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Course content

Today’s ever-more global economy, changing regulations, and greater call for tighter integration across key business functions are fueling unprecedented demand for skilled accountants with advanced degrees. Seeking far more than just financial acumen, today’s top employers want critical thinkers who can both navigate complex financial transactions and help make strategic business decisions.

Designed with these needs in mind, Sacred Heart University’s Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program helps develop technically proficient accountants who can provide important insights and sound advice to business leaders. With concentrations in forensic accounting or international accounting, MSA students build on their current skills while further developing the critical thinking, analytical and communication skills required to compete in a global business environment. Furthermore, successful graduates of this program will be prepared to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

How the MSA Program is Delivered
The MSA program offers tremendous flexibility through its unique hybrid format, which blends online discussions led by faculty and expert consultants with on-the-ground seminars held one Saturday each month at SHU’s Fairfield, Connecticut, campus.

The MSA program is specifically designed to accommodate full-time working professionals — who can complete the degree in as little as one year — as well as students who desire a five-year program that fulfills the credit hours needed to become a licensed CPA.

Get ahead with the MSA Program
The marketplace is clamoring for highly qualified accountants — and candidates with a CPA, as well as those with a master's degree, have an edge in this dynamic job market. With SHU’s comprehensive MSA, you can achieve both. The MSA is:
- Practical
On-campus, once-per-month seminars combine expert faculty instruction with a series of lectures from consultants at the forefront of the accounting field.

- In demand
Employment of accountants is expected to grow by 16% in this decade alone, representing nearly 200,000 additional jobs (and faster growth than many other professions).

The MSA’s unique hybrid format not only supports the schedules of full-time working professionals — it also meets the hiring requirements of prestigious accounting firms that actively recruit undergraduates for future positions.

- Personalized
A choice of two specialties: forensic accounting and international accounting, enable in-depth study matching your interests and career objectives.

- Accredited
The program is offered through SHU’s John F. Welch College of Business — one of only a select few elite business schools worldwide that are accredited by AACSB International.

Admission Requirements
- Online Application
- $60 Non-refundable application fee
- Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended
Sacred Heart University students and alumni may authorize the Office of Graduate Admissions to obtain their official SHU transcripts on their behalf. Please contact the Graduate Admissions Office for an authorization form.
- Written personal statement: a one-page statement describing your interest and qualifications for the program, as well as history of relevant business experience
- 2 Letters of recommendation
- Professional resume
- GMAT score

The MSA provides you the choice of two in-demand specializations:
- Forensic Accounting
One of the industry’s fastest-growing specialties, forensic accounting is used to investigate legal matters involving complex financial transactions—anything from money laundering and contract disputes to bankruptcies and securities fraud. Forensic accountants often work closely with law enforcement personnel and attorneys and testify in civil lawsuits and criminal trials. This program will examine forensic accounting principles and techniques used to resolve financial disputes, and expose fraud and illegal financial activities.

- International Accounting
Designed to address the evolving demands of a global economy and international business environment, this specialization examines international trade laws and regulations. Integral to helping companies establish subsidiaries in other countries and effectively conduct business abroad, international accountants are well-versed on the activities of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and their impact on business transactions around the globe. This specialization will focus on international aspects of accounting, including accounting principles and reporting practices in different countries.

Career Outlook
According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) survey (2013 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits), CPA firms hired 40,350 new accounting graduates in 2012, including 23,793 graduates with a bachelor’s degree and 16,557 with a master’s degree — which is 22 percent above the previous year.
The demand for qualified accounting graduates is at an all-time high. The AICPA survey also reported that, nearly 90 percent of public accounting firms estimated that they would maintain or increase the number of graduates hired in the upcoming year.





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