Students in a tiered classroom learning from an accounting professor

A top accounting master’s degree designed for any undergraduate major

Add accounting to your skill set and become a business leader in just one year with this top-ranked Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) from Gies College of Business.

This STEM-designated accounting program is designed for students of all academic backgrounds; a bachelor's degree in accounting is not required.

You'll develop skills to excel in a competitive job market, while becoming a more professional version of yourself. The Department of Accountancy features a #1 ranked faculty (according to BYU’s Faculty Research Ranking) focused on providing an outstanding student experience, strengthening your business skills, and developing leading-edge accounting curriculums.

Applications for Summer (June) 2021 open on October 1. View Application Deadlines.

Strong career opportunities

We are proud that 100% of 2019 domestic graduates seeking employment landed a job within three months of graduation, and international graduates reported a placement rate of 78% within six months of graduation in 2019 (data retrieved with a 63% knowledge rate).

As one of the largest suppliers of leaders for the accounting profession, we boast more partners in the Big-Four CPA firms than any other university. Our graduates consistently go on to earn C-suite positions with major corporations such as:

  • Deloitte
  • EY
  • Grant Thornton
  • KPMG
  • PwC and PwC China
  • Tencent

With the MSA, you to gain a competitive advantage in the job marketplace. Future employers want to hire students who are academically excellent and also possess the important professional business skills. The MSA team works hard, along with Gies Business Career Services, to intentionally create impactful opportunities for students to develop a balance between technical and non-technical skills.

Leading curriculum with a focus on data analytics

Technical excellence is a given. Hiring outstanding faculty, admitting students with exceptional credentials, delivering innovative and market-relevant accounting curriculum, and preparing students to pass the CPA exam are essential ingredients of our leading accounting master’s program. At Gies, we take all of these areas seriously. We teach students to develop and apply an analytics-oriented mindset to a variety of accounting scenarios, including financial accounting, audit and tax, advisory and managerial, and forensics. 

Practicing skills is an equally important component of learning. At Gies, we create opportunities for our students to learn by doing through practicing key technical and non-technical business skills. The results are invaluable and help to accelerate personal and professional development.

The MSA core curriculum applies to all of our students. However, for those students who have previously taken accounting courses equivalent to those in our core curriculum, we will work with you to find a suitable course replacement to recognize the sufficiency of your prior accounting education.

An outstanding student experience

The MS in Accountancy balances academic education with the development of nontechnical business soft skills though a personalized approach. That’s what makes our program unique. We create experiences to enhance your education, job search, wellness, personal and professional development, and cultural fit.

For international students, we offer a supportive environment. This includes the opportunity to enhance your understanding of American university culture and improve your English speaking proficiency through networking events, conversation partners, and group outings. If you’re looking for a STEM-designated, top-ranked graduate accounting degree that will exceed your expectations, look no further than the MSA at Gies Business.


David Parilla Portrait from Master of Science in Accountancy

"The MSA program has exceeded my expectations by taking me far beyond the work in the classroom. From networking events to staff coaching sessions, the program really encourages both academic and professional growth."

David Parilla, MSA '16

Xianhang Wang Portrait from the Master of Science in Accountancy Program

"The MSA program offers me such a supportive environment. Now I am continuously inspired to step out of my comfort zone, try new things, and to improve myself every single day."

Xianhang Wang, MSA '16

Gies News and Events

Those who can, teach: bringing real-world experience, right to the front of the class

Oct 23, 2020, 08:35 AM by Aaron Bennett
Sue Pachera is a clinical assistant professor of accountancy. Prior to joining Gies, Sue served as director of accounting policy and research at Exelon for nearly 12 years and spent more than 15 years as an auditor at Deloitte.

From auditing clients like Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley for Deloitte to guiding accounting policy for one of the country’s largest utility companies, Sue Pachera has had a fascinating career. And she owes much of it to a teacher who inspired her. “Like a lot of other people, I went into accounting because I had a dynamic accounting professor, and it just made it seem like something I could envision myself actually doing,” said Pachera. Now she hopes to return the favor, using her experience to inspire a new generation of accounting leaders at Gies.

Pachera says it wasn’t only a professor who gave her the teaching bug. She also has an uncle and a brother who chose the noble profession. But after graduating with a BA in economics from Albion College, she chose a different path, accepting a job at Deloitte.

It was the start of a long and satisfying career with the firm, which included stints in Detroit, the Czech Republic and finally Chicago, where she currently calls home. It was in Chicago that she eventually made the leap to Exelon, becoming the director of accounting policy and research for the largest regulated utility company in the country with more than $33 billion in annual revenues.

For the next 10 years, she helped guide Exelon’s accounting decisions, working through major mergers, implementing new accounting guidance, and developing the accounting required for significant transactions. That’s where she learned one of the key lessons that she hopes to impart to students at Gies — accounting choices aren’t always cut and dried.

“I think one of the things that surprises people about accounting is how much judgment needs to be applied,” said Pachera. “I want to emphasize that to students and work with them on how to do good research and how to support making those judgments, because there’s a lot of ambiguity. I think it’s a skill to get comfortable working in those ambiguous places and developing a good, consistent rationale for how you make decisions.”

She also hopes to equip her students with solid communication skills. “Being able to communicate clearly with people, understand where they’re coming from and have respect for their viewpoints when they don’t agree with you — I think those are really important skills,” said Pachera.

Pachera will be teaching ACCY 303: Accounting Institutions and Regulation at Gies while also helping develop new materials for the school’s online offerings. “I’m really looking forward to that too,” said Pachera. “Obviously the pandemic is very challenging for higher education, but when you’ve got a program like that that’s designed to be online, I think it’s extremely attractive.”

Pachera says she was drawn to Gies both by its reputation and by all the people she worked with in Chicago who were graduates of the program. That positive impression was reinforced when she visited the school earlier this spring. “I really liked the atmosphere on campus and the energy in the accounting department,” said Pachera, adding that she was “blown away” by the welcome she received from the faculty.  In the end, she said her decision to join Gies wasn’t a difficult one. “When you have the chance to be part of a program of that caliber, it’s a no-brainer.”