A baccalaureate 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 Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (Jabs) and acceptance to the university by the Division of Graduate Education after the recommendation for admission is reached by the College. 

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 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 about this special designation, please click here

 Applicants with Non-Accounting Bachelor Degrees

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.

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.

International Applicants

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.

Background Classes

Course Code Course Name
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**
BMGT 335 Management & Organization
BMIS 311 Information Systems
BMKT 325 Principles of Marketing
BFIN 322 Finance
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).


** 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).

Transfer Credits

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:

Priority Application Deadlines

The priority deadlines are important for students who wish to apply for graduate teaching assistantships and scholarships.

Starting term U.S. Applicants International Applicants
March 15
October 15
March 15
March 1
August 15
January 1

Application Deadlines

Starting term U.S. Applicants International Applicants
June 15
November 15
April 15
June 1
November 1
April 1

Application Process

Students interested in applying to the MPAc program must complete and submit an online 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)
  • GRE/GMAT scores are NOT required.
  • Three letters of recommendation. These letters should be confidential letters mailed directly by the writer to the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship's 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
  • English proficiency scores are required. For more inforamtion, please visit: https://www.montana.edu/gradschool/policy/admissions_intl.html

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.