The STEM-Designated MS in Management - Accounting (MS-A) concentration prepares students for entry into the accounting profession as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Employers seek mature students with diverse prior undergraduate education backgrounds and work experiences. The program efficiently covers basic accounting principles and adds graduate level coursework in accounting for governmental and not-for-profit organizations, advanced accounting theory, decision-focused management accounting, and tax compliance and planning.

The program prepares students for success on the CPA exam. Graduates boast a pass rate substantially above national averages. Because the program is separately accredited in accounting by the AACSB (one of three such schools in Wisconsin), graduates automatically meet the requirements to take the CPA Exam and to be licensed as a CPA in Wisconsin.

Potential students typically take foundation courses prior to entering the program. Success in the foundation courses assures success in the program. The graduate program can be completed on a full-time basis in two semesters and a summer. Part-time students can complete the program in two years. A faculty member custom designs a program for each student. In most cases, a full-time internship is included for full-time students. The internship normally lead to full-time employment upon graduation.

A large portion of MS-A students intern and upon graduation take full-time positions in CPA firms ranging from "The Big 4" International firms to local practices. Other students choose industry positions which include Wisconsin’s largest corporations and financial institutions.

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus the following program requirements to be considered for admission:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Submission of score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
  • Applicants must submit a statement of purpose (1 to 2 pages on why you would like to earn your degree at the Lubar College of Business and your plans after graduation).
  • Review by the Master of Science Program Committee to assess academic achievement and ability to do intensive graduate-level work.

Applicants admitted to the MS program may be required to complete management foundation courses. Individual areas of concentration require different foundation courses. (See Lubar College of Business MBA/M.S. brochure and the Lubar College of Business Website for details). Foundation courses will be waived if students have completed equivalent coursework. Credits earned in these courses do not count toward the degree.

Students select the area of concentration most suited to their educational goals. The areas of concentration in the program are:

  • Accounting (first professional degree—open only for students with non-accounting majors at baccalaureate level);
  • Professional Accounting (program open to students who have completed an undergraduate degree in accounting);
  • Finance Analysis;
  • Marketing;
  • Taxation.

If a student is waived out of a required course, an approved elective course must be substituted in its place and approved by Graduate Program Services (Lubar N458).

The major professor, in consultation with the student, reviews the student’s academic background and career goals and designs an appropriate program of study consistent with degree requirements. In developing a program of study for a student who has no undergraduate background in business administration, care is taken to ensure a basic exposure to different aspects of the management field as well as an in-depth preparation in the chosen field of specialization.

Credits and Courses

The minimum degree requirement for the Master of Science in Management degree concentrations varies from 30-33 graduate credits. In the 30-credit concentrations, at least 18 credits must be taken in the Lubar College of Business.

Electives provide distinction to each individual program. Through proper selection and packaging, each student can design a program to meet individual educational objectives while maintaining a high degree of academic strength. These courses may be selected from the many available in the Lubar College of Business, or from among those offered in graduate programs of other UWM departments.


BUS ADM 401GIntroduction to Data Analytics in Accounting4
BUS ADM 408Accounting Information Systems3
BUS ADM 706Income Tax Accounting II3
BUS ADM 722Advanced Financial Accounting Theory3
BUS ADM 724Business Combinations and Governmental Accounting3
BUS ADM 725Strategic Cost Management I3
BUS ADM 728Auditing Theory and Applications 13
BUS ADM 840Current Issues in Financial Reporting3
BUS ADM 844Advanced Audit and Assurance3
BUS ADM 846Advanced Analytics in Accounting3
Additional Credits/Electives (optional)
Select one or more of the following:
Information Systems Assurance and Advisory
Advanced Business Law
Total Credits31

Integrating course

Additional Requirements

Students in the MS program have the option of doing a management research project. This option gives students the opportunity to apply methodological techniques and area studies. The urban location and strong ties with the business sector provide opportunities for student projects.

Major Professor as Advisor

Students in the MS program must choose a major professor during the first ten weeks of their first semester of graduate enrollment to advise and supervise their studies. A listing of faculty by area of interest is sent to each MS student to aid in their selection of a major professor. This list is also available in the Graduate Programs Services office, Lubar N251.

The Management Research Project/Thesis

The Management Research Project/Thesis is a variable 2-6 credit management research project.

Comprehensive Examination

Students must pass a final oral examination if they choose a 4-6-credit management research project or thesis.

Time Limit

The student must complete all degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment. In areas of concentration in which the total number of degree credits required exceeds 30, the student must complete all degree requirements within seven years of initial enrollment.