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2011 Accounting Footnotes

Department Offers Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

The MAcc program offers accounting students at Western Kentucky University with a path to meet the 150-hour requirement for the CPA certificate and gain additional skills and competencies beyond the undergraduate level.

The MAcc will enable the department to provide the graduate level curriculum to accommodate the growing body of knowledge in accounting and equip accounting students with additional skills and competencies essential for their future success enhancing their employment prospects.

With the reduction in the hours required for the undergraduate degree, WKU's accounting students will now need an additional 30 hours to meet the 150-hour requirement. In the past, some students were tempted to take additional undergraduate courses without consideration of value simply to gain the additional 22 hours needed to meet the 150-hour requirement. WKU's MBA program, appealing for managers desiring upward mobility and students considering doctoral programs, attracted only a few accounting majors. Students who saw the value in a graduate degree in accounting had no choice but to apply to another university.

The undergraduate accounting program obtained separate accounting accreditation by the AACSB, the premier accreditation organization of colleges of business and accounting programs. The undergraduate accounting program provides a quality foundation on which to build a quality graduate program. The department has prior experience in providing a graduate program. The MPA program was similar to many professional graduate accounting programs offered by other institutions. The Master of Science program goes beyond the former MPA allowing a broader curriculum.

The success of the program is contingent upon the availability of sufficient resources to support the program in accordance with AACSB standards.  The request for at least one additional academically qualified faculty member in addition to maintaining all current faculty positions is still in the pending status. We anticipate the MAcc enrolling its first students in fall 2012 and anticipate 15-20 students each year with enrollment growing to 25-30.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in its publication titled Accountants and Auditors: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 forecasts a strong job growth for accountants. The BLS states that, "Employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 22 percent between 2008 [and 2018], which is much faster than average for all occupations. Accountants and auditors who have earned professional recognition through certification or other designation, especially a CPA, should have the best prospects. Applicants with a master's degree in accounting or a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting also may have an advantage."

The MAcc graduate accounting program will consists of 30 hours with 18 hours in accounting and 12 hours in other graduate level courses. The learning objectives will develop in students an enhanced understanding of accounting and related topics and students will be able to apply specialized accounting principles to complex financial reporting issues. Students will identify and address audit risk, demonstrate advanced knowledge of internal controls and accounting information systems, engage in complex managerial analysis and planning with an emphasis on proposing solutions to the managerial concerns identified, explore tax issues through authoritative sources and evaluate tax planning opportunities. An Assurance of Learning Process will identify the specific outcomes appropriate for the learning objectives.

In order to be considered eligible for admission to the MAcc an applicant must satisfy the following requirements:

  • An application to Graduate Studies.
  • Official transcript(s) of all college work attempted indicating the applicant has receive an undergraduate degree in accounting from an accredited college or university with minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.25 (4.0 scale) for the terms in which the student completed the last sixty (60) hours of undergraduate coursework.
  • Official Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score report with a minimum score of 500.
  • A grade of a "C" or better in all undergraduate accounting courses.

International students must provide evidence of their ability to communicate in English in both oral and written form. (For written skills, a minimum of 550 on the paper based TOEFL, a minimum of 213 on the computer based TOEFL, or a minimum of 79 on the iBT TOEFL).

International students must submit transcript evaluations on a course level basis prepared by WES or similar organization. (The Kentucky State Board of Accountancy requires course credits to be certified by the Foreign Academics Credentialing Service or another credentialing agency that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc.).

These minimum requirements establish eligibility for admission, but do not guarantee acceptance into the program.

An applicant with an undergraduate degree in an area other than accounting who meets the other criteria may be considered for the program upon the completion of additional undergraduate and/or graduate foundation coursework.

The program curriculum consists of thirty semester hours of graduate courses with the following eighteen semester hours of requirement accounting courses:

  • ACCT 500: Advanced Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • ACCT 510: Advanced Accounting Information Systems Control and Audit
  • ACCT 520: Special Topics in Managerial Accounting
  • ACCT 530: Special Topics in Tax Research and Planning
  • ACCT 540: Advanced Auditing Standards, Applications and Fraud
  • ACCT 550: Special Topics in Accounting for Not-for-Profit Organizations and Governments

In addition, twelve hours of electives are required.

Students admitted to the MAcc program may select graduate courses offered in the Gordon Ford College of Business upon approval by the department chair. Tier 1 or business foundation courses and BA 515 will not be considered as satisfying any part of the 30-hour requirement. Six (6) hours of the elective graduate courses may be from outside the Gordon Ford College of Business with prior approval of the department chair. The selection of elective courses should be directly related to the student's career goals and/or desired skills/competencies.

A student admitted to the MAcc program must maintain a 3.0 GPA (4.0 scale). The department chair, with the consent/approval of the faculty appeals committee, may grant permission for any student who fails to maintain a 3.0 GPA due to extenuating circumstances to continue for one semester on a probationary basis. Any student granted probationary status must attain a cumulative 3.0 GPA by the end of the following semester to remain in the program.

A student who receives a "C" or lower in two required accounting courses will be subject to dismissal from the program. The department chair, with the consent/approval of the faculty appeals committee, may grant a waiver in cases of extenuating circumstances.

The Western Kentucky University Bachelor of Science in Accounting program is accredited by AACSB-International. In order to maintain accreditation, the proposed graduate program must be in accordance with AACSB standards for graduate accounting programs.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14