A) I don't believe you HAVE to have a BS in accounting before pursuing your MAcc. However, at my school and most of our peer schools, they require you to have your BS in accounting. It just removes a lot of the hassle associated with prereqs and whatnot. I would think you can do your MAcc as other schools and not have a BS in accounting but I may be mistaken. However, most people in my program are in the program purely because they need 150 hours to sit for the CPA. So if you can get the 150 hour requirement without getting a MAcc then that's a very possible option. Just depends.
B) I went the traditional route: BS degree in 4 years, internship with Big Four, MAcc program. So all in all 5 years. If you are starting from scratch (zero college coursework)then I think 5 years is abut the minimum. If you already have a degree in something else then you most likely have several general prereqs knocked out already. There were people in my undegrad who had already graduated with a "flexible" degree (i.e. finance, management, poly sci, etc.), and couldn't find work so they came back for their accounting degree. These students only needed the 8 required accounting classes because they already had all the general ed prereqs taken care of. Once you get into the MAcc program stage it's more dependent in your situation and what you're looking for. There are tons of programs whose bread and butter is students who work during the day and go to class at night.
Thought I'd message you clarify two quick things. But thanks so much, by the way, for your willingness to answer questions in that thread. I think I can speak for others when I say we (at the very least, I) greatly appreciate it. (And, yes, I'm still doing my own research into accounting, so don't have questions at the moment...but maybe in the future!)
i.) re: "5-Year" time frame
Did you mean that someone with a BA (I doubled in Philosophy and Psychology w/ Math minor) already would still need 5 years to get a second bachelor's or MS in accounting? Or you were meaning it would take 5 years from scratch? I do have a double-major completed already.
I was looking at options for either a second BS (post-bac) in accounting or, if possible, to go straight into a Master's (and try to knock out any major pre-reqs this year). But, again, the main issue was whether your "5 years" time frame was for someone with zero college work or not (that's what I figured, but wasn't 100% sure).
ii.) re: 150 hours
I've seen this 150 hours things talked about on other forums, but never knew what folks were referring to. Is that 150 total hours of college coursework in any subject or does it have to be of a certain type that fits the accounting curriculum? Is that a universal/nation-wide rule for the CPA exam?
Thanks so much for the clarifications!