Course work in accounting conveys a comprehensive understanding of the theory and concepts that underlie accounting practice. Emphasis is placed on logical reasoning and the development, understanding, and use of information, which enable students to solve problems in accounting and management of organizations and to make sound accounting policy decisions.
Accounting students have many career options to consider after graduation. Those who aspire to pursue careers in public accounting must become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). The CPA designation is not as critical for other career paths in accounting, but becoming a CPA can be advantageous in any accounting career.
CPA requirements are set state by state, but all states require a minimum total 150 credit hours. Thus, a bachelor’s degree (120 credit hours) with an accounting emphasis will not, by itself, meet the CPA education requirements of any state.
Because state CPA educational requirements differ greatly, can be extremely complex and detailed, and can change frequently, it is imperative that students investigate the requirements of the state(s) from which they seek a CPA license. Each state has a board of accountancy that can provide this information.
Accounting students who are planning careers in business, government, or non-profit enterprises and wish to earn their undergraduate degree in accounting are strongly encouraged to take substantial course work outside of the required accounting courses, such as finance, information systems, and international business.
The accounting area of emphasis takes at least three semesters beyond the Business Core to complete, and requires 18 semester hours of accounting courses beyond the core. Students should be aware of this requirement when planning their course schedules. Early planning of course schedules is especially important for students who plan to spend a semester abroad.