GCU's accelerated evening or online Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) opens a pathway toward the achievement of a Certified Public Accountant's credentials. Learners in this program are offered comprehensive preparation for the highly demanding Uniform CPA Exam, through two capstone courses, at the conclusion of the MSA program. These capstone courses strategically approach the exam's four components to maximize the possibilities of success on test day.
The format of GCU's MSA program is commonly referred to as the four-plus-one, catering specifically to candidates who have earned a bachelor's degree in accounting. Learners who are admitted with an undergraduate business degree in a discipline other than accounting would have to complete the bridge program, before they can register for MSA courses.
This 34-credit evening or online accounting program, spread across nine courses, takes a little over one year to complete. The curriculum is geared toward the field of public accounting. It enhances the theoretical and practical application of accounting knowledge across a broad array of disciplines.
Aligning with GCU's strong focus on values, MSA candidates are offered a robust legal and ethical framework that is crucial for accountants and managers under Sarbanes-Oxley. Using case studies that incorporate the principles of business law and other systems of ethics, the program demonstrates the importance a commitment to ethics holds in the accounting profession.
Learners are offered applied research experience for using electronic databases to determine proper application of GAAP, IASs and IFRSs in practical situations and to access financial and industry data. The program also examines the current practices and technologies within an integrated automated accounting system. Other topics covered in the program, typical to an MSA, include forensic accounting, cost accounting, auditing and taxation.
Unique to GCU's MSA program are the eight credits devoted to a candidate's preparation for the Uniform CPA Exam. Learners are strongly encouraged to sit for the test soon after graduation to maximize their potential for success. The Uniform CPA Exam is a required step for achieving a CPA license from a candidates' state of residence or practice.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the arena of public accounting, CPAs generally have their own businesses, they work for public accounting firms or they find employment as external auditors.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.