Graduate Catalog 2016-17 
    Jun 25, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2016-17 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Accounting (MS)

Castleton's Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) is designed to provide advanced preparation for high level careers in public, private and governmental accounting. The program also assists graduates in meeting the requirements for CPA licensure in Vermont.  (As licensure requirements vary by state, students should review the specific requirements for initial licensure for states other than Vermont.)  The MSA program, combined with appropriate undergraduate coursework, conforms to the 150 credit hour educational requirements for CPA license mobility put forth by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the AICPA in the uniform Accountancy Act (UUA).

The program also helps students prepare for other professional certifications such as Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).

The Master of Science in Accounting focuses on the study of four major areas:
  • Financial accounting and auditing, including forensics
  • Professional standards and ethics
  • Management accounting and Finance
  • Taxation

The ability to conduct research in taxation, accounting and auditing is emphasized throughout the program.

Graduates of the MSA program will have acquired:
  • Technical competency and professional knowledge in advanced accounting theory, auditing and taxation.
  • Critical thinking skills including the ability to gather, evaluate, analyze and apply relevant information to complex accounting‐related issues and communicate the results effectively.
  • The ability to work effectively in teams and communicate with others in solving complex problems.
  • An understanding of appropriate professional conduct and ethical behavior.


Prerequisites for admission to the MSA program are based on the background and previous training of the student. Students who have earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting from Castleton University are likely to have completed all prerequisites. All students must be proficient with spreadsheet and word processing programs as well as use of the internet. The following courses (or their equivalent knowledge base) are required for full admission to the MSA program. The Castleton University equivalent undergraduate course numbers are given in parentheses.

Accounting Courses

  • Financial Accounting (ACC 2101)
  • Accounting for Management Decisions (ACC 3010)
  • Individual Taxation (ACC 4041)
  • Auditing (ACC 4050)
  • At least nine credits of Intermediate or Advanced Level Accounting (ACC 3211, ACC 3212 & ACC 4213)

Business Courses

  • Organizational Behavior or Principles of Management (BUS 3250 or BUS 2020)
  • Principles of Marketing (BUS 2230)
  • Principles of Finance (BUS (3230)
  • Micro or Macro Economics (ECO 2040 or ECO 2050)
  • Business Law (BUS 3131)
  • At least six credits in Calculus, Statistics, Quantitative Business Decisions or Operations Management (MAT 1531, MAT 2021,BUS 4131, or BUS 4110 )

Additional Information

Applicants who have not completed the required undergraduate prerequisites may do so at Castleton. In order to take the necessary courses, students can choose one of the following methods:

  • Apply to the MSA program to receive provisional acceptance based upon the completion of the prerequisites. You may then register for courses as a provisional MSA student.
  • Register as an undergraduate non‐degree student.
  • Matriculate as an undergraduate student to complete the undergraduate requirements. It may be possible for you to register for any graduate courses for which you have the required prerequisites while you are completing the undergraduate courses.

We encourage students interested in the MSA program to discuss with an Accounting faculty member which of the three options would be most advantageous for them.


Admission to the Master of Science in Accounting program is based on a combination of the applicant's personal statement, resume, Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scores, undergraduate cumulative grade point average and letters of reference. Students must have or be near completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and the GMAT must have been taken within the last five years.

Standards for admission are as follows:

  • At least a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA
  • A score in at least the fiftieth percentile on the GMAT*
  • The completion of the program prerequisites.

*Castleton University business alumni who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and have received an average grade of B or higher in undergraduate accounting coursework are not required to take the GMAT for admittance. Students who do not meet the above requirements may apply for provisional admittance. If accepted provisionally, students may complete up to ten graduate level credits during the probationary period. A student who has successfully completed nine credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0 may be considered for regular admission. Students who do not earn the minimum GPA will be dismissed.

Because class size is restricted, students are encouraged to apply early for acceptance into the program.

Credits required: 30 cr

An MSA student will be placed on academic probation if GPA in any semester falls below 3.0. If placed on probation, the student must raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 or above in the next semester in which the student registers for classes. Failure to bring the GPA to 3.0 or higher in the next enrolled academic semester will cause the student to be dismissed from the program