Intensive new MOS program gives graduates leg up

December 19, 2016

Following a successful first year, the Graduate Diploma in Accounting, offered by the Department of Management and Organizational Studies, is aiming to double enrollment.

First offered in 2016, the Graduate Diploma in Accounting is designed to prepare undergraduates for entrance into the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada's Professional Education Program (PEP) at an advanced level.

In its first year, 39 students took part in the 13-week Graduate Diploma in Accounting, which, provides students with a focused opportunity to complete this required step in their path toward a CPA designation.

The program includes five courses designed to assist students in developing case-writing skills necessary to perform their best on the Comprehensive Final Examination, which is the professional exam CPA students must pass.

The first year included both domestic and international students from Western, and its affiliate colleges. The majority of the domestic students have obtained employment in the accounting field and are working towards their CPA designation. Many students have found employment in public accounting firms, industry and government.

"The graduate diploma complements our undergraduate degree and allows our students to enter the CPA-PEP program a year earlier than they would otherwise," said Ann Bigelow, Director of the Graduate Diploma in Accounting. "The students complete most of the PEP program in a condensed manner over the summer, rather than trying to complete it along with working full time. If we didn't have the program, students would have to complete four modules through CPA while working full time."

Natasha Raval completed the program in 2016.

"No matter how hectic or stressful the process was, having completed those three months – and countless cases – has made me not just a better CPA student but also a more well-rounded professional," she said. "I am proud to say that I am a part of the first graduating class and I can't wait to see the heights the program reaches in years to come."

Bigelow said the program instructors really enjoyed working with the students on developing their case-writing skills. "We recognize it was a challenging process for the students to see they already had all the technical skills they needed to succeed, but they had to develop the ability to communicate their knowledge in a concise and convincing way so that future clients and employers would feel comfortable placing their trust in them."

The graduate program is open to students as long as they meet the requirements to enter CPA-PEP with courses from the school where they completed their undergraduate degree.

Interested applicants must have an average of at least 72 per cent across required third- and fourth-year CPA courses, and must complete a 250-word statement of interest.

To support an outstanding student, the DAN Management Graduate Diploma in Accounting Scholarship is awarded to a student entering the Graduate Diploma with the highest graduating average (at least 80 per cent overall).

Applications are due Feb. 28, with acceptance notifications sent March 30. Please visit for more information.