Master of Science in Accounting

Prepare for a career in public or private accounting

Maintain an incredible competitive advantage and grow as an effective leader with a marketable Master of Science in Accounting degree from the East Carolina University College of Business. For more than 25 years, our MSA program has been preparing graduates for a successful completion of the CPA exam and a rewarding career in accounting.

ECU’s accounting master’s program offers a selection of courses that apply to your future career in public or private accounting. Gain hands-on experience, develop relevant skills, and engage with experienced faculty. Then, complete your CPA exam in your last semester of the master of accounting program—ECU offers the only program in the state to give students this advantage!

Meeting you on your path, at your pace

Our MSA program is built for a diverse range of students—including those who do not have an undergraduate accounting degree. Students with an undergraduate degree in business with a major other than accounting only need to take an additional nine credit hours to meet the prerequisites for our accounting master’s program. If your undergraduate degree is not in business, you will need to complete a financial accounting primer course as well, which can be done online at your convenience.  Complete those classes during the summer and you’ll be on track to earn your MSA degree within 12 months.

All accounting master’s courses are offered on ECU’s beautiful campus or they can be completed 100% online!

Why earn a Master of Science in Accounting degree at East Carolina University?

Further your education and advance your career as a leading professional in the accounting field. You’ll get the opportunity to complete the CPA exam while still taking classes and graduate thoroughly prepared for your career.

Take any semester off from our master of accounting program to participate in paid internships that count as course credit. Most internships are with public accounting firms where you’ll learn to apply fundamental accounting knowledge to clients. Explore opportunities with the help of ECU career services.

Hands-on learning

Collaborate with fellow students to complete your accounting master’s coursework and gain exposure to a variety of business-related activities.

World-class instruction

Learn from tenured faculty through knowledgeable and supportive teaching methods. All faculty have relevant work experience, most in public accounting.

Flexible pace

Start the MSA degree program in any semester and enroll part-time to balance work and life demands.

Courses you will take in the MSA program

Go beyond theory-driven coursework and build practical skills with our hands-on accounting master’s program. Connect with engaging professors and advance your knowledge with our flexible structure of your 10 classes —learn at your own pace, taking between one and five master of accounting program courses each semester.

  • Tax classes: Complete an array of complicated returns as part of these “forms-based” courses.
  • Auditing courses: Gain skills with our comprehensive audit simulations and case studies enabling you to complete audit tasks similar to what you will see in public accounting.
  • Elective courses: Advance your skills in a variety of business-related activities. For example, you could learn how to detect fraud schemes and develop fraud reports, how to use data analytics to uncover hidden relationships in information sets, and how to mitigate risk in developing investment portfolios.

Hear from our Master of Science in Accounting students

“East Carolina University’s MSA Program is rewarding in many ways. It has given me the chance to expand my studies in accounting while gaining a graduate degree in just a year. The best part is ECU’s team of fantastic accounting professors that have helped guide me through this new experience and prepare me for the unique opportunity to sit for the CPA exam during my last semester.”

—Hannah Wood, MSA ’22

What can you do with your MSA degree?

Stand out with a degree that opens doors to a well-paying, steady career path in the accounting profession. Our master of accounting program prepares you for real-world job demands with skills that employers seek out during the hiring process.

Meet the Firms

Every fall, our Department of Accounting hosts a Meet the Firms recruiting event, giving you the opportunity to interact with accounting firms. Discover new career options and network with professionals from the “Big 4” and national accounting firms, as well regional and local firms.

Where are ECU MSA graduates working?

Most students find work in North Carolina, Virginia, or Washington, D.C., but our alumni are also employed across the country, from Boston to San Francisco. Earning your ECU master of accounting degree is a worthy investment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The median annual salary for accountants was nearly $74,000 in 2020.
  • Working professionals with a master’s degree earn up to $12,000 more annually than counterparts with only a bachelor’s degree.
  • Accounting career opportunities are expected to grow 7% through 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Get started on your MSA degree

Take the next step toward earning your MSA degree at ECU. We have the resources to answer all your questions and help you get started. Our MSA program coordinator will personally meet with you to discuss the program and develop an individual plan, setting you on the path to earning your Master of Science in Accounting degree.

Graduate certificates related to the ECU master of accounting program

Accreditation for Master of Science in Accounting program at ECU

Since 1967, East Carolina University’s College of Business has been AACSB accredited. Only about 5% of the world’s business schools, including accredited MSA programs, have earned this distinction, meeting the highest standards of excellence in teaching, research, curriculum, and learner success.