Jul 11, 2020  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Professional Accountancy

The Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAcc) develops in-depth competence of accounting skills and practices within a student’s chosen concentration; taxation, fraud and forensic audit, or accounting. It emphasizes the development of written and oral communication skills, teamwork and critical thinking skills, and provides a sound understanding of the legal and regulatory environments. The goal of this program is to prepare students for professional leadership positions.

The pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning is the department’s primary purpose. Intellectual contributions in accounting and related fields that enhance teaching and learning and contribute to scholarship through both applied research and other avenues of professional development are secondary though fundamental to the mission of the department. Service to MSU Denver, the accounting profession, and the community and society in general is a secondary albeit fundamental component of the MSU Denver Accounting Department’s mission.

The department is committed to ethical values, continuous improvement and mutual respect within a diverse campus community.

Master of Professional Accountancy Candidate Requirements

This program will benefit students by providing them an additional thirty credit hours of in-depth specialized accounting skills and knowledge. The program has a professional practice orientation with research and writing threaded through all courses. Technology and information system applications will be pervasive. The program will be research based, writing intensive, technologically oriented, and contain service learning components. Providing our students with a quality master’s level curriculum will prepare them for the additional requirements and expectations of the profession.

Departmental Learning Goals

Upon completion of the degree, MPAcc students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. competencies of accounting skills and practices, within their concentration, including a sound understanding of the legal and regulatory environments,
  2. written and oral communication skills,
  3. teamwork,
  4. critical thinking skills, and
  5. leadership.

The program is research-based, writing intensive, and technologically oriented; it also contains service learning components. No thesis is necessary. Students may participate in either a service learning course or an internship to expose them to actual professional practice.

The MPAcc requires 30 credit hours of master’s level (5000 and 6000 level) accounting courses. A student will choose from among three concentrations of study: (a) taxation, (b) fraud examination and forensic auditing, and (c) accounting. Students interested in becoming Certified Public Accountants (CPA) should be aware that they must take at least three hours of auditing course work. A minimum of 21 semester hours of business courses, in addition to 27 semester hours of accounting, are necessary for the CPA examination in Colorado. The business courses are not necessary for the MPAcc degree and may have been completed within an undergraduate business and/or accounting degree program.

To earn the MPAcc degree, a student must successfully complete 21 or more credit hours of course work at MSU Denver. A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained at all times while enrolled in the MPAcc program.

1. Degree Seeking Admission Policies and Procedures

Options: Students may enter the program at one of two levels: as a current MSU Denver undergraduate (3+2 program) or as a post-baccalaureate student (4+1 program).

1. Admission Policy for the 4+1 program: Requirements include holding a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university or college. Admission is competitive and designed to identify those applicants who have the ability, interest, and maturity to manage the rigors of the MPAcc, as well as potential for future professional growth. The graduate program coordinator, in consultation with the MPAcc admissions committee, will consider all aspects of an applicant’s background.

Students are expected to complete prerequisite courses for the graduate program courses, as needed.

2. Admission Policy for the 3+2 program: Currently matriculating MSU Denver undergraduate students may apply to the master’s program during the second semester of their junior year, after completion of at least Accounting Information Systems (ACC 3300), Intermediate Accounting I (ACC 3510), and Income Taxation (ACC 3090).

Once admitted, a student may enroll in undergraduate and graduate courses – subject to prerequisite limitations.

Until they accumulate 132 total credit hours, 3+2 students will be classified as undergraduates for financial aid, tuition, and COF purposes (COF applies to courses numbered 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 only). No more than 6 credit hours of master's level courses may count toward an undergraduate degree for students in the 3+2 program. Upon successful completion of the joint programs, the student may receive both degrees, B.S. and MPAcc, during commencement.

Required Admissions Documentation: Either 1, 2, or 3 below; Plus Additional Documentation (a-e)

1. GMAT and GPA

  • GMAT. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score. The GRE cannot be substituted. Official scores can be requested from GMAT for up to 10 years. Contact the GMAC for information: www.gmac.org.
  • GPA. No minimum GPA is required, however past experience indicates that a 3.0 GPA in the highest degree awarded, or better, is the common threshold for successful master’s students.
  • Index. The index is calculated based on the GMAT score + (200 x GPA) in the highest degree awarded. The index may be calculated two ways: (1) regular full GPA from all courses completed from the degree, or (2) GPA from the last 60 semester hours completed.
    • A calculated index of 1200 or more provides automatic admission to the program.
    • Scores between 1000 and 1200 qualify students’ applications for consideration for admission.
    • An index score below 1000 will disqualify the application for consideration for admission.

2. CPA (or other approved professional examination) and GPA

  • CPA. Successfully pass the CPA examination.
  • GPA. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required in the highest degree awarded. Past experience indicates that a 3.0 GPA, or better, is the common threshold for successful master’s students. A GPA of 3.5 or higher qualifies a student for automatic admission to the program. A GPA between 3.0 and 3.5 qualifies a student for consideration for admission.


3. Previous Business Graduate Degree and GPA

  • Business Graduate Degree. Successfully complete a business graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. 
  • GPA. A minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 is required. Past experience indicates that a 3.0 GPA, or better, is the common threshold for successful master’s students. A GPA of 3.5 or higher qualifies a student for automatic admission to the program. A GPA between 3.0 and 3.5 qualifies a student for consideration for admission.

Plus Additional Documentation (for all applicants):

  1. Three references. Do not submit reference letters. Provide names and contact information for individuals (supervisors and/or professors) who can offer evidence of your abilities to complete graduate level course work. For example, individuals who can address your abilities in decision-making, critical reasoning, ethics, and communications should be considered.
  2. Brief Essay. Provide a personal statement concerning your goals and objectives in pursuing the MPAcc degree. This essay, letter, or statement should amplify your intentions and how you fit the profile of an accounting master’s student and how this graduate education will assist you in life. You may wish to include examples of leadership, strengths, and unique characteristics about yourself.
  3. Official Transcripts. All undergraduate and graduate coursework must be reported via official transcripts. Foreign transcripts must also have an official English translation done by a certified translator (if applicable), and a professional course-by-course evaluation showing equivalency to a U.S. Bachelor’s degree.  World Education Services (www.wes.org) or Education Credential Evaluators (www.ece.org) are recommended professional transcript evaluation service providers.  Up to 9 semester hours of graduate level courses from an AACSB-accredited college or university may be transferred with the permission of the MPAcc coordinator. The transfer courses must be accounting, taxation, law or fraud-related.
  4. Current Detailed Resume. Please include work experience with start and end dates (month and year) for each position held, and indicate full-time or part time. Brevity is not necessary.
  5. Official Application to Metropolitan State University of Denver and application fee.

Admission with conditions: The department may admit students on a conditional basis. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, instances when index scores are below the minimum for automatic admission. Applicants who will be completing their undergraduate degree or prerequisite coursework at another institution of higher education need to have all official transcripts sent to the college by the application deadline. If, due to the timing of application deadlines, official transcripts related to completion of this work are not yet available, applicants must sign the Acknowledgement form related to conditions under which they would be enrolling. Submission of a final, complete transcript is required prior to registration for a subsequent semester in the MPAcc program. It is the student’s responsibility to provide this information by the expected date.

Consultation with MPAcc coordinator: All students accepted for admission to the program must have an advising session with the coordinator to develop a plan of study. Registration for courses cannot occur without an approved plan of study.

Additional Application Requirements for International Applicants:

International students must:

  • complete all of the same requirements as domestic students, as well as a separate application form, which may be found on the Office of Admissions website, www.msudenver.edu/admissions/internationalstudents;
  • have achieved a minimum TOEFL score of 540 (or a score of 76 on the Internet version of the TOEFEL);
  • submit the required immigration documents for issuance of an I-20.

2. Non-Degree Seeking Admission Policies and Procedures

Non-Degree Admission: Students may be admitted to the program with a non-degree seeking status. Refer to the non-degree admissions policies and procedures for specific information.

Before applying for Non-Degree MPAcc admission, please read the information below to ensure that you are qualified to apply. Please contact the accounting graduate program office at 303-556-6895 if you have questions concerning non-degree admission.

Enrollment as a non-degree seeking student is limited to the following categories:

  1. Individuals who have completed a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited institution and whose cumulative undergraduate GPA, or whose GPA from the last 60 hours completed, is 3.0 or higher will be considered on a space available basis. Applicants need not have taken the GMAT test. 
  2. Individuals who are currently admitted to a graduate program at another regionally accredited business school who wish to take a limited number of classes at Metropolitan State University of Denver will be considered on a space available basis.
  3. Individuals who have completed a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited institution and who have passed an approved professional examination, who wish to take graduate accounting courses for professional reasons will be considered on a space available basis.

Applicants in these categories must submit the following:

  • Graduate application and application fee (check non-degree option),
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended, 
  • Current detailed resume, 
  • For category 2 above, proof of admission to a graduate program, and
  • For category 3 above, proof of successful completion of the professional exam.

Important Information for Non-Degree Seeking Students

  • Graduate tuition applies for all graduate courses taken as a non-degree student. Information about tuition rates and payment deadlines is available on MSU Denver’s web site.
  • Students admitted as non-degree seeking are not eligible for graduate level financial aid.
  • Students are held responsible, both academically and financially, for any class in which they enroll. Failure to withdraw from any class, regardless of attendance, results in a grade of “F”. Students remain liable for tuition and fees.
  • All grading policies for degree-seeking students also apply to non-degree seeking students.
  • Students who were previously enrolled in, or who have previously been denied admission to, the graduate degree program in the MPAcc at MSU Denver are not eligible for non-degree status.
  • Non-degree seeking students are limited to taking a maximum of 9 credit hours in total. Registration holds will be placed on non-degree seeking students’ accounts each term to facilitate monitoring of total credit hours.
  • Non-degree seeking students can change their status by fully complying with the degree-seeking admission requirements and submitting another application and fee.

Non-Degree Enrollment Procedures

  • The MPAcc coordinator determines an applicant's eligibility to take graduate courses once all application materials have been received. Incomplete or late applications are not processed.
  • Eligible applicants are admitted to a course on a space available basis only as long as any prerequisites have been met or with permission of the graduate coordinator and/or the instructor. Priority is given to degree-seeking students of the MPAcc program.

Program Information

This program includes a set of core, required courses in accounting and a concentration in of one of three areas within the discipline. In consultation with the MPAcc coordinator, students choose an area of concentration in taxation, fraud examination and forensic auditing, or accounting. Each concentration develops the students competency in that area while continuing to focus on the core attributes developed in the required courses. Each concentration requires a minimum of 18 credit hours.

  Requirement Semester Hours  
  Accounting Core 12  
  Concentration 18  
  Total (minimum) hours for MPAcc 30  


Accounting Core

The core coursework lays the professional accounting foundation, which includes written and oral communication skills, critical thinking skills, ethics, leadership, and teamwork.

Required Courses

Fraud Examination and Forensic Accounting Concentration

Required Courses