Application Requirements

Admission to the program is competitive. Meeting the minimum standards indicated does not guarantee admission. Although the following minimum standards must normally be met, the applicant’s overall record is considered when making admission decisions.

  • Academic credentials

    The minimum standards for admission to the M.S. in Accounting program are:

    • A bachelor’s degree in accounting from a recognized educational institution, or a bachelor’s degree that includes the prerequisites of intermediate financial accounting, a survey of calculus, and probability and statistics.*
    • A cumulative grade-point average of at least a 3.0 from any institution attended.
    • A cumulative grade-point average of at least a 3.0 in any junior and senior level accounting courses.

    *Although students may be accepted into the program whose undergraduate degree is not in accounting, these students will be required to complete all undergraduate accounting major courses (equivalent to an MSU undergraduate degree in accounting) prior to, or during enrollment in the M.S. in Accounting program.

  • Standardized tests (GRE or GMAT)
    • The program accepts either the GMAT or GRE exam, with a minimum GMAT score of 550 (school code: QH0-5P-32) or strong GRE scores (school code: 1465).
    • Current MSU accounting students with an overall GPA of 3.0 AND an average of 3.0 in their 300/400-level accounting courses (not including ACC 308) are eligible to waive the GMAT/GRE.
  • International test scores (if applicable)

    A minimum International language Testing System (IELTS) band score of 7, OR a minimum score in any of the following Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) formats:

    • 600 on paper-based TOEFL
    • 250 on computer version of TOEFL
    • 100 on iBT (internet-based) TOEFL
  • Essays

    Three essays are required of applicants: two written essays and a video essay.

    • Written essays address educational and professional goals and must be 350 – 750 words.
    • The video essay provides prospective students the opportunity to demonstrate in their own words who they are as applicants. The video is an interactive way to complete an essay in a relatively short period of time (two minutes).

    Video Essay System

  • Letters of recommendation
    • Two letters of recommendation are required. One letter must be from a faculty member in your major.
    • Applicants will be required to provide complete contact information for those who have written the letters.
  • Resume

    Applicants will be required to submit a resume. The resume should detail:

    • Academic credentials and accomplishments including scholastic awards and any research or publications
    • Work experience (full-time, part-time and internships)
    • Leadership experience
    • Community service
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Honors and awards
    • Youth development or mentoring
    • Global experiences and any study abroad

Information for Applicants from China

Michigan State University requires admitted Chinese students who earned bachelor’s degrees in mainland China to submit a degree conferral verification report from the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) and a transcript verification report from CHESICC. Both of these reports must be made available electronically to MSU’s Office of Admissions.

Chinese students who earned bachelor’s degrees from mainland China will need to submit ALL available official academic records (e.g., transcripts and diplomas earned, in Chinese and English, or English if issued that way) as part of their application for admission. These can be unofficial and submitted electronically attached to your application. AFTER students are admitted, they must do the following:

  1. Contact the CDGDC and request an electronic degree verification report. This report must be 1) emailed directly to the Office of Admissions from the CDGDC or 2) the CDGDC verification report application number emailed to the Office of Admissions by the student or the CDGDC. The Office of Admissions email address is Please also have a copy submitted to
  2. Contact CHESICC and request an electronic transcript verification report in English. The report must include an official copy of the final transcript (in Chinese and English, or just English) along with an English version of the report, which includes all courses taken, program start and end dates, etc. This report must be sent electronically via Parchment directly to the Office of Admissions from CHESICC.

Applying to the M.S. Program

The application is strictly online, and we will not accept any documents sent to the department. Any documents received will not be considered as part of your application.

After you have been admitted to the program, you will be required to submit official college transcripts, financial proof, GMAT and TOEFL scores. Instructions will be included in your admission letter. Please do not send us any official transcripts or documents until you receive an acceptance offer.

Specific Instructions for MSU Undergraduates

Application Deadlines

Students may start the program in any semester – fall (August), spring (January), or summer (May) – as space permits. Summer admission is advisable for students who need to complete certain prerequisite courses.

Applications must be received by the following deadlines:

  • January 15: For those applying to start in the summer and fall semesters, and all those who want to be considered for scholarships.
  • March 1: A second round of application review will occur after this date if space remains for summer and fall semesters.
  • October 1: For those applying to start in the spring semester.