College of Business and Economics

MPA (Master of Professional Accountancy)

Prepare for an advanced career in accounting

The MPA (Master of Professional Accountancy) from UW-Whitewater provides the specific knowledge and skills that employers value. During their careers, professionals with graduate degrees in accounting earn higher salaries and are promoted faster than those with undergraduate degrees. This full-time, on-campus program can be completed in about one year; however, students may also take classes part-time if desired. While the program has been designed primarily for students with undergraduate accounting degrees, students with other undergraduate degrees can join the program by taking additional foundation courses.

Customized degree planning

UW-Whitewater offers four emphasis options and nearly 50 electives covering the breadth of contemporary accounting and other business-related issues. This format allows students to tailor the MPA program to meet their interests and career goals. Emphasis areas include taxation, audit and analytics, finance, and international business. Electives fall under the categories of accounting, economics, finance and business law, information technology and supply chain, and management.

Meet CPA licensing requirements

The State of Wisconsin requires CPA candidates to have 120 credit hours and a bachelor’s degree to sit for the exam; however, they must have 150 credit hours to become a licensed CPA. The Master of Professional Accountancy program fulfills the additional credits required for CPA licensure, and our graduates' first-time exam pass rate consistently exceeds state and national averages. In addition to the CPA exam, you will be prepared for other professional certifications and examinations such as Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

MPA admission criteria (effective Spring 2018)

All Master of Professional Accountancy students must meet UW-Whitewater Graduate School admission criteria and meet the MPA program criteria through one of the pathways described below. (Expand each heading for full details.) Many applicants will qualify for admission without GMAT/GRE scores.

Still unsure whether you must submit a GMAT/GRE score? Our interactive evaluation form can help you navigate the admission requirements, as well as documentation that would be needed for admission review.

What if you do not meet the admission requirements? Please email or call us at (262) 472-1945 to see if you could be admitted on a conditional basis.

International students must meet additional criteria and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for information and assistance. 

Earned an AACSB-accredited undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
or
Earned a regionally-accredited undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
or
Earned a regionally-accredited undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and have at least four years of qualified professional experience.


Earned a graduate degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. institution or equivalent international institution.


Have at least seven years of qualified professional experience.
or
Have four years of qualified professional experience and earned a regionally-accredited undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.


Served or is serving in the U.S. military with qualified active duty.


Hold professional certification approved by the College of Business and Economics.


Completed the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE)* with:

  • A composite score of at least 1,100 based on the following formula
    • (GMAT score) + [200 x (overall undergraduate GPA based on a 4-point scale)]
  • A composite score of at least 1,150 based on the following formula
    • (GMAT score) + [200 x (last half of undergraduate GPA based on a 4-point scale)]
  • A composite score of 950 - 1,100 for consideration of probationary admission based on the following formula
    • (GMAT score) + [200 x (overall undergraduate GPA based on a 4-point scale)]

*GRE scores are converted to comparable GMAT scores.


The UW-Whitewater Master of Professional Accountancy has been updated to allow students to select more of the classes they take. With four emphases and more electives to choose from, students can customize their degree plan to better match their career interests. Emphasis options include Taxation, Audit and Analytics, Finance, and International Business. More than one emphasis can be completed; however, courses cannot be used to satisfy requirements in more than one emphasis.

To earn the UW-Whitewater MPA, you must complete:

  • Breadth (9 credits)
  • Emphasis (9 credits)
  • Electives (12 - 18 credits)

Additional information, including course descriptions and program policies, can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

UW-Whitewater Master of Professional Accountancy students will select from a set of electives related to a specific discipline to complete an emphasis that will be noted on their transcripts. This structure allows students to tailor the degree program to match their interests and career goals.

More than one emphasis may be completed; however, courses cannot be used to satisfy requirements in more than one emphasis. Courses by MPA emphasis can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

The Taxation emphasis prepares students for careers in public accounting as well as publicly-traded and private companies. Going beyond the simple preparation of tax returns, the taxation emphasis allows students to develop deep research and technical skills. The taxation emphasis also affords students the ability to explore specific tax areas including corporate, partnership, and international tax.


The Audit and Analytics emphasis prepares students for careers in both internal and external audit disciplines. Students have the opportunity to choose from courses that address advanced audit issues; evidence-gathering activities; internal control design and assessments; business and information technology risk analysis; analysis, design and development of modern information systems; reporting on controls and business processes; professional audit standards and ethical concepts; fraud detection and reporting; and contemporary business data analytics topics such as data management, data mining, business intelligence, and process innovation


The Finance emphasis prepares students for careers in public accounting as well as publicly-traded and private companies by providing a solid knowledge base in corporate financial management. Students have the opportunity to choose from courses that address financial statement analysis, business valuation, international financial principles, capital budgeting, and portfolio selection and management.


The International Business emphasis prepares students for careers in public accounting as well as publicly-traded and private companies by providing a solid knowledge base to understand the global business environment. Students have the opportunity to choose from courses that address sustainability and environmental reporting, as well as other international issues that arise in economics, finance, management, and marketing.


Because MPA graduates typically complete the program immediately following their bachelor's degree and do not yet have extensive work experience, the benefits of their master's are generally more appreciable with time. On average, accounting professionals with master's degrees earn $22,000 (32%) more per year than those with bachelor's degreesand are typically promoted faster. Information from surveyed UW-Whitewater MPA graduates is shared below, as well as industry-reported salary information that reflects more of a mid-career average.

MPA Placement Rate2

100%

Highlighted Employers3

Baker Tilly LLP, Deloitte & Touche LLP, EY, Grant Thornton LLP, KPMG, PwC, Smith & Gestland, Wegner CPAs, Wipfli LLP, Wisconsin Department of Revenue

Common Titles3

Assurance Associate, Auditor, Forensic Associate, Staff Accountant, Tax Accountant

Industry Salary (national average with 1 to 20+ years of exp.)

$70,0004

UW-Whitewater Salary Estimate (6 months or less after graduation)3

$52,049

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce Analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, 2015
Based on 80% survey response for 2016 - 2017 graduates
3 Self-reported data from survey respondents
4 Payscale.com national salary data (1 to 20+ years of professional experience)