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Master of Science in Accountancy

Elevate Your Career with Our MSA Program

Sacramento State’s online Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) Program provides an advanced understanding of the rapidly evolving accounting field. The MSA program equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue industry certifications such as the CPA and the CMA. This is achieved through the completion of professional training and meeting the requirements for professional exams.

The MSA curriculum is 100% compatible with the CPA exam, training students in all areas of 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 (MSA) Program employs a comprehensive fully online approach, utilizing a blend of online course materials. This distance education model significantly enhances flexibility for students, allowing them to complete the program on their terms. The courses are available year-round in an accelerated format, enabling students to complete the entire program in an attractive time frame.

Become a Mentor!

Business Student Mentorship Program

The College of Business Mentorship Program empowers students with the knowledge, skills, and connections necessary to thrive in the dynamic business world from experienced graduate students and alumni.

Fall 2024 Mentor Applications open on August 1st, 2024. If you have any questions, you may contact

What to Expect as a Mentor

  • 3-month duration
  • Meet with the mentee in person or via Zoom a minimum of 1 hour every 2 weeks
  • Attend small events and workshops such as Welcome Mixer, mock interviews, and resume workshops
  • Resume Builder
  • Develop leadership and communication skills
  • Involvement with the college and the community
  • Networking opportunities with other mentors and mentees
  • Expand your career opportunities
  • First dibs on tickets to COB Sponsored events

Mentor Interest Form

MSA Program Highlights and Cost

The MSA is a partnership program with the College of Continuing Education (CCE).

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

Download MSA Brochure Here

MSA Alumni Success Story


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

At this time, no merit scholarships are available to new students. The MSA program does not provide graduate assistantships.

Financial Aid is processed through the College of Continuing Education (CCE) and may be available for students pursuing the online 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 through CCE"s website here.

A full list of scholarships available at Sac State can be found here. The Office of Graduate Studies may also provide additional opporutunities to pursue and 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 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: Spring 2025

Spring 2025 applications will open on August 1, 2024 and the deadline is October 1, 2024.

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 2024 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:
  • Current resume: 1-2 pages
  • 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 can complete the Recommendation Form or write their own letter and upload directly through the email portal. Please see page 27 of these instructions for more details on the recommendation submission process.

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

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

Spring 2025:

Applications open: August 1, 2024

Application deadline: October 1, 2024

Fall 2025

Applications open: October 1, 2024

Application deadline: March 1, 2025

Need Help?

Information Slides and Application Tips

Academic Curriculum

Three foundation courses should be completed prior to taking the MSA Program Requirement courses. Foundation courses are nine weeks in length if taken at Sac State.

• (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. Courses used to fulfill Foundation Course requirements must have been completed within seven (7) years of the date of 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 within the USA

While they do not affect your admissibility and they are not required to be completed prior to admission to the program, they must be completed before you start the MSA program requirement coursework and with a cumulative foundation course GPA of 3.0. Foundation course waivers are available and are determined either at the time of admission, or upon a request for waiver by the student after application.

The MSA Program requires 30 units and is composed of two parts:

• Program Requirements (27 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. Culminating Experience (3 units)
    • ACCY 501 Culminating Experience Project in Accounting and Ethics (Prerequisite: Advanced to Candidacy)

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 year-round 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. Please note if you have not taken the Foundation Courses listed above, you will need to complete these courses prior to enrolling in the program requirement courses. You may apply without completing the Foundation Courses and complete them directly through the MSA program. For example, if you have not competed the Foundation Courses by Fall 2024, you may still apply for Fall 2024 admission and if admitted, you can take the Foundation Courses from June - September 2024 through Sac State and then start the program requirement courses in October 2024 with the rest of your cohort.

Do I need to complete the Foundation Courses prior to applying for the program?
No. You can apply to our MSA program without having completed the Foundation Courses at the time of the application. While they do not affect your admissibility and they are not required to be completed prior to admission to the program, they must be completed before you start the MSA program requirement coursework and with a cumulative foundation course GPA of 3.0. When you apply, we will evaluate your transcripts to determine which courses you have completed. If you do not initially meet our waiver requirements, you can submit a petition along with supporting documentation including course syllabi, statement explaining how professional work experience has provided appropriate knowledge for EACH specific foundation course, a current resume, a current job description (include a supervisor name and contact information for verification), or proof of professional or academic qualifications to waive out of the foundation courses. Please note that we cannot transfer any credit from your MBA courses to the MSA core courses.

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.

Can the CSU Employee Fee Waiver and Reduction Program be used for the MSA program?
No. The MSA program is a partnership program between the College of Business and the College of Continuing Education and considered self-support. Fee waiver applies to CSU state-supported (general fund) courses only, including state-supported courses that are offered through summer term. Courses in self-support (i.e. Extended Education) programs may not be taken through the CSU Employee Fee Waiver and Reduction Program.

Current MSA Students

Class Schedules:

Tentative Master Class Schedule for All MSA courses

Tentative Class Schedule for Fall 2024 Admitted Students

Tentative Class Schedule for Spring 2024 Admitted Students

Tentative Class Schedule for Fall 2023 Admitted Students

Steps to Graduation:

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

Steps To Graduation

Student Forms:

Advancement to Candidacy (Link to OnBase Forms)

OnBase Forms User Guide - MSA Advancement to Candidacy

Application for Graduation (Link to OnBase Forms)

OnBase Forms User Guide - MSA Application for Graduation

Contact Information

MSA Admissions

Claire Goldsby
MSA Admissions
(916) 278-2895

MSA Academic Advising

Serena Hoffman
MSA Academic Advisor
(916) 278-6391

Graduate Programs Office

Maleeha Khan
Executive Director of Graduate Programs
(916) 278-6464

MSA Program Curriculum

Dr. Hugh Pforsich
MSA Faculty Advisor
(916) 278-7141

Mailing Address

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

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.