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Best 16 MSA Programs in California in 2021

September 27, 2021 | Staff Writers

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California is home to numerous accredited MSA programs that prepare students with the required courses to earn their CPA and to pass the exam.  The following MSA programs in California have been ranked according to a matrix of cost, faculty to student ratio, and graduation rate.  Every single program on this list is accredited by the AACSB.  The schools provide the best programs for professionals in California seeking to earn the MSA and become a certified public accountants.  

16 MSA Programs in California

1

University of Southern California

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

The profession of accounting is evolving as rapidly as most other careers, with new technologies, global markets, and changing laws.  The University of Southern California offers a cutting edge Master of Accountancy program that meets the needs of today’s world to prepare tomorrow’s top accountants and CPA’s.  This program is delivered entirely online, making it accessible to anyone, anywhere.  Within the program students further their knowledge of theory, technical, research, and communication skills.  Graduates have gained exceptional employment in public, private, and government sectors as auditors and CPA’s.

School Overview

Tuition: $59,260
Student- Faculty Ratio: 8:1
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2

San Diego State University

  • San Diego, California
  • Graduation Rate: 83%

Anyone seeking an in-depth education and experience in accountancy in a rapidly evolving world, will find the MSA program at San Diego State University to meet those needs.  Students are prepared to meet the challenges and demands of their career.  They have three concentrations to choose from as they earn their degree; accounting information systems, financial reporting, and taxation.  The entire program can be completed in as little as 12 to 18 months, with most courses being held in the evening.  San Diego State University also boasts a high ROI for this particular program. 

School Overview

Tuition: $270 Per Unit (Resident) $666 Per Unit (Non-Resident)
Student- Faculty Ratio: 25:1
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3

University of California Irvine

  • Irvine, California
  • Graduation Rate: 87%

The University of California Irvine offers a Master of Accounting program for both professionals that have an undergraduate degree in accounting and for those that are making a career change and do not.  With both 1 and 2 year programs that immerse students into the advanced knowledge and technology available in today’s world of finance.  Students are given an optional summer intensive program that prepares them to begin the MPAc program and succeed.  Graduates are also provided with 36 months of optional practical training that is especially beneficial for companies providing immigration sponsorship. 

School Overview

Tuition: $11,442
Student-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
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4

Azusa Pacific University

  • Azusa, California
  • Graduation Rate: 70%

For those seeking to become CPAs and earn their Master of Professional Accountancy degree at an affordable cost then look no further, Azusa Pacific University offers just that.  With goals of preparing every student to have adequate internship opportunities, pass the CPA exam, and find placement in a CPA firm upon graduation Azusa has set itself apart and its students.  Many graduates find career placement within the Big Four firms as well.  The curriculum is rigorous and prepares students to succeed, not only in the classroom but in the field as they practice as professionals.

School Overview

Tuition: $672 Per Unit
Student- Faculty Ratio: 12:1
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5

California Baptist University

  • Riverside, California
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

Those seeking to advance their careers as educated and professional leaders in the accounting industry will find the MSA program at California Baptist University to be exactly what help them reach their goals.  This innovative degree is entirely online and designed with the professional in mind.  Students explore topics such as auditing and assurance, taxation, business law, financial accounting and business ethics.  Graduates have the advanced knowledge, understanding, critical thinking skills, and communication skills to advance their career within this evolving industry. 

School Overview

Tuition: $62 Per Unit
Student- Faculty Ratio: 14:1
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6

San Francisco State University

  • San Francisco, California
  • Graduation Rate: 79%

San Francisco State University understands that students entering the MSA program come from different levels of experience and availability during their graduate studies, that is why they offer two tracks to earn an MSA.  The first track is an accelerated program that is designed for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree in business or accounting from an accredited school.  This program requires only 10 courses to earn an MSA.  The second track is designed for those that might be changing careers or need a more flexible schedule.  This track is helpful for those that are full-time working professionals and offers evening and weekend classes.  Both award the same MSA degree upon completion. 

School Overview

Tuition: $4,222
Student- Faculty Ratio: 22:1
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7

California Polytechnic University Pomona

  • Pomona, California
  • Graduation Rate: 82%

The accelerated Master of Science in Accountancy program at California Polytechnic University Pomona prepares students to become licensed CPAs with the required courses and licensing exam.  This program is designed for working professionals with classes on Saturdays and a blend of face to face instruction, online, and hybrid.  Graduates of this program are highly skilled and gain the knowledge and skills required for success in the evolving field.  The program meets all the standards and requirements for CPA licensure in the state of California.  

School Overview

Tuition: $24,338
Student-Faculty Ratio: 24:1
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8

Saint Mary’s College of California

  • Moraga, California
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

Are you looking to increase your salary? Maybe you are seeking to have a leadership role within a business or corporation, or maybe just seeking advanced knowledge and skills in your current profession as an accountant.  If any of these describe you, then earning your MSA at Saint Mary’s College California is a perfect way to meet those goals.  The MSA program trains accounting professionals in areas of auditing, financial accounting, accounting information systems, business ethics, and more.  The duration of the program is 11 months and is currently offered entirely online.

School Overview

Tuition: $33,509
Student- Faculty Ratio: 12:1
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9

San Jose State University

  • San Jose, California
  • Graduation Rate: 62%

Professionals living in the Silicon Valley that desire to become CPAs will find an outstanding MSA program at San Jose State University that prepares them for the competitive market of the area.  Students have two admission dates, one in the fall and the other in the spring to allow more students to be part of this exceptional program.  The MSA program is a flexible program that allows working professionals to earn their advanced degree and it is also designed for both accountants and those making a career change.  That means students do not need to hold a bachelors in accounting to apply or enroll in this program.  However they will need to complete the Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals.

School Overview

Tuition: $4,643
Student- Faculty Ratio: 27:1
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10

University of California Riverside

  • Riverside, California
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

The Master of Professional Accountancy at the University of California Riverside prepares students with not only the education requirements to earn their CPA but also the preparation to pass the exam and be confident working as an independent CPA in private or public sectors.  Students will learn audit and assurance, taxation, accounting information systems, and ethics.   Currently there are two tracks offered for interested students, an accelerated track designed for those with a bachelors in accounting and experience, this track can be completed in 9 months.  The second track is designed for those making a career change and do not have an undergraduate degree in accounting, but do hold a bachelor’s degree in another field.  This program can be completed in 15 months.

School Overview

Tuition: $13,584
Student- Faculty Ratio: 22:1
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11

University of San Diego

  • San Diego, California
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

Those that are seeking small class sizes, personal mentoring from expert faculty, and leadership training will find the perfect program at the University of San Diego.   Students seeking to advance their knowledge and career potential with either a Masters in Accounting or a Masters in Taxation will find personalized programs for each.  Students gain hands-on experience as they learn ethical leadership and negotiate financial strategies as they work with clients.  Students also have access to on on-campus recruiting and interviewing from top accounting firms in the area. 

Student Overview

Tuition: $1,555
Student- Faculty Ratio: 12:1
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12

University of the Pacific

  • Stockton, California
  • Graduation Rate: 71%

Boasting a 100% placement rate the Master of Accounting program at the University of the Pacific prepares students to become leaders in the field of accounting.  Those holding a bachelors in accounting can complete the entire program in two semesters and be hired at a top accounting firm.  Those seeking a change of career can still earn their MSA, it will take longer, closer to three or four semesters depending on previous courses taken within their bachelor’s degree.  Students can also take a variety of advanced courses such as forensic accounting, supply chain financial management, advanced federal taxation, and more.  

School Overview

Tuition: $1,566
Student- Faculty: 14:1
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13

Woodbury University

  • Burbank, California
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

At Woodbury University students can earn their MBA with their concentration in accounting.  This concentration will prepare students with the required courses to earn become CPAs or to advance in the accounting leadership of various firms.  Students take courses in managerial accounting, corporate finance, tax theory and application, and more.  This intensive program can be completed in as little as one year if students are able to commit to 12 courses (36 credits). Students gain leadership skills as they participate in community based learning environments.  

School Overview

Tuition: $1,365 Per Unit
Student- Faculty Overview: 9:1
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14

California State University Sacramento

  • Sacramento, California
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

The innovative online MSA program at California State University Sacramento has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the top 75 programs in the nation.  With an engaging online delivery method that utilizes streaming video, instant messaging, and other online materials ensure student success.  Students learn advanced accounting practices, business law, ethics, and more.  Students are also exposed to the most recent accounting developments including financial, managerial, auditing, internal accounting, and accounting information systems. 

School Overview

Tuition: $755 Per Unit
Student- Faculty Ratio: 24:1
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15

California State University East Bay

  • Hayward, California
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

The MSA program at California State University East Bay takes 17  months to complete and thoroughly prepares students to qualify for and pass the CPA exam.  The focus of the program is on the knowledge of U.S. and International financial reporting and auditing standards, taxation, business laws and regulations.  As this is a cohort based program, students are accepted into the program only once per year each fall semester.  Graduates pursue a wide range of careers in the public, private, and government sectors of accounting.

School Overview

Tuition: $755 Per Unit
Student- Faculty Ratio: 23:1
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16

California State University Long Beach

  • Long Beach, California
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

Many students that enroll in the MSA program at California State University Long Beach do so to enable them to complete the requirements for the CPA licensure.  This is a fast track 11 month program that is designed using the cohort model.  Students are prepared to address the  complex accounting practices, tax laws, business methods while utilizing the latest technology.  They gain advanced knowledge across areas such as tax, corporate governance, and ethics.  The program prepares students for the CPA exam and offers test prep built into the program throughout the 11 months. 

School Overview

Tuition: $14,760
Student- Faculty Ratio: 26:1
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California is home to nearly 80 business schools, most of which are accredited by national or international accrediting bodies. Prospective graduate students looking to pursue a master’s degree in accounting in The Golden State are less likely to run out of excellent choices. Instead, they may have too many to choose from, which can be a bit daunting. 

This article will help students and working professionals determine which MSA program in California best suits their career needs. 

What Is an MSA Degree?

Undergraduates with business degrees can take their careers to the next level with a master’s degree in accounting. The options for accounting graduates include the following:

  1. Master of Science in Accounting or Accountancy (MSA)
  2. Master of Accountancy or Master’s in Accounting (MAcct)
  3. Master of Professional Accountancy or Accounting (MPAcy)
  4. Master of Business Administration in Accounting (MBA)

The first two options (MSA and MAcct) share very similar curricula, including an in-depth overview of the accounting profession and the different types of accounting. The Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAcy) is usually very practice-based. On the other hand, an MBA program with a concentration in accounting focuses on accounting theories, practices, and business principles.

If you are wondering if an MSA is the right master’s degree for you, consider the following:

  • A Master of Science in Accounting is a better choice if you are sure about pursuing a CPA certification.
  • It is also more suitable if you want to build a fulfilling career in taxation, finance, or accounting.
  • Consider a Master of Science in Accounting if you have limited professional experience and you want to fast-track the process of meeting the requirements for the CPA exam
  • Also, an MSA might be the most ideal choice if you are most interested in working in specific accounting organizations, such as financial services or tax preparation firms

What Can You Do with an MSA Degree?

Graduate-level studies are the golden standard if you want a more fulfilling accounting career with better prospects in terms of roles and salary. Understanding the possible accounting job prospects for someone with an accounting master’s degree, particularly a Master of Science in Accounting, can make the proposition even more attractive.  

First of all, MSA graduates are highly sought-after in many areas because of their specialized accounting knowledge and skills. Most MSA graduates are well equipped to take on the accounting profession’s challenges in different fields, such as consulting, taxation, assurance, and forensic accounting. 

If you are considering an MSA degree, here are some of the possible careers where you can find high-paying jobs:

  1. Chief Financial Officer (CFO): CFOs are senior executives who oversee the financial operations of their companies. They also ensure that finance and accounting departments comply with company policies, applicable laws and operate efficiently. The salary for a Chief Financial Officer in California is in the range of $336,611 to $562.045 per year, depending on the organization.
  1. Controller: A controller is a senior accounting position in a company with the role of overseeing all the organization’s accounting operations. Typical duties include creating financial reports, managing accounting records, and preparing internal and external financial statements. The salary for a Controller in California is typically between $208,503 and $291,017 per year.
  1. Senior Tax Accountant: Senior Tax Accountants are responsible for preparing tax provisions, recommending tax strategies, and maintaining legislative materials to implement current tax laws. Senior Tax Accountants in California earn an average annual salary of $98,201, but the typical range is between $89,801 and $108,301, depending on the company. 
  1. Accounting Consultant: Professionals in this position are saddled with the responsibility of programming, implementing, and handling their company’s accounting processes. Typical duties include analyzing financial data, preparing end-of-year financial statements, and providing guidance on regulatory compliance issues. The average base salary for an Accounting Consultant in California is $105,735 per year.
  1. External Auditor: The accounting experts review organizations’ financial information and prepare comprehensive reports on their audit findings. Typical responsibilities include inspecting or investigating financial statements for fraud, errors, and misstatements. They also recommend improvements. The average salary for an External Auditor in California is $85,726 per year.
  1. Staff Accountant: Staff Accountants work in accounting firms or accounting departments of a company. Their duties involve analyzing data from departments and general ledger systems, preparing consolidated internal and external financial statements, and maintaining automated, consolidated systems. They provide professional advice on general financial matters. The average salary for Staff Accountants in California is $49,822 per year, with top earners taking home a monthly salary of $4,896 ($58,763 annually)
  1. Non-Profit Accountant: Non-Profit Accountants manage the finances of non-profit organizations. Typical duties include overseeing employee payroll, managing accounts receivable and accounts payable, and completing tax documents. The average salary for a Non-Profit Accountant in California is $60,672 per year, with top earners making around $79,939 annually.
  1. Government Accountant: These accounting professionals work in government establishments, manage public funds, carry out research on emerging accounting issues, and prepare financial statement audits. They also investigate white-collar frauds. The average annual salary for a Government Accountant in California is $80,963. 
  1. Tax Partner: Tax partners have the responsibilities of managing all tax engagements, ensuring that staff complies with guidelines and policies. They also prepare and review corporate, partnership, and individual tax returns. Tax Partners in California earn an average annual salary of $203,855.
  1. Internal Auditor: Internal auditors play vital roles in any organization. Some of their major duties include objectively review a company’s business process, protect the organization’s assets from fraud and theft, and evaluating the efficiency of a company’s risk management procedures. The average salary for Internal Auditors in California is $94,715 per year.

Benefits of Earning Your MSA Degree in California

Earning a master’s degree in California can lead to stable career paths in areas such as auditing, public accounting, forensic accounting, and financial accounting. But that’s not surprising considering that the state has the largest population in the United States, making it the top employer of accountants in the nation.

However, a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a business-related field is only the foundation for a professional career in accounting. Students who want to advance quickly in their careers and take on higher roles need to aim for a master’s degree. 

Of course, higher positions come with higher salaries, as well. On average, candidates with master’s degrees receive higher salaries than those with undergraduate degrees in accounting. The average salary for accounting bachelor’s degree holders is $62,030 compared to $70,810 for those with graduate degrees in accounting.

Also, earning a Master of Science in Accounting from an accredited California school gives you an edge during job interviews. Employers are likely to choose the better-educated candidate if they have to pick between someone with a bachelor’s degree and a candidate with a graduate accounting degree.

How Can an MSA Degree Further Your Career?

Besides job competitiveness and higher earning potentials, an MS in Accounting typically fulfills the requirement to sit for the CPA exam in California. Becoming a Certified Public Accountant is a huge plus. It opens the door to better opportunities to work for corporations in California, such as big household-name companies in the Silicon Valley. Also, the state has a robust business sector, which creates a comparatively higher demand for professional accountants and financial managers. 

Graduate-level studies in accounting make students more marketable by:

  • Reinforcing undergraduate knowledge in core financial and managerial studies
  • Exposing the learners to emerging and advanced accounting concepts
  • Broadening their understanding of the accounting profession, practice, and principles
  • Enhancing the student’s qualifications (and certifications) for leadership positions
  • Arming the student with the skills for advanced analytical and critical thinking to meet the dynamic demands of the business environment

What to Expect at an MSA Program in California

A master’s degree in accounting program should provide in-depth knowledge in the following crucial areas:

  • The application of business and accounting in a global context
  • Develop advanced analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Improve good judgment and sound decision-making as it relates to accounting
  • View the accounting field from different perspectives
  • Provide rigorous learning experience, covering accounting topics in the business context
  • Teach learners professional and ethical standards of the accounting profession
  • Provide a deep understanding of the role of accounting in society and organizations
  • Develop the key skills required to correctly frame problems and map out short- and long-term solutions to accounting issues

In addition to regional accreditation, it is also important to look out for the program accreditation. The top MSA programs in California receive accreditation through any of the following international/national accrediting bodies:

  1. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  2. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  3. International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)

With the generous average California CPA salary, earning an MSA in the state is an attractive proposition. Accounting graduates who plan to become CPAs can take the path of earning a master’s degree in accounting to accumulate the required hours of experience. The MSA curriculum (whether on-campus or online masters format) is typically tailored to help candidates sit and pass the CPA exam.

Core Courses and Degree Specialization Options for MSA Programs 

A master’s in accounting program gives candidates a solid foundation in every major area of accounting. The MSA degree curriculum includes graduate core courses that prepare students to sit for the CPA exam. In most cases, the core courses have an accounting specialization.

Typically, the accounting courses include:

  • Advanced Managerial / Cost Accounting
  • Advanced Auditing
  • Advanced Accounting
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Business Communications
  • Corporate Financial Research and Reporting
  • Information Systems Design
  • Corporate Tax Decisions and Strategies
  • Ethical Issues in Business and Accounting
  • Federal Taxation
  • Entity Taxation
  • Regulation

In addition to the graduate-level courses, an MSA student can choose elective accounting courses that focus on specific aspects of personal interest and individual career goals. Areas of specialization usually include:

Corporate Accounting / Financial Reporting

The focus of corporate accounting or financial reporting is to improve the quality of information available to business decision-makers. The accounting coursework in this area of specialization emphasizes problem-solving skills and effective communication. Accounting courses in this area of study include:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Accounting Theory and Research
  • International Financial Reporting Standards

Government Accounting

An accounting master’s degree with a concentration in government accounting equips students with the knowledge to advance in areas such as government financial management, auditing, and accounting. Typical accounting courses in this area of study include:

  • Government Accounting and Auditing
  • Public Sector Auditing
  • Governmental Budgeting Systems
  • Design and Development of Information Systems

Accounting Information Systems

The accounting coursework in this area of study emphasizes developing key skills and knowledge necessary for competencies in information systems and business process management. Specializing in accounting information systems can lead to career opportunities in information technology auditing, internal auditing, consulting, and assurance services.

Typical accounting topics in this specialization include:

  • Information Security Management
  • Enterprise Information Technology Service Management
  • Advanced Business Analytics
  • Database Management Systems

Taxation

A Master of Science in Accounting with a focus on taxation gives an MSA student a broad scope of knowledge on tax-related topics. The coursework covers topics such as:

  • Multistate Taxation
  • Taxation of Estates and Trusts
  • International Taxation
  • Financial Reporting
  • Tax Compliance and Planning for Individuals, Corporations, Partnerships, and other business entities

Auditing

An MSA with a focus on auditing equips learners with the key skills and in-depth knowledge to evaluate risk management. Students also learn effective system control within an organization and gain a sound knowledge of business culture, processes, and systems. The topics for this area include:

  • Advanced Auditing
  • Accounting Theory
  • Internal Auditing Concepts
  • Strategic Business Planning

Forensic Accounting

The coursework for this concentration emphasizes fraud detection by exploring a variety of fraud examination techniques. Besides exploring how to prevent illegal activities, such as wagering, embezzlement, and money laundering, the accounting courses in this area also focus on teaching complex issues, including lost profits, valuation, economic damages. The coursework covers the following topics:

  • Forensic Accounting in Family Law
  • Fraud Auditing
  • Disputes in Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Economic Damages
  • Intellectual Property
  • Lost Wages and Employment Litigation

MSA Program Length 

In terms of time commitment, students can expect to complete a minimum of 30 semester hours or more, as the credit hours vary slightly between schools. Some hours of elective courses from 400-level coursework may count toward a Master of Science in Accounting degree requirement.

The MSA program length is typically between one to two years for most learners. However, the total duration can be affected by factors, such as the accelerated options available, internship requirements, and enrollment status. Candidates can take the course in an online format or opt for on-campus classes.

Choosing an MSA program in California

Why Get Your MSA in California?

California has a wide range of options when it comes to choosing accounting programs, whether for an undergraduate degree or graduate degree level. Out of nearly 120 public and non-profit higher learning institutions in the state, 44 have accredited business programs in addition to regional accreditation. 

The above figures mean that studying accounting in California almost certainly guarantees high-quality education that can meet the economy’s ever-changing demand. The caliber of business schools combine with the high demand for accountants in the state creates bigger opportunities for prospective graduate accounting students.

The list below includes some of California’s best universities to pursue a master’s degree in accounting. The institutions have business schools that are all accredited, so the MSA programs meet all educational and professional standards.

Best Universities in California for Your MSA

1. San Diego State University, Fowler College of Business

  • Institutional Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Program Accreditation: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

The Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) is one of the over 70 graduate degree programs offered by the San Diego State University. At the Fowler College of Business, MSA students can choose to specialize in one of three areas: Taxation, Financial Reporting, or Accounting Information Systems. Students can also customize their accounting education through a combination of other electives. 

The curriculum emphasizes professional and practical knowledge, with a focus on developing business ethics and leadership skills. Students who prefer small class sizes will find this option more suitable, as they can connect better with faculty. The MSA program allows students to meet the requirements to sit for the uniform CPA exam. 

Admission requirements include:

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts issued by your undergraduate institution
  • GRE or GMAT scores
  • Resume
  • 500 words essay detailing your accounting-related career interests and goals
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Optional essay (maximum of 300 words)

2. Loyola Marymount University, College of Business Administration

  • Institutional Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Program Accreditation: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Loyola Marymount University offers more than 300-degree programs covering nearly all fields of study, including computer science, business law, engineering, cybersecurity, economics, dance, entrepreneurship, languages, biological science, health professions (such as a nurse practitioner), and more. 

The Master of Science in Accounting is offered by the College of Business Administration. The graduate degree program equips students with the ethics and skills necessary for accounting professionals to excel in a dynamic business world. 

Graduate students will increase their marketability as well as meet the educational requirements to earn a CPA license. The graduate program offers flexibility, allowing learners to enroll on a part-time or full-time basis.

The admission prerequisites and requirements for students looking to enroll in the MSA program include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Online application
  • Nonrefundable application fee ($50)
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • IELTS or TOEFL score (for international students)
  • Letters of recommendation 
  • GRE, GMAT, or CBEST scores

3. Northcentral University, School of Business

  • Institutional Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Program Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Any prospective graduate student in California looking to acquire the best skills in auditing, tax, and accounting using an online learning format may as well choose to pursue a Master of Science in Accounting offered by the School of Business at the Northcentral University. 

The online master program allows students to learn practical skills involving the application of auditing, accounting, and tax concepts in business situations. The graduate accounting degree program also prepares students to assess the level of compliance of accounting practices in an organization, develop accounting solutions in keeping with the industry’s best practices, and effectively communicate solutions to all stakeholders. The MSA program is also designed to help students get a CPA licensure.

The 30-credit hour program involves completing 10 graduate accounting courses, and it is 100% online. It has a recommended completion time of 16 months. The courses cover areas such as forensic accounting, strategic budgeting, and external auditing. 

Prospective graduate students who want to pursue an MSA at Northcentral University need to meet the following admission requirements:

  • A conferred bachelor’s degree from an accredited academic institution
  • Official transcripts 
  • Access to internet 

A GMAT score is typically not required for admission to the School of Business at the Northcentral University.

4. Saint Mary’s College of California, Graduate Business School

  • Institutional Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Program Accreditation: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

The Graduate Business School’s MS in Accounting at Saint Mary’s College of California prepares students and working professionals for higher roles in both private and public accounting sectors. It also meets the 150-hour CPA requirement for licensure in California. The school runs one of the most flexible Masters of Science in Accounting programs in the whole of California, with the duration lasting for 12 months and 15 months for full-time and part-time students, respectively. There are several starting dates every year, allowing students to apply at their convenience.

Students seeking admission into the Saint Mary’s MS in Accounting program must meet the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited institution
  • While there are no minimum years of work experience, the school has a preference for professional work experience

Required documents include:

  • Online Graduate Application
  • Nonrefundable application fee ($50)
  • Official transcripts of degrees conferred
  • A resume detailing relevant business experiences
  • Personal Statement
  • Official GMAT or GRE Score for students with less than 3.0 GPA

5. San Francisco State University, Lam Family College of Business

  • Institutional Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Program Accreditation: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

The Lam Family College of Business offers a Master of Science in Accountancy program for students who want to specialize in managerial accounting, tax, auditing, financial accounting, and accounting information systems. Students who meet the requirement for a fast-track MS in Accountancy can complete the program and earn their degree in only 10 courses.

Admission requirements for the MSA program include:

  • Online application
  • Current resume outlining work experience or internship (if any)
  • Personal statement of between 500 and 700 words detailing your career goals and interests
  • Unofficial transcripts from institutions attended 
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GMAT or GRE score
  • TOEFL or IELTS score for non-native English speakers

6. San José State University, Lucas College, and Graduate School of Business

  • Institutional Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Program Accreditation: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business is the largest business school in Silicon Valley, making it an excellent choice for a prospective graduate student who wants to gain practical accounting skills required to work as a Certified Public Accountant in Silicon Valley.

The MSA program at San José State University tailors the AACSB-accredited education to meet the needs of accounting graduates with a strong passion for managing corporations’ finance strategies, regardless of whether or not they have a business background in their undergraduate-level studies. 

The curriculum covers core accounting courses, including accounting ethics, auditing concepts, and internal controls. Alumni are known to hold senior positions with big companies, such as Google, Chevron Texaco, PayPal, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

Admission requirements for the MSA program include:

  • A 4-year bachelor’s degree
  • GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Interview with the Program Director
  • TOEFL score of 90 or higher (for students with degrees from schools outside the United States)

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