M.S.A. requirements

Curriculum requirements

The M.S.A. program consists of four-course categories: foundation, core, elective, and capstone. The program affords students the flexibility to tailor the program to best meet their career goals. Students are encouraged to consult with the department chair or her/his designee as soon as possible to discuss possible elective courses and core substitutions. Contact an advisor if you have questions or need more information.


Each M.S.A. student must select one of three concentration areas based on prior academic coursework and career goals:

Professional Accounting concentration: Intended primarily for students holding bachelor's degrees in business or economics (other than accounting majors) who wish to become "CPA-ready" by meeting the educational requirements in the State of Michigan to sit for the CPA exam and become certified.

Financial Reporting and Auditing concentration: Intended primarily for students who were undergraduate accounting majors and plan to pursue careers in public, corporate, or governmental accounting.

Taxation concentration: Intended primarily for students who were undergraduate accounting majors and plan to pursue careers in taxation. This M.S.A. concentration replaces the Ilitch School's M.S.T. program.

Foundation courses

M.S.A. students should possess an undergraduate degree in business or accounting, with a solid foundation in financial accounting and some background in managerial accounting. Foundation courses are assigned based on an evaluation of your transcripts and may be waived if equivalent courses have been completed with a course grade of 2.0 or above and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. Most applicants to the Financial Reporting and Auditing and Taxation concentrations will have met these requirements through their undergraduate coursework.

Students who do not satisfy the foundation requirements must take the following foundation courses (three credits each) before beginning core course work.

NOTE: Foundation courses are required for background knowledge, but these credits are not counted toward the M.S.A. degree.

Core courses

The M.S.A. core comprises 18-24 semester hours, which must include each of the courses listed below under your chosen concentration area. If equivalent undergraduate or graduate courses have been completed within the preceding three years with a GPA of 3.0 or above, an advanced course in accounting may be substituted for those core courses. Another 7000-level ACC course should replace any core courses needing substitution.

Core courses may require additional business prerequisites.

Professional Accounting concentration core courses

Financial Reporting and Auditing concentration core courses

Taxation concentration core courses

Elective courses

M.S.A. electives consist of one to three courses, or three to nine credit hours, selected from the Ilitch School's Department of Accounting courses at the 7000 level or higher, providing the opportunity to tailor the M.S.A. program to your specific interests and career goals. These courses may not include ACC 7100 or those already counted as foundation, core or capstone courses. Many students will want to elect ACC 7188, Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting, to qualify to sit for the CPA examination in Michigan.

M.S.A. electives include:

All courses are three credits unless otherwise noted.

With the approval of the M.S.A. Committee, students can choose electives from other business disciplines. Contact the accounting department chair for more information.

Capstone course

The capstone course is the culmination of the M.S.A. program. This course builds on the knowledge gained throughout the program and is taken in the final 12 credit hours of the program.

Graduation requirements

The M.S.A. program requires a total of 30 credit hours (18-24 core, 3-9 elective, and 3 capstone), in addition to any necessary foundation requirements.

A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher is required for graduation.

The program does not require a thesis.