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    Certification Preparation

    Faculty guide M.S.A. students in preparing for and completing certification exams while still a student.

Master of Science in Accountancy

The Western Michigan University Master of Science in Accountancy program is designed to provide greater breadth and depth in accounting than that delivered in an undergraduate accounting program and features the following:

  • Our curriculum will further develop your technical expertise, communication skills and understanding of the role of accountants in organizations.
  • You will be prepared for entry-level accounting positions and career advancement. Graduates of the program will be qualified for positions in a wide range of organizations including public accounting, industry and government.
  • Faculty who will not only teach you the technical skills necessary for licensing and certification, but will guide you in fulfilling the educational requirements and preparing for exams. Many are CPAs, and will encourage you to prepare and take exams while still a student. Then, you'll be ready to focus on the work requirements after you graduate.
  • Admission

    Western Michigan University's online graduate application system allows all students (domestic, international and readmission) to submit required information into one system. General application information for the University, as well as specific requirements for individual programs, are captured in this system. 

    To be eligible for admission to the Master of Science in Accountancy program, an applicant must have earned:

    • A total score of at least 1,100, which is the sum of the GMAT score and 200 times the GPA for the last 60 hours in an accredited undergraduate degree program.
    • A minimum GMAT score of 480. (Note: Recent scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are acceptable. Equivalent GRE test scores can be used to meet minimum GMAT score requirements and can be used in formula calculations for admission purposes. See www.ets.org for information on conversion of a GRE score to a predicted GMAT score.)
    • A minimum GPA of 2.75 for the last 60 hours in an accredited undergraduate degree program.

    Note: A Western Michigan University accountancy major with an average grade point of 3.0 or higher in the following courses (or equivalents) is not required to take the GMAT or GRE: ACTY 3100, 3110, 3130, 3140, 3220, 3240, 4160, and two of the electives (4110, 4140, 4220, 4240, 4310 and 4980).

    Students who don’t meet these requirements may be eligible for waivers based on professional or previous academic experience. Students need to contact the chair of the Department of Accountancy to inquire about waivers for the program.

  • Admission requirements for international applicants

    The following requirements for international admission are in addition to the requirements under Admissions, above. If you have questions, contact Barb Caras-Tomczak.

    • Graduate students whose native language in not English and who do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must take the Academic Communication Placement Test at the beginning of their first semester of enrollment. This test is administered by the Haworth College of Business Communication Center. It must be taken in addition to the TOEFL, which is taken as part of the admissions process. A student who does not pass this examination is assigned to the Academic Communication for Business Purposes course. This course must be completed during the first semester of study.
    • Graduate students whose native language is not English but have an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution will not be required to take a placement test or the Academic Communication for Business Purposes course.
    • Applicants to the MSA program will be required to show TOEFL results of 90 Internet Based Total (IBT) or 577 Paper Based Total (PBT) for unrestricted admission.
    • Applicants with 61-89 Internet Based Total (IBT) or 500-576 Paper Based Total (PBT) will be admitted with the restricted policy. Students in this test range will be required to enroll in ENGL 3600 or ENGL 3610. The English class appropriate for the student will be determined by the IAS.
    • Enrollment of new international students will be limited to fall semester except for students with above 90-577 IBT/PBT scores who may begin their enrollment in fall, spring or summer I terms.
    • Students admitted with the restricted policy will be required to start summer I semester in order to fulfill the English class before fall semester. They will be allowed to enroll in academic courses their first semester as determined by the MSA faculty.
  • Prerequisites

    The required preparation is an undergraduate degree in accounting, or its equivalent, and a 3.0 grade point average in accounting and business courses. 

    • Basic Skills:  Quantitative Analysis, Computer Literacy, Academic Communications.
    • Graduate students whose native language in not English and who do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must take the Academic Communication Placement Test at the beginning of their first semester of enrollment. (For more information, see International Admissions, above.
    • Basic Core: Corporate Finance; Legal, Regulatory, and Political Aspects of Business; Basic Economic Analysis.  
    • Accountancy Course Prerequisites: ACTY 2100, Introduction to Financial Accounting and Analysis; ACTY 2110, Introduction to Managerial Accounting and Strategic Decision Making; ACTY 3100, Financial Accounting I; ACTY 3110, Financial Accounting II; ACTY 3130, Accounting Information Systems and Controls; ACTY 3140, Analytics for Accountants; ACTY 3220, Cost and Managerial Accounting; ACTY 3240, Introductory Tax Accounting; ACTY 4160, Auditing.
  • Program requirements

    Western Michigan University graduate accountancy students who have been admitted to the program must contact a faculty advisor to discuss the courses to be completed in the program. Contact Barb Caras-Tomczak, advisor.

    Students who have not completed an undergraduate degree in accountancy must complete the following prerequisites or their equivalents:

    • ACTY 2100 and 2110 - Principles of Accounting I and II
    • ACTY 3100 and 3110 - Financial Accounting I and II
    • ACTY 3130 - Accounting Information Systems and Controls
    • ACTY 3220 - Cost and Managerial Accounting
    • ACTY 3240 - Introductory Tax Accounting
    • ACTY 4160 - Auditing

    Proficiency requirements

    • Computer literacy: Fulfilled through classroom or experiential knowledge of computer applications.
    • Quantitative analysis: Fulfilled through completion of an upper-level quantitative course such as finite mathematics or pre-calculus.
    • Statistics: Fulfilled through completion of a business statistics course or its equivalent.
    • Academic communication: Prior academic experience will be evaluated to determine if this requirement is met. Graduate students whose native language is not English and who do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must take the Academic Communication Placement Test at the beginning of their first semester of enrollment. This test is administered by the Western Michigan University Center for English Language and Culture for International Students. It must be taken in addition to Test of English as a Foreign Language, which is taken as part of the admissions process. A student who does not pass this examination is assigned to the academic communication for business purposes course. This course must be completed during the first semester of study. Graduate students whose native language is not English but who have an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution will not be required to take the placement test or the course.

    Prerequisites

    Students who have not completed an undergraduate degree in business must complete the following business prerequisites or their equivalents:

    • Corporate Finance
    • Legal, Regulatory, and Political Aspects of Business
    • Basic Economic Analysis

    Program requirements

    A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work is required. Each individual program must include at least 24 hours of 6000- or 7000-level courses and must have prior approval of a department advisor. The 6000- or 7000-level courses should be selected from the list provided by the Department of Accountancy. In addition, a minimum of 15 hours of accounting must be selected from the following courses:

    • ACTY 6100 - Financial Accounting and Reporting Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6170 - Attestation and Assurance Services Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6210 - International Accounting Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6220 - Seminar in Management Accounting Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6240 - Business Tax Planning Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6270 - Accounting Fraud Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6280 - Financial Statement Analysis Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6430 - Special Topics in Accountancy I Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6440 - Special Topics in Accountancy II Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6491 - CFO Financial Leadership Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6492 - Managerial and Business Environment Capstone Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6493 - Financial Accounting Capstone Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6494 - Auditing Capstone Credits: 3 hours
    • ACTY 6495 - Taxation Capstone Credits: 3 hours

    Note:

    ACTY 6010, ACTY 6110 and MBA 6005 do NOT qualify as part of the 30 credit hour M.S.A. program.

    To summarize the requirements:

    • Minimum of 30 hours of graduate course work.
    • Minimum of 15 hours of graduate course work in accountancy.
    • Minimum of 24 hours at the 6000-level or above.
  • Program duration
    • Accelerated Timeline: Once you have earned an undergraduate degree in accountancy you can complete the M.S.A. program in as few as three semesters if you enroll in a full load of courses each semester.
    • Part-time Timeline: It will take longer to complete the program if you enroll on a part-time basis or do not have an undergraduate degree in accountancy.

    For further information, contact the Barb Caras-Tomczak, graduate student advisor.

    Email Barb Caras-Tomczak.

  • Graduate research assistantships

    A research assistantship is an appointment in which a graduate student engages in research under a faculty member’s supervision. For instance, the faculty member might be a principal investigator on a grant or contract. In addition to a stipend, assistants receive benefits such as tuition remission, a parking permit, and increased library privileges.