Sep 26, 2023  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Professional Accountancy

The Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAcc) program develops an in-depth competency in accounting skills and practices within each student’s chosen interest: public accounting, internal audit, fraud examination and forensic accounting, and taxation.

By providing a quality graduate-level curriculum, we prepare students for the intense, demanding requirements and expectations of the accounting profession. Courses in the MPAcc program are research based, writing intensive, and emphasize leadership and teamwork. No thesis is necessary.  Students also participate in a service-learning course or an internship to expose them to professional practice.

AACSB Accreditation

In addition to the distinction of being the value leader in the Denver metro area, the MSU Denver MPAcc program is accredited as part of the MSU Denver College of Business’s AACSB accreditation. AACSB is world-recognized as the leading accreditor of colleges and schools of business. Less than 5% of all business programs worldwide have earned the prestige of AACSB accreditation.

Program Goals

Graduate students will attain the skills and knowledge necessary for a potential career in an accounting leadership position or role.   Graduate students will be able to make a meaningful contribution to professional practice through ethical leadership, effective communication, and applied research.  Graduates will exercise the professional skepticism and judgment necessary to make and communicate effective strategic decisions in a range of business environments.

Program Learning Outcomes

Accounting Competency

Graduate accounting students will apply appropriate accounting frameworks and knowledge in the areas of financial accounting, management accounting, taxation, and audit.  Additionally, students will exercise professional judgment and skepticism in solving complex accounting problems.

  1. Analyze and evaluate financial and non-financial information prepared under alternative external frameworks/standards/bases/principles/methods, including potential changes in external reporting requirements. 
  2. Formulate organizational strategy by identifying and comparing relevant quantitative and qualitative information (e.g., cash management, capital investment analysis, product emphasis, and customer profitability) to support the organization’s strategic and operating goals.

Applied Accounting Research and Technology

Graduate accounting students will competently perform relevant policy and/or practice-oriented research. Additionally, students will be technologically agile in using current technologies to formulate, analyze, and develop solutions to accounting-related problems and projects.

  1. Design and professionally complete applied accounting research studies using various methodologies and technologies, distinguishing the level of quality and sufficiency of information in reaching a research conclusion. 
  2. Apply data analytical techniques to the solution of real world accounting problems, communicate findings, and effectively present results using data visualization tools.

Professional Accounting Communication

Graduate accounting students will professionally communicate accounting information.

  1. Communicate orally in a professional manner by applying appropriate content, form, and media to enhance understandability and usefulness of communication for diverse situations and various internal and external audiences. 
  2. Prepare professional written forms of communications, applying appropriate content, form, and media to enhance understandability and usefulness of communication for diverse situations and various internal and external audiences.

Ethical Leadership 

Graduate accounting students will recognize and analyze ethical issues in accounting and business practice.

  1. Evaluate scholarly and professional ethical dilemmas, using ethical reasoning processes, to formulate or recommend appropriate actions or outcomes. 

MPAcc Program Admission

Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in any discipline may apply. All admission decisions will be made by the MPAcc admissions committee based on evaluation of the following materials:

  • Minimum index score of 1,000
  • GMAT unless waived
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Personal essay
  • Resume
  • Completed application and fee
  • Three professional or academic references

Dual Degree Program (3 + 2 Program)

Elite undergraduates of Metropolitan State University’s College of Business may simultaneously obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree through the dual degree (3+2) program.  Once admitted, a student may enroll in undergraduate and graduate courses. To apply for this program students must meet the following additional requirements:

  • Completion of at least 75 credits
  • Completion of Intermediate Accounting I (ACC 3510) and another upper division accounting course
  • Two faculty recommendation letters

Index Score

The index score is comprised of the student’s GPA and GMAT exam score and is calculated using the formula [(200 x GPA) + GMAT score].   MSU considers the better of the student’s cumulative or “last 60 hours completed” GPA to calculate a student’s score.  

  • A calculated index score of 1200 or more qualifies a student for automatic admission to the program.
  • Index scores between 1000 and 1199 qualify students’ applications for consideration for admission.
  • An index score below 1000 will disqualify the application for consideration for admission.

GMAT Waivers

For all candidates, the GMAT and index score requirements may be waived under the following circumstances: 

  • Bachelor’s degree, an overall GPA of 3.25, PLUS an accounting GPA of 3.5.
  • Professional Licensure or Certification (such as CPA) with an overall GPA of 3.0.
  • Previous Graduate Degree from an accredited institution with an overall GPA of 3.0

Personal Essay

The personal statement essay is a critical part of a student’s admission application and will be the basis for evaluation of a student’s writing skills, capacity for self-awareness, and personal growth. The maximum length of the essay should be no more than five pages (12 point font, double spaced, title page does not count towards page limit). Essays should follow APA style. 

The essay should address: (a) the significant factors influencing a student’s decision to pursue a Master of Professional Accountancy degree; (b) the student’s personal philosophy, values, and professional experiences; (c) the student’s career plans and focus in the field of accounting; (d) the student’s strengths, unique characteristics, and leadership experiences that are relevant to the accounting profession; (e) a time a student was given critical feedback and the student’s reaction; (f) why the student believes MSU Denver’s MPAcc program is best suited for his or her educational and professional goals; (g) how the student will manage the rigorous demands of graduate education and; (h) optional: anything additional the student wishes the Admissions Committee to know.

Conditional Admission

The department may admit students on a conditional basis. Applicants must sign the acknowledgement form related to conditions under which they would be enrolling. It is the student’s responsibility to meet the conditions of his or her admission.

Consultation with MPAcc Program Coordinator

All students accepted for admission to the program must have an advising session with the coordinator to develop a plan of study.

Non-Degree-Seeking Students

Non-degree seeking students have the option to take up to 9 credit hours of coursework on a space available basis. Non-degree seeking students eligible to enroll in MPAcc courses include:

  • Students with a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited college or university with a GPA ≥ 3.0 (cumulative or last 60 hours);
  • Students with a bachelor’s degree and approved professional examination or licensure;
  • Students currently admitted to a graduate business program at another regionally accredited college or university; and
  • Students with a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited college or university with an admissions index score >1,000.
Non-degree seeking students in the above categories must submit the following:
  • Completed graduate application with application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended
  • Current resume
  • If applicable, official proof of successful completion of the professional exam or licensure
  • If applicable, proof of admission to a graduate business program at another regionally accredited college or university.

Students currently admitted to another graduate program at Metropolitan State University of Denver may take a limited number of MPAcc courses to fulfill their degree requirements. Applicants in this category must submit a letter from their dean or academic advisor stating that they are in good academic standing and that the requested business courses will be accepted for their graduate degree program.

If a non-degree seeking student would like to become degree-seeking, the student must apply to become degree-seeking and must have earned an average GPA of 3.0 or above in the MPAcc program courses they have completed.

International Applicants

 Additional documentation is required for international graduate applicants. In addition to the application requirements listed above, international applicants must:

  • Obtain a minimum score of 76 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT), 550 on the paper-based TOEFL (PBT), or 6.0 on the IELTS
  • Submit the required immigration documents for issuance of an I-20
  • Submit Official Transcripts: You must submit official transcripts from all previously attended institutions. Foreign transcripts MUST be received through a professional evaluation service

Leveling Requirement

Students without an accounting degree may be required to take the following leveling classes in conjunction with the MPAcc curriculum.   Leveling classes do not count towards degree completion.   See your graduate program advisor to determine whether these classes are appropriate in your unique situation.  

The following courses are each 3 credit hours.


This program includes a set of core, required courses in accounting, and a set of electives. 

Requirement Semester Hours
Accounting Core 21
Experiential Learning Electives 3
Open Accounting Electives 6
Total (minimum) hours for MPAcc 30


Accounting Core: 21 Credit Hours

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

Experiential Learning Electives: 3 Credit Hours

Experiential learning allows students to solve real world problems in a professional or academic setting. Opportunities include internships, research assignments, and consulting engagements. Students may choose any course from the list below to fulfill this requirement. Other courses may be substituted with departmental approval.