MSA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- I intend on sitting for the CPA exam in Massachusetts and/or intend on a career in accounting. Which BSU program is right for me?
- My undergraduate major concentration is in Accounting. Why can't I pursue the MSA?
- I already posses an MBA from another institution. Which BSU program will best allow me to complete the required accounting course work to sit for the CPA exam?
- Do Bridgewater's graduate programs in accounting satisfy the Massachusetts 150-hour education rule for the CPA exam?
- My undergraduate degree is in a non-business area and I do not wish to complete a graduate program to satisfy the 150-hour rule. Can I just complete individual required courses to satisfy the 150-hour requirement?
- Is economics considered to be a 'business' program?
- If I have an undergraduate degree in accounting do I still need to complete the 150-hour rule through a graduate program?
- I am currently a Bridgewater undergraduate accounting student - can I satisfy the 150-hour rule while still an undergraduate?
- Are there any advantages of satisfying the 150-hour rule through a graduate program (such as the MSA or MBA)?
- What is the CPA pass rate for Bridgewater Graduate Students?
- Where may I find additional information on Bridgewater's programs as they relate to the 150-hour education rule?
It depends on your undergraduate degree. If you already possess a bachelor's degree in any area other than accounting, you should pursue the MSA (Master of Science in Accountancy). This will ensure that you have completed all of the necessary accounting and non-accounting business credits required for the CPA exam. Additional prerequisite courses will be required.
If your undergraduate degree is in accounting, you should pursue the MBA with an Accounting concentration. Providing the proper course work is completed, this will satisfy the required accounting and non-accounting business courses required for the CPA exam. Typically, undergraduate accounting students will have satisfied all prerequisite and foundation courses.
As an undergrad, you will have already completed most of the required coursework in the MSA. Furthermore, additional non-accounting business credits are required to satisfy the Massachusetts 150-hour education requirement for the CPA exam. These credits can be earned through the MBA with Accounting Concentration.
As an MBA graduate, you have most likely completed all required non-accounting business credits required for the CPA exam and should focus on the required accounting coursework. You may complete the Graduate Certificate in Accounting, or for a few additional courses - you may choose to complete the MSA degree. Many students who already possess a graduate degree from institutions including Harvard, MIT, Babson, BC, and BU have chosen to complete BSU's Graduate Certificate in Accounting to prepare for the CPA examination.
Providing proper course work is completed, our MSA degree satisfies 'Option-2' of the Massachusetts 150-hour rule. Our MBA with Accounting Concentration satisfies 'Option-2' providing that the student's undergrad degree is in accounting and appropriate course work is completed.
If a student possesses an MBA from another institution and completes BSU's Graduate Certificate in Accounting in order to complete CPA exam mandated accounting course work - the students' previous MBA will now qualify under 'Option-2'. The Certificate program alone does not satisfy the education rule as under Massachusetts law, a 'certificate' is not considered to be a 'program'.
My undergraduate degree is in a non-business area and I do not wish to complete a graduate program to satisfy the 150-hour rule. Can I just complete individual required courses to satisfy the 150-hour requirement?
While Massachusetts does allow an 'Option-4' for non-business undergrads to satisfy 150-hours by completing undergraduate credit only, Bridgewater does not support this option and does not offer the requisite course work.
While allowable under law, the Massachusetts Board of Accounting does not recommend Option-4. Accordingly, most institutions do not support it. Typically, non-business and non-accounting undergraduate majors should complete the MSA degree.
No, the Massachusetts Board of Accountancy does not consider a major in economics to constitute a business degree.
Under Option-3 of the 150-hour rule, you may satisfy the 150-hour rule by taking additional selected undergraduate courses.
Yes, you could 'double concentrate' in both Accounting and in Finance. These students should also complete Auditing and Advanced Accounting and be sure that they have sufficient accounting credits and at minimum, a total of 150 total credits to satisfy the 150-hour education rule. Conversely, undergraduate students with an undergraduate degree in accounting may complete the additional coursework after graduation. It is not necessary to do this through a graduate program; however if students need an additional ten courses (30 credits) to earn 150 hours, most find it beneficial to earn a graduate degree. Typically, students who have changed undergraduate majors or transferred in substantial credits from other institutions may be good candidates to satisfy the 150-hour rule through undergraduate coursework.
This is really a personal decision. While most public accounting firms really don't care how a candidate satisfies 150-hours, earning a master's degree may be beneficial later in one's career, particularly if an individual leaves public accounting. Studies have found that students who satisfy the 150-hour rule through graduate programs tend to perform better on the CPA exam (source: AICPA). Also, please note that Massachusetts does not consider a 'certificate' to be a 'program'.
The CPA exam pass rate will vary from year to year, however our pass rate typically is consistently substantially higher than peer institutions in the state.
You may review the Guide to Meeting Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Requirements at Bridgewater State University available at the following link: http://webhost.bridgew.edu/s1chaves/pg/CPAguidePG.doc. Additional information regarding CPA exam requirements can be found at the following link: http://www.bridgew.edu/AF/cpa.cfm.
Last Modified: September 22, 2011