foundation Curriculum prior to beginning the Advanced Curriculum. Foundation Curriculum courses may be waived based on prior coursework. Students who have already completed all prerequisite accounting courses can apply for advanced standing and begin the Advanced Curriculum upon acceptance into the Master of Science in Accounting Program. Students are required to have a minimum 3.0 GPA in the Foundation Curriculum in order to proceed with the Advanced Curriculum. The Academic Standing Policy which states that students earning three grades of B- or lower are immediately dismissed from the program does not apply to students in the Foundation Curriculum. This policy becomes applicable once students enter the Advanced Curriculum. Students may invoke the Course Repeat Policy once in the Foundation Curriculum and once in the Advanced Curriculum. Students who participate in the Foundation Curriculum are given an increase to seven (7) years to complete the M.S. Accounting degree requirements.
- ACCT 0510 - Federal Income Taxation I
- ACCT 0511 - Auditing
- ACCT 0515 - Financial Reporting I
- ACCT 0516 - Financial Reporting II
- ACCT 0517 - Cost Accounting
- ACCT 0518 - Financial Reporting III OR
- ACCT 0531 - Advanced Accounting
- ACCT 0545 - Accounting Information Systems
Advanced Curriculum - 30 credits
Requirements include completion of the Core Curriculum (15 credits) and elective courses (15 credits). Students may choose an internship experience as one elective. The curriculum is designed to substantially advance students in their knowledge and skill level beyond the Foundation Curriculum/existing baccalaureate program. Class/team participation is included in each course and the curriculum demands group work and fosters leadership skills. Particularly, one elective area (Social Sciences) has been designed to provide awareness and professional development in interpersonal skills, management skills, and understanding organizational culture. This aspect of training is highly coveted by employers.
Core Curriculum (15 credits)
- ACCT 0630 - Foundations in Ethics: Applications to Business and the CPA Profession
- ACCT 0633 - Advanced Auditing ACCT
- ACCT 0628 - Fraud Examination
- MGMT 0632 - Business Law for Accountants
- ACCT 0635 - Contemporary Professional Accounting Problems
- ACCT 0636 - Federal Income Taxation II
Elective Courses - 15 credits
3-6 credits in Social Sciences from one or two of the following:
- PADM 0610 - Human Resource Management Skills
- MGMT 0608 - Organizational Behavior for Non-Profit and Public Organizations
- MGMT 0642 - Managing Professionals in Client Service Organizations
3 credits in Research and Analysis in Business:
- ACCT 0624 - Advanced Cost Accounting
3 credits in Communications in Accounting:
- ACCT 0625 - Financial Statement Disclosure and Analysis
3-6 credits in Accounting/Business from one or two of the following:
- ACCT 0627 - Issues in Accounting for Public Companies
- ACCT 0631 - Municipal and Fund Accounting
- ACCT 0640 - Internship in Accounting
The candidate for the Master of Science in Accounting will have to successfully complete a comprehensive examination in his/her last semester. The comprehensive examination in the Master of Science in Accounting Program is designed to help prepare students for the Certified Public Accountancy ("CPA") Examination. Accordingly, the comprehensive examination will test the candidate's knowledge of the four subject areas of the CPA Examination including Financial Accounting and Reporting, Auditing and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, and Regulation. Given the nature of the comprehensive examination, students who have already successfully passed the CPA Examination will not be required to take the comprehensive examination.