For Autumn 2021
Looking ahead to the fall 2021 admissions cycle, we at the Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc) program at the Foster School of Business are providing information about what we look for in successful applicants to our program. The MPAcc program is focused on providing a data analytics and emerging technology curriculum with a focus on cases in auditing, assurance, accounting, and advisory settings. When applying to the MPAcc, you will have the opportunity to explain your interests and achievements in your personal statement.
You do not need to be a coder
The world-changing power of data analytics has influenced nearly every aspect of business, and Accounting is at the forefront of using data-analytics to inform business decisions. New tools are reshaping the roles of the accountant, and consequently they are reshaping the learning process as well. MPAcc students gain practical experience using cutting-edge data analytics and robotic process automation software to solve real-world cases. Knowledge and experience beyond basic computing skills, however, are not required and are not a factor for admission.
What is necessary is having a keen interest in how data analytics, automation software, and emerging technology will impact the field. In your application tell us what experiences you have had and how should you best communicate that interest?
Show off your education achievements and willingness to engage in the learning process
Admissions are not just about grades! The admissions committee looks for evidence that you had a great education and that you have been actively engaged in the learning process at your undergraduate institution. Grade Point Averages (GPAs), however, are a convenient marker to use to assess academic achievement.
Other factors besides grades may also show off your education, such as the caliber of the school, classes you chose, your degree of involvement in the subject (projects, professional and academic organizations) and the amount of passion you demonstrate for the subject matter. If you have excellent grades you have less to prove but getting good grades does not always mean you love your subject. As you complete the application, ask yourself, “Have I demonstrated how much I care about the subject?”
For those of you who do not have the best grades, do you know why that is? If so, tell us. Do you have just as much drive and potential for the subject as the other applicants? If so, what can you do to show that to us? Do you have a keen interest in applying data analytics and emerging technologies in accounting settings? If so, tell us.
Does my major matter?
Most MPAcc students come to us with a degree in Business/Accounting. This is helpful because you will have the prerequisites to fully understand the advanced concepts. It is also crucial to have this background to meet the mandated accounting education hours requirements to begin the process to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
A couple of exceptions to a Business degree with Accounting would be either Economics or a Business degree without a full study of Accounting. If you already have the basic accounting classes (financial and managerial) you are eligible for a full time summer intensive or part time year-long course that covers all aspects of accounting. Not only will it make you eligible for MPAcc, it also sets you up for the CPA exam. MPAcc can offer conditional admission to students who plan on taking this certificate in the summer prior to starting the program. For more information on this Accounting Certificate program, go to https://www.pce.uw.edu/certificates/accounting.
We prefer, but do not require, that you have had an accounting or business internship or accounting-related work experience before you begin the MPAcc program. This is, in part, for us to know you are making career choice with knowledge gained from first-hand experience with accounting related work. We also care about work experience because we want you to be successful and get a great job right out of college. When we admit you to the program, we are saying, “Yes, we believe in you!” and the more you give us to believe in, the better. If your internship is coming up in the summer before you start the program, we still accept that as a valid experience, even though that experience may take place after you have applied.
We also understand that there are many circumstances that can make it difficult to get work experience. Some undergraduate Accounting programs do not encourage internships, and some areas do not have firms who offer them. Further, COVID-19 may be causing some firms to reduce or even eliminate their internship programs. If this has affected you, let us know as there are plenty of other ways to demonstrate your passion and preparedness for this degree.
Standardized Entrance exams?
For students who attended university in the US, we do not require test scores from standardized exams. We can assess your ability to succeed in MPAcc from the information in your application. If you are concerned that your application seems weak, maybe due to low grades or lack of experience, a high GMAT score could be a supporting factor, especially if you explain your situation.
For those of you who attended schools outside the US, we require a GMAT score as part of your application. Generally, we do not have the familiarity of your educational background to adequately assess you for admissions, so the test score helps bring in another data point. Also, if you are from a non-English speaking country, the University of Washington requires a TOEFL with a minimum score of 100 for admission to our graduate programs.
You can learn more about the MPAcc curriculum at our website here. If you have further questions about the MPAcc program, and would like to make an appointment with an Admissions Specialist, click here, and if you are ready to apply, click here.