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 take the CPA examination and to receive both the Bachelor’s degree and the Master’s degree in Accounting and Information Systems upon completion in five years or less.
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 new education requirements of the state boards of accountancy and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The AICPA has 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 have adopted the educational requirement that at least 150 semester hours be completed in order to take the CPA examination.
Virginia, for example, has increased the education requirement to become a CPA from 120 semester hours to 150 semester hours, in addition to mandating that new CPAs have one year of general work experience. The new requirements apply to anyone who takes the CPA examination on or after July 1, 2006.
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 fullfillment 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.
Students may specialize in Financial Services, Audit or Tax Accounting, each of which is designed to help prepare students to take the CPA exam. Or, students may specialize in Information Systems.
Designed to prepare students for careers in public or corporate accounting, the option in Financial Services provides theoretical foundations and practical extensions to the areas of finance, financial reporting and assurance services.
The Tax option is designed to equip students with the skills necessary to understand the increasingly complex tax laws and to become highly trained tax professionals.
The Audit option is designed to equip students with the skills necessary to understand information systems and how it interacts with assurance.
Students in the Information Systems option are prepared for Information Systems’ careers with consulting firms, information systems departments and organizations, and software houses that are geared toward application systems development. Additionally, students preparing for careers in public accounting can use this concentration to develop skills in information systems. This option will not qualify you for the CPA exam.
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.