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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2017-02-16

Accounting MSA

Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:


The Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours and passing the end-of-program comprehensive exam. In the total plan of study a minimum of 21 credit hours of the course work must be completed in accounting/tax courses. Students, with the assistance and approval of the program adviser, may select other courses that reflect their interests.

Total Credit Hours Required

30 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree


The Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours, and a final written exit exam. In the total program of study a minimum of 21 credit hours of the course work must be completed in accounting/tax courses. Students, with the assistance and approval of the program adviser, may select other courses that reflect their interests and career objectives.

Faculty members in the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting emphasize independent learning in various ways in all courses in the MSA program. Cases and research projects that involve independent work outside the classroom are incorporated into all course work. The cases and projects are both individual and team prepared. Students are asked to do research that requires they utilize library, internet and resources other than the material provided by the professor. The results of independent research activity are presented in either a written report or case analysis or oral presentation. Students work to develop and enhance skills and competencies that will support them professionally throughout their careers. The approaches used in our courses encourage students toward life-long learning.

Foundation Prerequisite Courses

The courses included in the business and accounting foundation core are listed below. An applicant with a recent undergraduate accounting degree should satisfy most of the core foundation requirements. Other recent related business coursework may partially satisfy these core requirements. The business foundation core is designed for students with a nonbusiness undergraduate degree (e.g., psychology, education, or engineering). The accounting foundation core is designed for students with an undergraduate business degree (e.g., finance, marketing, or management). All business and accounting foundation core deficiencies must be satisfied before graduate MSA coursework can be taken. Before taking any foundation courses, please have your undergraduate transcripts reviewed by the MSA Program Adviser.

Business Foundation Core—21 Credit Hours

  • ACG 2021 Financial Accounting (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 2071 Managerial Accounting (3 credit hours)
  • ECO 2013 Macroeconomics (3 credit hours)
  • ECO 2023 Microeconomics (3 credit hours)
  • ECO 3401 Quantitative Business Tools I (3 credit hours)
  • ECO 3411 Quantitative Business Tools II (3 credit hours)
  • FIN 3403 Business Finance (3 credit hours)

Accounting Foundation Core—24 Credit Hours

  • ACG 3131 Intermediate Financial Accounting I (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 3141 Intermediate Financial Accounting II (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 3361 Cost Accounting I (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 4401 Accounting Information Systems (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 4651 Auditing (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 4803 Advanced Issues in Financial Accounting (3 credit hours)
  • BUL 3130 Legal and Ethical Environment of Business (3 credit hours)
  • TAX 4001 Taxation of Business Entities and Transactions (3 credit hours)

Required Courses—15 Credit Hours

  • ACG 6636 Advanced Auditing (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 6415 Advanced Accounting Information Systems (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 6805 Accounting Theory (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 6305 Advanced Managerial Accounting (3 credit hours)
  • TAX 5015 Advanced Tax Topics (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—15 Credit Hours

Restricted Accounting Elective Courses—6 Credit Hours

  • ACG 6255 International and Multinational Accounting (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 6519 Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 6675 Operational Auditing (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 6685 Fraud Auditing (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 6835 Ethics and Professionalism in Accounting and Auditing (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 6946 Graduate Accounting Internship (3 credit hours)

Restricted Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours

MSA students can take additional ACG courses or TAX courses as restricted electives.  Most MBA courses or electives other than ACG 6425 and BUL 6444 may be taken as restricted electives.. BUL 5332 Advanced Business Law Topics is required for UCF students with an undergraduate degree in accounting who plan to take the CPA exam. Please note that some of the MBA courses may be restricted to only those students enrolled within a specific MBA track. Up to six hours may be selected from outside the College of Business Administration.  Courses outside the College of Business Administration must be selected with the student’s area of interest and/or career objectives in mind and with the approval of the program adviser. 

Comprehensive Examination

Satisfactory completion of an end-of-program comprehensive written examination is required. The MSA program does not require a thesis.

Additional Program Requirements

Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the accounting foundation core. Students must earn a grade of "B-" or higher in any undergraduate course taken after completion of the Bachelor's degree in order for that course to count as a prerequisite in or to fulfill an admissions requirements for the MSA degree.

5000-level courses taken in the undergraduate career that are used to earn the undergraduate accounting degree cannot be transferred into the MSA degree program.

Any student enrolled in a College of Business Administration master's degree program who earns more than two final course grades below a B- will be dismissed from the program and retention plans will not be supported by the College of Business Administration.

Timeline for Completion

This program can be completed on a full or part-time basis.

The following is a sample schedule for the Accounting Foundation Core requirements. It is important to follow this sequencing of courses as pre-requisites apply.

Year 1

  • ACG 3131 Financial Accounting Concepts and Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • ACG 3361  Cost Accounting I (3 credit hours)
  • BUL 3130 Legal and Ethical Environment of Business (4 credit hours)
  • ACG 3141 Intermediate Financial Accounting II (3 credit hours); (ACG 3131)
  • ACG 4401 Accounting Information Systems (3 credit hours); (ACG 3131)
  • TAX 4001 Taxation of Business Entities and Transactions (3 credit hours); (ACG 3131)
  • ACG 4651 Auditing (3 credit hours); (ACG 3141 and ACG 4401)
Semester Total: 10 credit hoursSemester Total: 9 credit hoursSemester Total: 3 credit hours

For program’s required and elective course schedule, please consult with the Program Advisor.

Examination Requirements

The satisfactory completion of an end-of-program comprehensive examination is required. In addition, students must show clear evidence of proficiency in oral and written communication and computer usage.

Graduate Research

UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.

Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see their website: > Compliance.

UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: Policies > General Graduate Policies.

Financial Support

Students with qualifying assistantships or university-wide fellowships will receive financial packages that include an assistantship or fellowship stipend, tuition remission, and health insurance. Qualifying fellowships are accompanied by tuition waivers. Qualifying assistantships include single appointments of at least .50 FTE (20 hrs/week) or two appointments of at least .25 FTE (10 hrs/week). Tuition remission is in the form of either tuition waivers or tuition payments that cover in-state (resident) tuition. Non-resident students with financial packages are not charged out-of-state tuition or the non-resident financial aid fee. 

For additional information about funding for graduate school, please visit

Key points about financial support:

  • If you are interested in financial assistance, you are strongly encouraged to apply for admission early. A complete application for admission, including all supporting documents, must be received by the priority date listed for your program under "Admissions."
  • You must be admitted to a graduate program before the university can consider awarding financial assistance to you.
  • If you want to be considered for loans and other need-based financial assistance, review the UCF Student Financial Assistance website at and complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, which is available online at Apply early and allow up to six weeks for the FAFSA form to be processed.
  • UCF Graduate Studies awards university graduate fellowships, with most decisions based on nominations from the colleges and programs. To be eligible for a fellowship, students must be accepted as a graduate student in a degree program and be enrolled full-time. University graduate fellowships are awarded based on academic merit and therefore are not affected by FAFSA determination of need.
  • Please note that select fellowships do require students to fill out a fellowship application (either a university fellowship application, an external fellowship application, or a college or school fellowship application). For university fellowship applications, see Financing Grad School.
  • For information on assistantships (including teaching, research, and general graduate assistantships) or tuition support, contact the graduate program director of your major.

For more information on scholarships for the discipline, visit the College of Business Administration website.

Graduate Student Associations

Beta Alpha Psi

Beta Alpha Psi is the premiere national honors organization for financial information students and professionals. The primary objective of Beta Alpha Psi is to encourage and give recognition to scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field. This includes promoting the study and practice of accounting, finance and information systems; providing opportunities for self-development, service and association among members and practicing professionals, and encouraging a sense of ethical, social, and public responsibility. 

Student Accounting Society

The Student Accounting Society (SAS) at the University of Central Florida is a professional organization that encourages students to learn about the various career opportunities available within the field of accounting. Members of the Student Accounting Society meet with accounting professionals on a weekly basis to learn about various subjects, including career paths, resumes, interviewing, internships, and more. Aside from professional development, the Student Accounting Society provides members with networking opportunities with students and faculty and tutoring in accounting classes.

For a listing of other student organizations associated with the business disciplines visit the Student Organizations webpage on the College of Business Administration website.

Graduate Student Association (GSA)

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF’s graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students’ personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit

Professional Development

For information on career management, internship and job placement services for MBA and graduate business students visit the Office of Professional Development Website on the College of Business Administration website

Executive Development Center

The Executive Development Center offers programs that range from broad-based professional development to topic-specific workshops. Distinguished UCF faculty and leading practitioners teach these certificate and non-degree programs that train participants in the areas of branding, finance, leadership, and strategy. For additional information, please visit

Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. To that end, they offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)

This training provides information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.

Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program

This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.

The same training as well as information regarding language immersion and tricks and cultural awareness as a way of knowing what to expect from American students.

For more information > Events > GTA Programs or call 407-823-3544.

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers the following free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit  

Graduate Research Forum

The Graduate Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines.

The Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, visit or contact

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record.)

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see


Students should take opportunities to present a poster or a topic of research at a conference. To obtain financial support to present at a conference (other than through your program) or to engage in comparable creative activity at a professional meeting, visit the Graduate Travel Support section at

For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: > Awards.

For grant-proposal writing resources:

Job Search

UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at

The Office of Professional Development in the College of Business Administration offers career management, internship and job placement for graduate business students. For information visit

The Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting offers an Internship Program to provide to the student an educational enhancement through professional practical experience. An internship is a three-credit accounting or tax elective in the student’s graduate program. Questions should be directed to the internship coordinator, Dr. Charles Kelliher.

Informational Website: > MSA/MST info
Office: BA I - 444
Phone: 407.823.5128

For information on career management, internship and job placement services for MBA and graduate business students visit the on the College of Business Administration website.


  • College of Graduate Studies Forms
    A listing of general forms and files for graduate students including student services and records and graduation forms.
  • Graduate Petition Form
    When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student. Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
  • Traveling Scholar Form
    To request to take advantage of special resources available on another campus but not available on the home campus such as course offerings and research pportunities.


Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).


The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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