MSA vs. MBA
Currently, the national minimum requirements to be licensed as a CPA indicate that a student may sit for the CPA exam after earning 120 undergraduate credit hours (30 of which must be in specific areas) but may be licensed as a CPA only after earning an additional 30 credit hours, for a total of 150. A typical undergraduate college degree includes about 120 credit hours. Therefore, although there is some flexibility as to the content of the additional 30 credits, students interested in becoming CPAs must obtain the additional 30 credits either randomly or as part of an organized graduate degree program.
Most MBA programs offer only a limited number of courses in Accounting and, although this is an acceptable way to obtain 30 credits, many students look for programs that offer more Accounting courses, not only to help them complete the CPA licensing requirements, but also to enhance the skills that they can apply in their respective professional positions. The UMass Lowell MSA program fulfills that need: not only does an MSA provide opportunities for additional coursework in Accounting, but it also allows students to elect courses within other Manning School of Business departments to achieve a wider level of exposure and/or pursue a complementary area of academic interest (such as Finance, MIS, or, Management).
The full-time Manning School of Business faculty includes 13 Accounting and over 40 non-Accounting members, including Entrepreneurship, Finance, International Business, Management, Marketing, and MIS/OIS.
See the list of full-time Accounting faculty
The UMass Lowell Manning School of Business undergraduate and graduate programs are currently accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the most prestigious organization worldwide for the accreditation of business schools.
A limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available to qualified full-time students in the MSA program. The primary purpose of these awards is to provide promising students with financial assistance to offset the costs of full-time graduate study. They also benefit students by providing opportunities to build knowledge and skill by working closely with the faculty members. Assistantships are awarded competitively based on the student's academic record and prior experience. As part of the assessment, consideration will be given to the potential contribution an assistant can make to the program and college in the areas of instructional assistance and research.
Full-time and part-time MSA students have access to extensive computer technology at the Manning School of Business. All meeting areas have wireless capabilities. In addition, within the college, students may use the computer laboratory. Use of this equipment, as part of course work or in conducting research, familiarizes students with current technology and provides them with specific computer skills that are vital for success in today's business world.