152-Hour Program

For students who enroll as undergraduates and who are interested in becoming certified public accountants, we have a special 152-Hour Program that combines undergraduate and graduate course work. The program allows undergraduates to take all the courses necessary to receive both the Bachelor’s degree and the Master’s degree in Accounting and Information Systems upon completion in five years or less, while also meeting the Virginia Board of Accountancy’s (VBOA) educational requirements to sit for the CPA examination and, if passed, meet the additional educational requirement for CPA licensure (see VBOA educational requirements below).

State Board of Accountancy Requirement

The 152-Hour Program is designed to allow students to earn a Bachelor’s degree en route to the Master’s degree while satisfying the education requirements of the state boards of accountancy and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The AICPA mandated that students wishing to become members after 2000 must have at least 150 hours of college course work, including specified courses in accounting. In response, most state boards of accountancy adopted the educational requirement that at least 150 semester hours be completed in order to take the CPA examination. Virginia, for example, requires 120 semester hours to sit for/take the CPA Exam and an additional 30 semester hours (150 semester hours total) for CPA licensure (in addition to passing the CPA Exam and completing one year of work experience that includes substantial use of accounting, financial, tax or other relevant skills).

The VBOA states that “[students] should incorporate some graduate level study of accounting into their educational plans. [It] believes that the increased rigor and the strategic focus of graduate level courses can be valuable in preparing future accounting professionals to meet the increasing demands of the marketplace and to excel in the practice of public accounting.”

University requirements are for 125 hours of credit for the Bachelor’s degree and 30 hours for the Master’s degree, for a total of 155 hours. To facilitate a 152-Hour Program, one graduate course counts toward both the undergraduate degree and the graduate degree. During the two semesters following admission to the graduate school, students who have been admitted to the Program may complete up to nine hours of graduate work, jointly enrolled in the Graduate School and the Department of Accounting and Information Systems. Successful completion of three hours of graduate work with no less than a B average serve to complete the last three hours of the 125-hour Bachelor’s degree.

Our 152-Hour Option is a practical and cost-effective method of meeting the education requirement. Three hours of graduate credit count toward fulfillment of the undergraduate degree, so that students are awarded a Bachelor’s degree en route to completing the 152 hours and attaining Master’s status. This reduction of three hours from the course requirements makes the attainment of a Master’s degree potentially more economical for qualified students.

152-Hour Curriculum

Students may specialize in Accounting Analytics, Audit, Financial Services, Information Systems or Tax, each of which is designed to help prepare students to take the CPA exam or the CISA Certification Exam (if Information Systems).

NEW!  Accounting Analytics Option

The business world has increasingly turned to sophisticated analytics to help make sense of available data and reach decisions that are more informed. We have collaborated with KPMG to develop an Accounting Analytics Option within our MACIS Program.  This Option provides you with a degree grounded in applying state-of-the-art analytics concepts, techniques, and software to help solve accounting and assurance problems. It is also designed to provide a knowledge base that will qualify you to take the CPA examination.

Audit Option

The curriculum in this Option is designed to prepare you to effectively practice as accountants and auditors in the current and future business environments. It is designed to provide a knowledge base that will qualify you to take the CPA examination.

Financial Services Option

Like the Audit Option, this Option also provides a knowledge base that will qualify you to take the CPA examination.  This Option’s curriculum is designed to provide you with an analytical perspective from which you can effectively examine key business decisions related to financial markets and institutions and advise clients accordingly.

Information Systems Option

The Information Systems Option includes education in the latest database management techniques and system modeling approaches, and provides the knowledge necessary to audit information systems in today’s technological environment. This combination of accounting, information systems and auditing knowledge is highly sought after by companies and accounting firms.  A background in information systems at the undergraduate level is desirable, but not required.  This Option provides a knowledge base that will qualify you to take the CPA examination as well as the CISA certification exam.

Tax Option

If you are interested in a successful career in tax consulting or corporate tax practice, this Option is for you. You will receive an education in the latest systems technologies that are necessary for tax consulting and corporate and governmental tax planning in today’s technological environment. This Option also provides you with a knowledge base that qualifies you to take the CPA examination.

Admission Requirements

The 152-hour program is designed for the best students in the Accounting and Information Systems program. To be eligible, an accounting and information systems student must be a rising senior with a grade point average of at least 3.0 and score of at least 520 on the GMAT.

Students must submit an online application.  Once you have done this, please see Arnita, Graduate Coordinator, in Pamplin 3007 to fill out the ‘MACIS 152 Credit Hour Status and Course Designation Form’.  Your application cannot be processed until this form is completed.