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By, Jocelyne Visnov and Mack Olmstead, Asst. Production Editor and Editor-in-Chief

The O’Malley School of Business recently announced its brand new Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program, coming to Manhattan College in the fall semester of 2022.

The new MSA program is aimed at a broad audience as it opens the door to non-business students, not to mention that it also allows students from outside of Manhattan College.

This program has been in development since fall 2020. The program was developed by the chairman, Fengyun Wu, Ph.D., professor of accounting, computer and information science, and law, along with the rest of the accounting department and the dean of the O’ Malley School of Business, Don Gibson. The program was developed in four months and then began the approval process which took about a year.

“The main focus is to really help students who aren’t accounting majors or don’t have accounting expertise. So it’s a program that’s all accounting courses,” Wu said.

It is important to note that the MSA is different from the MBA program, also offered within the O’Malley School of Business. The MBA in Professional Accounting is a 5-year program for MC business students who are currently majoring in accounting, while the MSA is for students who have taken basic business courses but have not majored in accounting for their undergraduate degree. The MSA is also open to students who have not taken undergraduate courses at MC.

The MSA will be a stand-alone, one-year, 30-credit program. The program will be open to any major as long as you have a business background with 36 credits. The core courses that are part of this program are: ACCT601 Intermediate Financial Accounting, ACCT602 Accounting Information Systems, ACCT603 Federal Income Tax, ACCT604 Advanced Financial Accounting, and ACCT605 Auditing and Assurance Services.

Apart from the core curriculum, students will also be required to take five accounting electives. After the course, students will have the opportunity to take the test for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, qualifying them to enter the accounting profession upon graduation. With the CPA license, a student is more likely to end up in a high-paying position with job security. To make this program more accessible, the program will be online with asynchronous classes and weekly live sessions.

Although this program will not begin until the fall of 2022, some students have been able to get a small head start in this program by taking ACCT 612 Forensic Accounting. This was a brand new class introduced and is part of the new initiative taken by Manhattan College. Next semester Manhattan College is offering ACCT 610 Govt. and Not-for-Profit Acct., which could be used as one of the five choices needed for the program.

Aileen Farrelly, assistant dean of the O’Malley School of Business, explained that the MSA in Accounting is ideal for those who may have acquired an interest in accounting late in their course.

“[Accounting] is so much more exciting than before and you can get involved in more of your interests, like in different industries,” she said. “Having the Certified CPA gets you the door to those places, or at least your way…All of our accounting majors that do the BS/MBA in Professional Accounting have jobs when they graduate, each of them . We are 100% placement.

Sachy Figueroa, a freshman accounting student, traveled to Manhattan College’s Graduate Expo where she first learned about the MSA program. She has enjoyed the program very much and is delighted with its launch.

“I think it’s a really good opportunity and I think a lot of students, once they’re familiar with this program, will want to be part of it,” Figueroa said.

The leadership of the business program in Manhattan is excited to see the opportunities available to students with the start of the MSA.

Gibson is proud of this new program and wanted to explain what it could do for a student’s future.

“It’s a degree for students who graduated in business but didn’t choose to major in accounting, so they can still pursue that profession and prepare for the CPA,” Gibson said. “So this degree not only helps you prepare for the test, but it can also expose you to potential internships in companies.”

Wu shares similar sentiments towards the program.

“I really think this is an important program for the growth of our own accounting program itself, it also really meets the demand from our own non-accounting business majors and so it’s a program important to us,” she said. “It builds on the strength of our existing accounting program. We have a very strong faculty. This program will build on the strengths we already have at the O’ Malley School of Business, and hopefully we can get off to a good start for this MSA program.