What are the application deadlines?
Priority: June 1
Final: July 15
Priority: October 1
Final: November 15
Priority: February 1
Final: March 15
How do I find the correct program track in the online application?
Once you access the online application, under the “Objectives” tab in the “Degree(s)” section, please choose “Accounting (M.S. Acctg) and select the “Transitions” track.
How will I receive an acknowledgement of application once I apply?
All applicants will receive an acknowledgement letter via email from the Graduate Admissions Office which includes your Admissions ID and Access Code. This will enable you to keep track of application materials that have been received. Additionally, the Isenberg Graduate Programs office will be in touch about incomplete materials and next steps.
How will I be notified if accepted?
Acceptance decisions are posted in SPIRE with instructions to confirm acceptance and an electronic acceptance letter will be posted by the UMass Graduate School. The Associate Dean and your academic advisor will email you with additional information to get started.
How long can I defer my acceptance?
Accepted students can defer their acceptance once, for up to one year. Contact your academic advisor to discuss further.
What are the requirements for applying to the MSA Transitions Track?
Graduate School application and $85 application fee (waived for military and current UMass Amherst undergraduates)
Official transcripts of all universities/colleges attended
Two letters of recommendation
GMAT/GRE score (only required at the request of the Program Director)
TOEFL/IELTS score (for international applicants only)
How long should the personal essay be?
A personal essay should be one to two pages in length and include information about your past and current academic and professional history, your future goals and reasons for pursuing the MS in Accounting, and other pertinent details that will help us evaluate you as a candidate.
Do I have to send a transcript with my application? Where do I send it?
Please submit your transcripts from all colleges/universities attended, undergraduate and graduate, where nine (9) or more credits were earned. Unofficial transcripts uploaded to the Additional Materials page of your application are acceptable. Upon admittance, official transcripts will need to be submitted, either electronically or in paper format, directly by each institution's Registrar to the Graduate Student Service Center. Review After You Apply for instructions on submitting official transcripts.
Note: For international graduates, notarized and true attested copies of original academic documents are accepted. Evaluations may be required. Please contact our office for details.
My transcript is not in English. What should I do?
If the official transcripts and/or degree certificate(s) are not in English, our program requires an official English translation and/or an official credential evaluation from a NACES member in order to evaluate coursework and GPA in the admissions process. Notarized and true attested copies of original academic documents are accepted.
My transcript does not follow the U.S. 4.0 grading scale. What should I do?
I am currently a UMass Amherst student, but I started as a transfer student. Will I be required to submit transcripts from my previous institutions?
If your current transcript has all of the courses and grades (GPA-based) from the previous institutions included, you are not required to submit the transcripts. We highly encourage you to double-check with the University Registrar’s Office.
Otherwise, you are required to submit transcripts from all previous institutions where 9 credits or more were earned. If the institution is not a 4-year institution, the transcripts are not in English or do not have a numeric GPA on a 4.0 scale, transcripts must be course evaluated by a NACES member.
Who should my recommendations come from?
Recommendations should be requested from individuals who know you on either a professional or academic level and well enough to provide specific examples and details regarding your past performance and competencies. If you are a recent college graduate, you are welcome to provide two academic references.
What is the GMAT requirement?
GMAT/GRE scores are only required at the request of the Program Director. If you have a score that you would like to submit, we will include it in our overall review of your application. A solid GMAT/GRE score enhances any application. Instances where the Program Director will ask for a score are when an applicant has both below a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA and completed their bachelor’s degree within only one to two years of applying.
What is the school code to send GMAT or GRE scores?
School Code: Isenberg-UMass Amherst - 3917
I am an international student, how do I find TOEFL/IELTS Information?
Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate their English proficiency by submitting scores from a standardized English Language Proficiency Test. This is not required of U.S. citizens or non-U.S. citizens who hold U.S. Permanent Resident Status. For admission to the MS in Accounting, the minimum scores for admission are as follows: the minimum combined TOEFL score is 100; the minimum IELTS Academic combined score is 7; the minimum Duolingo English Test overall score is 120; and the minimum PTE Academic overall score is 68. Please note, when reviewing an application, the UMass Graduate School does not super score language tests (e.g. we do not accept the ETS MyBest Score set). Please consult the UMass Graduate School international applicants page for additional details.
How many credits are required for graduation?
The MSA Transitions track requires completion of anywhere between 33 - 45 credits, depending on previous academic coursework in accounting.
Can I specialize in a particular area of accounting in the MSA program? Are there focus areas or concentrations?
Yes, you can choose elective courses that will help you get ahead in a particular area of accounting. An academic advisor can assist you in developing a tailored concentration which would strengthen your skill set in areas of your choice. Nine elective credits establish a focus area.
Focus areas are available in: Data Analytics, Forensic Accounting, and Taxation.
Is choosing a focus area a requirement for the MSA program?
No, students do not need to choose a focus area to complete their degree.
Can MSA students take elective courses from other departments at UMass Amherst?
Yes, as an MSA student, you are allowed to take 6 credits of elective coursework within the Online MBA curriculum.
For how long do each of the courses run?
We follow a typical semester system – fall and spring semesters are 14 weeks, summer semester is 10 weeks (no classes offered during August), and the winter session is typically 5 weeks. Some courses (based on credit hour) may vary from the traditional semester structure.
How are the materials/classes presented?
Courses are conducted through Blackboard Learn, utilizing an asynchronous presentation style including recorded lectures, discussion groups, readings, and exams/papers. (Please note that each class varies and the presentation methods/materials are at the discretion of the professor).
Is Pass/Fail and SAT/UNSAT grading an option for the MSA program?
The MSA program does not allow for Pass/Fail and SAT/UNSAT grading.
Is there a max-time-to completion for the MSA Transitions Track?
Due to the ever-changing evolution in business education, MS in Accounting courses which were taken more than six years ago cannot be counted toward your degree and will need to be retaken. We strongly recommend that students complete the MS in Accounting program within three years, but the majority of students complete the program within 2.5 years.
Can I apply the Forensic Accounting Certificate courses towards the MSA program?
Yes, you can. The four core certificate courses (12 credits) will transfer directly into the MSA program. Taking the certificate before the MSA program does not guarantee admission to the MSA program. There are separate application processes for each program. Taking the certificate program before the MSA is not required.
I am enrolling in my last class before I graduate, is there a form I need to fill out?
Congratulations on reaching your goal of completing your MSA! If you are enrolling in your last class this semester, you must complete the Degree Eligibility Form and submit it to your academic advisor.
Note: An overall 3.0 GPA (B) must be maintained in order to graduate. Once your Degree Eligibility Form has been processed by the Graduate Office, details about commencement will be both emailed and mailed to your current address (listed on SPIRE).
As an Online MSA student, will I receive the same diploma as the on-campus students?
Yes, you will receive the same exact diploma. Whether you take the program online or in-person, it will not be specified on the diploma.
Will my focus area appear on the diploma?
The diploma will not reveal your focus area, but the transcript will.
Are there Honor Societies for the MSA Program?
Yes, students in the top 10% are inducted into Phi Kappa Phi while students in the top 20% are inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma.
Can I participate in MSA graduation ceremonies on campus?
YES! All eligible MSA students can participate in graduation ceremonies and receptions. You are eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies and receptions if you complete your MSA credits by May of the same year as graduation.
Does the MSA program meet the 150-hour requirement to become a CPA?
Upon completion of the degree program, students will have met the educational requirements for CPA licensure in Massachusetts. To find out what the requirements are for your state, go to https://nasba.org/stateboards/.
What format choices do I have for courses in the MSA - Transitions Track?
All transitions foundation courses are completed 100% online in an asynchronous manner. You can take classes from any place at any time, so you can complete your assignments at a time that works for you.
Once you move into the core MSA curriculum, we offer the option for students to take some of their classes in-person at UMass Amherst. Classes are offered on-campus at Isenberg in the fall and spring semesters. Classes are typically held Monday to Thursday. If you wish to combine on-campus and online classes, you may. Or, you can continue to take advantage of our completely online option.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The program is meant to be flexible and to meet the needs of our students, so the length it takes to complete is really up to you. For the Transitions track, the minimum length of time to complete the program will be 4 semesters. Those working full time can expect to complete the program in 2.5 years.
Is the Isenberg MSA program accredited?
Yes, we are accredited by AACSB, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. We have the distinction of having earned separate AACSB accreditation for our accounting department and programs – only 1% of business schools in the world have this distinction.
Does the MSA qualify for STEM OPT extension?
No, the MSA program is not STEM certified.
Can I participate in any networking events?
Yes, we offer many events including networking events, discussion panels, as well as social gatherings. If you’re in the area, we welcome you to attend our events. Events may be offered both virtually and in-person.
What are the online career resources that I can access as an online student?
- IConnect (tools, tips, tricks, recruitment, events, connections, etc.)
- Isenberg Alumni LinkedIn Group (Join at student level)
Who is eligible for the Isenberg MSA Transitions Track?
Our MSA Program - Transitions track is designed for students who did not complete their undergraduate degree in accounting and are seeking to move into the accounting profession.
I received a bachelor’s degree in business (non-accounting). Should I apply to the Transitions Track or the Professional Track?
You most likely need to take additional accounting courses. Please contact our office for a preliminary review of your transcript: firstname.lastname@example.org
The accounting classes required for entry into our program are as follows:
• Intermediate Financial Accounting I/Financial Reporting I
• Intermediate Financial Accounting II/Financial Reporting II
• Cost Accounting
• Individual/Federal Taxation
Are there any residency requirements?
Residency is not a part of the requirement as the MSA program can be completed 100% online and can be done from anywhere in the world.
I will be graduating from my undergraduate program soon. Is work experience necessary for this program?
No, the MSA program does not require any work experience for its incoming students. Upcoming and recent graduates are encouraged to apply.
Can non-Isenberg undergraduate students take undergraduate accounting courses?
UMass undergraduate students (non-Isenberg) may be eligible to take undergraduate accounting courses. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Undergraduate students at UMass Amherst and other colleges in the Five College Consortium can pursue a 4+1 option, completing their undergraduate degree and their master's degree in 5 years. The 4+1 option can also be accelerated, allowing students to complete both their undergraduate and master's degrees in fewer than 5 years. Interested students should apply to a master's degree program in their junior year or early in their senior year.
Am I at a disadvantage if I have not completed previous coursework in accounting?
No. Our transitions track is designed for students with non-accounting backgrounds.
I earned an undergraduate degree that only took 3 years. Am I eligible to apply to the Isenberg MSA?
You must earn a degree from a 4-year institution or education that is equivalent to a 4-year degree (in some cases a course-by-course evaluation of academic history may be required). Please use the WES Degree Equivalency Tool to determine if an international degree is equivalent to a 4-year US degree.
How do I search for and enroll in MSA online courses?
All students can use the Browse Courses tool to review Isenberg course offerings. To register, login to SPIRE and click on Main Menu > Enrollment > Add Classes. Online courses will be designated as “UWW”.
How do I enroll in a winter class?
To enroll in a winter class, you must activate your Enrollment Appointment in SPIRE.
Log into SPIRE and request a UWW Enrollment Appointment by navigating to Main Menu > Enrollment > Summer/Wtr/Non-deg Enroll Appt. This appointment represents the time period during which you will be able to enroll in UWW classes in SPIRE.
Can I preview my online classes before they begin?
Yes! The University uses an Online Learning Management Systems: Blackboard Learn (BBL). Blackboard courses are available a week prior to the start of the semester. This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and start to learn the navigation before having to learn the course content.
What course materials, such as textbooks, are required for my course?
I need to take a semester off. What should I do?
If you are unable to take a class in a fall or spring semester, register for continuous enrollment. Contact your advisor for more details.
What happens if I do not enroll in a class and forget to register for continuous enrollment?
If you do not enroll in a minimum of one course in the spring and fall semesters by the add/drop deadline OR do not apply for continuous enrollment, you will be withdrawn from the University for “failure to enroll.” Should this happen and you wish to be readmitted, you must contact the Graduate Programs Office, pay the program fees and a readmit fee. Readmission is not guaranteed.
Am I eligible for course waivers/transfers for the MSA?
Graduate courses, taken within three years of admission into the program and with a grade of B or better, and that were not used to satisfy another degree, are eligible for transfer. You can transfer up to 6 credits from another accredited university toward your Isenberg MSA. Courses and their respective credits that transfer will reduce the number of credits required to complete your Isenberg MSA degree.
For courses to be considered for transfers, please send us a course description and a syllabus for each course. Please be specific about which Isenberg course you are requesting to have reviewed. If approved, you will need to have your official transcript sent with the courses listed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Am I eligible for exemptions from the MSA Transitions track foundation courses?
Occasionally, students in the MSA Transitions track may have completed an upper-level accounting course that qualifies them for an exemption from a foundation course. Current MSA students should contact their advisor for more information. Applicants should email email@example.com for more information.
How do I know if courses have been approved for transfer or waiver?
The Graduate Programs Office will contact you to let you know which course(s) has been approved for transfer or waiver.
If I participate in the try-a-class option prior to applying to the MSA program, will my grades be reviewed as part of the application process?
Yes, the performance in your non-degree courses will be reviewed as part of your admissions process.
Should I be accepted into the MSA program, will my non-degree courses count towards my graduation requirements?
Yes, 6 credits of non-degree courses are eligible for transfer into the MSA program. A grade of “B” or better is required for transfer.
How do I apply to take non-degree courses?
When are non-degree students able to register for courses?
Non-degree registration typically opens two weeks after registration opens for our matriculated students. Please contact a staff member for course recommendations with open seats: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the tuition for online courses the same for out-of-state students?
How will I receive my tuition bill?
You will be billed directly by the University Bursar's Office. Billing information will be sent to your UMass email account. Paper bills will not be generated. The bill can be viewed within SPIRE and paid directly online, or it can be downloaded and mailed with a check. If your employer is paying for your tuition, you may also use Agency or Corporate Billing. Bills are generally posted on the 15th of the month. Any questions related to your bill should be directed to the Bursar’s Office.
Is a deposit required prior to entering the MSA program?
No, we do not require any deposit payment for the MSA.
Am I eligible for a graduate assistantship/scholarship as an online student?
MSA students are not eligible for graduate assistantships. We offer a limited number of scholarships worth $2500 each. You would be eligible to apply once you have matriculated in the MSA program.