Master of Science in Accounting

Mollie Adams,
Master of Science in Accounting Program Coordinator

All degree programs offered by the Foster College of Business, Bradley University, are accredited by the AACSB International: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The Department of Accounting offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree. The program provides graduate education that prepares students to meet professional practice challenges in public, private, and not-for-profit accounting. The program is designed to broaden the student’s knowledge, to provide for in-depth study, and to complement theoretical study with relevant and significant research. Graduates should be prepared for meeting the 150-hour CPA examination education requirement and entrance into, or advancement within, their chosen careers.

The program is open to full-time and part-time students. Students may enter the program in August, January, or during the summer.

Admissions Information

  1. An undergraduate accounting degree or the equivalent.
  2. Admission requirements as follows:

Admission—MSA

Admission to the Master of Science in Accounting program is based on a thorough review of the required documents as well as any supplemental materials that may be appropriate. The Graduate Admissions Committee of the Department of Accounting makes the admission recommendation. The required documents are the following:

  1. Application form. All applicants must submit an Application for Graduate Admission, signed and dated by the applicant. Applications for Graduate Admission may also be submitted on line. A check of $40 for U.S. students or $50 for international students, payable to Bradley University, must accompany the application.
  2. Transcript(s). Applicants are required to provide one official transcript sent directly from the Registrar's office at the institution from which they receive their bachelor's degree or the international equivalent. Additional transcripts may be required at the discretion of the Graduate School. Applicants should submit additional official transcripts from post-baccalaureate coursework for consideration. Applicants who have completed graduate-level coursework should submit all transcripts reflecting graduate coursework. Official transcripts should be submitted to: the Graduate School, Bradley University, Peoria, IL 61625.
  3. Letters of recommendation. Two current letters of recommendation are required from persons who can comment meaningfully on the applicant’s capability for graduate-level study. Character references are not appropriate. Faculty members under whom the applicant has studied and employers are considered appropriate references.
  4. GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test). The GMAT is a standardized test designed to measure aptitude for graduate study in management. Applicants must arrange to take the test in sufficient time to permit processing of the results. The Bradley University GMAT institutional code is 1070. Information about the GMAT may be obtained by contacting the Graduate School Office or visiting the GMAT Web site at www.gmac.com. Students currently in a four-year undergraduate accounting program should take the GMAT the first semester of their senior year in order to allow sufficient time for processing of the results.
  5. Essays. Answers to essay questions must be complete with meaningful and well-developed answers to the questions on the goals of the applicant.
  6. A current resume.
  7. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Applicable only to international students whose native language is not English. The test measures proficiency in oral and written English. The IELTS is an acceptable substitute for TOEFL.

Admission Criteria

The entire application package including the GMAT score, the undergraduate GPA, transcripts, letters of recommendation, experience, essay responses, and other materials are all considered in an application review for student admission. Also considered are the applicant’s grades in Intermediate Accounting and Federal Income Tax.

The final recommendation on admission rests with the MSA Program Coordinator with the advice of an admissions committee consisting of three Department of Accounting graduate faculty members.

Admission—BS/BA and MSA

Current Bradley undergraduate accounting students may apply for the 3:2 program during their junior year. Application for the 3:2 program requires completion of a separate application. Students applying for the 3:2 program are not required to provide transcripts, a GMAT score, letters of recommendation, or essays.

Admissions Criteria

Admissions decisions will be made based on the applicant’s performance in their undergraduate coursework (both in and outside of accounting) at Bradley. Students admitted to the program must be in good standing in the Foster College of Business with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students must have completed ATG 302 and, unless approved by the MSA Program Coordinator, at least 90 credit hours (24 credit hours at Bradley for transfer students) before enrolling in their first graduate course.

The final admission decision rests with the MSA Program Coordinator with the advice of an admissions committee consisting of three Department of Accounting graduate faculty members.

Students denied admission to the 3:2 program may either reapply to the 3:2 program at a later point in their undergraduate program or apply for the MSA program through the traditional admissions process.

Course Enrollment

Graduate courses in the Foster College of Business at the 600 level are restricted to graduate students who have been admitted to a degree- or certificate-granting program in the Graduate School.

In the Department of Accounting’s integrated Bachelor Degree (BS or BA) and Master of Science in Accounting degree (MSA) program (commonly referred to as the 3:2 program), admitted students who meet the following criteria can take course work, including 600-level graduate courses, concurrently with their undergraduate courses. Eligible students can then designate to which degree that course work would apply. A course can be used in only one degree, and only appropriate courses can be applied to the MSA.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Accounting program is 30 semester hours. At least 15 of these hours consist of courses in accounting. There are also nine elective semester hours of 600-level courses from the Foster College of Business. The six remaining semester hours of elective coursework at the 500- or 600-level may be taken inside or outside of the Foster College of Business. The program allows a maximum of six semester hours to be taken outside of the Foster College of Business and requires a minimum of nine semester hours outside of accounting.

Accounting Courses Required (15 hours)

  • ATG 601 Financial Accounting Theory 
  • ATG 614 Advanced Cost Management
  • ATG 657 Advanced Auditing 
  • ATG 677 Federal Taxes II 
  • ATG 698 Accounting Comprehensive Assessment
  • One 3-hour elective course to be chosen from the 500-level accounting courses (with the exception of ATG 505) listed in the graduate catalog. 

Note: 500-level courses taken to complete requirements in an undergraduate degree cannot be used to complete master’s degree requirements.

Elective (9 hours) Foster College of Business

For choices, see the listing of 600-level courses (with the exception of ATG 604) in the Foster College of Business MBA program and obtain approval from the MSA Program Coordinator.

Other Electives (6 hours)

May be taken in accounting with approval from the MSA Program Coordinator. See “Note” above. May also be taken outside of the college with approval from the MSA Program Coordinator. For business course choices, see the listing of 600-level courses (with the exception of ATG 604) in the Foster College of Business MBA program and obtain MSA Program Coordinator approval.

Other Requirements

As part of the 15 hours of program electives (Accounting, Foster College of Business, and Other) each MSA student must take either ATG 530, Professional Interviewing Skills, or M L 615, Interpersonal Relations.

All students working towards an MSA degree (either through traditional admission or through the 3:2 program) will be required to abide by and meet all Graduate School policies and degree regulations located in the front of this catalog.

Comprehensive Examination

Each MSA student must take a written comprehensive examination. This examination covers the graduate work that the student is presenting for the degree. The time, place, and nature of the examination are a part of ATG 698.

Foundation Courses

Individuals entering the MSA program with an accounting degree from a regionally accredited university will not be required to complete any foundation courses. Individuals entering the MSA program with a non-accounting business degree from a regionally accredited university will be required to complete only the accounting foundation courses. For all other individuals, transcripts will be reviewed to determine whether the individual has completed courses equivalent to the business and accounting foundation courses within the last 10 years, and any foundation class for which an equivalent has not been completed will be required. Equivalency will be determined for a foundation course using the undergraduate equivalency guides. All foundation courses must be completed with a grade of B or better and must be completed prior to beginning the MSA degree requirements unless approval is given by the MSA Program Coordinator.

Business foundation courses include:

  • Accounting Principles – Financial – ATG 157
  • Accounting Principles – Managerial – ATG 158
  • Legal Environment of Business – BLW 342 or 542
  • Operations Management – M L 353 or 553
  • Organizational Management – M L 350 or 620
  • Microeconomics – ECO 221 or 506
  • Macroeconomics – ECO 222 or 610
  • Finance – FIN 322 or 522
  • Marketing – MTG 315 or 624
  • Quantitative Analysis – QM 263 or 502
  • Management Information Systems – MIS 173 or 672

 Accounting foundation courses include:

  • Cost Accounting - ATG 314
  • Intermediate Accounting - ATG 301
  • Intermediate Accounting - ATG 302
  • Accounting Systems and Control - ATG 383
  • Auditing - ATG 457
  • Federal Tax I - ATG 477

Foundation courses with a 600-course level option may be taken as one of the required program electives. For descriptions of the foundation courses, please see the undergraduate and graduate catalogs.

Concentration in Internal Auditing

Internal auditors are employees of organizations who are responsible for evaluating corporate governance, risk management, and internal control activities. Since internal auditing touches nearly every aspect of an organization, it provides a tremendous opportunity for students to launch their careers because of the breadth of exposure they will receive. Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Accounting program or the 3:2 Accounting program may take 9 hours of graduate course work in order to receive a concentration in internal auditing.

Students are required to take two three-hour courses:

ATG 547 Internal Auditing – 3 hrs.
ATG 548 Computer Assisted Audit Techniques – 3 hrs.

Students are required to take one three-hour elective from the following:

ATG 526 Fraud Examination – 3 hrs.
ATG 530 Professional Interviewing Skills – 3 hrs.
ATG 585 Contemporary Issues in Accounting – 3 hrs. (provided the course is focused on internal auditing)
ATG 590 Professional Accounting Problems - 3 hrs. (provided the course is focused on internal auditing)
ATG 605 Cooperative Education / Internship in Accounting – 3 hrs. (provided the internship is in internal auditing)

Additional Requirement:

  • Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in all classes taken for the concentration.