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M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads

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M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2010, 15:22
Hello all,
I am looking at Accounting programs for next fall. I have an undergrad in liberal arts. (No accounting experience.) I have yet to take the GMAT. (On previous standardized tests, I've gotten a near-perfect or perfect math, with a lower -- but still good -- verbal score. GPA is 3.45.) I've seen some programs that advertise that they are specifically for people without a degree in accounting (i.e. San Jose State) and I know USC has a summer intensive program. How about most schools in general? I see many that have prerequisites, but can you take those prerequisities once (and if you) get accepted? Or do you have to have them under your belt to be considered for application?

I'm only willing to consider schools in California, as I'm sure that this is where I want to be -- in particular LA but would consider the Bay Area too. I have found a lot of info about USC's program. I am also looking at San Jose State, Cal State LA, and Cal State Fullerton. I have not been able to find a lot of information about these except for what is on their website. Does anyone have info on how hard they are to get into? Or recommendations for other accounting programs in CA?
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Re: M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2010, 19:21
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Just looking through the websites real quick, I can tell you that Cal State Fullerton and Cal State LA both will admit you into the program, and then you will begin taking your "pre-requisites." San Jose State didn't give enough information, so I would contact the admissions office directly. My guess is that the admissions rates for these programs are very high and not something you should be concerned about. The strength of your app will decide how much money they give you, not whether you get in.

I'm currently doing a MSA at Missouri-Kansas City before pursuing my MBA, and we have a similar setup. My friend Ben was a music undergrad so he has to take 30 or so general business credits on top of 30 advanced accounting credits. Whereas my undergrad was a BBA in Management Information Systems, so I have the general business section waived. We are both program admits with access to the same scholarships and financial aid.

Typically speaking, no one does a MSA unless they're hunting for a CPA license. As part of your research, I would advise you to consider a MBA program if you're only looking at doing one masters degree. To sit for the exam in California, you'll need 150 semester hours, 24 in accounting, and 24 in business. An MBA program is typically 36 hours total, so if you only took accounting electives, you would only be short 12 hours in either accounting or business. You could knock the 12 out during the summer semester instead of an internship -- not sure how important that would be in your situation.

Anyways, just something to consider as you look! With a 3.45 GPA and a 700+ GMAT you would be a very strong candidate @ UCLA Anderson and USC Marshall. If you can nail a 740+ GMAT with great soft factors you could have an outside shot at Berkeley Haas, but Haas is hard for anyone to get into really.
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Re: M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2010, 21:02
Hey Radical,

I actually spoke with a graduate admissions advisor at SJSU, and found out that you shouldn't take any accounting courses prior to applying. If you have taken one accounting class, they won't accept you. It sounds very strict...She told me the admission process is very competitive, which is probably true compared to csu fullerton and csu la.
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Re: M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2010, 21:12
method wrote:
Just looking through the websites real quick, I can tell you that Cal State Fullerton and Cal State LA both will admit you into the program, and then you will begin taking your "pre-requisites." San Jose State didn't give enough information, so I would contact the admissions office directly. My guess is that the admissions rates for these programs are very high and not something you should be concerned about. The strength of your app will decide how much money they give you, not whether you get in.

I'm currently doing a MSA at Missouri-Kansas City before pursuing my MBA, and we have a similar setup. My friend Ben was a music undergrad so he has to take 30 or so general business credits on top of 30 advanced accounting credits. Whereas my undergrad was a BBA in Management Information Systems, so I have the general business section waived. We are both program admits with access to the same scholarships and financial aid.

Typically speaking, no one does a MSA unless they're hunting for a CPA license. As part of your research, I would advise you to consider a MBA program if you're only looking at doing one masters degree. To sit for the exam in California, you'll need 150 semester hours, 24 in accounting, and 24 in business. An MBA program is typically 36 hours total, so if you only took accounting electives, you would only be short 12 hours in either accounting or business. You could knock the 12 out during the summer semester instead of an internship -- not sure how important that would be in your situation.

Anyways, just something to consider as you look! With a 3.45 GPA and a 700+ GMAT you would be a very strong candidate @ UCLA Anderson and USC Marshall. If you can nail a 740+ GMAT with great soft factors you could have an outside shot at Berkeley Haas, but Haas is hard for anyone to get into really.


Missing the internship summer in an MBA program almost defeats the purpose of an MBA.
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Re: M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2010, 21:21
By all means, if you find yourself in a similar situation, simply pursue a MSA to get your CPA. If it were me, I'd rather have a CPA and MBA for my two years. Ultimately, it's up to the poster to judge which path makes sense for him. But I will say that if the poster is pursuing a career in public accounting, a Big 4 job is certainly well within the reach of a no-internship MBA who meets CPA exam requirements. Investment banking, maybe not so much.

And to Andreweng, define "competitive". A quick search shows me that the average GMAT/GPA for CSUF is 550/3.2 and the average GMAT/GPA is 555/3.22. To my previous point, if the original poster is a 700 GMAT type candidate, admissions will not be a problem.
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Re: M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2010, 21:41
Method, out of all the CSU schools in the bay area, SJSU accepts only non-accounting major applicants, and as a result fewer students. When I say competitive, I mean there's a rush of highly qualified candidates applying for limited spots, and unfortunately not every student who even meets the minimum GMAT/GPA requirements (550/3.00) will be admitted. There's a greater demand for seating than supply of space. Overall, I agree that someone with a high gmat score over 700 will get into any CSU MS program.
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Kudos [?]: 146 [0], given: 249

Re: M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2010, 21:53
I understand, but just for clarification ... the numbers I posted were the averages of enrolled students, not the minimums for applying.
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Re: M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2010, 22:19
Method and Andreweng - thank you so much for your helpful information on CSULA, Fullerton, and SJSU! :) (As well the field in general.)

I just took the practice exam and got a 710 -- so hopefully I can keep that up (maybe even raise it a bit) for the real test!

Thank you for your perspective on MBA vs. MSA too! I was considering an MBA, but my fear is that most of the schools require (or at the very least, hint that they want) a solid professional work record -- which I don't have much of, sadly. I've had a few retail/coffee shop jobs here and there, though I was a supervisor. Better than nothing, but I'm not convinced that's what they're looking for.
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Re: M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2010, 08:03
Great job on your practice. That is a great score!
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Re: M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2012, 20:46
Does anyone have experience interviewing for the MSA program at SJSU?

I have an interview this week and I'm pretty nervous since interviewing is one of my greatest weakness. Any information about the

MSA interview, the types of questions, or application will be appreciated.

Thank you so much!! :)
Re: M.S. in Accounting for Non-Accounting Undergrads   [#permalink] 16 Mar 2012, 20:46
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