Master of Science in Accounting

Mollie Adams,
MSA Program Coordinator

This program is accredited by 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.

Entrance Requirements

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


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 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.

The GMAT exam may be waived if the applicant has earned a terminal degree in his or her profession (i.e. JD in law or a PhD in some field). The GMAT may also be waived if the candidate has a master’s degree in an analytically rigorous discipline (i.e. mathematics, engineering, etc.) and a master's GPA of at least 3.4 or better. The GMAT may also be waived for candidates completing the three-year portion of the 3:2 Accounting program. The decision on the waiver of the GMAT rests with the MSA Program Coordinator. To request a waiver, the applicant must include a written request with the application materials.

Admission—BS/BA and MSA

Admission to the 3:2 program is available when students are initially admitted to Bradley as freshmen or during their junior year. The Graduate Admissions Committee of the Department of Accounting makes the admission recommendation.

The required procedures are the following:

  1. Admission as a freshman (early admission): students must be admitted in good standing into the Foster College of Business with an acceptable ACT or SAT score and a class standing usually in the top 25 percent of their high school class. In addition to the material in their application for admittance to Bradley, students must indicate a desire to be in the 3:2 program and may be asked for two letters of recommendation. Under early admission, students must maintain at least a 3.00 GPA at Bradley and complete at least 90 credit hours (including ATG 302) before they can take graduate courses.
  2. Admission as a junior (regular admission): Admission in good standing into the FCBA with a GPA of 3.00 or higher and at least 90 credit hours (including ATG 302) by the end of the term in which the student enrolls. Transfer students must have at least 24 hours at Bradley before admission. Admission for students without a 3.00 GPA will be based on GMAT scores, letters of reference, worthwhile experience, and GPA.

600-Level Courses

Graduate courses in business administration at the 600 level are restricted to graduate students who have been admitted to a degree- or certificate-granting program in the Graduate School. Students-at-large may not take 600-level graduate courses in the Foster College of Business.

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 (12 hours)

ATG 601 Financial Accounting Theory
ATG 657 Advanced Auditing
ATG 677 Federal Taxes II
ATG 690 Applied Professional Accounting Research

For the remaining three required accounting hours students may select courses from one of the following:

ATG 501 Advanced Accounting II
ATG 514 Advanced Managerial Accounting
ATG 526 Fraud Examination
ATG 547 Internal Auditing
ATG 561 International Accounting Issues
ATG 583 Accounting Information Systems
ATG 585 Contemporary Issues in Accounting
ATG 590 Professional Accounting Problems


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

Applicants should review the Graduate School admission policies, special regulations, registration and fees, 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 690.

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 Requirements:

  • Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in all classes taken for the concentration.
  • Students must sit for at least one part of a certification exam applicable to internal auditing before graduation. This can be: 
    • the Certified Internal Auditor’s exam offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors
    • the Certified Public Accountant’s exam
    • the Certified Information Systems Auditor’s exam
    • or the Certified Fraud Examiner’s exam

This is the official catalog for the 2013-2014 academic year. This catalog serves as a contract between a student and Bradley University. Should changes in a program of study become necessary prior to the next academic year every effort will be made to keep students advised of any such changes via the Dean of the College or Chair of the Department concerned, the Registrar's Office, u.Achieve degree audit system, and the Schedule of Classes. It is the responsibility of each student to be aware of the current program and graduation requirements for particular degree programs.