Frequently Asked Questions

As you prepare your application for the Master of Science Accounting program, you may have questions very similar to those of other applicants. Below are answers to a list of commonly asked questions.

If your question is not answered below, please contact Janae Gregston at with your application questions.

General Admissions Topics

Will the MSA program allow me to meet the Arizona CPA educational requirement?

The Master of Science in Accounting program will give you the opportunity to earn additional upper division accounting units to count toward the 36 credits of accounting required to meet the CPA educational requirement in Arizona. Please see the Arizona State Board of Accountancy for more information.

What is the typical program length?

The Master of Science Accounting program is a 30 unit program (not including pre-requisites, if applicable), with no less than 18 units of accounting. Therefore, if a student that already completed the pre-requisites were to take enroll in the program full time, the program length would be one year. However, a  student can take longer than one year to complete the program. On average the MSA program is completed in three to four semesters. 

What are the costs associated with the program?

The estimated costs of the program will vary depending on how many semesters a student plans to be enrolled, how many units per semester the student is planning to take, and whether the student is an in-state, out-of-state, or international student. For an estimated cost of attendance (please note, tuition will be different than that presented on this webpage), please visit the Bursar's Office for a breakdown of the MSA program fees.

How long do I have to complete the program?

All requirements for a graduate degree must be completed within 6 years. Time-to-degree begins with the earliest coursework to be applied toward the degree including any credits transferred from other institutions. Work more than 6 years old is not accepted toward meeting certificate requirements.

Can I transfer graduate coursework I have earned at another university?

The In-Person MSA program allows transferred graduate coursework. However, there are a number of restrictions:

  • Coursework taken more than two years prior to admission cannot be transferred
  • Not more than 6 credits may transfer
  • The transferred coursework must have a grade of A or B
  • Correspondence courses or extension work from other institutions will not be accepted for graduate credit

Please see the Graduate College for more information.

Is work experience required for admission into the program?

Work experience, accounting-related or otherwise, is not required to be considered for admission.

What form of financial aid does the University of Arizona offer?

Please see the MAcc Scholarships page for information about different financial aid offered by the University of Arizona. 

For international students, United States government backed loans are not available.

May I take 500 level accounting classes before I am admitted to the MSA program?

Unfortunately, only MAcc or MSA students may take graduate level accounting courses. Non-degree seeking graduate students may not take 500 level accounting classes (including pre-requisites).

Are there a minimum number of required credit hours per semester?

Students may enroll in a minimum of 3 units, unless they are holding teaching or research assistantships/associateships, in which case the minimum enrollment is 6 units. For more information regarding minimum enrollment, click here.

According to the International Student Programs and Services Department, you need to take a minimum of 9 credit hours (as a graduate student) to maintain your full time F1 status. If you need an exemption, you may view a list of possible exemptions for full-time enrollment here.


What prerequisites are necessary to enter the program?

Please see the Requirements web page for the list of the six required prerequisites courses. Graduate Tuition rates will apply for all 500 level classes. 

Do I have to complete the prerequisites before being accepted into the MSA program?

Online MSA Program: All prerequisites must be completed before beginning the Online MSA program.  Prerequisites may be satisfied by taking comparable courses at an acceptable accredited US institution.

In-Person MSA Program: Prerequisites may be satisfied by taking comparable courses at an acceptable accredited US institution.  They may also be taken at the University of Arizona during your In-Person MSA program.  For those international candidates who appear to have met the prerequisite requirement of ACCT 200 and ACCT 210 based upon information on their transcripts, a standard exam will be given to confirm that the candidate has mastered basic accounting concepts.  This test will be administered after admission but prior to the beginning of classes.   If the results of this standard exam indicate that the candidate needs additional coursework before starting the MSA Program courses, the candidate will be required to take ACCT 200 and/or ACCT 210, in addition to the other prerequisite courses.  Candidates who have successfully completed the prerequisite courses at a comparably accredited US institution will not be required to take the prerequisite courses.

Can I take the prerequisites at another school?

Prerequisites may be satisfied by taking comparable courses at an acceptable accredited US institution. Please visit the Eller Undergraduates Program's webpage for information about transferring credits and transfer course evaluation.

Can I transfer ACCT101 and ACCT 102 from Pima?

Yes, ACCT101 and ACCT102 at Pima is equivalent to ACCT 200 and ACCT 210 at U of A, respectively. Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least ACCT 210 at U of A.

Can I take all of the prerequisites during the summer session?

Yes you can take all the prerequisites for the program in the summer. Classes available in the summer include ACCT 200, 210, 310, 400A/500A, 400B/500B, and 420/520.

Application Topics

Do I have to apply online for both the University of Arizona Graduate College and the School of Accountancy?

No, there is one application for both the Graduate College and the School of Accountancy. Please see the Apply Now webpage for the links for the online applications.

Do I need to re-complete my Domicile Affidavit even though I attended the U of A?

Even if you were classified as an Arizona resident during your undergraduate career at the University of Arizona, you are required to submit a Domicile Affidavit to the Graduate College to ensure that you receive resident tuition rates for graduate school. Download the form here.

Can I submit an application that is missing my GMAT score or other information?

For matters such as not taking the GMAT or not having information available, you may submit an incomplete application. Please note that even though your application has been submitted, you will still be responsible for getting the incomplete information to the Masters Program Coordinators as soon as it becomes available.

What are the materials required for the application process?

Applicants must submit the following materials to the School of Accountancy to the Masters Program Coordinator address that follows:

  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions. If you attended the University of Arizona, you are not required to send your UA official transcripts.
  • Official GMAT scores (Institution Code 4229)
  • Official TOEFL scores
    Masters Program Coordinator
    School of Accountancy
    McClelland Hall 301
    University of Arizona
    PO Box 210108
    Tucson , AZ 85721-0108

Applicants must also submit the following materials to the Graduate College:

* If you are admitted to the MSA program, the School of Accountancy will forward your transcripts to the Graduate College.

Where do I send my supporting materials (financial guarantee, GMAT...)?

Graduate College

All supporting material to be sent to the graduate college may be mailed to:

University of Arizona
Graduate College Admissions
Administration 322
PO Box 210066
Tucson, AZ 85721-0066

School of Accountancy

Official transcripts from all universities attended for college credit and other necessary supporting materials should be mailed to:

Masters Program Coordinator
School of Accountancy
McClelland Hall 301
University of Arizona
1130 E. Helen Street
PO Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108

If you are admitted to the Master of Science Accounting program, the School of Accountancy will forward your transcripts to the Graduate College.

The essays and resume are submitted online when completing the school-specific MSA application.

Are letters of recommendation required for the MSA program?

No, letters of recommendation are not required for admission to the MSA program.  However, 2 letters of recommendation are requested.

What are the topics of the two short essays?

When completing the online application for the School of Accountancy, you will be asked to submit two separate essays answering school-specific questions as part of your application.

The two required essay questions are as follows:

  1. Why are you pursuing a degree in accounting, and what are your career objectives as they relate to graduate study in accounting?
  2. What information would be helpful to the admissions committee in considering your application for admission?

Essays should be about 250 words each. There is no specific format for these essays, but rather the Admission's Committee is simply interested in knowing a little more about you.

Where can I download forms?

On the graduate college website, there is a central location for a majority of the forms necessary once you are in the program and a few others that you may need before you enter. These forms can be accessed at

On this page, you will find both forms that can be accessed without logging in and others that require you to log in with your UA Net ID.

International Applicants

Where may I find information regarding the application process for international students?

Information for international applications may be on the admissions page here.

Which English proficiency examinations are accepted?

All international applicants must submit their TOEFL score (please refer to the Admission Information by Home Country to see if the TOEFL is required) to the School of Accountancy. You will select to forward your TOEFL score when you complete the exam.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination can be submitted in lieu of the TOEFL. The minimum IELTS score requirement for admissions consideration is a score of 7, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module.

In the case of both the TOEFL and the IELTS, test scores must be dated within two years of the date of enrollment.

Also, in the case of both the TOEFL and the IELTS, a student's official scores will be sent directly to The University of Arizona if you request it on your application form. For TOEFL, you are asked to enter the The University of Arizona institution code which is 4832. The IELTS requires that you include the university's address:

Graduate Admissions
Administration Bldg. Room 322
P.O. Box 210066
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.

Please visit the Graduate College Proficiency in English page for more information regarding TOEFL and IELTS exams.

Am I required to take the TOEFL?

This will depend upon the student’s home country and if the student qualifies for an exemption. Please click here to see if the TOEFL is required. Please click here to see if you qualify for an exemption from the TOEFL.

What if my TOEFL/IELTS scores are below the minimum requirement?

The School of Accountancy may give conditional admission to promising candidates who have not met the TOEFL/IELTS requirement of the Graduate College.

Conditional admission allows you to attend the University of Arizona Center for English as Second Language (CESL) program prior to obtaining satisfactory TOEFL/IELTS scores. At CESL, you will work to improve your English language skills and you can obtain a certificate that will allow you to request a waiver of the TOEFL/IELTS exam.

However, you will still be required to provide the School of Accountancy with a satisfactory GMAT score prior to getting regular admission into the MSA program. You will not be able to take any courses in the MSA program until you have been granted regular admission status into the MSA program.

If my bachelor's degree was from a three-year program what other requirements are necessary for me to fulfill the four-year bachelor's degree requirement?

In cases where a three-year degree is held, then the student must hold either a two-year Master's degree or a one-year Post-Graduate Diploma in the same field as the bachelor's degree.

As long as the Post-Graduate Diploma received is from an accredited university/institution, there is no requirement as to how it was administered (i.e. nights/weekends/correspondence, etc.)

Any further evaluation would require that the student submit an application.


What is the GMAT? How do I take it?

The following is directly from the GMAC website:
The Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) examination is a standardized test designed to measure basic verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that have been developed over a long period of time through education and work. It does NOT measure—

    • knowledge of business
    • job skills
    • specific content in undergraduate or first university course work
    • subjective qualities such as motivation, creativity, and interpersonal skills
    • abilities in any other specific subject area

To learn more or set up an exam appointment, please visit

Is the GMAT required for all applicants?

The GMAT is required for everyone. There are no alternatives, such as classes or any sort of paperwork that may defer this necessity. You may not substitute an LSAT score. You also may not substitute work experience, credentials (CPA, etc) or any other consideration in lieu of the GMAT.

A suggestion would be to take a review course for the GMAT or to use exam prep material, which may be offered online, on CD, or in text book form.

Is there a minimum GMAT score requirement?

We do not have a minimum requirement for the GMAT as applications are weighed as a whole. On average students who are admitted into the program score between a 500 and 700. 

Can I take the GMAT more than once?

If you didn't score as well as you liked on the GMAT, we highly encourage that you take it again. Applicants who take the GMAT more than once are not looked down upon or graded negatively. Also, we accept your highest GMAT score so if you don't feel like you did your best the first time, it can only be to your benefit to retake the GMAT.

How long are my GMAT scores valid?

GMAT scores, even if high enough, are only valid for a period of 5 years after your test date. If it has been more than five years, you must retake the GMAT and receive an appropriate score to enter the MSA program.


For more information, please contact us.