I plan on a career in Accounting and intend on sitting for the CPA exam.
Which Bridgewater State University graduate program is right for me?
Known for affordable quality, Bridgewater State University's accounting programs maintain a tradition, emphasizing academic rigor and teaching excellence.
Massachusetts education requirements for CPA licensure are complex. Four "options" (sometimes referred to as "levels") are available to meet the required "150-hour" education mandate.
While it may be possible to meet the 150-hour education requirement by completing undergraduate credits only, for most students a graduate degree is the most desirable path.
Below are available BSU graduate programs designed to meet the 150-hour education requirement:
MSA - Master of Science in Accountancy (Option-One compliant)
For most students, regardless of undergraduate major, the MSA is the most ideal way to prepare to sit for the CPA exam and prepare for a career in accounting.
For MSA course information* and 150-hour credit
Bridgewater's Masters of Science in Accountancy has recently been approved by the Massachusetts Board of Accountancy as an "Option-One" program (click here for more info). This is the highest education designation available for CPA licensure. Students who graduate from "Option-One" approved programs benefit from a streamlined application process to sit for the CPA exam. Option-One approval also indicates to employers that a program maintains the highest standards of accounting education available.
Students who possess undergraduate degrees in majors other than
accounting will be required to complete several foundation courses. BSU
undergrad accounting students should not complete Auditing or Advanced
Accounting at the undergrad level if they plan on pursuing our graduate
accounting program. Students from other institutions who majored in
accounting as undergrads may need several courses substituted in accordance with
Massachusetts Board of Accountancy regulations. In rare cases, if a
candidate has previously completed most of the required and elective
courses at the undergraduate level, these students will be recommended to pursue the MBA with Accounting Concentration. This determination will
be made at the time of application review.
For additional information on the MSA program, click here.
MBA with Accounting Concentration
(Option-Two compliant, providing student possesses appropriate undergraduate degree and completes appropriate graduate course work)
For MBA with Accounting Concentration course
information* and 150-hour credit
Students who already possess an undergraduate degree in accounting and intend on sitting for the CPA exam may choose to complete either the MSA or MBA with Accounting Concentration. Students who do not possess an undergraduate degree in accounting and intend on sitting for the CPA exam should always pursue the MSA degree.
Students accepted into the MBA with Accounting Concentration should complete
Auditing, Advanced Accounting and Accounting Seminar. If a candidate
has already completed Auditing or Advanced Accounting at the undergraduate
level, other approved accounting courses may be substituted.
For additional information on the MBA with Accounting Concentration program, click here.
Graduate Certificate in Accounting
(Option-Three compliant, providing student possesses appropriate previous degree and completes appropriate graduate course work)
For information on the Graduate Certificate in Accounting,
The Graduate Certificate in Accounting may be a good choice for those students who have already completed an MBA (or other approved graduate business degree) and just need to complete select accounting courses to satisfy the 150 education requirement to sit for the CPA exam. In this case, the candidate's previous MBA would then qualify him/her under "Option-Two", provided the proper accounting course work is completed to supplement their degree.
Because of the small credit differential between the Grad Certificate and MSA, qualified students may prefer to complete the MSA.
While qualified students who already possesses a degree in business may pursue a Grad Certificate in Accounting to qualifying under the "Option-Three" CPA education rules, due to the large number of courses necessary, these students would typically be best suited to complete the MSA instead. Note that "Economics" is not considered to be a "business degree" by the Board of Public Accountancy.
Under Massachusetts law, students who satisfy the 150-hour education rule by completing an approved graduate degree, will not be required to work in public accounting as a condition to earn the CPA designation. Accordingly, students who desire to earn the CPA designation but do not intend on ever working in public accounting must satisfy the 150-hour education mandate through earning a masters degree (either under Option-One or Option-Two).
Additional information regarding the Massachusetts CPA exam
can be found at:
*Program is subject to change. Please refer to the Registrar's web site for official course catalog information.