Frequently Asked Questions
1 - Studying for the UFE exam tends to be a very standardized process for students across Canada. What motivated the Edwards School of Business to develop an innovative alternative, like the MPAcc program.
The idea for the program was formulated in the early 1990's. This was before the current competency based system that is in place today. At the time the education process to become a CA was very fragmented. Each Provincial Institute was responsible for preparing its students to challenge the UFE.
Visionary educators at the University of Saskatchewan, seeking to address the demand for broader and more interdisciplinary professional accounting education developed the program. From the beginning the program focused on strengthening student's technical knowledge while enhancing intellectual abilities, written and verbal communication skills, professionalism and self-confidence.
Today the program continues to fulfill its mandate of providing more than just the technical abilities to successfully challenge the exam. We focus on the pervasive skills that ensure success as an overall business professional.
2 - Do you find that students in the MPAcc program tend to perform better on the UFE because they can concentrate on studying without working at the same time?
The students that we tend to attract to our program are diligent; hard working and extremely talented individuals. I would like attribute their success on the UFE to the MPAcc program but it is really the individual students who make this happen.
3 - How are students graded in the program? Is each course evaluated on a pass-fail basis, or do students receive a letter or numerical grade?
All of the classes in MPAcc use numerical grading for evaluation.
4 - Writing cases is an important part of preparing for the UFE. How does the MPAcc program integrate case-writing into its courses? Is this the primary method of evaluation?
Case writing is a very effective way of learning complex business problems. Most of our classes use a case based approach and old UFE questions as a way to demonstrate and learn concepts. We also have MPAcc 810 Professionalism, Skills, Application and Integration where we focus 100% on bringing all the subject matter together and practicing our case writing skills. We bring in case writing experts from across Canada to provide tips and strategies on how best to approach this task.
5 - Enrollment is about 70 students per year. How many applications does the program usually receive? What is the average undergraduate GPA of students entering the program?
Over the years the application to acceptance rate has averaged around 50%. We receive approximately 140 applications a year but it can vary depending on what is happening in the marketplace. We always encourage students to apply whether they believe they have met the requirements or not. There are many factors that we take into consideration in the process and we wouldn't want students to self-select out because of the perceived competiveness of the program.
6 - Do CA firms normally provide any sort of financial assistance to students in the MPAcc program? (i.e. no interest loan) Is there any other assistance available to students? (e.g. exit awards)
Financial assistance from firms varies quite a bit by training office and by region. We always encourage students to know the training office policies before they accept their offer and make sure it meets with their needs. Some firms will pay for 100% of the tuition and books as well as provide a living allowance for the time that the students are in Saskatoon. Other firms will pay up to the CASB rates and the student must cover the difference.
We do not offer any scholarships or other financial assistance at this time.
7 - Where do most students live when they are in the MPAcc program? What can a student expect to pay on board & lodging during the summer months?
Most of our students find shared accommodations very close to the University or in the University residence. Since the program runs in the summer months many regular session students who have summer positions elsewhere are willing to sublet at reduced rates to keep their accommodations. Some of our students have paired up to share accommodations and transportation costs as well.
The amount students pay depends on how luxuriously they want to live during their stay so it can vary. The housing market in Saskatoon would be considered moderately expensive depending on where you are coming from. Our office maintains a housing registry and can provide more information upon request.
8 - What portion of students in the program are working towards their CA designation? Are there any students pursuing the CMA or CGA designation, or who complete the MPAcc program without pursuing another designation?
The program has a very high percentage of students who are pursuing their CA designation however we have had cases in the past where students have gone straight to a PhD program and not completed their CA designation or have chosen to pursue other designations.
9 - What is the background of most of the instructors in the MPAcc program? Are they undergraduate or graduate professors at other universities, CAs in practice, etc?
Most of the instructors are full time instructors within the University of Saskatchewan. Some have academic backgrounds and others are professionally qualified in their fields. The program has a very good reputation and attracts some of the Colleges best Professors. They enjoy the interaction with the high caliber students.
10 - How much group work is involved in the MPAcc program? The research project is completed in teams of two. What types of topics do students normally research?
There is a tremendous amount of group work in the program and the students are paired with many different individuals over their two years in the program. This allows for maximum learning and growth. Alumni in the program have indicated that that is one of the most attractive features of the program as it allows for a sharing of knowledge that is not possible through an on-line learning system. The Research project focuses on contemporary issues in financial accounting and is taught by a leading researcher in this field.