NCU Catalog - October 2020 
    Nov 30, 2022  
NCU Catalog - October 2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Accounting, MS

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Master of Science in Accounting

Description of Program

The mission of the Masters of Science in Accounting program is to prepare students for global accounting careers in public and private organizations through learning experiences that are focused on current, industry-relevant topics.

Click here for potential career opportunities within the Masters of Science in Accounting.

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
  • Explain accounting operations for domestic and international organizations
  • Formulate accounting solutions using professional judgment and industry best practices
  • Explain 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 12 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 all Master’s programs of 36 credits or less.

The median time to completion for this program is 23 months.

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.

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 21 months.

Course Sequence

The Master of Science in Accounting program can be completed with a minimum of 30 credit hours, but may require additional credit hours, depending on the entry track requirements. If needed, additional courses will be added to the student degree program in alignment with the SAP and Academic Maximum Time to Completion policies. Students who do not complete their program in accordance with these policies may be dismissed.

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. 


Attention: If you are planning to take the CPA exam, note that standards and requirements vary by state. Completion of NCU’s MSA program may not be sufficient to qualify a person to sit for a CPA exam in some states. If you have not already done so, we recommend that you check with your state to determine the educational and other requirements necessary for taking the CPA exam to ensure that completion of the program will satisfy your educational and professional goals.

For information regarding official CPA requirements specific to your state, visit

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