MSA Prerequisites and Foundation Courses


An undergraduate background in accounting is helpful but not necessary for the successful completion of the MSA program.

Prior to enrolling in program courses, the graduate faculty will assume that students are proficient in mathematics, statistics and computer usage. The following skills may be attained through prior coursework, review classes or experience. These proficiency courses do not count toward program requirements:

  • Introductory coursework in probability and statistics
  • One semester of calculus is strongly preferred
  • Ability to use common personal computing hardware and software


Foundation Courses (0-7 units)

The Foundation courses provide an academic background in various disciplines of business. The Master of Science in Accountancy degree builds upon this common background. Foundation courses should be taken after the student has attained the required entry proficiencies (prerequisites) and should be completed prior to taking Program Requirement courses. The Foundation courses cannot be used towards the 30 units of the MSA degree requirements. The Foundation courses are graduate level courses and can only be taken after an applicant is admitted to the MSA degree program.

A student who has a baccalaureate degree or a minor in Business Administration from an accredited university may have completed all or most of the Foundation requirements. However, the student will be required to take certain Foundation courses if she/he:

  • has not previously completed the comparable undergraduate course(s) for academic credit from an accredited institution;
  • has earned less than an overall 3.0 (“B”) grade point average (GPA) in the comparable undergraduate courses presented for waiver of required courses;
  • has received a “C-” or lower grade in the comparable undergraduate course;
  • cannot demonstrate currency in these courses (7 year limit); or
  • has completed the bachelor’s degree at a foreign institution.

Based on the criteria above a student may have to take one or all of the three foundation courses required for the MS/ACCY degree listed below:

  • ECON 204* Business Economics (3 units)
  • MBA 201* Accounting (2 units)
  • MBA 203* Legal Environment of Management (2 units)


Note: With the exception of ECON 204, which is a three-unit six-week course, the foundation courses are two-unit nine-week courses so they can easily be completed by taking the two courses per one nine-week session. All Foundation courses are offered online.

These courses must be completed before Full Classification into the MSA Program Requirements can be approved.

*These three courses ECON 204, MBA 201 and MBA 203 have lower division course equivalencies. We will accept courses from non-AACSB accredited universities as well as from Community Colleges to waive these three courses. The courses submitted for waiver must be a grade of "C" 2.0 or above in each individual course, an overall "B" 3.0 or higher GPA is required in all three foundation courses when combined, and all the coursework must be completed within the seven year period prior to admission. The courses that are considered equivalent for waiver are as follows:

  • ECON 204 Business Economics can be waived by taking both a Microeconomics and a Macroeconomics course.
  • MBA 201 Accounting can be waived by taking a Financial Accounting course.
  • MBA 203 Legal Environment of Management can be waived by taking a Business Law or Legal Environment of Business course. It must be taken at a college with in the USA

A graduate student may request a challenge for waiver of a College of Business Administration foundation course if at least one of the following conditions is met:

  • The student has taken an equivalent course at an accredited college or university within seven years of admission, with a minimum individual foundation course GPA of 2.0 and a cumulative foundation course GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • The student has achieved appropriate professional or academic qualification(s).
  • The student has appropriate professional work experience.

An overall GPA of at least 3.0 ("B") is required in all Foundation courses taken at Sacramento State, and program requirement courses presented for the degree.

The fee is currently $630 per unit for Foundation Courses paid through the College of Continuing Education.