Online Master of Accountancy Program Overview

View all blog posts under Accountancy | View all blog posts under Webinars

University of Nevada, Reno Master of Accountancy Information Session with Director Sonja Pippin, PhD. Hear more about the in’s and out’s of the program and learn more on the application process.


Kaley Howard: Hi everyone! Today we’re going to be discussing in detail the online master of accountancy program. We’re here with Sonja Dippin, Director of the Master of Accountancy program at the University of Nevada, Reno. Kicking this over to you Sonja, if you’d like to do a quick introduction.

Sonja Pippin: Thank you Kaley, hi everyone! My name is Sonja Pippin, I am the Director of the Master of Accountancy Program for campus as well as the online program for the Master Of Accountancy at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Today’s agenda we are going to briefly discuss the and vision of the business school at the University of Nevada, Reno and the mission of the accounting department. Along with go through the program details for the online degree program for the Master of Accountancy. Touch on the admission requirements and end with a quick overview of frequently asked questions from prospective students.

To get us started, we are going to review the business school’s vision at the University of Nevada, Reno which has a strategic end goal to be a premiere business school not just within the state of Nevada, but globally as well. The University of Nevada, Reno has economic vitality and inspires positive change and impact on a global scale.

The accounting department at the University of Nevada, Reno focuses on developing successful accounting professionals by producing quality intellectual contributions and engaging our students with collaborative and sustainable relationships.

We engage and collaborate with our students to create a lasting and sustainable relationship with our students that they take with them as they become successful professionals.

Our goal is to foster students who have conceptual knowledge to be successful in the accounting field.

We understand that communication is a big part of accounting and to cultivate these communication skills for students and teach them how to apply them in a professional program is key.

Our focus as faculty continue to improve on our teaching as well by maintaining a responsive program to things that are happening in the accounting industry and by maintaining that relevancy, we are able to provide students with technical and conceptual knowledge for their successful careers. We are working to be aligned with the rest of the university. We are focusing on applied research and trying to get students to be ready and to have successful professional careers.

One thing to note is that we are also very practitioner focused, not just in research. We value being a practitioner just as much. We feel the value in understanding what it means to be a practitioner and what it means to be a important contribution to society to be just as valuable. We have made alignments with what we are actually doing as well.

With that, this dove tails into our program details and what it is designed to do. What we’re trying to produce are accounting professionals that are ready to sit for the CPA exam. We are getting you ready to take the next step in your Master of Accountancy career and this degree really gets you ready to take the CPA exam. This program gets those who haven’t done that yet or for those who are looking to move up in the latter and obtain a higher than senior manager, potentially partner role within an organization.

This is an entirely online program— it is tailored for people already working and are professionals, potentially in accounting or in a related business field. This program is for those who decide they want to come back to school and become a professional accountant. Post degree they can work both in the public or private industries potentially an accounting firm, looking to gather more accounting knowledge and this program can get you to where you need to go.

We are trying to teach students more about general accounting principles, not just GAAP itself, but with more technical applications of GAAP. The reasoning behind this is because we have the GAAP underpinnings and we feel if people understand the reasons are and why they are the way they are, then the rules are much easier for students to apply in real life situations.

We have found that oral and written communication skills are really the roadblocks to success. There are a lot of accounting professionals who have successfully taken the CPA exam but are not able to translate their accounting knowledge in a relatable way to their colleagues and fall short. A lot of people in accounting think they don’t need communication; we just need to tell them they’re wrong. It’s not just good enough to know, you have to be able to connect and explain to people, why the rules apply, if you can’t explain it to people who aren’t accountants.

Next, we want to ensure everybody is knowledgeable in various accounting scandals that have happened within the industry. In the end, we want them to understand how these ethical standards apply to our program.

Taxes also plays a role in the program, and within students’ decision making. Taxes will play a role in students learning outcomes.

We would like to talk to you about the reasons why we have both bridge and core.

When we designed these programs for on ground and campus, we realized people come into the program with all different backgrounds. We want to make sure you have the technical programmatic skills. The six bridge classes are to help with the main accounting topics to move on to the basic program.

The three intermediate, tax, audit, bridge program, once you have that covered you can move on to the core program.

If you have a degree outside of the USA, we ask that you take the bridge program, because you will have covered the topics in a different way.

If you do have a degree from the US, you don’t need the bridge courses because with an accounting degree in the US are covered, you are then covered to move on to the ten core courses.

Bridge requirements in business or substantial business experience, AACSB accredited school, if it’s from any other 3.0 for the last half. Undergrad in accounting get into core, 2.75 got AACSB, non AACSB, if you have an accounting degree from an international school, see how much that will translate how many bridge classes, international school, didn’t have us tax law in your program.

If you get into bridge program, you will have 16 courses total. Because the program is designed with two classes per term per program, in the cohort system there are three terms, length of program will be two almost three years. Two years and two terms to complete. The bridge program is 10 courses, five terms, three terms per year, a year and two thirds to finish.

The way it works is you have fall, summer term, each term is 14 weeks. You do a little bit of time in-between; it depends on how the holidays fall. Basically, that’s how it works out.

Bridge course already three intermediate courses, 702, 703, Tax and Audit, six background classes, that everybody needs to have for the core track, if you don’t have that background you have a hard time getting into program.

For the accounting program, you have financial statement analysis, accounting research where you learn how to use various resources. This also focuses on communication. One of the reasons we want you to take early on is because you will be using that throughout your program.  You will learn how to write memos, client letters.

The next set of six classes, two are is classes. Those aren’t exactly in that order, it depends on when you start, mental class, two tax classes, that’s more corporations, advanced into international accounting. International accounting standards, a lot of consultations, then we have two additional is classes, that focus on information system of analytics, same for everybody ethics class, theory class, we’re focusing on ethical standards in profession and the theories, what are we going to do with accounting on these types of questions.

For most students completing the program in five years is not a problem, if you follow the schedule you will complete these way before the 5 years, in general you shouldn’t have an issue with that. Same thing with the six credits to follow the regular schedule, if something happens, drop a class you may run into an issue with financial aid, or your employer. For three terms, spring, summer fall, fall summer, depending on when you started. How long it takes you to study, difficult 6-9 hours, it’s really, it varies a lot. How much you need to go back to some of this stuff you haven’t done in a while. You get better at it after the first term. How to structure your week, all online. You don’t need vaccinations or come on campus. There are plans right now, graduation on-campus, right now we’re not sure if that will happen, time with the first cohort we’ll have one.

Biggest one is you have to have your personal statement, transcripts from all the schools you attended, if you don’t have an official statement, your unofficial will be fine until your official transcript is sent in. We can review w/o the official transcript, its fine to send personal statement before you send in your official transcript.

We need three letters of recommendations, that can be your boss, a previous employer, but it can’t be family and it can’t be your friends.

We also need an updated resume, application fee, personal statement, you have a lot of freedom with your personal statement. We just want to know what your goals are, why are you applying for this degree, what are you going to do later, it does not have to exceed a page, 2/3- page is fine.

  1. How much does it cost, financial aid?
  2. Grad assistant ships available
  3. Am i going to need to take the bridge or can i go into the core—students can send their transcripts before the decision is made. Had a lot of students interested in that. At the same time. Bridge or core, partial bridge also a possibility. We’re never doing that to be mean or to get more money, we’re doing this to set you up for success.
  4. Career opportunities, CPA exam, will be able to sit for the CPA exam. You have to check your own state’s requirements, similar, slightly different, that’s why you need them to sit for the CPA exam. Six classes, available for any of the states, you’re going to have to take them. It does set you up well for the exam, also sets you up to pass for the exam.

We’d like to thank all of your for viewing and listening in. If you have any questions feel free to click on the email icon under Kaley’s name and write us a quick email with any outstanding questions you have may. Thank you!