She wanted to become a CPA—how one UNA Master of Accountancy program helped


Kelsey Rush, MAcc
Kelsey Rush in Guntersville (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

As a newlywed, Kelsey Rush enrolled in the University of North Alabama (UNA) Abroms and Associates Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program to help prepare for her CPA exam. Now the new mom has a Master’s degree and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Here is her story. 

Meet Kelsey Rush

MAcc graduate with her family
Kelsey Rush, her husband Ryne and daughter Mayla Grace. (Michelle Walker)

Kelsey Rush was born and raised in Guntersville, Alabama, where she currently lives with her husband Ryne, baby girl Mayla Grace and Shih Tzu Lilly. 

Before her little one was born, she was doing a Master of Accountancy program at UNA while pregnant and building a home. Less than three months ago, the Rushes brought a newborn home to their new house and are settling down after a very busy phase of life. 

For fun, she loves traveling and spending time outside with her dog and family.

In her work life, she was recently promoted to Senior Consultant at Guidehouse, a company based out of Washington State, where she does audit remediation.

Deciding to enroll in the Abroms and Associates Master of Accountancy program at UNA

UNA MAcc graduate
Kelsey Rush at graduation with UNA’s president. (Kelsey Rush)

When Kelsey graduated from UNA with an undergrad degree in accounting, she already knew she wanted to earn her CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, certificate. To achieve this, she needed 150 hours to be certified in the state of Alabama. 

“The Master’s in Accountancy was the best option for me. Even if I didn’t do the CPA, I wanted to go ahead and get the degree, so the MAcc was the next choice in my career.”

From her undergraduate days, she loved that UNA has a university feel, but it’s small enough that the professors are highly invested in their students and truly know who they are.

“My undergraduate accounting teacher came to my wedding. We still talk all the time, and she got me baby gifts. We have a good relationship—that’s so rare at every other college.”

Kelsey Rush

What it was like doing the MAcc Program

Kelsey Rush and accounting professor
Kelsey Rush and her undergraduate accounting teacher. (Kelsey Rush)

Since a big part of Kelsey’s motivation to do the Master of Accountancy program was getting ready for the CPA exam, she really appreciated the program’s flexibility. The ability to customize her coursework and complete it in the amount of time she needed made a big difference.

During her final semester, Kelsey was pregnant and building a house while working towards her CPA. Even during this chaotic phase of life, she still found the program very doable and appreciated how understanding her professors were. 

Altogether, she completed the entire program over three years with two semesters off to take the CPA exam, which consists of four parts one must pass within 18 months. She was able to take the exam once she had completed 120 hours of school, including an undergraduate accounting program, but isn’t eligible to become fully licensed as a CPA until she completed 150 credit  hours of education plus two years of work experience. 

“I sat for one part of the CPA before I did any part of the Masters and ended up failing, but then I passed the second time. It made a world of difference after I took the MAcc program. Everything I learned helped me with the CPA. 

Even if you’re not doing the CPA exam, the MAcc at UNA teaches valuable and necessary information you need in the accounting field in general.”

Kelsey Rush

Nuts + Bolts

  • Cost: $17,250
  • Financial aid + scholarships: both are available. To help you get started UNA has the new-start scholarship which makes your first course free
  • Accreditation: AASCB—held by fewer than 5% of business schools worldwide
  • Who it’s for: Individuals  who meet the admission requirements for graduate study in the College of Business and Technology, including those with the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in accounting or those who have successfully completed undergraduate accounting prerequisites as prescribed by the MAcc Coordinator.
  • Format: 8 core curriculum classes + 12 hours of electives
  • Program length: 30 credit hours

Interested in pursuing UNA’s Abroms and Associates Master of Accountancy? Request more information today.

Sponsored by:

North Alabama - Sanders College of Business and Technology
Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain
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