Our Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program opens up an exciting new opportunity in accounting and provides a fast track to prepare for some of the most prestigious credentials in the profession.
Our MSA program provides students with advanced knowledge and techniques to pursue professional careers in public and private accounting. MSA students develop skills necessary to solve accounting problems that are of contemporary relevance to the fields of accounting, finance and other business areas.
The program is designed to create additional employment opportunities and promote the career success of our graduates. Career options for graduates will include positions in public accounting, such as external auditors, tax preparers and consultants, as well as in private accounting roles such as internal auditors, controllers, chief financial officers and financial analysts. Positions in the public sector also contribute to high demand for a graduate degree in accounting, both on the federal and local levels.
Enrolling in the MSA program at AUS will increase significantly the likelihood of passing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Our program prepares students to meet the current 150-semester-hour education requirement to be licensed as a CPA in all of the US states and territories. The CPA exam is currently offered in the UAE without having to travel to the USA. Several of our faculty members are licensed CPAs and are very familiar with both the content of the CPA exam and the procedures to register and qualify as a licensed CPA. Our curriculum is designed to help students to pass the CPA exam and obtain theoretical as well as practical experience in accounting and auditing.
For further details, contact [email protected].
Find our program brochure here.
Students in the MSA program receive personalized and continuous guidance from their advisors. SBA’s Graduate Program Office and Department of Accounting help our MSA students make course selections in keeping with their career interests and help plan their schedules.
Graduate student employment provides an opportunity to assist faculty members with course administration, research and other activities. Students may work up to 20 hours per week and are paid on an hourly basis.
A limited number of graduate research assistantships (GRAs) are also available on a competitive basis. Recipients of these awards receive full or partial tuition payment and/or a stipend payment in return for assisting a faculty member with a research project in the student's area of interest.
The outreach efforts of SBA are focused on building networks with companies that support AUS programs and provide job opportunities for our graduates. Requests from employers are passed along to students and graduates with the appropriate qualifications.
What are our admission and program requirements? What courses are taught in our program? For more information on program requirements and course descriptions, please check our online catalogs.
The Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree program is offered by the Department of Accounting.
The MSA degree program is designed to provide students with knowledge and preparation to pursue professional careers in public and private accounting; develop skills necessary to solve accounting problems that are of contemporary relevance and more challenging in the fields of accounting, finance and other business areas; and teach the required technical and nontechnical accounting competencies. Although pre-class readings and in-class lectures remain essential for presenting key accounting theories and concepts, the reinforcement and assessment methods are oriented toward experiential exercises that require the students to apply the material to real-life cases. Thus, the degree program makes extensive use of case studies, individual and team projects and other “real-world” opportunities to use the material covered.
The MSA degree program creates additional employment opportunities and promotes the career success of our graduates. Career options for graduates will include positions in public
accounting such as auditors, controllers, financial analysts and management consultants. This degree program will allow students to meet the current 150- semester-hour education requirement to take the certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination in most US states. The objective of the MSA degree program is to give our students an edge in passing the CPA exam and to prepare them for careers in professional accountancy. Courses in the MSA degree program will strengthen students’ competencies in business in general and accounting in
This knowledge is needed to achieve professional certifications such as CPA, CMA, CFE and CIA qualifications expected of top professionals in the accounting field. The Big Four accounting firms in the region and other top employers will hire graduates from the MSA degree program particularly because of its solid auditing/assurance component.
MSA graduates will have achieved the following goals:
• proficiency in the core knowledge required to pursue careers in private and public
• mastery of the knowledge required to pass the CPA exam
• ability to solve challenging accounting problems that are of contemporary relevance in finance and other business areas
• development of the accounting skills needed to facilitate career advancement in business or pursuit of further advanced study in accounting
• professional sophistication required to manage business complexities using leadership and critical-thinking skills
• development of technical and nontechnical accounting competencies
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon graduation from the MSA degree program, students will be able to:
• demonstrate advanced knowledge of financial statements, regulations, auditing standards and procedures, standards of ethical conduct and their applications
• critically assess the financial, ethical and social implications of selecting various accounting policies to support decisions made by internal and external user of accounting information
• integrate accounting skills and knowledge to resolve current complex accounting issues
• implement judgment in selecting financial reporting standards in relation to a set of financial statements
• apply appropriate professional skepticism in evaluating financial assertions
• critique technical accounting concepts in written and oral form
• apply research skills and knowledge to identify, examine, analyze and construct solutions to accounting and market-based accounting issues Admission Requirements
Applicants to the MSA degree program must meet the general university requirements for graduate admission.
Applicants who lack the necessary prerequisite knowledge in accounting may be required to
complete accounting bridging courses prior to matriculating in the major.
Students admitted to the MSA degree program may be required to successfully complete a maximum of nine credit hours in accounting bridging courses that serve as prerequisites to the MSA degree requirements. The number of bridging courses required will normally depend on courses completed by the student as an undergraduate and is determined by the program at the time of admission. Bridging courses do not generate credit hours towards completion of the degree program graduation requirements. Students required to complete bridging courses are normally not eligible to register for degree program courses prior to successful completion of these courses. For further details, refer to Bridging Courses in Registration and Course Information within the Academic Policies and Regulations section earlier in this catalog. Bridging courses may be waived when the waiver policy requirements are met. Matriculation into the major requires successful completion or waiver of the bridging courses.
Bridging Courses (9 credit hours)
• ACC 510 Financial Accounting for Managers
• ACC 520 Managerial Accounting
• ACC 530 Auditing for Managers
Students may qualify to waive any or all of the bridging courses. In general, course may be waived if the student has completed comparable course work at the undergraduate or master’s levels. Waivers are evaluated by the Head of the Department of Accounting at the time of admission.
For more information, consult the Course Waiver in the Admission to Graduate Studies section earlier in this catalog. Accelerated Master’s Program - AUS Undergraduate Students
AUS undergraduate degree seeking students interested in pursuing an MSA degree may register for a maximum of six credit hours from MSA courses while completing their undergraduate degree program by seeking acceptance to the Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) of the MSA degree program. The master’s level courses may be counted towards meeting the graduation requirements for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
To qualify for acceptance to the AMP, students must satisfy the following requirements at AMP
• be enrolled in the accounting major
• have earned a minimum of 90 credit hours (excluding credit hours earned in Achievement Academy/Bridge Program courses and preparatory courses)
• have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50
• have successfully completed the following courses:
- ACC 302 Intermediate Financial Accounting II
- ACC 303 Cost Accounting
For further details on the AMP, refer to Accelerated Master’s Program in the Academic Policies and Regulations ection of the AUS Undergraduate Catalog. For the list of MSA courses available to AMP students, consult the Course Descriptions section of this catalog. Course prerequisites and background requirements must be met.
MSA courses are offered in the evenings, with classes typically beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending at 9:00 p.m.
To be awarded an MSA degree, students must successfully complete 30 credit hours in MSA core courses and electives as follows:
• 18 credit hours in core courses
• a minimum of six credit hours in ACC elective courses
• a zero-credit-hour seminar
• six credit hours in Professional Research Project
Students must complete the degree requirements within five years from the time of initial enrollment in the program. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 is required.
Graduation residence requirements must be met. For more information, refer to Graduation Requirements in the Academic Policies and Regulations section earlier in this catalog.
Required Courses (24 credit hours)
Core Courses Requirement
(18 credit hours)
Students must successfully complete 18 credit hours in core courses:
• ACC 610 Topics in Financial Accounting
• ACC 611 Auditing and Attestation
• ACC 612 Advanced Topics in Managerial and Cost Accounting
• ACC 614 Regulatory Environment in Accounting
• ACC 615 Enterprise Database Systems and Analytics
• ACC 616 Advanced Topics in Financial Reporting
• ACC 695 Seminar
Professional Research Project
(6 credit hours)
• ACC 699 Professional Research Project (6 credit hours)
Elective Courses (minimum of 6 credit hours)
Students must successfully complete two accounting (ACC) elective courses (for a minimum of six credit hours) selected from the following:
• ACC 620 Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination
• ACC 622 Internal Auditing
• ACC 623 Financial Statement Reporting and Analysis
• ACC 628 Fraudulent Financial Reporting
• ACC 694 approved special topic ACC courses.
Consult the online course catalog or the online class schedule accessible via the AUS student information system to verify course classifications.
The Department of Accounting provides academic and career advising to MSA students through the head of the department. Department of Accounting faculty teaching in the MSA
program may also advise continuing students.
A student must complete his/her master’s thesis under the direct supervision and guidance of a principal advisor. This principal advisor serves as the chair of the student’s examining
committee. The committee also includes two additional faculty members. One of the additional faculty members must be selected from outside the program. The committee could also
include one co-advisor or more. A complete guide for preparing the master’s thesis/professional project is given in the graduate Studies Policies and Procedures document available on iLearn and accessible using the following path: iLearn-Community- Graduate Studies-Graduate Studies Policies and
For registration details, please refer to Master’s Thesis, Professional Project and Dissertation under the Academic Policies and Regulations section of the AUS Graduate Catalog.
General University Requirements for Graduate Admission
Master’s Degree Programs
For full admission to a graduate program at AUS, an applicant must meet the general university admission requirements detailed in the sections below. Some degree programs may require additional specific admissions requirements. For details, please refer to the relevant degree program section of this catalog.
Applicants to a master’s degree program must:
• hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an independently accredited university recognized by the UAE Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Affairs Division and by
AUS. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree obtained outside the UAE must submit an equivalency of their degree from
• the UAE Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Affairs Division.
• have attained a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.00 (on a scale of 4.00) or its equivalent
• have attained a minimum iBT score of 80 or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (Academic Version) or a minimum EmSAT (Achieve English) score of 1550 Conditional Admission
Applicants to a master’s degree program, holding a four-year bachelor’s degree from an independently accredited university recognized by the UAE Ministry of Education’s Higher
Education Affairs Division and by AUS, but who otherwise do not meet the general university requirements for full admission to a master’s degree, may be granted conditional admission,
provided one of the following requirements is met:
• the applicant has achieved a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.00 (on a scale of 4.00) or its equivalent, and an iBT score of less than 80 but greater or equal to 71, or an IELTS score (Academic Version) less than 6.5 but greater or equal to 6.0, or an EmSAT (Achieve English) score less than 1550 but greater or equal to 1400
• the applicant has achieved an undergraduate cumulative GPA less than 3.00 but greater or equal to 2.50, and have attained a minimum iBT score of 71 or a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (Academic Version) or a minimum EmSAT (Achieve English) score of 1400
Note: The MBA and MATESOL degree programs require a minimum Internet-Based TOEFL score of 80 or a minimum IELTS (Academic Version) score of 6.5 or a minimum EmSAT
(Achieve English) score of 1550.
Conditional admission to these two degree programs may only be granted accordingly. Conditional admission applicants may be required to meet additional requirements as specified by their requested master’s degree program. Applicants should consult the relevant master’s degree program section of this catalog.
Achieving Full Admission Status
To be accorded full admission into their master’s degree program, conditional admission students must satisfy the following requirements and any other conditions imposed by the
• Students who did not meet the minimum English language proficiency scores for full admission must achieve, before the beginning of the second semester of study, the
• required minimum scores.
• Students who did not meet the minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA required for full admission must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 in the first two graduate-
• courses (for a minimum of six credit hours). Remedial/bridging courses do not satisfy this requirement. (For details on remedial/bridging courses, refer to Bridging Courses in Registration and Course Information within the Academic Policies and Regulations section later in this catalog.)
Courses must be completed over a maximum period of two consecutive semesters, with the summer term considered as a semester. Students who fail to meet this requirement by the
conclusion of the second semester of study may petition the Office of Enrollment Management/Graduate Admissions for an extension of one semester/term. Petitions must be
submitted for the semester/term immediately following the completion of the first six credit hours of graduate-level courses.
Extensions are granted only in exceptional circumstances.
Students granted an extension of one semester/term are not eligible for further extensions. If the above provisions and additional specific conditions imposed by the master’s degree
program are not met, the student will not be allowed to continue master’s degree studies at AUS. Conditionally admitted students are not eligible to register for more than two graduate-level courses (a maximum of six credit hours) per semester. Further details on student’s course load are provided in Student Course Load under the Academic Policies and Regulations section later in this catalog.