Master of Science in Accounting

Level-up your accounting skills and prepare for the CPA exam through Suffolk’s Master of Science in Accounting (MSA).

in as few as 9 months

in as few as 21 months

30 Credits

At Suffolk, you’ll study accounting in the center of Boston’s Financial District – just a short walk away from the city’s Big Four accounting firms. Our MSA program is designed to fit your needs and professional goals, offering three unique tracks to suit your educational background. You’ll also have the added flexibility to take classes back-to-back in one evening or online on a space-available basis.

What is an MSA Degree?

To prepare you for long-term success, our Master of Science in Accounting curriculum integrates Becker’s CPA Exam Review Course, providing you with supplemental materials that will help you ace your classes and sit for the CPA Exam. And with a Level-1 status from the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy, as well as an international supplemental accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), you can be sure that your degree is well-respected among top employers.

While completing Suffolk's MSA program, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Learn from industry experts who are a mix of practitioners and accomplished scholars
  • Study from a curriculum guided by the cutting-edge industry practices identified by our Young Alumni Advisory Board
  • Prepare for success on the CPA Exam by taking classes that include Becker's CPA Exam Review Course
  • Pursue a STEM-designated concentration in Information Systems and Controls, or specialize in areas like Business Analysis and Reporting and Tax Compliance and Planning

Why Get a CPA?

Accountants who hold their CPA license earn 10%-15% more annually than those without the licensure. In fact, the average salary of a US-based CPA is $119,000 per year, excluding bonuses, according to the Journal of Accountancy.

Adapting to CPA Changes

A revised version of the CPA exam will be offered beginning in 2024. Are you ready? The Suffolk MSA can help you prepare. We've already adapted our curriculum to match anticipated changes to the exam. Learn more by watching our recent information session.

State-by-State CPA Exam Eligibility Requirements

See information about the educational requirements necessary for CPA exam eligibility for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Continuing Excellence

AACSB Accredited: Acounting logoOur program has received Level-1 status from the Massachusetts Board of Public Accountancy. It is also 1 of only 182 institutions worldwide to have an international supplemental accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

As the only accounting program in Boston with this unique supplemental accreditation, our students are automatically eligible to sit for the CPA exam without having to submit their transcripts for verification and are not subject to a waiting period.

MSA Program Overview

The Curriculum

For more than 30 years, our graduate accounting programs have been preparing students for the CPA and CMA exams.

View the MSA Curriculum

MSA Concentrations

Develop your skills further and gain in demand expertise by choosing one of the concentrations within the Suffolk MSA program. All three concentrations are closely matched to the discipline specific areas of the CPA exam, helping you to prepare.

Students who are interested in assurance or advisory services, financial statement analysis and reporting, technical accounting, and financial and operations management should consider the Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR) concentration. The content in the BAR concentration includes a data analytics focus and assesses topics like financial risk management and financial planning techniques. BAR can also include more advanced technical accounting and reporting topics, including assessment of revenue recognition and leases, business combinations, derivatives, and hedge accounting, as well as employee benefit plan financial statements.

Technology and business controls is a focus of the Information Systems and Controls (ISM) concentration. Students who are interested in assurance or advisory services related to business processes, information systems, information security and governance, and IT audits are encouraged to choose this concentration. Content for this concentration is focused on IT and data governance, internal control testing, and information system security, including network security, software access, and endpoint security. The MSA, or MSA Essentials Plus, with a concentration in Information Systems and Controls is a graduate degree with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) designation.

The focus of the Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP) concentration includes taxation topics involving more advanced individual and entity tax compliance. Content focused on personal financial planning and entity planning, inclusions and exclusions to gross income, and gift taxation compliance and planning is also covered. Coverage of advanced entity tax compliance includes consolidated tax returns, multijurisdictional tax issues, and transactions between an entity and its owners. The tax treatments of the formation and liquidation of business entities is included as well.

4+1 Program

If you’re a senior working towards an undergraduate business degree or a recent graduate, you may qualify to earn your Master of Science in Accounting in as few as 9 months, or your MSA/MSF or MSBA/MSA in as few as 16 months. Learn more about our 4+1 programs.

Advising & Other Resources

Our Graduate Student Services team is here to support you every step of the way. From application advising to financial aid counseling and international student resources, we provide a wide range of services to help you get the most out of your business education. You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in professional development workshops throughout the year, as well as lifelong access to all of the tools and resources offered by our Center for Career Equity, Development & Success.

MSA Faculty Expertise

Our program faculty are at the forefront of their field, pursuing research and being sought out by the media to offer their take on various topics.

  • Professor Ariel Markelevich, PhD, CMA appeared on “Count Me In,” the Institute of Management Accountant's (IMA’s) podcast about all things affecting the accounting and finance world where he explains what blockchain is and why accountants should care about it
  • Professor Nancy Chun Feng—and her co-author Mahfuja Malik—have had a paper, "Carry Forward Effects of CSR Champions", accepted for publication in Accounting Horizons, a top accounting journal 
  • Professor Andrew Stuart, PhD, CPA was selected as one of the recipients of the 2018-2019 Glen McLaughlin Prize for Research in Accounting Ethics from the Steed School of Accounting at the University of Oklahoma for his paper "The Value of Assurance and Ethics in Difficult Times: Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures and Investor Decisions"
  • Professors Ariel Markelevich, PhD, CMA & Stephen Fuller, PhD paper "Should accountants care about blockchain" was recently published in The Journal of Corporate Accounting & Finance
  • Accounting Department Chair and Associate Professor Christine Nolder is Editorial Board member for Contemporary Accounting Research, a Financial Times Top 50 Journal

Success after Suffolk

Here's a sampling of recent graduates’ current job titles and employers.

Staff Accountant
Audit Associate
Baker Newman Noyes
Tax Associate
Ernst and Young
Tax Associate
Vice President of Commercial Portfolio Management
Audit Associate
Senior Analyst
Audit Associate
CBIZ & MHM New England

Meet our Alumni

Learn More About Earning a Suffolk Business Degree

Let us know the best way to reach you, and our team will be in touch with more information about Suffolk University's Sawyer Business School.

Applying to Suffolk's MSA Program

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester: June 15 (International Applicants), August 15 (Domestic Applicants), then rolling; Submit your completed application by July 1 for Sawyer Business School Fellowship Employment consideration
  • Spring Semester: December 1 (International Applicants), January 4 (Domestic Applicants), then rolling; Submit your completed application by November 1 for Sawyer Business School Fellowship Employment consideration

Learn about the advantages of priority applications.

Application Materials

  • Completed application
  • $50 Application Fee (waived for students who visit campus or attend an event virtually)
  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcripts of all post-secondary work. Admitted students enrolling in the program will need to have official transcripts, including proof of degree conferral, on file prior to their first class
  • Goal Statement (essay)
  • Reference/Recommendation (learn more)
  • Official TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo or PTE-Academic Scores (international students only)


View current tuition and fees for this program

Financial Aid for Graduate Study

Suffolk University is pleased to offer both merit- and need-based financial aid to graduate students—these awards can be up to $20,000 per academic year. Merit-based aid is awarded based on the applicant's academic credentials presented on the admission application. No separate application is required for merit consideration.


Accounting Information Request


Explore More at Suffolk