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Oklahoma State University
Watson Graduate School of Management

Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements? | When should I apply? | When can I start classes? | What about Internships?
Are there scholarships for the Graduate Program? | What else do I need to know?

What are the requirements?

  • Where is the application for the Graduate program?
  • What are the requirements for acceptance in the program?
    • For the PPA program (provisional admission to the MS Program before you have completed your BSBA degree), you need 90 earned hours and 12 hours of upper division accounting, that must include a grade of A or B in Intermediate I. 
    • For full admission to the PPA or 4/1 program*, you must have completed your BSBA with an overall GPA of 3.0 and an ACCT GPA (upper division ACCT courses only) of a 3.25, and a GMAT score of 550 or higher**.
  • Do I have to take the GMAT? Are there exceptions?
    • A GMAT waiver is available for OSU undergraduate students (only) that have earned an OSU Overall GPA of 3.5, and OSU ACCT GPA (upper division only) of 3.5, and have earned no C’s in ACCT (including ACCT 2103 & 2203). 
  • What score do I need on the GMAT if I do not qualify for a waiver?
    • If you do not meet the requirements for the GMAT waiver, a score of 550 must be submitted before you can enroll in graduate level classes.
  • When is the GMAT Score needed?
    • If you are required to take the GMAT, your satisfactory score must be received before you can enroll in classes. According to the GMAT website, it takes approximately 20 calendar days for the student and school to receive the GMAT official score report.
  • If I have a “C”(s) in upper level courses will my application be considered?
    • Yes. Every application will be reviewed. If there are concerns about your GPA, or grades in your accounting courses you may be asked to retake those classes.
    • Retaking upper level courses can improve your GPA, but all accounting grades will be averaged when calculating GPA.
    • If you earn a “C” in the Financial Sequence (Financial Accounting, Intermediate I, Intermediate II), you need to retake that course the following semester before moving on to the next course in that sequence. Retake any “C’s” immediately rather than risking moving on to a course in which you do not have the foundation to be successful. 
    • Earning a “C” in an upper division accounting course will also result in your being required to take the GMAT. 
  • I’m a double major/I switched majors and my previous major courses have affected my overall GPA; what can I do about it?
    • This will be taken into consideration when necessary. Depending on the severity, you may be asked to present your case before the MS Committee to help determine whether or not you are adequately prepared to begin this program. 
    • If you changed majors and you meet the requirements for the program during the time in which you were a declared ACCT major, your most recent performance will be the main focus of your application review. 
  • If I am applying for the next term, when will my GPA be counted?
    • GPAs are reviewed at the end of every term to ensure that applicants are maintaining their academic standing and continuing on the path towards the Master’s Program. Even a student that has been provisionally admitted to the PPA program has to continue to maintain the required GPA of the MS admission policy. If the review of grades earned each semester reveals that a student earned anything other than an “A” or “B” in a prerequisite or graduate level course, that student will be asked to retake that course. 
  • What happens if I have retaken and/all “C’s” and I still don’t have the required GPA for the program?
    • If there are more than two classes that need to be

When should I apply?

  • Do I need to have my degree to apply for the program?
    • No! You can apply as early as your Junior year. You can apply to the Graduate College once you have 90 earned hours and at least 12 credit hours of upper division accounting (3000 and 4000 level only).   
  • When should I apply to enroll for summer?
    • In order to begin the program during a summer semester, you should apply by October 1 of the fall semester before the summer you would like to begin taking graduate level courses.
  • What if I wanted to enroll this coming term?
    • Apply now! It typically takes 2 weeks to process through the grad college to get to our office; the sooner you apply; the sooner the process can begin. Whether or not you are able to enroll in the coming term will depend on whether or not you meet the requirements for the program, and whether or not there is enough time to process your admission once your application is submitted.   
  • What do I need to have completed before I apply?
    • You should have completed at least 4 courses of 3000 level or above (12 credit hours), and have attended a Master’s Program Information Session. For details on the next MS Program Information Session, please email Autumn Lovelace at
  • If I have already applied, but I haven’t heard anything on the status of my application, should I be worried?
    • No. The application review process takes time. If there is an issue with your application we will let you know, otherwise, you will be contacted when it is the appropriate time to move forward with your admission process. If you have additional questions about your path to the Master’s Program, and you have already attended an Information Session, you can schedule a time to meet with Prof. Vowell and/or students currently in the program who can help with any specific questions that were not previously addressed. Once you have been approved to enroll in the MS Program, you can contact the Office of the School of Accounting at to schedule an appointment to speak with Prof. Vowell regarding enrollment.
  • Should I apply for the program before scheduling a one-on-one appointment with Prof. Vowell?
    • Yes. If you have not applied to the program, you need to attend an information session. There will be time at the end for Q&A. 
  • Do I have to declare my concentration on the application? What if I change my mind?
    • You do not have to declare a concentration on your application. We will use your concentration to guide your plan of study, but if you change your mind while in the program, we can modify your plan of study to allow you to follow your new concentration. If you decide you need/want to deviate from your plan of study, you need to contact the MS Coordinator as soon as possible, and before you make any changes to your planned enrollment to be sure the deviation does not alter your planned graduation date. 
  • What do I do if I have applied for the program, but my graduation date has changed?
    • Let us know! You have the option of delaying your start date for the program, or accelerating your start date, if the situation arises to warrant such a change. There are logistical issues involved with a change like this, so the sooner you can notify our office the better.

When can I start classes?

  • Can I start grad classes in the summer?
    • Yes! Grad level classes are offered every term. Options may be limited during the summer months, but if a student has completed his/her BSBA degree and begins summer graduate level courses, he/she can take six hours graduate credit that first summer, twelve hours each during the fall and spring semesters, and will have the opportunity to take the CPA Exam the following summer, while taking his/her final course of the program. A student that has completed his/her BSBA degree and begins the MS program during the summer semester, will graduate with his/her MS Degree the following summer (July diploma date).*** 
  • Can I take Grad level classes if I still need Undergraduate credits?
    • Yes! The Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) allows students to take undergraduate and graduate level courses at the same time after the student has met the requirements for the MS Program, his/her application has been submitted and reviewed, and he/she has been provisionally admitted as a PPA student, or has been approved to enroll in graduate level course work. 
  • Are there any grad level classes offered on the Tulsa campus?
    • We are introducing a graduate level Oil & Gas course to the Tulsa campus Fall 2018 that will meet in multiple locations.  More information is available by emailing

What about Internships?

  • Can I get credit hours for internships with accounting firms?
    • Absolutely! We offer a Graduate level internship course to gain credit for real world experience in accounting.
  • Do I need to wait until I am accepted into the program to take an internship for credit?
    • Most likely. We do not offer undergraduate credit for internships, so the ideal timing for your internship is during your Senior or Graduate year. However, realistically, most of our students are completing internships during their Junior and even Sophomore years. 
    • A more important question to ask if how will that affect your financial aid. Before accepting an internship, pay very close attention to how it will impact your class schedule and any scholarships, loans, or other financial aid that you are currently receiving. 
    • Typically speaking, it is better to complete a summer internship if accepting an internship while classified as a Sophomore or Junior. It is much easier to accommodate a spring internship for a Senior or Graduate student. 
    • If you are completing a spring internship as a senior and you still have undergraduate course left to take after you return from your internship, you may be able to take graduate level courses during the spring semester and complete your BSBA degree the following fall.     
      • Potential issues to consider when doing this: 
      • This will delay your BSBA graduation from Spring to Fall. 
      • You may not qualify for your undergraduate financial aid during the spring semester if you are only enrolled in graduate level courses.
      • If you plan to work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in ACE, where you could qualify for a full graduate level tuition waiver, you will lose one semester of eligibility because that waiver is not available until you have been fully admitted as a graduate student. You cannot be fully admitted as a graduate student until you have completed your BSBA degree. 
  • Can I take other classes while on an internship?
    • It is not advised to take courses (online, or otherwise) while away on internship. We want you to be able to focus on the work you are doing for the firm to get the most from your experience. We also want you to be able to give your full attention to the courses you take to maintain your academic standing.
    • We do, however, schedule graduate level courses during the spring semester in either the front 8 weeks or back 8 weeks so a student that is away from campus during the first 8 weeks for an internship can return to campus during the back 8 weeks of the semester and take up to 9 hours of graduate level coursework. Assuming the student is enrolled in the Internship course for credit, he/she will still be able to complete a 12 hour semester and an Internship without delaying his/her anticipated graduation timeline.****
  • When should I apply for the graduate program if I already have an internship lined up for an upcoming term?
    • Apply now. It typically takes 2 weeks to process through the grad college to get to our office; the sooner you apply; the sooner the process can begin. 
    • Your acceptance of an Internship does not equate to your acceptance into the MS program. You have to meet all requirements for the MS Program before you will be approved to enroll in, and receive credit for, an Internship. 
  • Is an internship required for the Master’s program?
    • No, the internship is not required.
  • What internships qualify for credit?
    • To gain graduate credit for an internship, it must be proven that the internship reinforced your knowledge of accounting. The internship can be with a public accounting firm or with an industry company. If you aren’t sure about an internship that you have been offered, ask your supervisor to draft a summary of the work you will be doing for review and approval.
  • Would a Summer internship be handled differently to a Spring or Fall internship?
    • For the Internship course itself, they are the same.  The spring and summer internships are both 8 weeks, full-time, and in an accounting role. The contract for each course is the same and requires the same assignments/timeline. 
    • Fall internships are possible, but very rare. They are approved on a case by case basis and must meet the same qualifications/requirements as the spring/summer internships.

Are there scholarships for the Graduate Program?

  • Are there scholarship opportunities for the graduate program?
  • What do I need to do to qualify for a scholarship?
  • Where do I apply to work in ACE?
    • The application for ACE will be available each spring semester for the following academic year. Most students are hired for a fall semester start date. There are semesters in which we need to hire additional help for the spring or summer semesters. In that case, additional applicants will be requested during the fall semester. More information can be found at this link:
  • How many ACE positions are available?
    • The number of tutors varies based on the needs of the term. If you are interested, definitely apply. Interviews will be held near the end of the term.
  • What are the benefits of working in ACE?
    • ACE is a tutoring center specifically for accounting students. Working in ACE in a 20 hour position as a graduate student will qualify you for a tuition waiver through the graduate college. That waiver covers graduate level tuition, but does not cover fees. You must be enrolled in six hours of graduate level hours and be classified as a fully admitted MS student to qualify for the tuition waiver.
    • In addition to the financial benefits of working in ACE, you will also practice and evaluate the basics of accounting on a daily basis, reinforcing these principles, which is an excellent review for the CPA Exam!
    • ACE also provides students with the unique opportunity to interact with the faculty and network with accounting professionals.

What else do I need to know?

  • What happens if I’m interested in the program, have attended an information session, but still have questions?
    • The School of Accounting will identify ACE students each semester that will also serve as student advisors. There will be specific hours that you can schedule to speak to them about their experience in both undergraduate and graduate level accounting course, what the application/admission process was like for them, seek advice on what classes pair well together and what classes do not, etc. This is a great opportunity to learn from someone that was very recently in your shoes.
  • Is there any room in my plan of study for a travel course? 
    • Yes – you are allowed to take up to six credit hours of study abroad courses as part of your MS plan of study. The School of Accounting currently offers several travel courses through the CAGLE office. In order for one of these course to count as part of your MS plan of study, you MUST enroll in a graduate level section of that course (5000 level). If you intend to count a travel course toward your plan of study, you must make that known to the CAGLE office when enrolling. For more information please follow this link:

*PPA admission refers to a student that has not completed his/her BSBA before admission/being approved to enroll in graduate level ACCT courses. 

*4/1 admission refers to a student that has completed his/her BSBA before admission/being approved to enroll in graduate level ACCT courses.   

**A GMAT waiver is available for OSU undergraduate students (only) that have earned an OSU Overall GPA of 3.5, and OSU ACCT GPA (upper division only) of 3.5, and have earned no C’s in ACCT (including ACCT 2103 & 2203). 

***This assumes the student follows the plan of study agreed upon during advising appointments with the MS Coordinator and that there are no other courses required outside of the MS Plan of Study. 

****This statement assumes the student has also met with his/her undergraduate advisor and understands the potential delay in BSBA graduation date because of the Internship and availability of his/her remaining undergraduate courses.