Earn Your Master's Degree in Professional Accountancy
Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) graduates are not only prepared for a wide variety of employment opportunities, but also meet the course and credit requirements to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Our graduates are recruited by local, regional, national, and international accounting firms, private industry, and governmental agencies. Recent successes in MPA graduate placement and CPA exam results provide evidence of the MPA program quality and market demand for its graduates.
The School of Accountancy is separately accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
What Will I Learn?
As knowledge requirements for entering the accounting profession continually evolve, qualified students are encouraged to consider pursuing a fifth year of study leading to an MPA degree. Students will complete 30 hours of graduate-level courses, which incorporate in-depth, advanced coverage of topics such as auditing, current accounting theory and research, cost accounting, and tax, among others. Students may select from a variety of approved graduate electives and have the opportunity to study abroad. Many students also take the CPA exam while in the MPA program.
For students seeking a GA position:
- April 1 - Summer admission
- April 1 - Fall admission
- November 1 - Spring admission
Graduate School general application deadlines:
- May 15 - Summer admission
- August 15 - Fall admission
- January 15 - Spring admission
- Graduate Admissions Application
- Official transcript(s) sent to Graduate School
- Three letters of recommendation, from individuals who can speak to the applicant’s upper-level academic performance (MPA applicants typically provide 2 academic and 1 professional)
- Statement of Purpose (Personal essay writing sample, 1-2 pages, double spaced)
- International students must submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores
- Immunization records
- Official GMAT or GRE score, unless applicant meets qualifications to be eligible for waiver.
- For admission for Summer/Fall 2019 admission and prior, GMAT or GRE scores are required for all applicants.
- Beginning with Spring 2020 admission, GMAT/GRE waivers may apply in the following
- Applicants who have previously earned a Master’s degree or higher.
- Applicants who have previously passed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam; and/or
- Applicants who have demonstrated strong academic performance in their undergraduate accounting curriculum, as evidenced by earning a Bachelor’s degree while achieving a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0, along with a minimum Accounting GPA of 3.0, from a university accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
The program contains 7 core classes and 3 graduate business electives for a total of 30 credit hours (10 courses).
- ACC 608 - Financial Statement Analysis
- ACC 610 - Advanced Auditing
- ACC 630 - Tax Seminar I
- ACC 631 - Tax Seminar II
- ACC 605 - Current Accounting Theory and Research
- ACC 615 - Audit Analytics and IT Auditing
- ACC 620 - Advanced Cost/Managerial
- Approved graduate business elective, which may include:
- ACC 690 - Current Issues in Professional Accountancy, CPA Exam Prep Course with Becker Review (online)
- or select MBA/MSM/MSED course
2 approved graduate business electives, which may include:
- ACC 640 - International Accounting (online)
- ACC 660 - Fraud Accounting (online)
- ACC 598/699 - International Accounting Seminar/Research Abroad, for British Studies (6 hrs), Asian Studies (3 hrs), or Italian Studies (3 hrs)
- and/or select MBA/MSM/MSED courses
Most prerequisites are met by students with a BSBA in accounting; however, the MPA program does not require an undergraduate degree in accounting. Students without an undergraduate degree in accounting must meet additional undergraduate business and accounting prerequisites requirements, before beginning the program.
Students may enter the MPA program at any time – summer, fall or spring.
The program may be completed on a full-time basis in one calendar year. A part-time program is also available.
The MPA program requires the successful completion of 30 credit hours of graduate work with a cumulative GPA of 3.0+ to graduate.
Graduate Assistantship positions, available to MPA students on a competitive basis, can waive up to the full cost of tuition and provide a monthly stipend for qualifying students. In addition, scholarships may be available to MPA students through The Southern Miss Foundation. Students may also apply for financial aid.
MPA students are eligible to become members of the superior, award-winning Beta Alpha Psi chapter at Southern Miss, an honorary organization for financial information students and professionals. Beta Alpha Psi regularly hosts a wide variety of speakers at its meetings and provides numerous opportunities for students to develop professionally and network with accounting professionals.
MPA students are encouraged to consider participating in Study Abroad programs including British Studies, Italian Studies, or Asian Studies. Students may earn up to 6 hours of graduate course credit for study abroad electives.
Expert Faculty Who Are There to Help
Our faculty is focused on student success, placing the highest priority on quality teaching and course delivery. In order to help prepare students for successful careers, the faculty support students well beyond the traditional classroom. They are actively involved in “opening doors” and assisting students in preparing for the interview process. Additionally, our faculty expand their knowledge through published research, receiving prestigious teaching awards in recognition of their commitment to teaching and enabling student success
Professional Licensure Disclosure
To sit for the CPA exam, you must have either (1) 150 hours of college credit upon completing an undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting, or (2) have completed the Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) degree. Please refer to State Board of Public Accountancy website for the particular state you would be practicing in for more information. We have been unable to determine if completion of the graduate degree alone would allow an individual to become licensed in any of the other 49 US states or U.S. protectorates.
A list of state professional licensing boards can be found at http://nasba.org/stateboards/
- Public Accounting Firms
- Governmental Agencies
- Private Industry
- Steven Palazzo, CPA/ 1996
U.S. Congressman/ Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District
- Jennifer Hilliard, CPA/ 1995
Partner, Assurance/ Haddox Reid Eubank Betts PLLC – Jackson, MS
- Ashley Foley, CPA/ 2015
Senior Associate, Global Employer Service, International Tax/ RSM US LLP, Washington DC Metro Offices