Online Master's in Accounting FAQs

Online Master's in Accounting FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


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 Online Master of Science Accounting program requires 30 units (not including lower-division prerequisites, if applicable), with no less than 18 units of accounting.  Full time students that have already completed all prerequisites can complete the program in as little as one year.  Working professionals that are part-time students should plan on taking approximately two years to complete the program.

For an estimated cost of tuition and fees, access the UA Tuition and Fees Calculator, select the most recent Fall/Spring semester, select Online Campus, select Graduate, select Masters of Science in Accounting. 

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 Online 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
  • Transferred courses were not used toward an undergraduate degree

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. GMAT results are not required for admission, but GMAT results will be considered if applicants elect to submit them voluntarily.
  • 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.

We will permit online graduate non-degree seeking students to take specific courses based on the student’s accounting education background.  Be advised that the cost per unit for online non-degree seeking status is higher than for students in the graduate program.

Students must enroll in a minimum of 3 units each fall and spring semester.  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.

Based on educational background and work experience, online students may be required to start in the Online Certificate program to complete their prerequisites before they will be accepted into the OMSA program.  All online students must have completed the Introductory Financial Accounting prerequisite before beginning their program; the other prerequisites can be taken at the University of Arizona as part of the Online Certificate program.

Upper-division prerequisites completed during the MSA program may be counted as elective credit hours towards the 30 credit hour MSA program degree requirement.

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 ( 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 accounting, you can complete the remaining prerequisites in an initial summer term.  However, you may be required to start in the Online Certificate program to do so.

ACCT 500A and ACCT 500B are also offered during the Fall II and Spring I terms, respectively.

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.

GMAT scores are not required for admission, but may be considered if applicants elect to provide them voluntarily.

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  


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

GMAT scores are not required for admission, but may be considered if applicants elect to provide them voluntarily

GMAT scores are not required for admission, but may be considered if applicants elect to provide them voluntarily. While there is no minimum GMAT score expected, submitted scores higher than 500 are generally considered favorably by the admissions committee.


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 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.