May 27, 2024  
NCU Catalog - April 2018 
NCU Catalog - April 2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Accounting, MS

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Master of Science in Accounting

Description of Program

The Masters of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree is built for individuals looking to advance in their current career or who are interested in the field of accounting, finance, or business management. The program design is focused on the CPA exam in order to maintain relevancy with the accounting profession and certification standards.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply knowledge of accounting, auditing, and tax concepts in business situations
  • Evaluate the ethical and legal compliance of accounting practices within an organization
  • Manage accounting operations for both domestic and international organizations
  • Formulate accounting solutions using professional judgment and industry best practices
  • Communicate accounting solutions to internal and external stakeholders

Basis for Admission

Admission to the Master of Science in Accounting program requires a conferred bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution.  In addition to these general requirements, MSA applicants have two options for entering the program:

  1. Direct Entry - Individuals with a previously completed bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in business, have had a financial accounting course, and a managerial accounting course from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution may immediately begin the MSA program.
  2. Evaluation Track - Individuals who do not meet direct entry requirements will begin with SKS -5001  - Comprehensive Strategic Knowledge Studies for those without a business degree, and upon successful completion of SKS -5001  will then take MSA -5001  - Financial Accounting if they have not had a financial accounting course, and MSA -5002  -Managerial Accounting if they have not had a managerial accounting course, and then the remaining courses in their degree plan.

Students who feel they have the business background and knowledge are allowed to take a test-out exam that covers the major business areas. The student must score a 70 or better on the exam and can be taken no later than two weeks prior to the start date of SKS -5001 . Students should contact their student academic and finance advisor to discuss additional information regarding this option.   

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Accounting requires 30-39 credit hours for degree completion consisting of 10 graduate accounting courses for those meeting the direct entry requirements and up to an additional 9 credit hours of 3 courses for those without a business degree, and the two required undergraduate accounting courses under the evaluation track.

Switching programs after completing coursework may result in re-evaluation, financial aid implications, loss of credit hours, and/or the need to take additional credit hours. Academic and Finance Advisors can assist with any student questions related to program requirements.

The University may accept a maximum of 6 semester credit hours in transfer toward the Master of Science in Accounting for graduate course work completed at an external accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better. See the Transfer Credit Policy  for additional information.

Time to Completion

NCU allows 5 years to complete a minimum of 30-39 credit hour master’s programs.

Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most NCU students are working adults balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic and finance advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.

The normal time disclosed above reflects the experience of students who may have entered under different program requirements. In the quest for continuous improvement, academic leadership has revised the program to optimize curriculum and pace, facilitate student learning, and improve chances for success. Therefore, the program is now designed for students enrolling today to take advantage of these revised course structures, lengths, and schedules. New students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for this program, and applying no transfer credits, can expect to finish in as little as 16 months.

Course Sequence

The Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program requires the foundation courses to be completed prior to enrolling in specialization courses. The program capstone will be completed as the last course in the degree program. 

The Admissions and Evaluation team will schedule any additional courses needed to satisfy entry track requirements. 

  • SKS -5001  for students without a business degree
  • MSA -5001  for students without a financial accounting course
  • MSA -5002  for students without a managerial accounting course


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