Pass Your CPA Exam with a Masters in Accounting

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Pass Your CPA Exam with a Masters in Accounting

Pass Your CPA Exam with a Masters in Accounting


A Masters in Accounting is more than just a tool to gain the required credit hours for the CPA exam. An MSA will provide the in-depth knowledge you need to study for and pass the CPA exam. The University of Tennessee recently reported that pass rates for the CPA exam are twice as high for those with a graduate degree!

The success of a certified public accountant (CPA) depends not only on the technical requirements of the profession, but highly developed analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills. CPAs who can combine their technical proficiencies with the ability to apply them to the real-world challenges of growing a business in a client and customer-focused world are the most attractive to employers.

It’s for this reason that many states now require that students complete 150 hours of education before they receive their CPA certification. Colleges and universities in these states determine the curriculum for the education of CPAs, which, according to the American Institute of CPAs,  typically features “a good balance of accounting, business, and general education.”

The American Institute of CPAs outlines three primary reasons why a four-year bachelor’s degree is no longer considered a sufficient pre-requisite for certification.  They are:

  • Significant changes in accounting and audit practices, particularly new tax laws and regulations, have expanded the knowledge base that an accountant requires.
  • Business processes have become increasingly complex. Regulations from federal, state, and local governments require well-educated individuals to ensure compliance.
  • With ever more sophisticated approaches to auditing, an increase in demand for a variety of highly technical accounting services, and greater audit efficiency, the demand for large numbers of people performing routine auditing tasks is rapidly decreasing.

Students can elect to complete these education requirements through different means:

  • Combining an undergraduate degree with a master’s in accounting or an MBA with a concentration in accounting; or,
  • An integrated five-year professional accounting program that leads to a master’s degree in accounting.

Because of the additional benefits of developing analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills, these educational requirements are often best completed with a graduate degree.

A master’s degree in accounting prepares students well for their CPA exam, as well as for future career opportunities. Undergraduate degree programs may not include some of the courses required to prepare you for the CPA exam, such as governmental or nonprofit accounting, that a master’s degree program will. In addition, management courses offered at the graduate level, such as performance measurement and advanced managerial accounting may be beneficial as you climb up the corporate ladder.