MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ACCOUNTING FAQs

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Program-Related

Yes, the program will give you the opportunity to earn additional accounting units and related business course units that will help you to meet CPA educational requirements.  The educational requirements vary by state, so you must determine the requirements for the state in which you wish to be licensed.  For information specific to Arizona, see the Arizona State Board of Accountancy website.  To research other state requirements, visit the specific state board of accountancy’s website, or visit the AICPA’s This Way to CPA website.

The Master of Science in Accounting requires 30 units (not including pre-requisites, if applicable), with no less than 18 units of accounting. Therefore, if a student that already completed the prerequisites were to take 15 units per semester, the program length would be two full time semesters.  However, a student needing to complete prerequisites will typically require three to four semesters to complete the program.   

The estimated costs of the program will vary depending on how many semesters a student plans to be enrolled, how many units per semester the student is planning to take, and whether the student is an Arizona resident or non-resident. For an estimated cost of tuition and fees, access the UofA Tuition & Fees Calculator, select the most recent Fall/Spring semester, select Main Campus, select Graduate, select Eller College: All Masters Programs. 

All requirements for a graduate program must be completed within 6 years. Time-to-degree begins with the earliest coursework to be applied toward the degree including any credits transferred from other institutions. Coursework more than 6 years old is not accepted toward meeting program requirements.

The MSA program allows transferred graduate coursework. However, there are a number of restrictions:

  • The transferred courses cannot cause your entire program to exceed 6 years in length
  • There is a limit of 6 units that you may transfer
  • The transferred coursework must have a grade of A or B
  • Correspondence courses or extension work from other institutions will not be accepted for graduate credit
  • Transferred courses must be approved by the Director of Masters Programs

Please see the Graduate College for more information.

  • The GPA of our accepted applicants ranges from 3.0 to 4.0, with an average of approximately 3.5.
  • On average, applicants accepted into the program score between 500 and 700 on the GMAT.
  • International applicants are required to achieve a minimum English proficiency score.  For the TOEFL exam, an 85 is required (NOTE: This is higher than the minimum score of 79 required by the Graduate College).  For the IELTS, a minimum composite score of 7 with no subject area below a 6 is required.  Please see the Graduate College for more information about acceptable English proficiency exams.

Work experience, accounting-related or otherwise, is not required to be considered for admission.

For information about different financial aid options, please see Funding.

Unfortunately, we generally do not allow non-degree seeking students to take graduate accounting courses on campus.  However, we will permit non-degree seeking students to take specific accounting courses online based on the student’s accounting education background.  Be advised that the cost per unit for online non-degree seeking students is higher than for students in the graduate program.

Students may enroll in a minimum of 3 units, unless they are holding teaching assistantships, in which case the minimum enrollment is 6 units.

According to the International Student Programs and Services Department, international graduate students are required to take a minimum of 9 credit hours to maintain full time F1 status. If you need an exemption, you may view a list of possible exemptions for full-time enrollment on the International Student Services website.

Graduate students may apply for a Leave of Absence from their program for a semester or for the academic year using the Graduate Petition for a Leave of Absence form.

Prerequisite Coursework

Please see the Admissions section of our page for the list of the required prerequisites courses. Graduate Tuition rates will apply for all courses taken while admitted to your program.

Prerequisites may be satisfied by taking comparable courses at an acceptable accredited US institution.  They may also be taken at the University of Arizona during your MSA program.  For those international candidates who appear to have met the prerequisite requirements of Introductory Financial & Managerial Accounting based upon information on their transcripts, a standard exam will be given to confirm that the candidate has mastered basic accounting concepts.  This test will be administered after admission but prior to the beginning of classes.   If the results of this standard exam indicate that the candidate needs additional coursework before starting the MSA Program courses, the candidate will be required to take Introductory Financial & Managerial Accounting in addition to the other prerequisite courses.  Candidates who have successfully completed the prerequisite courses at a comparably accredited US institution will not be required to take the prerequisite courses.

Prerequisites may be satisfied by taking comparable courses at an acceptable accredited US institution.  Provide a copy of course syllabi to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GradAcctPrograms@email.arizona.edu) to have courses reviewed to determine if they satisfy our prerequisites.

Prerequisite courses are available in the summer.  If you have already completed introductory financial and managerial accounting, you can complete the remaining prerequisites in an initial summer term.

Application Process

No. There is one application for both the Graduate College and the School of Accountancy. You will find the application on the Graduate College website.

Even if you were classified as an Arizona resident during your undergraduate career at the University of Arizona, you are required to submit a Domicile Affidavit to the Graduate College to ensure that you receive resident tuition rates for graduate school. Download the form here.

You may submit an incomplete application without a GMAT score or English proficiency score (for international students). Please note that even though your application has been submitted, you will still be responsible for getting the incomplete information to the Masters Program Coordinator (GradACCTPrograms@email.arizona.edu) as soon as it becomes available.

Please see the Admissions page for the list of required materials for an application.

You do not need to physically send any documents.  Unofficial transcripts will be uploaded as part of the online application.  Official transcripts will be requested after admission by the Graduate College.  GMAT scores can be sent directly to the UA using the UA institution code 4832.  English score reports may be emailed to the program coordinator at GradAcctPrograms@email.arizona.edu.  

When completing the Graduate College application, you should include at least two reference writers (unless you qualify for a waiver).
  
For each reference writer, you will be asked to input their personal information, phone number, email and address.  The recommender will then be sent an email asking them to either answer a few short questions in order to recommend you or upload a letter of recommendation document.

When completing the online application, you will be asked to respond to two questions:

  1. Why are you pursuing a degree in accounting, and what are your career objectives as they relate to graduate study in accounting?
  2. What information would be helpful to the admissions committee in considering your application for admission?

Essays should be about 250 words each. There is no specific format for these essays, but rather the Admissions Committee is simply interested in knowing a little more about you.

The following is directly from the GMAC website:
The Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) examination is a standardized test designed to measure basic verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that have been developed over a long period of time through education and work. It does NOT measure—

  • knowledge of business
  • job skills
  • specific content in undergraduate or first university course work
  • subjective qualities such as motivation, creativity, and interpersonal skills
  • abilities in any other specific subject area

To learn more or set up an exam appointment, please visit http://www.gmac.com.

The GMAT is required for everyone who does not qualify for the requirements waiver. If you have already completed the GRE or have your CPA license, reach out to the Program Coordinator (GradAcctPrograms@email.arizona.edu) to discuss your specific situation.

For those taking the GMAT, we suggest that you complete a review course or self-study materials before taking the exam.  

We do not have a minimum requirement for the GMAT as applications are weighed as a whole. However, we the typical score range of accepted applicants is 500 – 700.

If you didn't score as well as you liked on the GMAT, we highly encourage that you take it again. Applicants who take the GMAT more than once are not looked down upon or graded negatively. We accept your highest GMAT score.

GMAT scores are only valid for a period of five years after your test date. If it has been more than five years, you must retake the GMAT and receive an acceptable score to enter the program.

International Applicant

International applicants must submit their English proficiency score to the School of Accountancy.  Please refer to the Admission Requirements by Country to see if a test is required.  

For the TOEFL exam, an 85 is required (note this is higher than the 79 required by the Graduate College).  For the IELTS, a minimum composite score of 7 with no subject area below a 6 is required. 

Test scores must be dated within two years of the date of enrollment.  A student's official scores will be sent directly to The University of Arizona if you request it on your application form. For TOEFL, you are asked to enter the The University of Arizona institution code which is 4832. The IELTS requires that you include the university's address:

Graduate Admissions
Administration Bldg. Room 322 
P.O. Box 210066 
University of Arizona 
Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.

Please visit the Graduate College Proficiency in English page for more information regarding TOEFL and IELTS exams and to see if you qualify for an exemption. 

The School of Accountancy may give conditional admission to promising candidates who have not met the TOEFL/IELTS requirement of the Graduate College.

Conditional admission allows you to attend the University of Arizona Center for English as Second Language (CESL) program prior to obtaining satisfactory TOEFL/IELTS scores. At CESL, you will work to improve your English language skills and you can obtain a certificate that will allow you to request a waiver of the TOEFL/IELTS exam.

However, you will still be required to provide the School of Accountancy with a satisfactory GMAT score prior to earning regular admission into the MSA program. You will not be able to take any courses in the MSA program until you have been granted regular admission status into the MSA program.

In cases where a three-year degree is held, then the student must hold either a Master's degree or a Post-Graduate Diploma in the same field as the Bachelor's degree.  Please refer to the Admission Requirements by Country for more information.