2022-2023 Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2022-2023 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
The UCCS MSA program is 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 remotely.  All on-campus classes are offered in the evening hours. Students can elect to enroll in online business electives to allow for further flexibility.  The combination of campus, remote synchronous, and online provides flexibility to students who are also busy working professionals.  The MSA program is considered a campus, hybrid program. A student will be classified as a Colorado resident or non-resident.  


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.

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).

Alternative Accounting Pathways
The College of Business offers different pathways for students interested in pursuing graduate accounting education at UCCS.  Students who do not have an undergraduate background in accounting (or in business with an emphasis in accounting) may 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.
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-seeking 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 regularly 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 are 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.

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.


MSA Options

  • Part-time: Average completion time is 18 months; takes 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 prerequisite courses below (or their equivalents) are required for admission to the MSA program. 

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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