M.Acc. with a concentration in Public Accounting


Program Description

As a highly trained accountant, you’ll be in a position to serve the needs of a vast clientele – from businesses and nonprofits to individuals and government agencies. At NSU, you’ll gain more than the required credentials. You’ll develop the skills that help businesses create value, giving you a competitive advantage in the career marketplace.

The Master of Accounting with a concentration in Public Accounting provides you with a foundation in advanced accounting skills. It’s guided by faculty with professional accounting experience outside of the classroom. You’ll get opportunities to work on real-world projects and obtain coveted internships. Our curriculum is designed to prepare you to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination. With your CPA certification, you’ll be on your way to becoming a leader in public accounting, whether it be in a small local firm or a large international one.

  • Courses offered alternate weekends, limited weeknight offerings on the main campus and online.
  • Designed for working professionals in the field of accounting.
  • Students with limited accounting experience can complete foundation course requirements online.
  • The program can be completed in as little as 12 months.
  • The program begins three times annually with starts in August, January, and May.
  • 33-51 credit hours (based on the undergraduate degree)
  • International students on an F1 visa without a bachelor's degree in accounting may not be eligible for this program.

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Curriculum Guide

CPA Educational Requirements (Florida)

To qualify as a candidate for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination, the following requirements must be fulfilled (as quoted from the State of Florida website):

  1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, unless one is using the provisions of the foreign rule.
    The Board accepts degrees from schools accredited by the following associations: Middle States Association, New England Association, North Central Association, Northwest Association, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Association of Independent Schools and Colleges who have been approved by the Florida State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities, and Canadian Schools who have been approved by their provincial educational bodies.
  2. The accounting education program must consist of 36 semester hours of upper-division accounting courses including coverage of tax, auditing, financial, and cost accounting. The business education program must consist of 39 semester hours of upper-division general business courses with some exceptions. One microeconomics, one macro-economics, one statistics, one business law, and one introduction to computers course may be lower division. As part of the general business hours, applicants are required to have a total of six semester hours of business law courses which must cover contracts, torts, and the Uniform Commercial Code. Excess upper-division accounting courses may be used to meet the General Business requirement. Elementary accounting classes are never acceptable for credit. Courses for non-accounting majors and any M.B.A. courses that are equivalent to elementary accounting are not accepted for this requirement.

Examination Dates

  • April - May
  • July - August
  • October - November
  • January - February

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master's degree programs is competitive. Applications are individually reviewed and admission is offered to those applicants who meet both qualitative and quantitative criteria. All required documentation must be received before an admission decision can be offered.

  • Completed Master's Application for Admission and non-refundable $50 application fee.
  • A conferred bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree for international applicants.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended. The applicant's bachelor's degree transcript must show a degree conferral date in order to be evaluated for admission consideration. If the graduate degree has been earned, the transcript must show degree conferral date in order to be evaluated for admission consideration. Electronic transcripts can be sent to electronictranscript@nova.edu or by mail at:
    Nova Southeastern University
    Enrollment Processing Services (EPS)
    Attn: H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship
    3301 College Avenue
    PO Box 299000
    Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida 33329-9905
  • Other admission documentation may be required.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

All applicants who received their bachelor's and any graduate degrees from a college or university where English is not the primary language of instruction are required to take an English language test. Test scores cannot be more than two years old.

  • Test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL) minimum scores required.
  • Internet based (iBT) = 79, Computerized score = 213, Paper score = 550.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum score required = 6.
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) minimum sore required = 54.
  • TALK International, School of Languages: Completion of level 9 test with a score of 85% or higher.
  • Duolingo Test of English: 105 or higher.
  • Completion of ENC 1101 and ENC 1102 with a grade of 'C' or higher from a regionally accredited institution.
  • If bachelor's or master's degree coursework was fully completed in English outside the USA within the last two years, a letter from the institution on official letterhead will be required to waive the English Language requirement. The letter must state that all coursework was taught in English.
  • Completion and passing of ELS Level 112 Intensive Program English for Academic Purposes.

*An interview may also be required to determine the current level of English proficiency, even if the required scores and guidelines have been fulfilled.

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Steve Carlson
Master of Accounting Student

When certified financial planner Steve Carlson sold his business and retired in 2013, he did not expect to go back to college and start a second career. But after a few years of contemplation, that’s what he did.

In 2016, Carlson enrolled in the Master of Accounting program at NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. In 2018, after being nominated by his professors, he was awarded the PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board) scholarship.  

Scheduled to graduate in June 2019, Carlson plans to join a firm as a financial analyst. Carlson credits NSU by giving him a competitive edge in starting a second career and giving back to the community. Down the road, he hopes to “pay it back and pay it forward” by returning to NSU to teach.

“I’d like to take what I’ve learned in the industry and owning my own business and teach those skills to students so they can better adapt when they leave the classroom,” he said.

“After I retired, I thought deeply about what I wanted to do with the next half of my life. The starting point was getting an accounting degree. The area of accounting is challenging, and it also is an area of high demand.”

As a certified financial planner, Carlson operated his own business in Raleigh and Hendersonville, N.C., for more than 20 years.

“When I did retire, I was due for a vacation. I established my own practice after relocating to a state where I knew no one and had no natural market. I started with no clients. I had accomplished everything I wanted to do,” said Carlson, who moved to Florida to be closer to his parents.

“My primary motivation for going back to college was that I needed something to do with my time. I wanted something that was purposeful and that I could continue to do outside the area of financial services,” said Carlson, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business in 1986 at Le Tourneau University in Longview, Texas.

Carlson started the accounting program “at ground zero” without formal education in that field. He excelled with the NSU advantage of faculty with experience in the field, support and scholarship assistance, and preparation for job opportunities.

“Because I did not have an accounting background, I wanted a program that was deep in fundamentals. NSU had a competitive master’s program and it was local, which was a defining point for me. I wanted to be able to attend classes in person, not just online. I felt like I had the talent to do well and I wanted to prove to myself that I could. This looked like the perfect opportunity for me,” he said.

“I’m very grateful for what I’ve learned at NSU and the knowledge of accounting I’ve gained in such a short time. The instructors made that happen with their input and their interest in seeing their students succeed. I genuinely believe that.”

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

One of the premier business schools in Florida, the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at NSU reaches students globally with online and on-site, internationally recognized bach ... Read More

One of the premier business schools in Florida, the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at NSU reaches students globally with online and on-site, internationally recognized bachelor's and master's degree programs. The H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship is a worldwide provider of academic, professional, and practical education for individuals in business, academia, government, and nonprofit organizations. With a recognized reputation for quality, the Huizenga College of Business & Entrepreneurship's corporate relationships and modern technology provide superior real-world learning experiences for students. Read less
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