2021-2022 Catalog 
    Oct 04, 2023  
2021-2022 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  high-level accounting practices and will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to have successful careers in 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 program accommodates the needs of working professionals.  Students enrolling in the MSA program on a part-time basis may complete the program in 18 months. Students may also fast-track through the curriculum by 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.

Flexible Scheduling (Beginning Spring 2022)

Starting in Spring 2022, the UCCS MSA program will be a 30-credit, hybrid graduate accounting program that combines in-person and online learning to provide students with optimal flexibility.  Students who cannot meet in person for the on-campus accounting courses may attend remote synchronously.  All on-campus classes are offered in the evening hours. Students can elect to enroll in online business electives.  The combination of campus, remote synchronous and online provides flexibility to students who are also busy working professionals.

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 pre-requisite 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

At the discretion of the admissions committee, an applicant not meeting the criteria for regular admission may be admitted as a provisional student. Students who are offered provisional admissions to the program will receive a letter from the College of Business Graduate Program outlining the conditions which must be met to become a regular degree student. When the student meets the conditions of their provisional admissions, the College of Business will reclassify the student’s status to be fully admitted to the program and inform the student in writing. Provisional students have all the rights and privileges and are subject to the same standards of performance required of regular admitted students.

UCCS seniors who have satisfied the undergraduate residence requirements and who need no more than 9 semester hours to meet their requirements for an undergraduate degree may be contingently admitted to the MSA program. They must meet regular admissions criteria, submit a completed application by the published deadline, and submit the “Undergraduate Senior Admit Eligibility’ form signed by their undergraduate advisor confirming the number of credits needed to complete the bachelor’s degree.  Students may request the Undergraduate Senior Admit Eligibility form from the College of Business Advising Office by emailing GSBA@uccs.edu.

Undergraduate senior admits must complete their final undergraduate courses during their first semester as an MSA student. Students may be limited to one or two graduate courses contingent on the number of hours needed to complete the bachelor’s degree.

Application Process and Deadlines
The UCCS online application, official GMAT or GRE scores, 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 deadline.   Criteria for GMAT waiver is on the UCCS online application.  Additional fees may apply.

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.

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 at gsba@uccs.edu for more information.

Course Load
The typical course load is 3-6 credit hours (1 to 2 classes) for a working graduate student and 9-12 credit hours (3 to 4 classes) for those attending school full-time in the fall and spring semesters. Students are limited to 12 credit hours for the fall and the spring semesters and 6 credit hours for the summer semester. Credit hours over these limits require that an academic petition to be approved. Concurrent enrollment in both campus and online classes is subject to the same credit hour limits.

MSA Completion Timeframe
Although students are normally expected to complete a master’s degree in one to three years, candidates for the MSA degree should complete their requirements within five years. Students with extenuating circumstances may petition the College of Business Graduate Office for an extension of up to one (1) additional year for a maximum completion time of six years.

Leave of Absence

Students who need to take a leave of absence from the MSA program for longer than one semester should discuss their decision with the Graduate School of Business Administration Graduate 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 to complete the MSA degree requirements (refer to the MSA Completion Timeframe).

A program may also place a student on an administrative leave of absence if student is not making satisfactory academic progress in the program. An administrative leave of absence cannot be used in place of academic probation, but may be used simultaneously. The program may request that students meet certain conditions prior to returning.

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 they have 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. Grades for pre-requisite coursework will not be included in the computation of the overall MSA grade point average in a student’s degree audit.

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 nine (9) semester hours has been attempted. After a student has been placed on probation, the student has a maximum of one calendar year to raise their grade point average to 3.0. Courses taken to raise the cumulative grade point average must apply 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 frame 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 a 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
Transfer credits may apply to the MSA program with approval from the MSA Faculty Director.  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 (or bachelor’s degree). All work accepted for transfer must have been completed within the approved degree time limit (maximum 6 years).

Grades Received Before Admission to the MSA Program

Grades from courses transferred from another institution or other CU campuses are not included in the graduate grade point average calculation at UCCS.  Therefore, they will not be calculated in the MSA grade point average.

The University grade point average does not include any courses taken while in unclassified status; however, the MSA grade point average will include all unclassified courses taken in a business Graduate Certificate that is applied to the MSA degree.

Credit Earned through a Business Graduate Certificate at UCCS before Admission to the MSA Program

Credits earned through a College of Business Graduate Certificate at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs may be applied to the MSA degree.  Each course must have a grade of B or better.  All work must have been completed within the approved degree time limit (maximum six years) for completing the MSA degree. The MSA will accept up to 12 credits as an unclassified student.   Students who would like to transfer more than 12 credits may discuss this with the College of Business Graduate Office.

Graduate Internships
At the graduate level, internships are 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 complete 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.
Alternative Accounting Pathways

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 with an emphasis in Accounting or the Graduate Certificate in Accounting.

MSA Options

  • Part-time: Average completion time is 18 months; take up to 6 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)

Students may select elective courses 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
  • Coursework in a focused area in business to satisfy a business 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.  Graduate Certificates are available both on-campus or online, but all certificates may not be available in both formats. Certificates are offered in the following areas:

  • Cybersecurity Management (Online)
  • Finance (Campus and Online)
  • Health Care Administration (Online)
  • Innovation Management (Campus and Online)
  • International Business (Campus and Online)
  • Management (Campus and Online)
  • Marketing (Campus and Online)
  • Operations & Supply Chain Management (Online)
  • Project Management (Online)
  • Service Management (Campus)
  • Sport Management (Online)

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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