Skip to Navigation
Skip to main content
Grand Valley State University    
 
    
 
  Oct 21, 2017
 
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Master of Science in Accounting


This specialized accounting degree is designed for students pursuing careers in public, industry, and nonprofit accounting, including those with limited undergraduate accounting education. The M.S.A. degree meets the educational requirements for public accounting certification (CPA) in the State of Michigan.

Admission to the Master of Science in Accounting Program

Candidates are admitted to the M.S.A. program based on criteria that have been shown to predict success. Applicants must submit official documentation of all previous college course work, including a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent international credential). An undergraduate degree in accounting is not required, although those with limited undergraduate business education are required to complete a series of business courses that provide a foundation for advanced study in accounting. Additionally, applicants must submit:

  • GMAT score
  • Personal Statement
  • TOEFL score (if English is not the applicant’s first language)

Admission requirements are provided in detail in “The Seidman College of Business” section of this catalog, including conditions that qualify applicants for a GMAT waiver.

Transfer Credit
A maximum of nine semester hours of transfer credit will be given for appropriate graduate courses completed with a grade of B or better from another AACSB-accredited college. These credits may be substituted for required or elective courses as determined by the program director. University policy on transfer of credit also governs such courses.

Academic Review
A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher is required in all graduate-level courses. Additionally, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required in all 600-level courses that fulfill graduation requirements for the M.S.A. A grade of C or better must be earned in all graduate courses that fulfill graduation requirements for the M.S.A.

Program Location

The M.B.A. program is offered in the Pew Campus DeVos Center in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Website: www.gvsu.edu/msa

Graduate Outcomes/Time to Program Completion

The School of Accounting faculty has identified the following learning objectives for M.S.A. students, and objectives are assessed regularly to ensure that they are being achieved.
M.S.A. graduates will be:

  • technically competent
  • effective accounting researchers
  • effective communicators
  • internationally literate
  • prepared to recognize and respond to ethical questions encountered in the practice of accounting

Requirements for the M.S.A. in Accounting


All M.S.A. students must complete at least 33 credits at the 600-level that include at least 18 credits in accounting.

Foundation

Foundation requirements may be met by completion of either the 500-level accelerated courses or the undergraduate courses as indicated below:

 Background Area

 Background Course

 GVSU Undergraduate Course(s)

  Accounting

  ACC 511 - Financial and Managerial Accounting Concepts (3 credits)   ACC 212 and 213 (6 credits)

  Legal Environment

  BUS 531 - Legal Environment of Business (2 credits)   BUS 201 (3 credits)

  Statistics

  FIN 520 - Statistics and Mathematics of Finance (3 credits)   STA 215 (3 credits)

  Economics

  ECO 542 - Economic Reasoning (3 credits)   ECO 210 and 211 (6 credits)

 

ACC 511 or its equivalent must be completed before taking any 600-level course. It is highly recommended that all foundation courses be completed at the beginning of the program. Students who have completed the GVSU undergraduate courses listed above or the equivalent courses at another university are not required to complete additional 500-level courses in the respective areas.

In addition, all students are required to have completed a course in corporate finance with a grade of “C” or better. This course may be taken at either the undergraduate level prior to or while enrolled in the M.S.A. program. If taken at the graduate level, this course may be used as an elective in the M.S.A. program with the approval of the students’ faculty advisor.

 

 Required Course

 GVSU Graduate Course

 Undergraduate Course(s)

  Corporate Finance

  FIN 621   FIN 320

 

Accounting Core

The following three credit courses are required of all M.S.A. students:

All M.S.A. students must complete at least two additional 600-level courses in accounting. These additional courses may be applied to other requirements for the M.S.A. degree or the Taxation emphasis.

Accounting Exposure

Accounting exposure courses may be taken at either the undergraduate level prior to or while enrolled in the M.S.A. program. Their purpose is to ensure that all M.S.A. graduates have basic competencies in each major area of accounting. For the exposure requirement, all students are required to complete six credits in intermediate accounting, and at least one course in cost or managerial accounting, the accountant’s legal environment, auditing, federal income taxation, accounting information systems, and advanced accounting with a grade of “C” or better. The following GVSU courses fulfill this basic competency requirement:

 Required Course

 GVSU Graduate Course

  Undergraduate Course(s)

  Intermediate Accounting

  ACC 601 and 602   ACC 310, 311, and 240

  Managerial Accounting, including Cost Accounting

  ACC 611   ACC 321 or 322

  Accountant’s Legal Environment

  ACC 612   no equivalent GVSU course

  Auditing

  ACC 614   ACC 414

  Federal Income Taxation

  ACC 609 or 615   ACC 317 or 318

  Accounting Systems

  ACC 616   ACC 340

  Advanced Accounting

  ACC 618   no equivalent GVSU course

 

Credit earned for ACC 601 will not be counted toward the 18-credit 600-level accounting course minimum or the 33-credit 600-level course M.S.A. degree minimum.

If students have satisfactorily completed an undergraduate course in intermediate accounting II, US individual taxation, external auditing, entity taxation, accounting systems, or advanced accounting, they will not be granted credit for ACC 602, 609, 612, 614, 615, 616, or 618, respectively. Students who have completed two semesters of intermediate accounting at the undergraduate level will not be required to take ACC 240. Students who have not taken intermediate accounting prior to matriculating in the program should take ACC 601 in the first semester of graduate work after the course prerequisite (ACC 511 or equivalent) has been met. ACC 602 should be taken in the first semester of attendance after the ACC 601 prerequisite has been met.

A course in Advanced Accounting must include coverage of both consolidated financial statements and governmental/non-profit accounting to satisfy the accounting exposure requirement. At the discretion of the student’s faculty advisor, a combination of courses may be used to satisfy this requirement.

Minimum Accounting and Business Content

All students must complete a minimum of 24 credits in accounting and auditing and 24 credits in general business subjects, including economics and statistics as well as accounting credits in excess of the minimum 24 accounting credits. This requirement may be met through a combination of undergraduate and graduate courses taken prior to or during enrollment in the M.S.A. program.

Individualized Plan of Study/Time to Program Completion

All admitted students must meet with an advisor prior to or during their first semester of graduate coursework to obtain an individualized plan of study specifying the coursework required for the M.S.A. degree and any emphases elected by the student. The individualized plan of study (IPS) will be developed by the student’s advisor based upon review of the student’s previous coursework, program requirements, and the student’s interests. Students will generally fall into the following categories:

Undergraduate degree in accounting

Students entering the M.S.A. program with an undergraduate degree in accounting may generally expect to complete a 33 credit program. These students must meet the accounting core and exposure requirements and may expect to take up to 21 credits of 600-level electives selected from among Seidman graduate offerings or, with permission of the student’s faculty advisor, from graduate program offerings outside the Seidman College of Business courses.

Non-accounting business degree

Students entering the program with a degree in business, but with six or fewer hours in accounting may expect an IPS listing of all the accounting core and exposure courses, and a single three-semester hour 600-level elective with a program length of 36 credits. Students who have previously completed more than six hours in accounting may be able to complete the program in 33 credits.

Non-business degree

Students entering the program with a non-business degree and no prior coursework in business or accounting will receive a standard plan of study totaling approximately 50 semester hours consisting of all courses listed above (foundation, core, and accounting exposure).

Any subsequent changes to the IPS must be approved by the faculty advisor. Students with an undergraduate degree in accounting or business can generally complete the program in one calendar year. Students with no or limited accounting coursework can complete the program in two calendar years.

Taxation Emphasis

A student may elect to complete the M.S.A. degree with an emphasis in taxation. This emphasis is intended for students who desire advanced knowledge and skills in taxation, but not at the depth and breadth of the Master of Science in Taxation degree. The Taxation emphasis will be listed on the student’s transcript.

The student must elect the emphasis and complete the following courses:

At least three of the above courses must be completed at GVSU. These courses may be used to either fulfill required electives in the program or extend the number of hours required for the degree, depending on the student’s individual circumstances. For students with undergraduate accounting degrees, it may be possible to complete the degree with a taxation emphasis in 33 credits. Other students desiring a tax emphasis should expect to complete additional credits beyond what is required for the degree.

With the approval of the student’s faculty advisor, a 600-level course in taxation may be substituted for any of the above courses.

To elect the Taxation emphasis, the student must request that their advisor add the emphasis to the student’s individualized plan of study.

Finance Emphasis

 A student may elect to complete the M.S.A. degree with an emphasis in finance. This emphasis is intended for students who desire advanced knowledge and skills in finance in addition to accounting. This emphasis prepares students for positions in the corporate finance function, leading to the positions of controller, treasurer, and chief financial officer (CFO). The Finance emphasis will be listed on the student’s transcript.

The student must elect the emphasis and complete the following courses:

At least three of the above courses must be completed at GVSU. These courses may be used to either fulfill required electives in the program or extend the number of hours required for the degree, depending on the student’s individual circumstances. For students with undergraduate accounting degrees, it may be possible to complete the degree with a finance emphasis in 33 credits. Other students desiring a finance emphasis should expect to complete additional credits beyond what is required for the degree.

FIN 621 (Corporate Finance) or equivalent is the prerequisite for these courses. With the approval of the student’s faculty advisor, FIN 680 (Special Topics) may be substituted for one of the above courses.


To elect the Finance emphasis, the student must request that their advisor add the emphasis to the student’s individualized plan of study.

Click here for program description.