Master of Science in Accounting (MSA)

Master of Science in Accounting

Offered By: Colangelo College of Business

Earn your Master's in Accounting Degree

The Master of Science in Accounting degree is a comprehensive, accelerated learning opportunity for students who hold a BS in Accounting. Candidates develop advanced skills in financial reporting while building their foundational knowledge of specialized accounting topics. The master’s in accounting is offered by the Colangelo College of Business at Grand Canyon University (GCU).

Explore ethical best practices and issues pertaining to legal compliance while preparing to take the Uniform CPA Examination. Extend your knowledge of economics, marketing and public accounting practice. It’s recommended that candidates sit for the Uniform CPA Exam shortly after graduation, as the capstone courses are dedicated to preparing for the test.

Why Earn Your Master's in Accounting Degree Online at GCU?

The robust online learning platform at GCU enables working professionals to take courses on a flexible, convenient schedule. By earning your master's in accounting online, you do not have to choose between your job and your education. Complete coursework on a schedule that fits your lifestyle, and benefit from engaging discussions with your peers. The Master's in Accounting (MSA) degree requires a total of 34 credits for completion. Most of the online classes are eight weeks long.

Throughout this degree program, you will develop your research skills and enhance your understanding of the quantitative methods of data analysis. You will examine key topics in financial reporting and accounting that affect a diverse range of stakeholders, including:

  • Corporations
  • Partnerships
  • Government entities

There is an emphasis on ethical practices and decision-making. GCU is a private, Christian university that embraces the positive values of servant leadership and ethical problem-solving.

Graduates are required to meet the eligibility criteria for securing professional licenses in the state in which they plan to practice. This comprehensive MSA degree can help you prepare for the Uniform CPA Exam. Several course hours cover exam preparation.

The Benefits of a Master’s in Accounting

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The Master of Science in Accounting is a modern degree that includes courses such as the following:

  • Advanced Audit
  • Advanced Taxation
  • Financial Research and Compliance
  • Advanced Managerial and Cost Accounting
  • Business Law and Ethics for Accounting

Candidates will also take two capstone classes. Capstone I introduces students to the Uniform CPA Exam. It covers the Business Environment Concepts (BEC) and the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) sections of the test. Capstone II examines the Auditing (AUD) and Regulation (REG) portions of the test.

While working towards the Master of Science in Accounting degree, students examine a range of learning objectives. These include:

  • Factors that affect the use of cost information for decision-making purposes
  • Meeting ethical obligations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  • Advanced tax planning concepts and accounting for the income tax of corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts
  • Core auditing concepts, including forensic accounting, internal audit function and fraudulent financial reporting

What Can You Do With a Master's in Accounting Degree?

With an MSA degree, advanced management positions in corporate or public accounting may be within your reach. Job applicants with an advanced degree set themselves apart from other candidates. Some of the careers that can be related to this degree may include the following:

  • Chief executive
  • General and operations manager
  • Sales manager
  • Administrative services manager
  • Industrial production manager
  • Social and community service manager
  • Entertainment and recreation manager
  • Cost estimator
  • Logistician
  • Project management specialist
  • Accountant and auditor
  • Appraiser of personal and business property
  • Budget and credit analyst
  • Financial risk specialist
  • Tax examiner, collector and preparer

Some career paths require candidates to pass the Uniform CPA Exam.

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Total Credits: 34
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $630 per credit [More Info]

Course List

34 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
34 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Business. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course provides students with applied research experience using electronic databases to determine proper application of GAAP, IASs, and IFRSs to practical situations. Students develop the skills needed to access accounting, auditing, and taxation rules and regulations; company financial statements; and related industry data used for analyzing financial statements.

Course Description

This course provides students with an analysis of current practices and techniques used to design, install, operate, and manage an integrated accounting system in either a manual or a computerized setting. Application controls, information security requirements, and integration with other business information systems are examined.

Course Description

This course is focused on key managerial and cost accounting concepts and methods. Students examine why, when, and how cost information is used to make effective decisions that lead a firm to success.

Course Description

This course gives students 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, the AICPA code, and other systems of ethics, students learn how a commitment to ethics can enable accounting professionals to meet their ethical obligations to all stakeholders. Prerequisite: ACC-616.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of auditing concepts related to forensic accounting, the internal audit function, operational auditing, and auditing information systems. In addition, students will become familiar with fraudulent financial reporting and the prevention and detection of irregularities. Prerequisites: ACC-616, and BUS-623.

Course Description

This course is a study of the theory and practices of accounting for income taxes of corporations, partnerships, estates, and trusts. In addition, students will explore advanced tax planning concepts, including international tax implications. Prerequisites: ACC-616 and BUS-623.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the Uniform CPA exam. It is designed to prepare students for the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and Business Environment Concepts (BEC) parts of the exam.

Course Description

This course is designed to help students to prepare for the Auditing (AUD) and Regulation (REG) sections of the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam. Students will review materials frequently tested on the Uniform CPA Exam and will use practice questions, problems, and simulations to demonstrate mastery of accounting concepts.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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