Nancy Mangold, acting director of CSUEB’s MS in Accountancy program.
Cal State East Bay’s Division of Continuing and International Education will launch a new Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program this fall. The program, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, is designed to prepare students for entry into accounting careers.
“I think people are very interested in the MSA because they can go into public accounting, they can go into corporate accounting, they can go into government agencies, they can work for taxing authorities, and they can also work for nonprofit organizations,” said Nancy Mangold, the acting director of the MSA program. “There are many different opportunities available.”
Graduates of the program will attain the 36 accounting-education units required for the U.S. Certified Public Accountants (CPA) exam, in addition to satisfying the accounting and ethics study areas of the new 150 semester hours (225 quarter hours) educational requirements for CPA licensure in California effective on January 1, 2014.
Approximately 34 potential applicants have expressed interest in the program so far, and many of those students have been waiting for a MSA program at CSUEB for many years, said Mangold. Since 2008, when CSUEB discontinued its MBA with accounting option, the University has not offered a graduate-level accountancy program until now.
“I was planning to get a master’s in accounting degree after I graduated from San Jose State with a BS in computer science, but sadly found that the MBA Accounting (at CSUEB) had been discontinued. I am glad CSUEB has approved the new MS Accountancy program,” said Yingying Wu, who looks forward to the preparation for the CPA exam and networking opportunities the program will provide.
The one-year MSA is organized in a cohort format, which allows a group of students to start and finish a program together, and classes will be held three times a week on the Hayward Hills campus. Evening classes will be held Fridays from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Saturday classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The program’s curriculum will provide students with an understanding of financial accounting and reporting standards, auditing standards, business environment and concepts, ethical responsibilities, effective collaboration and more. Students will also complete a capstone project during their last quarter, in which they will perform a financial analysis for a real company.
“Students will apply what they have learned to a real-life company,” said Mangold. “They will study the industry, give recommendations to investors and accreditors and determine the value of a company.”
In addition to coursework, Mangold plans to help prepare students for an accounting profession through a series of extracurricular activities. Some of her ideas include career development workshops, professional mentors and inviting CSUEB’s accounting alumni to speak to students.
“Some alumni have agreed to actively help place students in accounting jobs once they finish the program,” said Mangold.
The support from CSUEB’s accounting alumni may prove exceptionally beneficial to students, since many alums hold positions in top accounting firms such as KPMG, Ernst &Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Grant Thornton and Charles Schwab.
The MSA program will admit 30 students into the fall 2013 cohort, and applications are currently being accepted now through June 30. However, students with non-accounting backgrounds may be required to take foundation courses during the summer before starting the program in the fall. The application deadline for those needing to take foundation courses in Summer 2013 is May 31.