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  • Master of Science in Accounting and Finance
  • Graduate Studies

  • Master of Science in Accounting and Finance

    Program Coordinator: Sheri Erickson, Ph.D
    Center for Business 204B, 218.477.4073

    Program Description

    The Master of Science in Accounting and Finance program is designed to provide a unique blend of two disciplines and practice. Students completing the program will be well-prepared to pursue careers in investment management or accounting and to obtain professional designations like Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA).



    The School of Business is accredited by AACSB International. Fewer than 5% of the world’s business schools have achieved this distinction, which involves a process of rigorous internal review and evaluation. AACSB accreditation signifies that the School of Business has a high quality teaching environment, a commitment to continuous improvement, and curricula responsive to the needs of business.


    Benefits of the Accounting and Finance Program

    Professional certifications are becoming increasingly important in today's competitive business environment. This program helps prepare students to obtain one or more of these professional certifications. One goal of the program is to improve the marketing of both accounting and finance graduates. 

    Admission Requirements

    The items listed below are required for admission to this program; only complete files are reviewed. Send all materials to:
    Graduate Studies Office
    MSU Moorhead
    1104 7th Ave. S.
    Moorhead, MN 56563

    Priority Deadline: October 15th for Spring Semester; March 1st for Fall semester


    Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree in accounting or finance. In addition, those graduating with a finance degree must have successfully completed Intermediate Accounting I and II in order to take courses in this program.

    1. Baccalaureate degree in Accounting or Finance* or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution.
    2. 3.0 grade point average.**
    3. Application for Admission to Graduate Study
    4. Non-refundable $20.00 fee for first-time applicants to MSUM
    5. Official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended
    6. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) only required for those whose GPA fall between 2.75 and 3.0; minimum score of 550; only official scores accepted; 5 years or less;
    7. Letter of intent stating reasons for wanting a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance (MSUM students exempt)
    8. Two current or recent letters of recommendation (MSUM students exempt)

    International applicants:

    1. International Application for Admission to Graduate Study form.
    2. Application fee of U.S. $20.00 for first-time applicants to MSUM.
    3. GPA requirement (at least 3.0 cumulative on a 4.0 scale)
    4. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) only required for those whose GPA fall between 2.75 and 3.0; minimum score of 550; only official scores accepted; 5 years or less;
    5. Letter of intent explaining why you would like a Master's Degree in Accounting and Finance
    6. 2 Letters of recommendation
    7. For those whose native language is not English, an official score from TOEFL is required. The TOEFL required score is 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based) or 78-80 (internet-based). 
    8. A comprehensive course-by-course transcript evaluation by either Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or World Education Services (WES) is required for transcripts from all post-secondary colleges and universities outside of the United States. ECE or WES evaluation must certify international degree as equivalent to a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited American institution.
    9. Completed Sponsor Form
    10. Official bank statement; the current requirement is at least $18,000 per year in U.S. funds. Verification of additional $4000 is needed if you are bringing a spouse/first dependent and $2,100 for each additional dependent. 
    11. Completed, signed International Student Agreement Form.
    12. International Student Transfer Form (is applicable).
    13. International students must purchase the University health insurance. No exceptions will be made.

    *Students with bachelor’s degree in disciplines outside accounting and finance must have the equivalent of ACCT 330, intermediate accounting I, ACCT 331, intermediate accounting II, ACCT 350, cost accounting, FINC 340, financial management, and FINC 360, principles of investment. Bachelor’s degrees will be evaluated by the School of Business faculty to determine whether any additional undergraduate coursework is necessary to be admitted to the program.

    **If applicant’s GPA is below 3.0, a provisional admission may be allowed under the following conditions:

    1. The applicant takes the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) with the expectation the applicant earns a score of at least 550.
    2. If the above requirements are not met, the applicant may be granted conditional admission which is granted at the discretion of the MSUM School of Business Faculty.

    Pre-Admission Enrollment Option

    You may take up nine (9) graduate credits as a Graduate Special student before being formally accepted into the program. Although this does not guarantee admission, it gives you an opportunity to start taking classes immediately. For more information contact the Graduate Studies Office at or 218-477-2134. You may view the easy admission requirements for the Graduate Special status on the website. This temporary non-degree status would be changed after formal admission and all credits taken would be transferred into the program.  

    Degree Requirements

    1. 31 credits for degree completion; 15 core credits, 15 elective credits, 1 portfolio credit
    2. A student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the program. If a student’s GPA falls below 3.0 then the student will be placed on probation and allowed to take only 6 credits the following semester. If after taking 6 credits during probation, the student’s GPA is still below 3.0 then the student will be expelled and not allowed to reapply.
    3. Students who wish to transfer credits from other institutions or have taken courses before admission to the graduate program should refer to the “Residence and Transfer of Credit” section in the Graduate Bulletin for further information.
    4. Completion of oral examination which serves as a review of the student’s portfolio.

    Course Requirements

    Core Requirements (16 Required Credits)
    BUS 602 Quantitative Methods (3)
    BUS 640 Financial Statement Analysis (3)
    BUS 642 Corporate Finance (3)
    BUS 644 Accounting for Managerial Decision Making (3)
    BUS 648 Investments (3)
    BUS 696 Project/Action Research (Plan B) (1)

    Restricted Electives
    Students select 5 courses from the following list:
    ACCT 507 Commercial Transaction, Property, and Special Topics (3)
    ACCT 532 Advanced Accounting II (3)
    ACCT 541 Individual Taxation (3)
    ACCT 543 Corporate/Partnership Tax (3)
    ACCT 561 Audit II (3)
    FINC 546 Financial Decision Making (3)
    FINC 560 Portfolio Analysis and Management (3)
    FINC 563 Futures and Options (3)

    Note: Students enrolling in 400 level cross-listed courses to meet undergraduate degree requirements will not be allowed to use them for graduate credit.

    Suggested Order for Your MS in Accounting and Finance


    Fall Semester

    Spring Semester

    BUS 640, Financial Statement Analysis, 3 cr.
    BUS 642, Corporate Finance, 3 cr.
    BUS 602, Quantitative Methods, 3 cr.
    Elective I, 3 cr.
    Elective II, 3 credits

    BUS 696, Project/Action Research (Plan B) (1)

    BUS 648, Investments, 3 cr.
    BUS 644, Accounting for Managerial Decision Making, 3 cr.
    Elective III, 3 cr.
    Elective IV, 3 cr.
    Elective V, 3 cr.
    BUS 696, Project/Action Research (Plan B) (1)*


    *BUS 696 can be taken either Fall or Spring


    Additional Information

    Graduate Application Form
    Printable copy of this information in PDF