If your dream is to one day become a successful CFO, then you know how essential it is to have an understanding of both accounting and finance principles.

Suffolk’s MSA/MSF is a unique dual degree program that prepares you for leadership roles in accounting and financial management. The curriculum addresses concepts in a global context, while emphasizing the study of strategic management.

As a graduate, you’ll meet all requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA exam in Massachusetts.

Additionally,  Suffolk’s MSF is the only program in New England that’s a member of both the CFA Institute University Recognition Program and a GARP Academic Partner. That means your courses prepare you to pass the CFA exam. And if you concentrate in Risk Management, you’ll be on track to earn the elite Financial Risk Manager designation. Both designations are valued by top employers across diverse businesses.

The program is offered full-time and part-time at our main campus in Boston. Many courses are also available online.

MSA/MSF Curriculum

MSA/MSF Curriculum  

19-25 Courses
53-71 Credits  

Program Length
16-28 months of full-time study
24-46 months of part-time study

Required Introductory Courses (2 credits)

Must be taken on campus in first semester of program.

  • SBS-700 You As a Leader: Effective Career Planning

    Credits:

    1.00

    Description:

    SBS 700 is the first required course in Suffolk's graduate programs. The course is based on the precepts of experiential learning. Based on the idea that people learn best by participating in meaningful activities, this course provides students with the opportunity to learn about and experience first-hand the many complexities of business and the role of top managers. To accomplish this, SBS 700 is composed of several distinct parts, including the completion of a self-assessment instrument and their own written career development plan. In the campus sections of SBS 700, students will work in small groups as they take on the roles of top managers in a hands-on behavioral simulation. In the online sections, students will conduct a 360 degree evaluation to provide feedback.

  • FIN-601 Introduction to Statistics, Accounting, & Finance Intensive

    Prerequisites:

    MSF and MSFSB students only;

    Credits:

    1.00

    Description:

    This is a two-day long, boot camp-style course which introduces students to the basic concepts of math, statistics, accounting, and finance. Given the technical nature of modern finance, this course is designed to prepare students for the challenges of taking advanced finance courses. The course is based on lectures, problem solving, and discussion of concepts.

Management Preparation Courses (12 credits)

May be waived with credit.

  • SBS-603 Managerial Economics

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course is required for MSA and MSF students and it is also a recommended elective for MBA students with a finance concentration. This course develops an understanding of the concepts, tools, and applications of economics at both the micro and macro level. The focus is on how economic analysis influences decision-making in the public and private sectors and how economic tools can enhance managerial effectiveness and organizational efficiency. The economic role of government and its impact on the business environment in a market economy, the factors that influence firm performance and competitiveness, and the role of financial institutions in the current economic environment are discussed throughout the course.

  • SBS-604 Data Analytics

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course introduces students to the concepts and applications of data analytics on large data sets for managerial decision making. Students will learn foundation skills needed to extract valuable information out of data, including various descriptive and predictive analytics techniques. Students develop knowledge of data visualization and interpretation coupled with conveying data, results and insights. Issues on data acquisition, storage and management will be discussed.

  • MBA-650 Value Based Financial Management

    Prerequisites:

    1 course from each of the following groups: MBA 615 OR SBS 603 OR MBA 630 MBA 640 OR ACCT 800 These courses must be taken prior to MBA 650 1 course from the following group: MBA 625 OR SBS 604 OR MBA 622 These courses may be taken prior to or concurrently with MBA 650

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course introduces the basic principles of corporate finance. The main focus is on fundamental principles such as time value of money, asset valuation, and risk and return tradeoff. Topics to be covered also include cost of capital, capital budgeting, and capital structure.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA & Global MBA Core

  • MBA-720 Collaborate (Ethics, Teams, & Project Management)

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course teaches students three essential ingredients of Collaboration: Ethical Decision Making, How We Work Together, and Managing Projects. Ethical decisions are key to a company's success, its reputation, value, profitability, strategy, morale, and ability to recruit talent. Workplace behavior matters and will be examined from the perspective of leadership, critical conversations, decision making and teams. Project management is important in the context of today's complex, high-pressure work environments that thrive through collaboration and the ability to make disparate groups gel and produce quickly. This course will contain experiential components relating to Boston's world-class industries.

MSA Preparation Courses (6 credits)

May be waived with credit.

  • ACCT-800 Graduate Financial Accounting I

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This introductory-level accounting course provides students with a solid base in accounting fundamentals, including U.S. GAAP, the conceptual framework, nature of accounts, journal entries, and ultimately, financial statements. Provides in depth coverage of the process by which accountants analyze, journalize, post, and summarize transactions. Reviews and analyzes multiple examples of current financial statement presentations. Financial ratio analysis and time value of money techniques will be integral to this learning experience. For MSA, GDPA, & MST Students this is the first course in the financial accounting sequence. For MBA students, this potential elective course builds upon concepts learned in MBA 640 which is why it should be taken after completing or waiving MBA 640.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MSA Prep Course

  • ACCT-804 Cost and Managerial Accounting

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Examines the concepts and practices of cost measurement: variable costing, cost-volume-profit analysis, setting goals and monitoring performance, standard costing, and variance analysis. Students learn how to work with multiple products; standard mix and mix variances; joint and by-product costing; measurement and control of overhead costs; and constructing operating, working capital, and capital budgets. Students study analysis in support of decisions, such as pricing, setting product line and customer profitability policy, sourcing of products and services, and matching costing systems to strategy. For MSA, GDPA, & MST Students this is the first managerial accounting course you will take. For MBA students, this potential elective course builds upon concepts learned in MBA 640 which is why it should be taken after completing or waiving MBA 640.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Accounting,MSA Prep Course

MSA Core Courses (21 credits)

  • ACCT-801 Graduate Financial Accounting II

    Prerequisites:

    ACCT-800 or MSA Program Director permission

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This is the first of two intermediate-level accounting courses that build on students' learning in ACCT 800, going in-depth into measurement and reporting of asset, liability, and stockholders' equity accounts for external financial reporting purposes. Discusses pronouncements of authoritative sources such as the SEC, AICPA, and the FASB. Introduces students to IFRS and their similarities to and differences from U.S. GAAP. Develops strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Accounting,MSA Core Course

  • ACCT-802 Graduate Financial Accounting III

    Prerequisites:

    ACCT-801 or MSA Program Director permission

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This is the second of two intermediate-level accounting courses. The critical thinking and problem-solving skills developed in ACCT 801 are broadened as this class tackles more complex accounting concepts, including: dilutive securities, earnings per share, investments, revenue recognition, income tax accounting, pensions and leases. Since accounting for many of these areas has been a source of substantial debate and major revisions in recent years, subject matter covered will be topical. Pertinent pronouncements of standard-setting bodies continue to be studied.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Accounting,MSA Core Course

  • ACCT-805 Auditing and Assurance Services

    Prerequisites:

    ACCT-800 or MBA-640

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Introduces the field of auditing, with a concentration in auditing historical financial statements in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, and some exposure to auditing the internal control over financial reporting of large public companies. Covers the environment, standards, regulation, and law of auditing in the US, with some exposure to the international environment. Covers audit planning, risk, and materiality assessments, audit evidence, evaluation of internal control, documentation, and audit reports. Includes researching and resolving practice-oriented problems and practice in using computer-assisted audit techniques and electronic confirmations.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Accounting,MSA Core Course

  • ACCT-865 Accounting Information Systems

    Prerequisites:

    ACCT-800 or MBA-640

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Describes various transaction processing cycles and their use in the structured analysis and design of accounting information systems. Students gain an understanding of Enterprise Resource Planning softwares, Quickbooks, database design, XBRL, implementations of internal controls, and privacy and data security issues.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Accounting,MSA Core Course

  • ACIB-872 International Accounting

    Prerequisites:

    ACCT-800 or MBA-640

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Imparts an understanding of differences among nations in approaches to disclosure and choices of accounting measurement systems. Students learn about the influence of the IASB and IOSCO on multinational accounting harmonization, contrasting historical cost/purchasing power accounting with other accounting approaches, including current value accounting. Students will assess how differences in industrial and ownership structures affect accounting performance measurement. Students will also analyze risk management, accounting for derivative contracts, consolidation accounting, budgetary control, and transfer pricing in a multinational company.

    Type:

    MBA International Business,MBA Accounting,MSA Core Course

  • BLLS-800 Business Law for Accountants

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Examines the philosophy and practice of substantive law affecting the formation, operation and discharge of commercial transactions,contracts, and business associations. Topics include: agency, partnership,corporation and trust forms of association. Considers aspects of property law and international dimensions.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Business Law & Ethics,MSA Core Course

  • TAX-801 Federal Taxation I

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Focuses on the federal income taxation of individuals with some discussion of business taxation. Explores the basic structure of individual income taxation, including the individual tax formula, income, deductions, and credits, and provides an introduction to property transactions. Emphasizes how tax laws affect everyday personal and business decisions.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Tax,MSA Core Course,MST Course Course

MSF Core Courses (15 credits)

*ACCT 824 may be substituted with MSF Program Director Approval. MSF core courses must be taken on campus unless permission to take online granted by Academic Program Director.
  • FIN-800 Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation

    Prerequisites:

    MBA 650

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    An in-depth analysis of financial statements, this course is designed to help investors and managers in their assessment of business entity. This course also analyzes financial services industry: bank financial statement analysis with an emphasis on off- balance sheet lending and borrowing, capital structure issues, and innovations in mortgage-backed securities and asset-based financing techniques are covered. Additionally, the tax implications of various derivative securities is studied.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Finance

  • FIN-808 General Theory in Corporate Finance

    Prerequisites:

    Take MBA 650

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    This course extends the body of knowledge acquired in MBA 650. Students expand knowledge of dividend theory, capital structure theory, capital budgeting, long-term financing decisions, cash management and corporate restructuring, market efficiency, and risk and liability management.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Finance

  • FIN-810 Investment Analysis

    Prerequisites:

    MBA-650

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Students examine markets for investment procedures, valuation models, basic analytical techniques, and factors influencing risk/return tradeoffs. This course emphasizes the professional approach to managing investment assets. A variety of investment vehicles are discussed, including stocks, bonds, options, and futures.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Finance

  • FIN-814 Options and Futures

    Prerequisites:

    MBA-650

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Students explore the pricing of options and futures contracts, the characteristics of the markets in which these contracts are traded, options and futures strategies, and the application of these contracts in the hedging of financial positions. In addition, students are exposed to swap markets and a variety of swaps.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Finance

  • FIN-818 Financial Econometrics

    Prerequisites:

    MBA-650

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Students are introduced to mathematical statistics and basic econometrics. They study fundamental econometric tools as well as hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, linear regressions, simultaneous equations, and models of qualitative choice.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Finance

Elective Courses (9 credits)

If your program allows you only three electives they must be approved MSF electives, taken on campus unless permission to take online granted by Academic Program Director. If you received any “waived must substitute” under the MSA Core Courses section of this document, your fourth elective must be an ACCT course, your fifth elective must be a TAX course, and your sixth elective must be an approved International Business course.

Capstone Courses (6 credits)

Courses should be taken as late in the program as possible.

  • ACCT-861 Leadership in the Financial Professions

    Prerequisites:

    ACCT-802 (can be taken concurrently) or program director approval

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Addresses the leadership skills and knowledge required to serve effectively as senior financial professionals in a challenging global economy. Understanding various leadership styles and their effect on accounting is a key component of this course. We examine accounting policy making and the standard setting process. Discussion includes the roles of the SEC, AICPA, FAF and FASB and also shadow policy makers such as Congress and Political Action Committees and their respective roles in creating accounting policy and practice. Students demonstrate and hone their leadership skills by making presentations to professional panelists on current issues facing the accounting profession.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Accounting,MSA Capstone Course

  • FIN-820 Financial Policy

    Prerequisites:

    Take FIN-808, FIN-810, and FIN-814. (FIN-814 can be taken concurrently)

    Credits:

    3.00

    Description:

    Students examine financial theories, techniques, and models applied to the study of corporate financial decisions, aspects of corporate strategy, industry structure, and the functioning of capital markets.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    MBA Finance

Waiver/Transfer Policy

Waiver Policy

Management Preparation Courses may be waived with credit. MSA Preparation Courses may be waived with credit. MSA Core Courses may be waived with substitution of an elective. All waiver requests are evaluated upon a student’s acceptance into the MSA/MSF Program and are waived during the student’s first semester.

To waive a Management Preparation Course, a student must have successfully completed equivalent academic coursework at the undergraduate/graduate level in the seven years prior to MSA/MSF matriculation (“B” or better) and provide official transcripts (with English translations, if applicable). To waive an MSA Preparation Course, a student must have successful completed equivalent academic coursework at the undergraduate/graduate level in the five years prior to MSA/MSF matriculation (“B” or better) and provide official transcripts (with English translations, if applicable).

All MSA/MSF students must complete a minimum of 53 credits (17 courses, SBS 700, and FIN 601) in the Sawyer Business School.

Transfer Credit Policy

Any candidate seeking transfer credits, taken at the graduate level from an AACSB-accredited MBA, MSA, MSF, or MST program will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. These credits may be considered for transfer if the credits do not apply to a previously completed degree.

Transfer credits must have an earned grade of "B" or better and be taken within five years prior to entering the Suffolk MSA/MSF program. However, at the discretion of the program director, MSA Core Courses or MSF Core Courses may not be transferred if the subject material has changed significantly since completion. A maximum of six credits of Elective, MSA Core, or MSF Core Courses may be considered for transfer.