Accounting and Business Law

Location: 236 Galloway Business Bldg.,  Phone: (409) 880-8610;  Fax:  (409) 880-8611

Chair:  Dr. Gisele Moss

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting - 120 hours

Master of Science - Accounting - 30 hours

The Department of Accounting and Business Law offers both a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting and a Master of Science in Accounting.  The BBA provides the student with a broad education in accounting and prepares the student for an entry level position in industry or government.  The MSA prepares students for positions in public accounting, industry, or government.  In addition, the MSA is designed to meet the educational requirements of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy to sit for the CPA exam.

Requirements for Graduation

In addition to the College of Business degree requirements for the BBA, the accounting major must earn a minimum grade of "B" in ACCT 2301 and ACCT 3370. A minimum grade of "C" is required in each accounting course beyond ACCT 3370. Students pursuing this degree program must take all professional upper-level courses at Lamar University.

Master of Science in Accounting

Director of MSA:  Clare Burns, MBA, CPA

The Lamar University Master of Science in Accounting is a 30-hour program designed to provide students with the necessary technical knowledge, communication skills, and critical thinking abilities for successful careers in public accounting, industry, government, and not-for-profit organizations. The Lamar University MS in accounting degree can satisfy all educational requirements adopted by the TSBPA to sit the CPA exam in the state of Texas.  Lamar University's College of Business is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

The program admits students with diverse backgrounds. While a majority of MS in accounting students have an undergraduate degree in accounting or business, a number of students have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in areas other than business. Students admitted without the necessary undergraduate coursework in accounting and/or business will be required to take prerequisite courses in those areas before enrolling for graduate accounting or business courses.

The flexible nature of the program allows both full-time and part-time students to obtain the degree. Applications are accepted throughout the year and students are admitted in fall, spring, and summer semesters. The length of the program will vary depending on the accounting and business administration background the student possesses.

Students holding an accounting degree from a domestic accredited business program can complete the degree in as few as 30 credit hours.  The 30 credit hours can be completed in one year.

Students entering the Lamar University MS in accounting program with an undergraduate degree in business from an accredited business school will likely have satisfied the business leveling course requirements and may complete the degree in as little as 45 credit hours.  

For students without any previous undergraduate study in business who want to become CPA-exam ready, the Lamar University MS in accounting degree may be completed in as few as 63 credit hours. Typically students without a business background will take six accounting prerequisite courses including ACCT 2301 (with a “B” or better), the five business leveling courses and the 10 courses required by the MS in accounting degree.

In addition to satisfactorily completing the course requirements, students are required to pass an exit exam. Exam content pertains to the topics of Auditing, Financial Accounting, Regulation and Taxation.

Education requirements to sit the CPA exam in the state of Texas:

  • four-year degree from an accredited university
  • 150 board-approved college credit hours
  • 30 hours of ACCT above Principles
  • 3 hour board-approved ethics course
  • 24 upper-level business hours (Principles of Economics and Statistics are an exception)

The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA) makes all final decisions regarding the eligibility of exam candidates.  You may find additional information at their Internet site Students who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business from a university other than Lamar are strongly encouraged to file a Letter of Intent with the TSBPA after being admitted into the MSA program to determine which undergraduate courses satisfy the TSBPA requirements.

MS in Accounting Admissions Requirements

Persons seeking admission to this program must meet the general requirements for admission with the following exceptions:

1.  The student is required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

2.  The applicant’s undergraduate grade point average and GMAT scores must equal or exceed the minimum standards. Applicants must meet at least one of the following standards:

  • A total of at least 1050 points based on the formula: 200 times the overall undergraduate GPA for the first baccalaureate degree (4.0 system) plus a GMAT score.
  • A total of at least 1100 points based on the formula: 200 times the GPA (4.0 system) of the last 60 hours of undergraduate work for the first baccalaureate degree plus GMAT score.

3.  Applicants with an undergraduate degree in accounting must have earned a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in all undergraduate accounting courses taken.

4.  Applicants without an undergraduate degree in accounting are required to maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 in all undergraduate accounting courses taken before and after acceptance into the program.

5.  A student whose native language is not English is expected to take a language proficiency exam.  Acceptable scores and additional information for prospective international students may be found here.

All applications will be reviewed on the basis of the profile material required and submitted for admission consideration. Each required document contributes to the overall profile of the candidate for admission. Qualified applicants for graduate study must provide evidence of good standing at the college or university from which they earned their undergraduate degree. The requirements outlined above represent the minimum criteria that applicants must meet to be considered for admission into the MS in accounting program. The final decision regarding admittance into the program will be made by the MSA program committee.  Meeting with the minimum admittance requirements does not guarantee an applicant's admittance into the program.

Integrated BBA/MS in Accounting

As detailed above, current law requires 150 college credit hours to sit the Uniform CPA Examination in the state of Texas.[1]  To help students meet with this requirement, the graduate college provides for dual enrollment in the BBA/MSA.  This enables a timely completion of internships that offers greater opportunities for initial employment and career success.  In addition to the exceptions to the general requirements for admission referred to above, those seeking an integrated BBA/MS in accounting may apply and be admitted to the MS in accounting program prior to completing a bachelor's degree.  Applicants must:

  • complete at least 75 hours (must complete 12 hours of upper-level accounting courses including ACCT 3310)
  • meet with GMAT and GPA total scores of 1050 indicated above (the undergraduate GPA at the time of application will be used in the formula requirement outlined above).
  • have a minimum accounting undergraduate GPA of 3.0 at the time of admittance and maintain an accounting GPA of 3.0 throughout the program.


The dual MSA/MBA is a dual-degree plan for those students already earning an MSA with at least six hours of electives from the MBA. An additional 18 hours of MBA core courses (including MGMT 5380) are required, and the student must complete the MBA Exit Exam.  Applications must be submitted for each program individually.


Scholarships are available to domestic MSA students who earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 for their first baccalaureate degree and a minimum GMAT score of 450.

[1] Including 30 hours in upper-division accounting, 24 hours in upper-division related business, and 3 hours in an approved ethics course