Master of Science in Accountancy

Student profiles


Ashley WaidAshley Waid
Notre Dame MSA Program
Class of 2012

The MSA program offers two tracks – tax and financial reporting.  This allows students to specialize in the area in which they choose to begin their career in accounting.  Students are given a wide selection of accounting classes, as well as MBA electives, to choose from in creating their schedule.  Students are given flexibility in designing their schedule to meet their individual preferences.  The professors bring real world experience into the classroom and work to ensure a collaborative classroom environment in which student participation in discussions is a large part of class.  Professors also make themselves available after class for extra help if the student needs it. 

Outside the classroom, students are given the opportunity to participate in a wide array of activities ranging from intramural sports to volunteer activities.  Study abroad trips are available in both the fall and spring semester for interested students.  Another option for students is to participate in the inter-term MBA classes, which consists of a four-day intensive case study based upon a business problem faced by a real company.  Students are awarded two credit hours for participation in this program and it is an opportunity to interact with MBA students as well as other MSA students.

Coming into the MSA program was a life changing decision for me.  Each class I took challenged me to think outside the box, while increasing my knowledge of accounting and finance.  I truly feel better prepared to start my career after completing this program.  I am now going into my career with the confidence I need to work on complex problems that are presented to me during the start of my experience in the working world. 

I not only gained knowledge that made me better prepared to start my career, but I also made connections and friendships that will last a long time.  I would highly recommend this program to any student looking to obtain a Master’s in Accounting.  The program exceeded my expectations both in and outside of the classroom.  The professors and staff of the program are welcoming and make Notre Dame feel like home.  I came into the program with high expectations and left with my expectations exceeded.    

back to top


KeithEarlyKeith Early
Notre Dame MSA Program
Class of 2013

When I was preparing to decide what Master's program I wanted to attend I weighed a number of factors that were most important to me which required asking a lot of questions of myself that I hadn't asked before. I realized that I cared a lot about having an intimate group of students and a student body that felt less like a graduating class and more like a community. In all of my questions I asked various directors and students from programs it always felt like this was the case in the Notre Dame MSA program as well as the Notre Dame campus overall. Besides being an excellent academic institution which is clearly reflected in the all the highly ranked programs Mendoza School of Business, this sense of family that grows from what could easily be a competitive environment really made me feel like I made the correct choice for my Master's program. 

Coming into the MSA program I was pretty firmly convinced I wanted to pursue the tax track and the program provided lots of opportunities to not only pursue this course of study, but also a large selection of elective courses that prepared me for the ALL IMPORTANT CPA Exam that looms for most students in the program. All the courses, while being important for the pursuit of learning in general, provided excellent background and preparation for the CPA Exam and a great foundation to enter the working world. 

One of the largest takeaways I had from attending the Notre Dame MSA program actually came in the Fall semester when I was going through the interview process and it really began my appreciation for what the program and the university represent to people who are not a part of the Notre Dame community. Coming from a smaller university in the Southeast for my undergraduate education, I had gone through the interview process a few times and was constantly faced with questions that directly and indirectly probed my educational background. However, when I went through the interview cycle in the Fall semester, having the University of Notre Dame next to my name eliminated the questions of the quality of my studies because as I look back at it now, Notre Dame represents excellence. To close our year of study at Notre Dame our Ethics professor left us with a simple challenge that still resonates with me to this point. He closed the year telling us the history of Notre Dame and telling us "Be worthy of this place." Many people walk down Notre Dame Avenue each year for sporting events and cultural activities, but to be able to walk past the Golden Dome the rest of your life and know that you were a student and graduate of the University of Notre Dame is truly a special feeling and one that I will cherish the rest of my life. 

Attending the University of Notre Dame and getting to be involved in the MSA program was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I just hope to continue to reflect on my time there and connect with the professors, classmates, and staff that made my past year so memorable and foundational.

back to top

MaryGalphinMary Galphin
Notre Dame MSA Program
Class of 2013

Why did you choose to attend Notre Dame MSA?

The MSA program is geared toward developing the future controller of a company, audit partner, and CFO, not merely passing the daunting CPA exam. Specifically, I chose the MSA program for its credibility, expansive alumni network, and opportunity to travel abroad to China.

How did you feel about the course selection offered for your track concentration?

I chose the FRAS concentration mainly for the opportunity to participate in MBA classes and to develop a better understanding of business in general. The exposure to investments, bonds, entrepreneurship, and more helped prepare me for my position.

Do you feel the courses that you took prepared you for your position?

Early on, I knew I did not want the typical audit or tax track and looked into rotational programs. With the FRAS courses and access to the ND Career Fair and the companies that attend them, I was able to leverage a network that spanned worldwide and received the incredible opportunity to work for GE Capital as part of its Controllership Development Program.

How was your overall experience?

Overall, I was fulfilled more than I expected. I wanted to receive the 150 credit hours, land a job, explore China, participate in classes, and meet new people. What I got was an opportunity to make life-long friendships, an unbelievable exposure to see the nuances of a traditional China tediously balancing modernism, and a broadened perspective of business, not to mention an undefeated regular football season. Go Irish! 

back to top