Frequently Asked Questions for Master of Professional Accountancy

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the master of professional acountancy program at Augustana University.

Q. How long is the program?
Augustana's master of professional accountancy program is designed as a three-plus-two degree to prepare students to enter the accounting industry. The first three years of the program will be spent working at the undergraduate level with the fourth year designed as a transitional year with some graduate-level coursework. Students will spend their fifth year working at the graduate level.

Q. How do I apply?
Applications are currently being accepted. Applications are reviewed monthly for admission. Applications are given preference if received by March 15 for Fall admittance and October 15 for spring admittance. Apply online today.

Q. At the completion of this program, will I be a certified public accountant?
At the end of five years, you will graduate with two degrees: a bachelor's degree and a master's degree and hold the 150 college credits required to sit for the CPA exam.

Q. Who do I contact to request more information?
For more information about the master of public accountancy program, contact the MPA Program Director at 605.274.5546 to schedule an initial appointment. Bring copies of all transcripts. Following a meeting with the MPA Program Director, prospective students will be directed to the Office of Admission.

Q. Does the program accept transfer credits?
A maximum of nine (9) semester hours of graduate credit earned at other accredited institutions may be transferred to Augustana and applied to a student’s graduate program providing that:

  • an official transcript is provided
  • the credit is approved by the Program Director and Director of Graduate Education
  • the credits have not been utilized in earning an undergraduate degree
  • a grade of B- or better was earned for the credits
  • the credits are not outdated (more than 7 years old)

Q. What are the admission requirements?
3.0 Cummulative GPA, 3.0 Accounting course GPA, and 90 hours of course work completed. Contact MPA Director for more specific informaition regarding GMAT or GRE scores. 
Prerequisite Courses Principles of Accounting 1 & 2 (Acct 210 & 211), Intermediate Accounting 1 & 2 (Acct 322 & 323), Income Taxation (Acct 344), and Business Law 1 (BSAD 340). 

Q. Is financial aid available?

A. Financial aid is available for full time students. Please contact the Augustana Financial Aid office for more information.

Q. What types of internships/hands-on-learning opportunities are included in the program?

A. An internship is required for the program. The accounting faculty and Student Success Center have many connections in the accounting industry to help students obtain an internship. Some of these internships may lead into full time work after graduation.Opportunities to volunteer for the IRS volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, non-profits, and new business start-ups are also avaible. 

Q. Do I need an undergraduate degree in accounting?  
An undergraduate degree in accounting or business is recommended, but not required. The prerequisite courses will serve as a foundation for entering the program. 

Note that if an accounting or business undergraduate degree is not held and CPA licensure is desired additional course work may need to be obtained.

Q. Why should I choose Augustana for my master of professional accountancy program?
In addition to our location in Sioux Falls, the state's largest city – home to hundreds of businesses and organizations who have high demand for certified public accountants, and with whom Augustana has countless partnerships with, the following points also illustrate why you should choose Augustana University for your master of professional accountancy program:

  • Time: At the end of five years, you will graduate with two degrees: a bachelor's degree and a master's degree and hold the 150 college credits required to sit for the CPA exam.
  • Excellence Through Applied Learning: In the Corporate Tax class, for example, students will be required to complete mock tax returns and write tax memorandums. The Audit class will include a mock audit where students will gain the experience of working on a team and the application of the theories they talk about in the classroom.
  • Internship Opportunities: A variety of opportunities exisit in Sioux Falls and across the country due to Augustana contacts.Internships: Students have interned at a variety of organizations. Many of which have lead to full time employment opportunities. 
    A list of just some of the organizations where our students have interned:
    • KPMG
    • RSM
    • Eide Bailly
    • Brandt Solomon & Anderson, LLP
    • Weisser Distributing
    • First Premier Bank
    • Sanford Health
  • Faculty: The accounting faculty have spent time in industry allowing them to bring first hand experiences into the classroom.  
  • Coursework: The program was developed in consultation with employers. Therefore, the courses are a combination of technical accounting skills and broader business knowledge. Students will also choose from a variety of electives providing skill sought by today’s employers. Coursework Requirements follow.
    • Prerequisites to program

      • Acct 210 Principles of Accounting I
      • Acct 211 Principles of Accounting II
      • Acct 322 Intermediate Accounting I
      • Acct 323 Intermediate Accounting II
      • Acct 344 Income Taxation
      • BSAD 340 Business Law I
    • Required = 21 hours 

      • Acct 645 Organizational Tax
      • Acct 610 Governmental & Not-for-Profit
      • Acct 648 Advanced Accounting 
      • Acct 549 Auditing 
      • Acct 695 Internship
      • Acct 605 Accounting Information Systems 
      • BSAD 580 Business Law ll 
    • Electives - minimum of 9 credits (3 credits must be from the 600 level)

      • Acct 6XX Financial Reporting & Analysis 
      • Acct 5XX Accounting Beyond the Financial Stmts
      • Acct 597 Accounting Topics (repeatable)
      • Acct 697 Accounting Topics (repeatable)
      • BSAD 675 Statistics 
      • BSAD 531 Advanced Finance 
      • COMM 650 Leadership & Decision Making 
      • PHIL 690 Ethics of Professions 
      • PHIL 615 Ideas that have Shaped Our World

Q. What are the requirements to complete the MPA degree?

A.  Completion of required coursework, successful completion of MPA exit exam, and maintanance of 3.0 MPA GPA. 

Q. How do CPA exam pass rates compare to national averages?

A. MPA alumni are requested to report when they take a portion of the exam and their success or failure.

  • Audit
    • AU Grads: 100%
    • Nat'l Avg: 50.97%
  • BEC
    • AU Grads: 100%
    • Nat'l Avg: 59.35%
  • FAR
    • AU Grads: 88.89%
    • Nat'l Avg: 46.22%
  • REG
    • AU Grads: 71.43%
    • Nat'l Avg: 53.16%

*2018 Pass rates, per

Q. What positions do graduates obtain?

A. Many go into public accounting with the intention of obtaining the CPA certification. Others have taken positions in private accounting and finance.

Some of our graduates' employers include: Woltman Group, Eide Bailey, KPMG, Northwestern Mutual, Doosan Bobcat, Sanford Health, and South Dakota Division of Banking.