Admission Requirements for MSA

  • A four year Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution if the degree was earned outside of the U.S.
  • An applicant’s grade point average should be 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester/90 quarter units of study. An absolute minimum of a 2.5 is required for graduate admission consideration at San Jose State University.
  • Applicants who have earned a degree from a higher education institution in which the primary language of instruction was not English must take an English-language proficiency exam. The MSA requires a minimum score of 90 on the internet-based TOEFL, 7.5 on the IELTS, or 75 on the PTE. Please note that these scores are higher than the minimum scores required by San Jose State University for graduate admissions consideration. (The University requires an absolute minimum score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL, 7.0 on the IELTS, or 68 on the PTE.) The examination can be waived if the applicant has:
    • Earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution.
    • Completed 3 years of full time study in a U.S. institution.
  • GMAT or GRE - Minimum GMAT scores of equal to or above the 50th percentile on both the quantitative and verbal sections of the exam are preferred. For the GRE, a comparable score is 151 in Verbal Reasoning and 152 in Quantitative Reasoning.
  • Statement of Purpose Essay
  • Resume
  • Interview - A personal interview may be required. The MSA Program admits a limited number of new students each year. Not all applicants will receive an interview. Only finalists will be invited for a personal interview on campus. Interviews via Webex or Skype may be permitted under extenuating circumstances provided that video capability is available.
  • Attention - International, F-1 Visa Applicants: click here

  • Prerequisite Courses – There are six prerequisite courses required for admission to the MSA program. These courses must cover U.S. GAAP. The first prerequisite course, Introductory Financial Accounting, must be the equivalent of three semester hours and completed with a grade of B or higher within five years prior to matriculation.
    • The acceptable course offered at San Jose State University is Financial Accounting, BUS 20. We also accept courses offered by other regionally accredited higher education institutions. 
    • Please refer to to find the equivalent of BUS 20, Financial Accounting, at local community colleges.  These courses can be taken in an online format or in-person.
    • In addition to the above offerings at local community colleges, we will also accept UGBA XBW102A: Introduction to Financial Accounting, from UC Berkeley Extension.

The remaining five courses must be completed with an average grade of B or higher prior to the beginning of the Fall semester. The courses may be taken as part of an undergraduate degree, from any accredited 4-year University, or at SJSU in the Certificate of Accounting Fundamentals. These courses must also have been completed within five years prior to matriculation and include:

    • Intermediate Financial Accounting I
    • Intermediate Financial Accounting II
    • Accounting Information Systems
    • Management Accounting and Control Systems
    • Tax Factors of Business and Investment Decisions

In order to take advantage of the internship that is an integral part of the MSA program, all MSA students should be eligible to work in the United States. Therefore, all applicants who hold visas that do not permit employment, such as an H-4, should apply for an F-1 visa upon an offer of admission to the MSA program.The F-1 visa will allow completion of the internship portion of the program.

Priority Deadline: April 1, 2014
Priority Document Deadline: April 15, 2014

Applicants who do not have an accounting background should plan to complete their applications, a course in financial accounting, and submit their test scores by the April 15th deadline.  This will enable the MSA Admissions Committee to conduct a review and offer admission in time for summer enrollment in the Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals.

Final Applicant Deadline - May 1, 2014
Final Document Deadline -  May 15, 2014

Applicants with an accounting background who have completed all six prerequisite courses with a B average within the past five years do not need to enroll in the summer Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals. Applicants in this category must complete their applications and submit their test scores by the May 15th deadline.

If you have questions about your specific qualifications and/or the fulfillment of the prerequisite requirements, please fill out the questionnaire located at


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