Nov 30, 2023  
Mercy College 2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
Mercy College 2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Accounting, M.S.

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Denise M. Stefano, M.B.A., CPA, CGMA, Chair


The Master of Science in Public Accounting prepares its graduates for employment in a dynamic profession. The program is offered to qualified candidates who wish to enter or advance their careers in the profession of public accountancy or in industry, government or not-for-profit organizations. The program integrates advanced study and research in auditing, taxation, financial and management accounting with business courses in the Master of Business Administration Program, which provide depth and breadth to the learning experience. The Master of Science in Public Accounting is designed for individuals possessing undergraduate degrees in accounting/business or unrelated fields of study who wish to enter the public accounting profession and for those professional accountants who wish to meet the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) 150-hour curriculum criteria. Candidates who have no business or accounting background, or who have not completed the necessary prerequisite coursework, will need to complete the undergraduate prerequisite program prior to being eligible to start the M.S. degree. Contact the Accounting Department chair for information. Graduates of the M.S. in Public Accounting Program who aspire to become Certified Public Accountants will satisfy the New York State licensure requirement with one year of appropriate professional work experience.


The objective of the program is to prepare students for practice in the profession of public accountancy by enabling them to acquire, develop and apply the knowledge, skills, and competencies required in this field. Students will be encouraged to integrate and apply knowledge from accounting and business, think independently, engage in research and maintain high ethical standards.

Expectations of the Graduate

Graduates of the Master of Science in Accounting program will be able to accomplish the following:

  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for careers in the field of public accounting or a related field.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in comprehensive analysis, communication and information technology.
  • Pursue careers in the field of public accounting or a related field and compete successfully.
  • Apply knowledge of personal, ethical and social responsibilities toward effective decision-making

Admission Requirements

Please refer to the general requirements for admission and matriculation in the Admissions  section.

Program Requirements

Requirements for matriculation and admission into the Master of Science in Public Accounting include:

  1. A baccalaureate transcript with 120 credits of prerequisite courses in the specific content areas of accounting, business, and liberal arts and sciences are required for entrance into the program. Contact the Accounting Department chairperson for prerequisite course specifics. International students must submit a formal evaluation of all international coursework; an evaluation by World Education Services (WES) is required. TOEFL scores must also be submitted.
  2. A detailed Professional Goals Statement stating the reasons for applying to the program and how the applicant can benefit by its completion.
  3. Interview with the Accounting Department chairperson or designee. Satisfactory GMAT score may be required for applicants with no substantive business experience or GPA below 3.0.
  4. The successful completion of the CPA or CMA Examination or an equivalent examination could be used instead of the GMAT.



The M.S. in Public Accounting Program meets New York State’s requirements for a 150 credit-hours licensure qualifying program in public accountancy upon successful completion of the prerequisite and requisite program requirements. Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Public Accounting are outlined below. Courses will be scheduled on a quarter system for cohorts of students.

Adherence to the schedule will enable students to complete the program in five quarters of continuous study.

Additional Program Requirements

Transfer Credits

The Master of Science in Public Accounting Program will accept a maximum of six business transfer credits, which are substantially equivalent to those in the program, with the permission of Accounting Department chairperson. The courses must have been completed within the last five years of the student’s first quarter of enrollment in the program with a grade of B or higher.

Maintenance of Matriculation

It is expected that students will fulfill the requirements for their graduate degree by registering over successive sessions. For cohort programs, registration is required during summer session(s). For non-cohort programs, summer registration is not required. Registration is accomplished by either enrolling in classes or maintaining matriculation. The Maintaining Matriculation fee is $100 per session and is processed as a registration.

Students who have not maintained matriculation and wish to return to their program within one year after their last course will be charged the Maintaining Matriculation fee of $100 for each missed session. Maintenance of matriculation without attending classes is limited to one year. Activated U.S. Military Reservists are not required to pay the Maintenance of Matriculation fee.

Capstone Advisement

It is expected that Capstone students shall make satisfactory progress with their program’s culminating activity. After the student registers for all sections of their Capstone requirement, they will be given one subsequent term to complete their work. The Maintaining Matriculation registration must be completed for this subsequent term if no other courses are taken. After this period, a Capstone Continuation fee (equal to the cost of one graduate credit) will be charged for each additional term required to complete the project. Students can only register for Capstone Continuation for two terms. A student’s degree will not be released until all Maintaining Matriculation and Capstone Continuation registration and fees are recorded appropriately on the student’s record.

Maintenance of Good Academic Standing

The cumulative GPA for both good academic standing and degree conferral is a 3.0. A student admitted as a Special Matriculant is required to achieve a 3.0 average or better after completing a certain number of credits as stipulated by their respective program. Grades are subject to review by the faculty advisor and Accounting Department Chairperson at the end of each term. If the academic average falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation.

Academic Probation

All students who have a cumulative GPA of below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. If a student will not be able to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 within a reasonable time, the student will be dismissed from the program. If a student received a grade of F or FW in any course, the student may be subject to dismissal from the College. For all students on probation future registrations must be reviewed and approved by the Accounting department chair as well as the school dean.

In all subsequent terms in which the student is on probation, the student is required to achieve a term GPA of 3.0 or better. If the 3.0 or better is not achieved, the student will be dismissed. Students who receive a grade of less than B may be required to repeat the course. Students will be allowed to repeat a course only once.

Time Limit

Requirements for the M.S. degree must be completed within three years from the candidate’s date of matriculation (exclusive of time spent in the Armed Forces). Exception may be made by the Accounting Department chair if the candidate’s request demonstrates circumstances beyond the student’s control that temporarily interfere with the ability to complete the program on time.

Degree Requirements

To be eligible for graduation, students must complete all 30 credits of the program with a GPA of 3.0 or better. The words “With Distinction” will appear on the diploma of a student whose GPA, upon meeting all requirements for graduation, is at least 3.75.

Professional Licensure

If you are interested in obtaining professional licensure, please check with the appropriate licensing body in the state where you intend to practice. For additional information and detailed requirements, please refer to the specific program of interest on the “School Resources” section of the Mercy College NC-Sara webpage.

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