2020-2021 Catalog 
    Jan 25, 2022  
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Accounting, MSA

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The Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) is designed for those with an undergraduate degree in accounting or in business with an emphasis in accounting who want to pursue licensure as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  The MSA helps graduates develop a deep knowledge of Accounting.  This 30 credit hour program, together with a student’s undergraduate degree in accounting, is designed to satisfy the 150 credit hour requirement for licensure in Colorado and most other states.

MSA Program

The MSA program is designed for working professionals. Most students enroll in the MSA program on a part-time basis and complete the program in 18 months. Students may also fast-track through the MSA, completing their degree requirements in an accelerated 12-month time frame (depending on undergraduate coursework). Students may begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

MSA Graduate Admission

Admission Criteria
The Graduate School of Business Administration seeks to admit students who show a high likelihood of postgraduate accounting study.

Prior Academic Experience: A 4-year baccalaureate degree in accounting or business with an emphasis in accounting from a regionally accredited institution, including successful completion of the prerequisite courses or their equivalents. A grade of C or higher must be earned in all coursework and coursework must have been taken within the last 10 years. Successful applicants will generally have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, particularly in upper-division classes and accounting coursework. Students who do not have an undergraduate background in accounting or business can still pursue careers in accounting and licensure as a CPA through the Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in accounting or the Graduate Certificate in Accounting.

Admission Test: Applicants must submit scores from either the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Well qualified applicants may be eligible for the GMAT/GRE waiver option. More information about the GMAT/GRE waiver is available by visiting www.uccs.edu/msa or by contacting the Graduate School of Business Administration Office at GSBA@uccs.edu.

Additional MSA Application Materials: In addition to official transcripts from regionally accredited institutions attended, students must submit a goal statement, resume and optional letters of recommendation. International applicants must also demonstrate English language proficiency (i.e.TOEFL or IELTS scores).

Provisional and Undergraduate Senior Admits
Individuals may be admitted on a provisional status at the discretion of the MSA admissions committee. A grade of C or higher must be earned in all pre-requisite coursework.  If the terms of the provisional admittance are met, the student will be transferred to regular degree status. Students who do not meet the terms of the provisional admission are not eligible for admittance into the program. UCCS seniors who have satisfied the undergraduate residence requirements and who need no more than 6 semester hours to meet their requirements for an undergraduate degree may be contingently admitted to the MSA program. They must meet regular admissions criteria and submit a completed application by the published deadline. Undergraduate senior admits must complete their final undergraduate courses during their first semester as an MSA student.

Application Process and Deadlines
The application, GMAT or GRE (or GMAT waiver form), one official transcript (not student copies) from each post-secondary institution attended, a resume, a goal statement, and the nonrefundable application fee should be submitted by the priority deadlines.

Visit www.uccs.edu/msa for the online application or contact the Graduate School of Business Administration by phone at 1-800-990-8227, ext. 3408, or by email at GSBA@uccs.edu.

Expected Software Skills
MSA students are expected to be proficient with word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. If students are deficient in any of these skills, it is their responsibility to mitigate the deficiency before enrolling in the program.

Graduate School of Business Administration Academic Policies

Access to Graduate Courses
Students must be officially admitted to the graduate program in order to register for graduate-level courses. All course prerequisites must be met. Interested students should contact the Graduate School of Business Administration for more information.

Course Load
The typical course load is 3-6 hours for a working graduate student and 9-12 hours for those attending school full-time during the fall and spring semesters. Students are limited to 12 credit hours for the fall and the spring semesters. Students are limited to 6 credit hours for the summer semester. Credit hours over these limits require that an academic petition be approved. Concurrent enrollment in both campus and online classes is subject to the same credit hour limits.

MSA Completion Timeframe
Candidates for a graduate degree are expected to complete the degree within 5 years. Students with extenuating circumstances may petition the Graduate School of Business Administration for an extension of up to one additional year (6 years maximum). 

Leave of Absence
Students who need to take a leave of absence from the MSA program for longer than one semester must discuss their decision with the Graduate School of Business Administration Advising Office and complete the Request for Leave of Absence Form. A leave of absence may occur for one year (3 continuous semesters including summer). Students who do not return within a year may need to reapply for admission to the MSA program. A leave of absence does not extend the prescribed time limit (5 years) to complete the MSA degree requirements (see above: MSA Completion Timeframe).

MSA Standards of Performance

Course Repeat Policy
Any grade below C (2.0) is not a passing grade for graduate students. A student may repeat a course once for which he or she has received a grade below C. Both the original grade and the grade for the repeated course count in the computation of the grade point average.

Grade Point Average
No individual grade below a C will count towards degree requirements. To be in good standing, students must have an overall grade point average of no less than 3.0 for all degree program coursework attempted.

Probation and Suspension
The academic performance of each student will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Any student who has a cumulative grade point average of less than 3.0 in graduate coursework will be placed on probation. In general, students will not be placed on probation until a minimum of 9 semester hours have been attempted. After a student has been placed on probation, the student has a maximum of one calendar year to raise his or her grade point average to 3.0. Courses taken to raise the cumulative grade point average must be applicable to the degree and must be taken in the three semesters (including summer) immediately following the semester in which the cumulative grade point average fell below 3.0. Failure to raise the cumulative grade point average to 3.0 in the time period outlined will result in immediate suspension. While on academic probation, failure to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress (meaning the cumulative GPA must improve each semester that classes are taken) towards the graduate degree may result in academic suspension. In the event a student attains probationary status more than one time, the same time limits shall apply. If a student’s cumulative GPA drops below a 2.0, they may be suspended immediately. A suspended graduate student is eligible to petition for readmission after one calendar year.

Transfer Policy
A maximum of 6 credit hours of appropriate coursework from another AACSB-accredited graduate program may be considered for transfer to the degree program. The grade received for a transfer class must be a “B” or higher. The class cannot have been used to fulfill requirements in another graduate program. The transfer class must have been taken no more than 5 years prior to the student’s projected graduation date at UCCS. 

Graduate Internships
At the graduate level, internships are 1-3 credit hours, pass/fail only and may be used as business elective credit. Internships are approved through an application process, which can be obtained through the College of Business Career Development Center. Students must apply prior to beginning their internship duties and should register for credit during the semester in which the internship is being completed. A maximum of 3 credit hours on internship may be applied to a graduate business degree. 

Graduate Academic Advising
Each graduate student must meet with an advisor during the student’s first term of attendance to prepare a degree plan.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Audit
All students must contact the Graduate School of Business Administration Office for a complete academic evaluation DURING THE SEMESTER PRIOR TO THEIR FINAL SEMESTER. Failure to request an audit or failure to complete audit documents in a timely manner may delay a student’s graduation.

Students seeking to participate in commencement and other academic ceremonies will need to complete ALL academic requirements in advance. Participation in academic ceremonies that recognize or honor students for the completion of an academic program or specific academic accomplishment is based on the understanding that all requirements have been completed. Every effort will be made to determine eligibility in advance, and only students who have met requirements will be permitted to participate.


MSA Degree Requirements

Credit Hours

Students must successfully complete both a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate coursework and an end of program assessment for the MSA degree. This coursework consists of 18 hours of accounting courses and 12 hours of other business elective courses. A grade of C or higher must be earned in all coursework including undergraduate prerequisite classes.

Flexible Scheduling

All on-campus classes are offered in the evening hours. Students can also enroll in online courses along with courses offered on-campus, which provides flexibility to students who are also busy working professionals. Most accounting courses are held on campus. Business (non-accounting) electives can be taken online.

Alternative Accounting Programs

The College of Business offers different pathways for students interested in pursuing graduate accounting education at UCCS. Students who do not qualify for admission to the MSA program may pursue the MBA in Accounting or the Graduate Certificate in Accounting. 

MSA Options

  • Part-time: Average completion time is 18 months; take up to 5 years to complete the program.
  • Full-time: Fast-track to complete the program in 12 months.
  • MSA plus Graduate Certificate (MSA+):12 credits of elective coursework in a focused area in business.

MSA Prerequisite Requirements (18 hours)

The following prerequisite courses (or their equivalents) are required:

Masters of Science in Accounting (30 hours)

Required Elective Hours (12 hours)

Select from:

  • Approved Graduate Business Courses (excluding STRT 6000 and MBA Foundation Courses)
  • Graduate Accounting Courses (excluding ACCT 5500 and ACCT 6100)
  • Graduate Internship in Accounting (ACCT 6960) - up to a maximum of 3 credit hours
  • Graduate Certificate

MSA+ Certificate Option

The MSA program requires students to choose any four (12 credits) graduate business electives. The MSA+ provides an opportunity for students to earn an MSA degree plus a graduate certificate in a non-accounting business area. Students take their four business electives in a specialized area of study. Adding a graduate business certificate enhances the strong accounting foundation obtained in the MSA program with a concentration in another business management area.

Though students can earn a certificate from various disciplines, the most popular graduate certificates for MSA students are: Finance, Management, or Service Management. Other graduate certificates are available in Health Care Administration, Innovation Management, International Business, Marketing, Operations Management, and Project Management. Some certificate courses are only available on campus, some are only available online and some are available in both delivery methods

MSA End of Program Assessment

All students must complete an end of program assessment during their final semester in the program.

Accounting Notes

Students applying for licensure as CPAs in the State of Colorado must hold a bachelor’s degree and have completed a total of at least 150 semester hours.  The 150 semester hours must include 33 total accounting hours, of which 27 must be upper-division. Six of these accounting semester hours must be in auditing and three of these accounting semester hours must be in accounting or business ethics. The 150 semester hours must also include at least 27 semester hours in other non-accounting business courses. No more than 9 semester hours in any single area may be used to satisfy these requirements.

The above rules/policies are state guidelines that are subject to change.

Students should understand the requirements for sitting for the CPA examination and for CPA licensure.  More information about these state requirements is available at the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy website: www.nasba.org.

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