Thank you for your interest in the Master of Professional Accountancy
program at Montana State University-Bozeman. Our website contains much of the
information you need to learn about the program. Also, please see the MPAc FAQs for the answers to the most frequently-asked questions. If you have additional questions, please contact email@example.com.
A special designation is available for non-degree graduate students (U.S. and International) to take courses to prepare for application to the MSU Master of Professional Accountancy Program. For more information, please click here.
History of Success
The Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) degree is designed to prepare students for professional careers in the field of accounting. When you enter our program, you will have the opportunity to work closely with our nationally-recognized accounting and business faculty, using state-of-the-art technology. With the assistance of the Director of the MPAc Program, students will formulate a graduate program that will integrate their educational background, areas of interest and career path.
Our accounting program has a long history of success. MSU accounting students consistently have a first time pass rate on the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensing exam that is three to four times the national average. During the past twenty-five years, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy has often included our program among the top ten in the nation for our students' CPA pass rate. As a result of this success and our students' high placement rate upon graduation, our program has grown significantly during the past few years and now enrolls approximately 50 MPAc students each semester.
This emphasis on excellence has created a strong
demand for our accounting graduates. Companies from most states in the
western United States recruit on campus.
Our graduates are employed by international public accounting firms,
regional and local public accounting firms, corporations, and federal and state government entities.
Mission & Goals
The mission of the Master of Professional Accountancy program is to prepare students for professional careers in accounting. Candidates for the degree will build on the broad general and business education obtained at the undergraduate level to gain more advanced competencies in the practice and theory of financial accounting, auditing, taxation, law, and other business and professional areas. Students will also be introduced to research methods and resources used by accounting professionals. Goals include:
- To produce graduates who will have long-term success in their accounting careers.
- To prepare our graduates to meet the educational requirements recommended by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
- To provide our students with access to professional opportunities through career placement services.
degree in accounting from an accredited college or university provides
the best foundation for this program. Students who have
undergraduate course deficiencies may be provisionally admitted while
attending to subject matter deficiencies.
Admission to the program requires a review of the individual's complete set of application materials by the College of Business
and acceptance to the university by the Division of Graduate Education after the recommendation
for admission is reached by the College of Business. For details
on admission requirements for applicants who do not have a baccalaureate
degree in accounting, see below.
For a list of the materials needed to complete your application, see below.
A worksheet with the required background courses for admission is available here.
All students meet with the the MPAc Director during their first semester of graduate study. This conference is intended to assist the student in formulating a graduate program that integrates the student's background and areas of interest, and in completing the student's required Program of Study form.
The master's program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of acceptable course work beyond a bachelor's degree. A minimum of 21 credits of course work must be taken on campus at Montana State University-Bozeman. The number of required credit hours may vary, depending on prior course work. Students with a degree in accounting generally complete their course work in one full year (two or three semesters).
The following six graduate classes, totalling 18 credits, are required:
|ACTG 521||Advanced Auditing|
|ACTG 525||Accounting Theory & Complex Issues in Accounting|
|ACTG 526||Advanced Taxation|
|ACTG 528||Legal Issues for Accountants|
|ACTG 529||Survey of Research in Accounting|
|ACTG 536||Advanced Accounting|
In addition, students are required to complete 12 semester credit hours of approved electives in accounting and business; consideration is given to 400/500 level courses in: accounting, agricultural economics, computer science, economics, finance, industrial & management engineering, management, marketing, psychology, and statistics.
Accounting Electives (recently offered*):
|ACTG 514||Fraud Examination|
|ACTG 515||Professional Services Management|
|ACTG 524||International Accounting|
|ACTG 527||Estate and Gift Taxation|
|ACTG 530||Tax Research and Planning|
|ACTG 531||Tax Practicum|
|ACTG 532||Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting II|
*Specific electives offered may vary from year to year
A worksheet with the required MPAc courses and possible electives is available here.
Students are required to achieve at least a 3.0 GPA each semester and maintain at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at all times while in the Master of Professional Accountancy program. Additionally, students with provisional admittances will be required to adhere to the provisions of their admittance.
In addition to meeting the requirements listed above, applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in accounting may have to complete additional course work. Depending on the number of background courses to be taken, a student may have to remain in non-degree graduate status until the background course work is completed. Note that while in non-degree graduate student status, you are not eligible for financial aid. Completion of the background courses does not guarantee admission into the MPAc program.
A special designation is available for non-degree graduate students wishing to take courses to prepare for application to the MSU Master of Professional Accountancy Program. For more information, please click here.
The requirements listed below assume no prior background in business or accounting. An applicant with a degree in a business area other than accounting may have fulfilled several of the courses. The MPAc Advisory Council will assess the applicant's transcript and determine which background courses have been fulfilled. An applicant with a non-business degree must be within 15 credits of completing all of the required background courses before he or she will be considered for admission into the MPAc program. Note that there may be additional courses in economics, statistics, and business software applications required to satisfy the pre-requisites for the background business courses.
We welcome applications from students who have completed their undergraduate accounting and business courses outside the United States (international applicants). In addition to the admission requirements listed above, international applicants will generally be required to complete the undergraduate accounting and general business background courses listed below. International applicants initially should apply to MSU as non-degree graduate students and enroll in the required background courses. Applicants from non-English speaking countries must also satisfy the English Proficiency Exam requirement. The MPAc Advisory Council will review transcripts of international applicants with accounting or business undergraduate degrees to determine if any of the background business course requirements have been fulfilled.
|ACTG 201||Principles of Fin Acct|
|ACTG 202||Managerial Accounting|
|ACTG 223||Principles of Accounting II|
|ACTG 321||Acct Information Systems I|
|ACTG 327||Intermediate Fin Acct & Reporting I|
|ACTG 328||Intermediate Fin Acct & Reporting II|
|ACTG 401||Principles of Fed Tax-Ind*|
|ACTG 410||Cost/Mgmt Acct I*|
|ACTG 411||Auditing I*|
|ACTG 415||Government & Nonprofit Acct I*|
|BUS 301/BMGT 335||Management & Organization|
|BUS 311/BMIS 311||Information Systems|
|BUS 341/BMKT 325||Principles of Marketing|
|BUS 361/BGEN 361||Introduction to Law|
* Nine credits of these four 400-level accounting courses may be used as elective credit for the MPAc program. Non-degree graduate students completing these background courses prior to applying for admission to the MPAc program must earn a grade of "B" or higher for these credits to count toward the MPAc degree ("B-" will not count).
A worksheet with the required background courses is avalable here.
Length of Program
Students with an undergraduate degree in accounting generally complete the MPAc program in one full year (two or three semesters).
Students having an undergraduate degree in business, but not accounting, must complete course work equivalent to that for an undergraduate accounting degree at Montana State University, which averages approximately 3 semesters of additional study.
Students with an undergraduate degree in a non-business area must complete a common body of knowledge in business courses (finance, information systems, law, management, and marketing) in addition to the undergraduate accounting courses, which averages approximately 2.5 years of additional study.
A maximum of nine
(9) graduate credits taken at another accredited four-year
college or university may be transferred and accepted toward a degree at
Montana State University. For further details, please consult the Graduate School:
Nine (9) to fifteen (15) semester credits is considered a full graduate load for a student in the Master of Professional Accountancy program.
|Starting term||U.S. Applicants||International Applicants|
Applications for fall will be accepted until June 15 (June 1 for international applicants); for spring until November 15 (November 1 for international applicants); and for summer April 15 (April 1 for international applications). The priority deadlines are important for students who wish to apply for graduate teaching assistantships and scholarships.
Students interested in applying to the MPAc program must complete and submit either an online or paper Application for Graduate Admission.
The following documents are required in order for your application to be considered complete and eligible for review:
- Application and application fee
- Official transcripts from each university attended (MSU transcripts past 1988 need not be submitted)
- Official entrance exam scores (GRE or GMAT)
- Three letters of recommendation. These letters should be confidential letters mailed directly by the writer to the College of Business Office of Student Services. Letters should be written by people who are able to judge your ability to succeed in graduate school, e.g., your undergraduate accounting professors, a CPA who served as your supervisor during an internship, other faculty. Please do not ask for letters of recommendation from family members, friends, roommates, etc.
- One page essay about your motivations for entering the program
- International students must also submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores, financial certificate with supporting documents, and degree certificates.
Return paper application materials to:
Office of Student Services
College of Business
338 Reid Hall
P.O. Box 173040
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3040
The professional program in accountancy is a selective program with a limited number of openings available to qualified students. The MPAc Advisory Council will admit those students whose previous academic performance and/or work experience indicate a desire and ability to excel. Test scores and records of academic performance (with close scrutiny of grades earned in 300 & 400-level accounting courses) are evaluated individually in the admissions procedure. Of equal importance, however, are the applicant's personal qualifications, accomplishments and letters of recommendation. The applicant's entire file is reviewed in order to ensure the admission of those with the highest aptitude, motivation and qualifications.
For priority consideration, your complete application package must be received by the deadlines noted above. Applications received after the priority consideration deadline may be considered, depending on a variety of factors. Contact the MPAc Director immediately to determine if circumstances will permit consideration of your late application.
The College of
Business offers scholarships for graduate students. Application is made during the month of November only and is an
electronic application (no paper copy). Students who wish to be
considered for a scholarship should contact
Halina Rickman in the Dean's office.
A limited number of graduate teaching assistantships are also available to fully admitted graduate students and are awarded on a competitive basis.
Graduate teaching assistantship positions may be for one or two semesters. Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) provide teaching support to faculty and tutoring services for students. In exchange, the GTAs receive a partial tuition waiver and a small monthly stipend.
International students: please read about the Financial Certificate.
For more details on financial aid, please see Financial Aid Services homepage.
- MPAc Frequently Asked Questions
- Division of Graduate Education
- Office of International Programs
- College of Business