Catalogue 2015 - 2016

Master of Science in Accounting (MSA)


The Master of Science in Accounting degree provides students with the opportunity to develop skills in planning, controlling, evaluation, and analysis that characterize a successful career in accounting. Graduates of this program satisfy the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Massachusetts. Graduates of this program who have an undergraduate degree in business are also eligible to sit for the CPA exam in Connecticut. Students taking the CPA exam in other jurisdictions must check the requirements of the respective jurisdiction.

Program Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competency in analytical reasoning and problem solving skills.
    1. Apply relevant accounting knowledge, quantitative and qualitative decision making skills to resolve accounting-related issues in: financial reporting, cost accounting, auditing, and taxation
    2. Apply relevant accounting knowledge, quantitative and qualitative skills to critically analyze financial statements.
  2. Demonstrate professional perspective in understanding accounting theory and practice.
    1. Understand the historical development of accounting theory, its impact on contemporary accounting practice, and how it relates to external and internal users.
    2. Understand the international accounting and auditing issues currently facing the accounting profession.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in using ethical reasoning skills.
    1. Identify ethical issues faced by accounting professionals.
    2. Describe and analyze ethical perceptions and frameworks for responding to ethical dilemmas.
    3. Make a choice/evaluation and be able to effectively justify it based on professional codes of conduct and/or social responsibility.
  4. Demonstrate effective use of research skills in investigating accounting issues/topics.
    1. Identify relevant information for the research issue/topic.
    2. Locate and obtain information using professional accounting literature (e.g., FASB Accounting Standards Codification, IFRS, SAS, AS, IRC, etc.) and professional data bases.
    3. Resolve new or emerging accounting issues in a global perspective through researching the professional standards and codes

Admissions Standards

See graduate admissions requirements.

Academic Performance

The academic standards apply to students in the MSA program with the following exception:

Any student who receives two or more grades of “C+” or lower will be dismissed from the program.


The MSA consists of three areas: undergraduate foundation courses, required accounting courses, and elective courses. These three areas are discussed below.

Degree Requirements

Undergraduate Foundation Courses 27 credit hours

AC 201/HONB 203Financial Reporting

3 cr.

AC 202Managerial Accounting

3 cr.

AC 305Financial Reporting II

3 cr.

AC 306Financial Reporting III

3 cr.

AC 309Cost Accounting

3 cr.

AC 330Accounting Information Systems

3 cr.

AC 413Fundamental of Individual Tax

3 cr.

AC 419Auditing and Assurance Services

3 cr.

FIN 214Introduction to Finance

3 cr.

Students admitted into the MSA program must have completed the undergraduate courses with a “B” average or better and no grade below a “C.” For purposes of admission only the highest grade achieved in each of the undergraduate courses will be considered. Students who are lacking some or all of the undergraduate foundation courses may be conditionally admitted to the program but must complete all remaining undergraduate core courses within a two-year period. During this time they will be allowed to take no more than two graduate courses toward the MSA degree. Grades on the undergraduate core courses taken after admission to the program will not be included in the GPA calculations of the program. The GPA calculation of the MSA program will be based solely on graduate coursework.

Required Courses 21 credit hours

AC 610Cost-Based Decision-Making

3 cr.

AC 611Municipal and Fund Accounting

3 cr.

AC 614Fundamentals of Corporate and Partnership Tax

3 cr.

AC 620Advanced Topics in Auditing and Assurance Services

3 cr.

AC 622Accounting Theory & Contemp Issues

3 cr.

FIN 612Business Analysis and Valuation

3 cr.

FIN 630Managerial Finance

3 cr.

Total Credit Hours: 57-60

In addition to these courses, students complete their degree program by choosing electives or a concentration. The concentrations are Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation, and Taxation.

Electives 9-12 credit hours

Students who do not pursue a concentration may complete their degree requirements by taking 9-12 credits of business electives.

Students who have not earned 24 undergraduate credit hours in non-accounting business courses are required to complete three graduate business courses (9 credit hours). These may be either accounting or non-accounting courses. (Other than AC 630)

Students who have not earned 24 undergraduate credit hours in non-accounting business courses are required to complete four non-accounting graduate business courses (12 credit hours). These courses may not begin with an AC prefix.