As a recent graduate of Westfield State, Carly Roy '17 saw value in returning to pursue her master's degree in accounting. As a current graduate student, Carly loves the hybrid courses and the peer mentor program offered through the MSA program.
Interested in Pursuing a Career in Accounting?
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 fulfills the 150-hour educational requirement for professional certification as a public accountant in Massachusetts and several other states. Students will also be better prepared for examinations required for the Certified Management Accountant (CMA), the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), or the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)designations. Classes are hybrid models, combination of online and in-person courses and meet weekdays during the evenings, making the program accommodating and flexible.
Students who hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting or concentration in accounting can apply for our advanced track, which can be completed in one year!
Students applying to the Advanced Curriculum: A bachelor's degree with either a major or concentration in accounting from an accredited institution*. (*Based on U.S. regulations)
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.
Successful completion of the program will build on and enhance the following skills:
Strengthen theoretical foundation in multiple areas of accounting.
Expand critical thinking and research skills in accounting and business
Develop oral and written communication skills
Develop leadership and teamwork skills
Enhance understanding of ethical and professional issues in accounting and auditing, and ability to respond to ethical dilemmas in the profession
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
ACCT 0545 - Accounting Information Systems
Advanced Curriculum - 30 credits (drop down box to information from below)
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 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
Students in the Master of Science in Accounting program will have to successfully complete a comprehensive examination in their 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.
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.
We’re Here to Help.
We understand that it can be intimidating going back to school, and you may be balancing work, family and education, so we’ve put a few things in place to make your transition easier.