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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Accounting

University Park, Smeal College of Business (ACCTG)

PROFESSOR STEVEN HUDDART, Chair of the Department of Accounting

This major prepares students for careers in public, corporate, not-for-profit, and governmental accounting and also provides an appropriate background for those planning to enter law school or graduate school. Accountants develop and interpret historical and prospective financial data required for decision-making by managers, investors, regulators, and other stakeholders. To perform their functions, accountants must synthesize both numerical and qualitative information, communicate it clearly, and function effectively as individuals and in teams. The field of Accounting is diverse and offers students the opportunity to be generalists or concentrate in one of the following:

Corporate Control & Financial Management - Courses in this concentration prepare students for positions in industry, government, and business advisory services doing financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support. Students can obtain such designations as Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Management accountants provide forecasts, compute costs and benefits, perform variance analysis, and review and monitor performance. Managerial accountants also design systems that provide information to decision makers.

Internal Auditing & Assessment - Courses in this concentration prepare students for positions in industry and government as internal auditors. Students can obtain such designations as Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Internal auditors are employed by the organization they audit. Internal auditing is a systematic approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. Internal auditors also review compliance with standards and assess the organization's risks.

Public Accounting - Public accounting is carried on by independent practitioners, most of whom are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). In addition to statutory audits, CPAs render other assurance, tax, and management advisory services. To be licensed as a CPA in nearly every state, including Pennsylvania, individuals must complete 150 credit-hours of education, pass a demanding professional examination, and meet certain experience requirements. One way to accomplish this is to enroll in the Integrated B.S. in Accounting and Master of Accounting Program.

Entrance Requirement: To be eligible for entrance into the Accounting (ACCTG) major, a degree candidate must be enrolled in the Smeal College of Business or the Division of Undergraduate Studies and satisfy requirements for entrance to the major.

Specific entrance requirements include:

  1. The degree candidate must be taking, or have taken, a program appropriate for entry to the major as shown in the bulletin, including approximately 60 credits of course work.
  2. Complete the following entrance to major requirements: ACCTG 211(4)[1]; ECON 102 GS(3); SCM 200 GQ(4)[1] or STAT 200 GQ(4)[1]; ENGL 015 GWS(3) or ENGL 030 GWS(3); and MATH 110 GQ(4)[1] or MATH 140 GQ(4)[1]; FIN 301(3)[1]; MGMT 301(3)[1]; and MKTG 301(3)[1]. These courses must be completed by the end of the semester during which the entrance to major process is carried out.
  3. In addition to the above requirements, the Executive Vice President and Provost of the University may approve administrative enrollment controls that limit the number of students who are admitted to majors in the Smeal College of Business. In each case, however, academic requirements are established for admission. For information on enrollment controls, consult the Smeal College of Business Web site (http://www.smeal.psu.edu/).

For the B.S. degree in Accounting, a minimum of 120 credits is required with at least 15 credits at the 400 level.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

GENERAL EDUCATION: 45 credits
(12 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in this bulletin.)

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR:
(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

UNITED STATES CULTURES AND INTERNATIONAL CULTURES:
(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

ELECTIVES: 11 credits

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 76 credits
(This includes 12 credits of General Education courses: 3 credits of GWS courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 3 credits of GS courses)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (52 credits)
ACCTG 211(4)[1], ECON 102 GS(3), FIN 301(3)[1], MGMT 301(3)[1], MKTG 301(3)[1] (Sem: 1-4)
B A 342(3), B LAW 341(3), ECON 104 GS(3), ENGL 202D GWS(3)[1], MIS 204(3), SCM 301(3), (Sem: 5-6)
ACCTG 403W(3), ACCTG 404(3), ACCTG 405(3)[1], ACCTG 471(3)[1], ACCTG 472(3)[1], B A 411(3) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (14 credits)
MATH 110 GQ(4)[1]or MATH 140 GQ(4)[1] (Sem: 1-2)
SCM 200 GQ(4)[1] or STAT 200 GQ(4)[1] (Sem: 1-2)
Select 6 credits from the following: ACCTG 406(3), ACCTG 432(3), ACCTG 440(3), ACCTG 473(3), ACCTG 481(3), ACCTG 483(3) (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (10 credits)
Select 4 credits: Attainment of 12th credit level proficiency in a single foreign language. Proficiency must be demonstrated by either examination or course work. (Sem: 1-4)
Select 6 credits of supporting coursework. See Department List. (Sem: 5-8)

Integrated B.S. in Accounting and Masters in Accounting Program

The Department of Accounting offers an integrated program allowing students to receive a B.S. in Accounting and Master of Accounting (M.Acc.) degrees within a five-year period. Students typically are admitted into the integrated program in the spring of the second year of the undergraduate program and the program is completed in the subsequent three years. The program is designed to meet the educational requirements for becoming a certified public accountant in Pennsylvania as well as most other states. Certified public accountants conduct independent audits and provide accounting, tax, and management advisory services. The program prepares students to enter into careers in public accounting, corporate accounting, management accounting, governmental accounting, financial analysis, and law enforcement. In addition, the program is appropriate for students having an interest in entering law school and graduate programs in business, such as M.B.A. programs or doctoral programs.

Admissions Requirements

Students will generally apply for the program in the spring of their second year of undergraduate study. To apply for the program students must:

(1) be enrolled in the Smeal College of Business or Division of Undergraduate Studies and intend to complete the entrance-to-major requirements by the end of the spring semester in which they apply

and

(2) complete a Graduate School application for graduate study.

Although the program has no fixed minimum grade-point requirement, an applicant is generally expected to have grade-point average of at least 3.20 on Penn State’s grading scale of A (4.00) to D (1.00).

In addition, the Department may request an interview with an applicant, or require a GMAT exam or other exam. Admissions decisions will be based upon the student’s application, undergraduate record, SAT scores and, if applicable, interviews and examination results.

Admitted students must have completed ACCTG 211 with superior performance by the end of the spring semester in which they apply for admission to the program. A student who has not satisfied this requirement by the admissions deadline may be provisionally admitted pending completion of ACCTG 211 with a superior performance.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete the requirements for a B.S. in accounting with the following alterations:

Some of prescribed courses for the B.S. must be taken in sections that are available only to students enrolled in the program. These prescribed courses, which all count toward the undergraduate degree in accounting, are: ACCTG 403W, ACCTG 404, ACCTG 405, ACCTG 471, and ACCTG 472.

The student need not satisfy the requirement that 6 credit hours be completed from the following list of courses: ACCTG 406, ACCTG 432, ACCTG 473, and ACCTG 481.

The following courses cannot be used to satisfy the degree requirements of the integrated program: ACCTG 406, ACCTG 410, ACCTG 411, ACCTG 422, ACCTG 450, ACCTG 473, and ACCTG 481.

Students must complete the Master of Accounting Requirements, which total 30 credit hours of graduate instruction, in addition to completing 120 credit hours of undergraduate instruction.

The following courses, totaling 9 credit hours, will double-count towards both the B.S. and Master of Accounting degrees: B LAW 444(3), FIN 531(3), and ACCTG 881(3).

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits hours of graduate instruction over and above the 120 credit hours required of the B.S. degree in accounting. All 30 of these credit hours must be earned in 400-level, 500-level, or 800-level courses. At least 18 of the 30 credit hours must be earned in 500-level and 800-level courses, and at least 6 of the 30 credit hours must be earned in 500-level courses.

Students must complete the following required courses as part of the 30 credit hours of graduate instruction:
ACCTG 432(3), ACCTG 440(3), ACCTG 803(3), ACCTG 806(3), ACCTG 873(3), ACCTG 881(3), B A 517(3), B LAW 444(3), FIN 531(3).

These courses must be taken in sections that are available only to students enrolled in the integrated program. Note that these required courses satisfy 27 of the 30 credit hour minimum. In addition, after completing these courses, the student will have satisfied the requirement that 18 credit hours must be earned in 500-level or 800-level courses and the requirement that 6 credit hours must be earned in 500-level courses.

Student must have satisfactory academic performance to maintain enrollment in the program. A grade point average of 3.0 in the 30 credit hours of graduate instruction is required to receive the master's degree.

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.

Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2013

Blue Sheet Item #: 41-06-026

Review Date: 04/09/2013