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Boise State’s Online MSA has Highest CPA Exam First-Time Pass Rate

MSA Student at home with daughter. Sitting on couch with laptop.
Photo by Boise State University Extended Studies.

Boise State University’s Online Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program continues to climb in national rankings. The program, now in its third year, jumped 17 places in U.S. News and World Report earlier this year. Most recently the program earned top honors with the highest CPA exam first-time pass rate in the U.S.

“I believe our excellent CPA pass rate reflects the quality and motivation of our students as well as the dedication and experience of our faculty teaching in the program,” said program director and associate professor Ryan Baxter, PhD.

“I believe our excellent CPA pass rate reflects the quality and motivation of our students as well as the dedication and experience of our faculty…”

Badge, Accounting, Best Online Masters Programs 2018-19

Data collected by AccountingEdu.org from the 2018 academic year broadly places Boise State Online’s MSA program at the top of the highest first-time pass rates of any university on the list. The data concluded Boise State’s first-time CPA test takers succeeded with a 92% pass rate. Students acquire and retain the knowledge needed to pass the exam through focused college coursework and most schools have a 65 to 80% first-time pass rate.

An affordable investment

Badge, Accounting Most Affordable Online Masters Programs 2018-19

In addition, the Boise State Online MSA program is one of the most affordable in the nation, according to AccountingEdu.org. The research organization used independent methodologies to determine the findings, “including cost, technical aspects of the online teaching platform, job placement and career services, post-graduation employment rates, and opportunities for peer-to-peer and instructor interaction.”

“Seeing how competitive we are in terms of cost, I think we have a very good value proposition for those seeking their graduate degree in Accounting,” Baxter said.

“Seeing how competitive we are in terms of cost, I think we have a very good value proposition for those seeking their graduate degree in Accounting.”

Boise State’s transparent fee structure allows students to know what expenses to expect as they pursue their online degree. All students pay in-state tuition for the online program, which helps to contribute to its national competitiveness.

Online MSA Benefits

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job classification of accountants and auditors is forecasted to grow from 2018-2028 by 6 percent with 90,700 new jobs by 2028. More education  offers students the opportunity for career advancement and increased financial stability. Online courses are especially practical for non-traditional students looking for flexibility.

Boise State Online pairs students with program coaches to help navigate financial aid, scholarships, military benefits and schedule options. Full and part-time options allow students to choose their own pace.

“We have a variety of students in the program, from those who have recently completed their undergraduate degrees to much more experienced individuals, who may have already completed their CPA and are working full-time,” Baxter said.

Continuous Improvement

Boise State’s online Master’s in Accounting courses are taught by instructors with industry experience, who are well-connected in the field. A team of online course designers collaborate with professors to develop engaging and thoughtful course materials.

“All of the faculty are striving each semester to improve content and delivery so that students are better prepared for the CPA and their career,” Baxter said. “We are accredited both as a College of Business by the top accrediting body (AACSB) for business schools and we are also separately accredited in just accounting.”

“All of the faculty are striving each semester to improve content and delivery so that students are better prepared for the CPA and their career.”

College of Business and Economics, marketing shoot, COBE, Allison Corona photo.
Lecturer Joanne Wood teaches financial and cost accounting, COBE, Allison Corona photo.

Serving more students

The program is growing its reach with a new Master of Science in Accountancy Foundations program that admits students who have an undergraduate degree but are missing key prerequisites needed to obtain a Master of Science in Accountancy. The goal is to help more students earn a Master of Science in Accountancy and become licensed CPAs to advance their careers.

As for the future goals of the program, “Over the last few years we’ve designed and continue to improve our online MSA program. This program wasn’t a response to COVID-19, but we are happy that we have had it in place for a few years beforehand, ready to serve the needs of students both near and far,” Baxter said.

Get in touch

Questions about Boise State's Master of Science in Accountancy program? Talk to a Students Success Coach today!