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Graduate Programs College of Business

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Master of Science in Accountancy

The Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program is in response to new developments in the accounting and business worlds. Significant changes in the regulatory climate, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, have increased the need for graduate-level education. The 150-credit hour education requirement established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) also has significantly increased the demand for graduate education in accounting. Sacramento State’s Online Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) Program provides advanced understanding for the accounting field, which is changing at an accelerated rate. The MSA curriculum is 100% compatible with the CPA exam. In addition to graduate-level accounting training, students are exposed to all the exam areas in the CPA exam including:
  • AUD: Auditing Attestation
  • FAR: Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • REG: Regulation
  • BEC: Business Environment and Concepts
The Master of Science in Accountancy program uses a combination of online course materials, streaming video and instant messaging to deliver a completely web-based degree. The distance education delivery mode used by the MSA program at Sacramento State vastly increases the flexibility by which students can complete their degree online with highly engaged instructions and interactions. All the courses are offered on a year-round schedule in an accelerated format and the entire program can be completed with an attractive time frame.

Download the MSA Brochure

person with msa logo

MSA Program Highlights and Cost

Accelerated Format

  • 18 month program

Flexible Scheduling

  • One course at a time (each course is 6 weeks)
  • Asynchronous work
  • Fully online

Outstanding faculty

  • Scholar with industry experience

Quality Accredited Program

  • AACSB accredited program
  • Assurance of student learning

Additional Resources

MSA Alumni Success Story

Tuition

Courses are administered by the College of Continuing Education (CCE). Students must register for all classes through the CCE as well as paying a per-unit fee for each class. The fees for the Foundation courses are currently $630 per unit paid through the CCE. The fees for the Program Requirement and Elective courses are currently $740 per unit paid through the CCE. Please note that other fees such as health insurance may also be applicable..

Total cost of the program: $22,200 (not including MBA 202 and foundation courses)

Financial Aid

Financial Aid may be available for students pursuing the MSA degree. We recommend starting the financial aid process as early as possible by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). More information can be found here.

Class Profile and Minimum Academic Qualifications

Class Profile

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a 2.50 overall GPA
  • GMAT or GRE standardized test: A minimum percentile of 30% for overall, verbal, and quantitative scores is required. For more information on each test, please visit their websites: GMAT or GRE.
  • International students must obtain a minimum TOEFL of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based), or an IELTS score of 6.5
  • GMAT/GRE test requirement may be waived for those who meet one or more of the following:
    • Hold a graduate degree from an accredited institution
    • Are currently a student in a doctoral program at an accredited institution
    • Earned an undergraduate business degree at Sacramento State with an overall GPA of 3.25 or better
    • Earned an undergraduate business degree at an AACSB accredited institution with an overall GPA of 3.25 or better
    • Currently licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
    • Credentialed as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
    • Have 10 years of valid and documented professional and managerial Accounting experience

To request a GMAT/GRE test waiver, please email Claire Goldsby at goldsby@csus.edu with a copy of your resume and unofficial transcripts. These documents can also be uploaded in the CBA application.

The average GMAT score for admitted applicants is: 585 (total score)
The average GPA for admitted applicants is: 3.2

computer with teacher

MSA Application Information: Fall 2022

Fall 2022 applications are now open and due March 1, 2022.

NOTE: You must complete the entire application process and pay the $70 fee by the appropriate deadline to be considered an applicant to the program. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Please follow the directions carefully below to be considered for the MSA Spring 2022 program. Applicants will need to submit the following

Complete a Cal State Apply Application and pay $70 application fee

Add Program: Business Administration - Accountancy is located under Sacramento Extension

- Complete the Personal Information, Academic History, and Supporting Information Sections
- Under Program Materials, applicants will submit the following:
  • Statement of Career Objectives (1 page): This statement should include a description of your long- and short-term career goals, and the ways in which you believe the MSA degree will help you to achieve them.
  • Current resume: A reverse chronological resume of your work experience including job title, organization (nature of business, gross sales/revenues, number of employees), location, dates of employment, a summary of duties and responsibilities, and a description of your organizational unit (size, scope, budget, personnel, and reporting relationships) for each position held.
  • Request for two letters of recommendation: Applicants will enter name and an email request will automatically be sent to the recommender on your behalf. Please advise your recommender to look for this email in their inbox, as well as their spam or junk-mail folder, as emails do occasionally get filtered out. Recommenders should complete the Recommendation Form and upload directly through the email portal.

Copies of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State sent electronically to gradtranscripts@csus.edu or hard copy to:

Office of Graduate Studies
California State University, Sacramento
Riverfront Center, Room 215, MS 6112
6000 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95819

Need Help?

Information Slides and Application Tips

Applications due: March 1, 2022

Academic Curriculum

Three foundation courses should be completed prior to taking Program Requirement courses.Foundation courses are nine weeks in length.
• (3) ECON 204 Business Economics
• (2) MBA 201 Accounting
• (2) MBA 203 Legal Environment of Management


The Foundation 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 specific courses. 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 within the USA

The MSA Program requires 32 units and is composed of three parts:

• Program Requirements (27 units)
• Business Communication (2 units)
• Culminating Experience (3 units)

  1. Program Requirements (27 units)
    • ACCY 250 Financial Reporting I
    • ACCY 260 Financial Reporting II (Prerequisite: ACCY 250)
    • ACCY 261 Cost Analysis and Control
    • ACCY 262 Auditing
    • ACCY 263 Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting
    • ACCY 264 Taxation of Business Entities
    • ACCY 265 Advanced Accounting Information Systems Analysis and Controls
    • ACCY 266 Business Environment and Concepts
    • ACCY 269 Taxation of Individuals
  2. Business Communication (2 units)
    • MBA 202 Business Communication
  3. Culminating Experience (3 units)
    • ACCY 501 Culminating Experience Project in Accounting and Ethics (Prerequisite: Advanced to Candidacy)

MSA Degree Learning Goals

Students will have certain capabilities (knowledge, skills, abilities) that result from your business degree program. At the Sacramento State, we call these capabilities learning outcomes. Learning outcomes are measured and analyzed through a broad range of assessments, from class assignments to standardized exams, to provide assurance of learning in the degree program. From time to time, the College of Business (COB) or your instructors may ask or require you to participate in assessments. We use the information from assessments to reinforce what is working or to make changes to support student learning and success. For example, we may revise curriculum or hire additional staff and faculty to support the needs of our students. We document how our students perform and the actions that we take to continuously improve. This process helps to enhance the student experience and maintain our external accreditation with AACSB International. Speaking of accreditation, less than 5% of business schools worldwide are accredited by AACSB and thus this elite accreditation contributes greatly to the COB reputation. We hope that when you are asked to participate in assessment activities that you will accept the invitation and put your best effort forward.

Goal 1: Technical Knowledge and content

1.1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of standards, principles, laws and regulations applicable to the accounting field.

1.2. Students will analyze economic transactions and apply the analysis to the major areas of decision-making, management control systems and analytics.

Goal 2: Develop and Communicate Critical Information Sets

2.1. Students will construct various accounting reports for decision making purposes.

2.2. Students will effectively evaluate information sources and communicate their judgments to users.

Goal 3: Critical Thinking and Integrative Analyses

3.1. Students will evaluate alternative solutions to business issues in a changing environment.

3.2. Students will collect and integrate various information sources and skills for analyzing business issues.

Goal 4: Business Context and Ethics

4.1. Students will understand regulatory and legal constraints in the accounting and global business environment.

4.2. Students will identify and analyze ethical issues, and make ethical decisions in accounting contexts.

MSA Frequently Asked Questions

Does the MSA Program accommodate working professionals?
Yes, many of our students are full-time working professionals. The distance education delivery mode used by the MSA program vastly increases the flexibility by which students can complete their degree online. All of the courses are offered on a yearround schedule in an accelerated format and each course is 6 weeks in duration. Please see our current student schedules below as samples.


How are the online courses for the MSA Program taught?
The MSA program courses utilize a Virtual Classroom environment including a combination of online course materials, streaming video, audio, electronic bulletin boards, lecture resources with direct links to other course materials, lecture notes, full audio of lectures (asynchronous), video of portions of lectures, links to relevant materials, Chat Live office hours (synchronous), Online assessments and instant messaging to deliver a completely web-based degree.

Can I apply if my undergraduate degree is in a non-business field?
Yes, we encourage students of all fields to pursue our MSA Program.


Can I take individual classes without being admitted to the program?
No, all students must be admitted to the MSA Program before enrolling in classes. This includes Foundation Courses.

Does Sacramento State require applicants to have work experience before applying to the MSA degree?
Sacramento State does not require applicants to have work experience before they apply. However, learning may be enhanced for those graduate students who have real-world work experiences to apply towards course concepts. Students admitted into our MSA program have an average of 3.5 years of work experience.

Do I need to submit community college transcripts and/or transcripts from other institutions I attended, even though they are indicated on the University transcripts I graduated from?
Yes. You need to submit transcripts from all institutions that you have attended even if you only took one course. If you are Sacramento State alumni, you only need to submit transcripts not previously submitted to the university.

Current MSA Students

Class Schedules:

Tentative Master Class Schedule for All MSA courses

Tentative Class Schedule for Fall 2021 Admitted Students

Tentative Class Schedule for Spring 2021 Admitted Students

Tentative Class Schedule for Fall 2020 Admitted Students

Tentative Class Schedule for Spring 2020 Admitted Students

Steps to Graduation:

As a current MSA student these Steps to Graduation should be followed in order to meet all the necessary requirments set by the University, CBA and CCE. They were designed to make your graduate degree effortless.

Steps To Graduation

Student Forms:

Application for Classification (Link to OnBase Forms)

OnBase Forms User Guide - MSA Application for Classification

Advancement to Candidacy (Link to OnBase Forms)

OnBase Forms User Guide - MSA Advancement to Candidacy

Application for Graduation

Contact Information

MSA Admissions

Claire Goldsby, M.A.
Admissions Coordinator
(916) 278-2895
Tahoe Hall, Room 1020

Academic Advising & Program Curriculum

Serena Hoffman, M.S.
Academic Advisor
Executive & Professional Programs
(916) 278-6391
Tahoe Hall, Room 1020

Dr. Suzanne Ogilby, Ph.D., CGFM
Faculty Advisor, Professor of Accountancy
(916) 278-7157
Tahoe Hall, Room 2102

Mailing Address

California State University, Sacramento
College of Business Administration - MSA
Tahoe Hall, Room 1020
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6088