Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) 3:2 Option
Dr. Rick Lillie
Office: Jack Brown Hall, Room 547
Mohammad Bazaz, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
John Dorocak, LLM. (Tax), CPA, University of Florida
Sung-Kyoo Huh, Ph.D., Kent State University
John Jin, Ph.D., University of
Wulung Li, Ph.D., University of Texas, Dallas
Richard Lillie, MAS, Ed.D., CPA, Northern Illinois University
Samantha Liu, Ph.D., University of North
Vishal Munsif, Ph.D., Florida International University
Master of Science in Accountancy (3:2 Option) Program
The Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA 3:2 Option) program offers CSUSB accounting students an accelerated route to earning both BA and MSA degrees. The MSA 3:2 Option program allows students to earn graduate credit (i.e., MSA 500-level elective courses) during the junior and senior academic years, thereby reducing time needed to complete both degrees. Through the MSA 3:2 Option program, students complete a minimum of 225 quarter units (180 quarter units for the BA and 45 quarter units for the MSA). The 225 quarter units is equivalent to 150 semester units. This is sufficient to meet the new education requirement for licensure as a CPA throughout the United States. The following diagram depicts the MSA 3:2 Option program.
The BA in Administration (Concentration in Accounting) degree typically includes 180 quarter units. General Education requires 82 quarter units. The Business lower-division requires 32 quarter units. The Business upper-division requires 36 quarter units. The Accounting concentration requires 30 to 34 quarter units. When added together, the BA degree equals 180 quarter units.
The MSA requires a minimum of 45 quarter units. The 45 quarter units include both required and elective courses. The unique feature of the MSA 3:2 Option program is that MSA 500-level courses may be taken during the junior and senior years of a student's BA degree program. Being able to do this reduces time needed to complete both the BA and MSA degrees by approximately one academic year; hence the program title "3:2" stands for "approximately three years for two degrees."
Taken together, the BA (180 quarter units) plus the MSA (45 quarter units) equals 225 quarter units.
Caution : Overlapping GE Requirements with Business Lower Division Requirements
When planning your BA program, consider what happens if you elect to use Math 110 to satisfy both the GE (B1) and Business Lower Division #8 requirements. Math 110 counts for 4 quarter units in the total 180 quarter units needed to satisfy BA degree requirements. While you may elect to have Math 110 satisfy two requirement categories (i.e., GE B1 and Business Lower Division #8), you earn ONLY 4 quarter units, NOT 8 quarter units. As depicted in the following diagram, if you elect to use Math 110 to satisfy BOTH requirement categories, you will need to take an additional 4 unit elective course to make up the difference. The preferable option may be to take an additional 4 quarter unit accounting elective course. Check with your faculty advisor.
The CSUSB upper-division writing requirement (a 4 unit "306" course) is included in the General Education 82 unit total. The "306" writing course is offered by multiple departments. Check the Bulletin of Courses for more information.
Steps involved in the MSA 3:2 Option Program
The MSA 3:2 Option program includes seven (7) steps. The seven steps are shown below..
Step #1: Invitation into MSA 3:2 Option typically occurs at the end of a student's junior year. However, since student schedules vary, academic records for all CSUSB accounting students are reviewed at the end of each academic quarter in order to identify students who have satisfied MSA 3:2 Option invitation criteria. Invitations are sent to qualifying accounting students. Students wishing to participate in MSA 3:2 Option accept the invitation by signing and returning a copy of the invitation letter to the Department of Accounting and Finance.
Step #2: Student completes BA in Admin (Concentration in Accounting) requirements. This includes completing all GE, lower and upper-division, and accounting concentration course work. Additionally, student completes selected MSA 500-level electives courses. The MSA Coordinator works with the Office of Records, Registration & Evaluation (RRE) to determine that all BA degree requirements have been met. RRE changes student's status from "undergraduate" to "graduate." Student is now considered to be "classified."
Step #3: Becoming "classified," means a student may begin MSA 600-level course work, as well as, complete remaining MSA 500 and 600-level electives. The student and MSA Coordinator prepare a MSA Study Plan Worksheet, which documents course work to be completed during the MSA program. The MSA Study Plan Worksheet will be updated at the end of each academic term during the MSA program.
Step #4: Student completes MSA 500 and 600-level course work in accordance with the student's MSA Study Plan Worksheet.
Step #5: Once MSA course work is completed, student completes the MSA culminating experience. The culminating experience may be a comprehensive examination, project, or thesis paper. Selection of the culminating experience is made in consultation with the MSA Coordinator.
Step #6: File a Grad Check request with the Office of Records, Registration & Evaluation. Filing requirements are listed in the CSUSB Bulletin of Courses.
Step #7: The final step is concurrent graduation where the student will be awarded both the BA in Administration (Concentration in Accounting) and Master of Science in Accountancy degrees.
Invitation to the MSA 3:2 Option Program
Participation in the MSA 3:2 Option program is based on academic performance. Students who qualify are invited into MSA 3:2 Option program by the Department of Accounting and Finance. Criteria for invitation into the MSA 3:2 Option program are presented in the following diagram.
The MSA 3:2 Option program is available only to CSUSB accounting students who have achieved junior year academic standing or higher. Invitation into the MSA 3:2 Option program is based on academic performance in four 300-level accounting courses, earning a minimum CSUSB cumulative grade point average, and by satisfying the Graduate Studies Graduate Entrance Writing Requirement.
The Accounting faculty has designated four 300-level accounting courses to serve as part of the invitation criteria. The courses include ACCT 315 (Accounting Information Systems), ACCT 347 (Managerial Accounting), Accounting 372 (Intermediate Accounting), and ACCT 373 (Problem Areas in Intermediate Accounting). To qualify for invitation, a student must earn an overall grade point average of 3.0 ("B") or higher for the four courses.
To qualify for invitation, a student must have earned an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or higher. The cumulative GPA should include grades for the four qualifying accounting courses and the "306" expository writing course. The grade for the "306" course must be a "B" (3.0) or higher. If the expository writing requirement was met by satisfactory completion of the Writing Requirements Exemption Examination (WREE), the exemption should be posted to the student's CSUSB academic record.
Students are strongly encouraged to complete the four qualifying accounting courses and the "306" expository writing course (or WREE) not later than the end of the junior academic year. Students will NOT be considered for invitation into the MSA 3:2 Option program until all invitation criteria are met.
Progressing through the MSA 3:2 Option Program (Junior, Senior, and Graduate Year)
The MSA 3:2 Option program provides a seamless process whereby a student progresses from BA to MSA to the concurrent awarding of both the BA and MSA degrees. In order to participate in the MSA 3:2 Option program, a CSUSB student must be currently enrolled in the BA in Administration (Concentration in Accounting) program. Movement through the MSA 3:2 Option program is depicted in the following diagram..
Students complete 300 and 400-level "BA" required and elective courses during the junior and senior academic years. By the end of the senior academic year, ALL "BA" degree requirements (i.e., GE, Business lower-division, "306," Business upper-division, and accounting concentration courses) should be satisfactorily completed.
Below are MSA electives recommended to be completed by the time "BA" degree requirements are finsihed.
- ACCT 536: Corporate and Partnership Taxation (4)
- ACCT 539: Advanced Accounting (4)
- ACCT 541: Advanced Auditing (4)
- ACCT 556: Estates and Gifts and other Specialized Taxation Topics (4)
- ACCT 574: Reporting Issues in Intermediate Accounting (4)
When a MSA 3:2 Option student satisfies "BA" degree requirements, the Office of Records, Registration & Evlauation reviews the student's PAWS report and upon approval of the student's academic record, changes the student's status from "undergraduate" to "graduate." The student is considered to have achieved classified status and is advanced to MSA candidacy . All 500-level MSA elective courses completed during the junior and senior academic years will be moved over to the student's graduate record.
The MSA Coordinator and the student will work together to prepare a MSA Study Plan Worksheet. Once the Study Plan Worksheet is completed a student may then begin taking MSA 600-level courses, as well as, any remaining electives not yet completed.
Requirements for Graduation
MSA graduation requirements are presented in the following diagram.
The MSA program requires successful completion of a minimum of 45 quarter units of 500 and 600-level acceptable graduate-level work consistent with the MSA Study Plan Worksheet developed with the MSA Coordinator. The 45 quarter units must be completed within a 7 year period. At least 32 of the 45 quarter units must be completed at CSUSB.
The 45 quarter units shall include at least 24 quarter units of 600-level course work. For most candidates, the 24 quarter units will include the five required 600-level courses plus one 600-level elective course. Of the 45 quarter units, at least 20 quarter units must be completed AFTER advancement to MSA candidacy. Completion of the five required 600-level courses should satisfy this requirement.
Once admitted to the MSA program as conditionally classified or classified, candidates must maintain a 3.0 ("B") grade point average for all MSA course work. The minimum acceptable grade for any MSA course is a 2.0 ("C").
After advancement to candidacy, a student must successfully complete a culminating experience. Culminating experience options will be announced by the Department of Accounting and Finance. Arrangements for completing a culminating experience should be coordinated with the MSA Coordinator.
MSA Required Courses (20 Quarter Units)
ACCT 610: Financial Reporting and Disclosure (4)
ACCT 615: Controllership (4)
ACCT 620: Internal Auditing and Management Control (4)
ACCT 625: Seminar in Accounting Information Systems (4)
ACCT 629: Seminar in Tax and Business Decisions (4)
MSA Elective Courses (25 - 28 Quarter Units Selected in Consultation with the MSA Coordinator)
ACCT 536: Corporate and Partnership Taxation (4)
ACCT 539: Advanced Accounting (4)
ACCT 541: Advanced Auditing (4)
ACCT 556: Estates and Gifts and other Specialized Taxation Topics (4)
ACCT 574: Reporting Issues in Intermediate Accounting (4)
ACCT 605: Healthcare Accounting and Financial Analysis (4)
ACCT 606: Accounting for Managerial Decision-Making (4)
ACCT 642: International Accounting (4)
ACCT 690: Advanced Topics in Accounting (4)
ACCT 695: Graduate Independent Study (1-4)
FIN 602: Financial Theory and Corporate Finance (4)
FIN 622: Entrepreneurial and Venture Finance (4)
FIN 651: Financial Institutions and Markets (4)
FIN 653: Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management (4)
FIN 654: International Finance (4)
FIN 680: Corporate Financial Strategy (4)
Illustrative MSA 3:2 Option Program Course Schedules (Junior, Senior, and Graduate Year)
The following diagram shows how a MSA 3:2 Option course schedule might be designed. The study plan integrates MSA 500-level elective courses with 300 and 400-level BA course requirements and electives during junior and senior years. The study plan includes business and accounting courses and the "306" writing course. GE courses not yet completed should be fit into the schedule before the end of the senior year. The study plan is designed for a full-time student pursuing the MSA 3:2 Option program. The Department of Accounting and Finance typically schedules 300, 400, and 500-level courses during both day and evening time slots. MSA 600-level courses are generally scheduled only in evening time slots.
In the illustration, courses are presented in three tables (i.e., one table for each academic year). The columns of each table are labeled Fall, Winter, and Spring. The titles correspond to the three quarters of the academic year. Many students begin their studies in the Fall Quarter. However, other students begin studies at a time other than Fall Quarter. If you were to begin studies in Winter Quarter, then this would be your first (1st) quarter. Use the column headings to guide your course planning (i.e., Fall, Winter, Spring or 1st Quarter, 2nd Quarter, 3rd Quarter).
Students pursuing the MSA 3:2 Option Program on a part-time basis should attempt to follow course scheduling as closely as possible for each of the three academic years. Pursing the program on a part-time basis may require more time to complete the degree program than the three (3) years included in this illustration.
Year 1: Junior Year
- Complete four MSA 3:2 qualifying courses (ACCT 315, ACCT 347, ACCT 372, and ACCT 373).
- Complete "306" expository writing course by the end of the junior year. Remember: Requires a grade of "B" (3.0) or better.
- Complete College of Business core courses (INFO 309, MGMT 302, MGMT 330, PA315, and SCM 304).
At the end of Year 1 (Junior Year), your grades for the four qualifying courses and your "306" expository writing course will be reviewedd by the MSA Coordinator and the Department of Accounting and Finance chairperson. Students who meet the invitation requirements will receive a letter of invitation to the MSA 3:2 Option program.
Summer Terms between Year 1 (Junior Year) and Year 2 (Senior Year)
- Consider completing ACCT 468 (Governmental Accounting - Nonprofit Reporting).
- Consider completing ACCT 539 (Advanced Accounting).
- Taking these two courses during summer terms should lessen the work load during Spring Quarter of senior year.
Year 2: Senior Year
- Complete upper-level tax courses (ACCT 426, ACCT 536, and ACCT 556).
- Complete auditing courses (ACCT 440 and ACCT 541).
- Complete ACCT 539.
- Complete ACCT 468.
- Complete ACCT 444 (Accounting Law, Ethics, and Institutions) to satisfy a BA accounting elective.
- Complete remainder of College of Business core courses (MKTG 305, FIN 313, FIN 314, and MGMT 490).
Year 3: Graduate Year
- Complete five MSA 600-level required courses.
- Complete MSA 600-level elective courses.
- Complete MSA culminating experience.
Full-Time Graduate Academic Load
Full-time academic status for a graduate student is eight units of 500 or 600-level courses, or 12 weighted units, following the unit loads used for veteran certification (see table in Bulletin of Courses).
To enroll in more than 16 units in any one quarter, a student must have approval of the MSA Coordinator or Department of Accounting and Finance chairperson.
Accounting Information Systems Option
The MSA Accounting Information Systems Option is not currently offered. Contact the MSA Coordinator or the Department of Accounting and Finance Chairperson for more information.
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