About

Do you have your sights set on an accounting career? Are you interested in all aspects of a career in accounting and related fields?

The master of science in accounting (MSA) program at East Carolina University prepares you for an accounting career and for successful completion of the CPA exam. Students gain in-depth knowledge of auditing, taxation, financial accounting, cost accounting, and accounting systems, plus an overview of management in profit and nonprofit organizations. The MSA program integrates the content of the certified public accountant, certified internal auditor, and certified management accountant professional examinations.

Our MSA program is designed for both business and non-business undergraduates. It is completely self-contained, requiring no prerequisite business experience or course work for admission. We customize the program to fit each student based on past academic experience and future career goals. The program is very flexible; you can take between one to five classes each semester.

ECU Advantage

One unique aspect of ECU's MSA program is that students sit for the CPA exam in the last semester of the program. This gives our students a competitive advantage when applying for jobs after graduation. The pass rates for ECU MSAs has well exceeded the national averages for all four parts of the CPA exam with several top 25 national performances.

In addition, ECU's College of Business has been AACSB accredited since 1967. AACSB is the premier accrediting body for schools and colleges of business internationally.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Paul Russell (3203 Bate Building; 252-328-6970; russellp@ecu.edu)

The MSA degree program includes advanced study in business administration and provides for greater depth and breadth in professional courses in accounting than is possible in current undergraduate degree programs or master's in business administration programs. The MSA degree meets the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in North Carolina and most other states.

The MSA degree program requires between a minimum of 30 s.h. and a maximum of 45 s.h. and consists of three major components, the business core, the accounting evaluation, and the accounting breadth.

Courses required to fulfill the business core requirement are
  • ACCT 6221 - Principles of Accounting and Finance
  • ACCT 6231 - Principles of Business
One or both of the business core courses

may be waived if equivalent recent work of sufficient depth has been completed at a high performance level. Courses required to fulfill the accounting evaluation requirement are

  • ACCT 6621 - Intermediate Financial Accounting Theory
  • ACCT 6631 - Advanced Cost and Systems
  • ACCT 6641 - Advanced & Governmental Accounting
  • Note:

    Some or all of the accounting evaluation courses may be waived if equivalent recent work of sufficient depth has been completed at a high performance level.

    Undergraduate accounting majors must complete the following courses to fulfill the accounting breadth requirement:
    • ACCT 6611 - Auditing
    • ACCT 6701 - Regulation
    • ACCT 6891 - Federal Income Taxation
    • ACCT 6901 - Advanced Federal Taxation
    • ACCT 6951 - Auditing Seminar
    • ACCT 6981 - The Professional Accounting Environment
    • FINA 6604 - Financial Management II
    • 9 s.h. of accounting electives numbered 6300 or greater
    Undergraduate non-accounting majors must complete the following courses to fulfill the accounting breadth requirement:
    • ACCT 6611 - Auditing
    • ACCT 6701 - Regulation
    • ACCT 6891 - Federal Income Taxation
    • ACCT 6901 - Advanced Federal Taxation
    • ACCT 6951 - Auditing Seminar
    • ACCT 6981 - The Professional Accounting Environment
    • 9 s.h. of accounting electives numbered 6300 or greater
    For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

    Careers With This Degree

    Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

    • Accounting
    • Auditors
    • Budget Analysts
    • Credit Analysts
    • Financial Examiners
    • Tax Examiners, Collectors, and Revenue Agents
    • Business Teachers, Postsecondary
    • Business and Administrative Services
    • Finance and Insurance
    • Public Administration and Legal Services
    • Education and Training
    • Accounting

    Career Opportunities

    ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

    NC Tower

    This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

    • Self-employed;
    • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
    • Work outside of North Carolina.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

    This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

    Degree-specific internships

    For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.

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