This is an archive of the 2016-2017 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2016-2017 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit



The Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) is a 1-year program designed to prepare students for successful careers in the field of accounting. Our students complete a rigorous program that develops their technical knowledge, ethical decision-making ability, communication competence and research and critical-thinking skills. Students specialize in either Professional Accountancy or Information Systems.

Program Candidates

  1. Students currently enrolled in the CSUN undergraduate B.S. in Accountancy program who need to comply with the 150-semester unit requirement for CPA licensure.
  2. Students who already have an accounting degree from another university but have not yet taken the CPA exam and need to comply with the 150-semester unit requirement.
  3. Other students who have already completed a degree in accounting and wish to earn a master’s degree in accountancy and who wish to either work in industry or eventually enroll in a Ph.D. program.

Program Requirements

A. Admission Criteria

For admission, applicants must meet the requirements of the University as listed in the Research and Graduate Studies section of this Catalog. In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria:

1. For CSUN B.S. in Accountancy Students/Graduates

  1. Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  2. Accounting GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  3. GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 units.

2. For Students/Graduates from Other Programs/Institutions

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Be in good academic standing with last college or university attended.
  3. Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  4. Accounting GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  5. GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 units.
  6. GMAT (or GRE) required. (The overall GMAT [or GRE] score must be in 50th percentile or higher.)
  7. For applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree at a school where English was not the principal language of instruction, the minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 79 (Internet-based)/213 (computer-based)/550 (paper-based) is required.

3. Prerequisites

a. Accounting Prerequisites (15 units)
Five courses. The GPA from these courses should be at least 3.0.
  1. 6 units of Intermediate Accounting (ACCT 351 and ACCT 352 or equivalents).
  2. Cost Accounting (ACCT 380 or equivalent).
  3. Auditing Principles (ACCT 460 or equivalent).
  4. Taxation (ACCT 440 or equivalent).
b. Business Prerequisites (24 units)
12 units from the following four courses, plus 12 units from other business areas. The GPA from these business prerequisites should be at least 3.0.
  1. Information Systems for Business (IS 312 or equivalent).
  2. Business Law (BLAW 280 or equivalent).
  3. Financial Management (FIN 303 or equivalent).
  4. Business Statistics (SOM 120 or equivalent).

B. Requirements for the Degree

To earn the M.S. in Accountancy, candidates must complete the 30 units of coursework as described below with a 3.0 or higher GPA. They must also satisfy the CSU Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement by having passed the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam or by having received a score of 4.0 or higher on the Analytical Writing Assessment of the GMAT exam. Candidates who fail to attain a 3.0 or higher average in the first 15 units attempted will be disqualified from the program. The maximum time allowable to complete the degree is five calendar years from the date of admission.

1. Required Core Courses (18 units)

These six courses provide the students with an in-depth knowledge in key areas in the field of accountancy. Each course integrates into its curriculum and pedagogy written communication skills, research skills and critical-thinking skills. Some courses also integrate analytical review and oral communication skills, as well as ethics and professional responsibility.

Students must take all of the following six courses:

ACCT 511 Accounting Ethics and Professional Responsibilities (3)
ACCT 515 Contemporary Issues in Accounting (3)
ACCT 624 Advanced Auditing and Assurance Services (3)
ACCT 626 Managerial Cost Accounting Seminar (3)
ACCT 628 Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation (3)
IS 530 Accounting Information Systems (3)

2. Fields of Specialization: Elective Courses (9-12 units)

Students may choose either of the two concentrations: (a) Professional Accountancy or (b) Information Systems.

a. Professional Accountancy (Minimum 9 units)

Students who concentrate on Professional Accountancy must complete at least 9 units from the following courses.

ACCT 520 Income Tax Concepts and Their Business Applications (3)
ACCT 542 Introduction to Federal Tax Procedure
ACCT 632 Accounting Issues in Select Industries (3)
ACCT 634 Forensic Accounting (3)
ACCT 636 Accounting for Governmental and Non-Profit Entities (3)
ACCT 692 Selected Topics in Accounting (3)

b. Information Systems (Minimum 9 units)

Students who concentrate on Information Systems must complete at least 9 units from the following courses.

IS 655 Information Systems Theory and Practice (3)
IS 656 Information Systems Audit and Control (3)
IS 657 IS Governance and Risk Management (3)

3. Culminating Experience (1 or 3 units)

As part of their culminating experience, students have the option of participating in one of the following courses.

ACCT 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies in Accountancy (1)
ACCT 698C Graduate Thesis (3)

ACCT 698D Graduate Project (3)

In case a student opts for ACCT 697 as his or her culminating experience, the student is required to complete an additional 3-unit elective course from those listed above.

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 30-31


Chair: Rishma Vedd
Juniper Hall (JH) 3123
(818) 677-2461

Graduate Coordinator: Rishma Vedd
(818) 677-2461

Staff: Ann Ward
(818) 677-2464

Student Learning Outcomes

Our MSA graduates can:

  1. Analyze and solve problems in business and accounting using strategic planning.
  2. Recognize and analyze ethical and professional responsibility issues in business and accounting practices.
  3. Communicate their analysis of complex problems in business and accounting clearly and effectively.
  4. Research business and accounting literature for both structured and unstructured problems.
  5. Apply business and accounting knowledge and skills with a global perspective in their professional fields.
  6. Apply IT/IS in business and accounting.