Program offered
  • Accounting (major)

Graduates with majors in Accounting have careers in private industry, not-for-profit organizations, and in public accounting. The program balances sound theoretical foundations with relevant applications.

This provides you with the necessary current knowledge to launch a career, and prepares you to respond to the changing future environment and needs for accounting information.

Find out more about this program’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.

Accounting (BA)


  • A minimum 102 credits are required for this major, including 60 upper-division credits.
  • If you plan to obtain any of the professional designations such as certified public accountant (CPA), certified management accountant (CMA), or certified internal auditor (CIA), contact an accounting faculty member for advising. 
  • ACCT 3353 “Advanced Accounting” is strongly recommended if you intend to take the CPA exam. 
  • If you plan to take the CPA exam, you must have completed 225 quarter hours (equivalent to five years) of college coursework. You may meet this requirement by earning a second bachelor’s degree, or by taking 45 additional undergraduate credits, which may be in any discipline and do not necessarily lead to a degree.  
  • You should participate in a cooperative education program with an accounting firm for at least one year.
  • Once you successfully complete the BA in Accounting degree, you will be eligible to take both the certified public accountant (CPA) and the certified management accountant (CMA) examinations.

Additional competencies and requirements

Spreadsheet Competency requirement

Demonstration of spreadsheet competency is required of all students graduating with a Business, Accounting, or Economics degree. You can document this by passing BUS 1700 or by passing the MOS 77-420 exam. For questions regarding the Spreadsheets Competency Requirement, contact Dr. Sleight at

New Majors Dessert attendance

Newly admitted students of Business, Accounting, Economics, and Global Development are required to attend an orientation event typically held in February each year. Admission to the major is conditional upon attendance. 

Graduate degrees

If you intend to become a CPA, you are encouraged to apply for admission to a graduate program in the School of Business, Government, and Economics. Consider either the Master of Business Administration (MBA) or the Master of Science in Information Systems Management (MS-ISM); you should do the following:

  • Take the GMAT exam (for the MBA) or the GRE exam (for the MS-ISM) in Autumn Quarter of your senior year.
  • Apply for admission to a graduate program in the Winter Quarter of your senior year.
  • Take three graduate courses per quarter starting in the summer following completion of your senior year, and then four more quarters (five quarters in total).

Apply to the major

Formal application and admission to the Accounting major is required prior to enrollment in most upper-division courses. Admission is selective and based upon prior academic performance. You may apply for this major only between December 20–January 20 of each year. SBGE does not accept applications outside this window.

To meet the minimum requirements for admission, you must:

  • Have attained at least sophomore standing (45 or more college credits).
  • Complete at least 15 credits in BUS, ACCT, and ECN at SPU  (10 credits for transfer juniors and seniors).
  • Have either a 2.7 cumulative GPA and 2.7 SBGE GPA, OR, a 3.0 SBGE GPA. Attainment of the minimum GPA standards does not guarantee admission as the total number of students admitted is limited by capacity.
  • Submit an application December 20–January 20.

Accounting Department

Visit the Accounting website, and see how a degree in Accounting can help you achieve your goals and make a difference in the world.

Time Schedule: Accounting

Course planning

Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.