Accounting, B.S. (Capital)

Program Code: ACCT_BS

Program Description

This major helps students prepare for careers in auditing and public accounting, industrial and managerial accounting, and in governmental and not-for-profit accounting. It also provides a sound background for students who plan to pursue graduate studies in accounting or related fields. Students who complete the prescribed courses and earn a Bachelor of Science degree will satisfy the academic requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination. Graduates may also elect to pursue other professional certifications, including Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM).

What is Accounting?

Accountants develop and interpret financial data required for decision-making by managers, investors, regulators, and other stakeholders. To perform their functions, accountants must work with both numerical information and concepts, and they must be able to function effectively as individuals and in teams. Accountants work with people in their own specialized departments, and with users of financial information throughout their organization. Because of this close association with other parts of the organization, the accountant is in a unique position to develop a broad business perspective.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You are comfortable with numbers and interested in the messages and the information that they provide.
  • You are organized and detail-oriented. You want to pursue a career in business or finance.

Entrance to Major

Entry to the Accounting major requires the completion of 8 entry-to-major courses: ACCTG 2111, ECON 102, ENGL 151 or ENGL 30H1, FIN 301, MATH 1101 or MATH 1401, MGMT 301, MKTG 301, SCM 2001 or STAT 2001; and a 2.00 or higher cumulative grade-point average.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives (non-business courses) 8
Requirements for the Major 79

12 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 3 credits of GWS courses; 3 credits of GS courses; 6 credits of GQ courses.

Consistent with Senate policy, at least 24 credits of course work in the major and the capstone course must be completed in the respective College to earn the degree.  No more than 60 credits should be from business and business-related courses.

Students wishing to fulfill the 150 credit-hour education option to become a CPA in Pennsylvania (which reduces the experience requirement for certification) are encouraged to enter Capital College's Master of Professional Accounting program, or the Master of Business Administration program, or the Master of Science in Information Systems program subsequent to receiving their undergraduate accounting degree.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
BA 364YInternational Business and Society3
ECON 102Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
ECON 104Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
ENGL 202DEffective Writing: Business Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
FIN 301Corporation Finance3
MGMT 301Basic Management Concepts3
MIS 204Introduction to Management Information Systems3
MIS 390Information Systems Management and Applications3
MKTG 301Principles of Marketing3
SCM 301Supply Chain Management3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ACCTG 211Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making4
ACCTG 310Federal Taxation I3
ACCTG 340Cost Accounting3
ACCTG 403Auditing3
ACCTG 471Intermediate Financial Accounting I3
ACCTG 472Intermediate Financial Accounting II3
ACCTG 473Advanced Financial Accounting3
BA 462Business Strategy3
Additional Courses
BA 241
BA 242
Legal Environment of Business
and Social and Ethical Environment of Business
4
or BA 243 Social, Legal, and Ethical Environment of Business
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 110Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course4
or MATH 140 Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
SCM 200Introduction to Statistics for Business Keystone/General Education Course4
or STAT 200 Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 6 credits of the following:6
Federal Taxation II
Advanced Auditing
Accounting Information Systems
Advanced Management Accounting
International Accounting
Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting
Research Project
Independent Studies
Special Topics
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 6 credits from 200 - 400 level business courses from: ACCTG, BA, ECON, FIN, MGMT, MKTG, or SCM in consultation with an academic adviser and in support of the student's interests6

Integrated B.S. in Accounting and M.B.A. in Business Administration

Available at the following campuses: Harrisburg

Requirements for the Integrated B.S. in Accounting and M.B.A. in Business Administration can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.

Learning Outcomes

Student graduates of our baccalaureate degree programs should be:

  1. Effective communicators.
    1. Present verbally, thoughts and ideas in a way that can be clearly understood by a target audience.
    2. Convey ideas in a clear, coherent manner in written communication.
  2. Ethical and socially responsible.
    1. Be competent in analyzing social and ethical decision making issues in organizations.
  3. Critical thinkers.
    1. Be able to think and identify multiple dimensions of company issues and performances and make an assessment of company performances in achieving financial and strategic objectives, tracking their achievements, and giving management of companies a more complete and balanced view of how the organization is performing.
  4. Competent in all Accounting Disciplines.
    1. Demonstrate competence in the preparation of financial accounting information.
    2. Demonstrate competence in Cost Accounting.
    3. Demonstrate competence in Tax Accounting.
    4. Demonstrate competence in Auditing.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Harrisburg

Thomas Amlie, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Olmsted Building, E355
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6441
tta2@psu.edu

Abington

Tom Stone
Program Chair
1600 Woodland Rd.
Abington, PA 19001
215-421-0030
tws16@psu.edu

Altoona

William Engelbret, Ph.D., CPA, CGMA    
Associate Professor, Accounting
Aaron Building, 219
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5274
w7e@psu.edu

Berks

Michael Simon
Program Coordinator, Lecturer
Gaige G335
Reading, PA 19610
610-396-6448
mjs71@psu.edu

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-3283
advising@outreach.psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Accounting, B.S. at Harrisburg Campus and World Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15 or 30H‡#3CAS 1003
MATH 110 or 140*#†4STAT 200 or SCM 200*#†4
General Education Course3MGMT 301#3
ECON 102#3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 16 14.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ACCTG 211*#4FIN 301# 3
MKTG 301# 3ENGL 202D3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3MIS 2043
General Education Course3Non-Business Elective3
 16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ACCTG 340*3ACCTG 310*3
ACCTG 471*3ACCTG 472*3
BA 2412MIS 3903
BA 2422Non-Business Elective3
ECON 1043General Education Course3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5 
 14.5 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ACCTG 473*3ACCTG 403*3
ACCTG Elective*3ACCTG Elective*3
BA 364Y3BA 462*3
200-400 level Business course in consultation with adviser3200-400 level Business course in consultation with Adviser3
Non-Business Elective2SCM 3013
 14 15
Total Credits 120

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Advising Notes

  • 30 credits of GA, GH, GN, GHW, GS to include 6 Integrative Studies Credits
  • 15 credits of GQ and GWS require a grade of "C" or better

Program Notes

  • Courses required for the major must generally be taken within 10 years of entrance to major.
  • ACCTG 495 - Internship satisfies a business support requirement. For more information, contact the Accounting Program Coordinator. 
  • Student must complete a 3-credit course in "United State Cultures (US)" and a 3-credit course in "International Cultures (IL)." BA 364Y International Business and Society (US/IL) may be used to meet either the IL or US requirement but may be used to fulfill only 3 of the 6 credit requirement.

Career Paths

Because the Harrisburg area is the center of industry and economic development for south-central Pennsylvania, Penn State Harrisburg accounting students are provided with many opportunities to experience the world of business.

Careers

An accounting degree helps students prepare for careers in auditing and public accounting, industrial and managerial accounting, and in governmental and not-for-profit accounting. Students who complete the prescribed courses and earn a BS degree will satisfy the academic requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination. Graduates may also elect to pursue other professional certifications, including Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM).

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE ACCOUNTING PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting provides a sound background for students who plan to pursue graduate studies in accounting or related fields, including Penn State's Master of Professional Accounting.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Accreditation

The B.S. in Accounting offered by the School of Business Administration at Penn State Harrisburg, the Capital College, is accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education.  Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to over 1,600 member organizations and more than 800 accredited business schools worldwide.  AACSB International (AACSB) connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AACSB INTERNATIONAL

Professional Licensure/Certification

Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.

Contact

Harrisburg

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Olmsted Building, E355
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6139
cxs879@psu.edu

http://harrisburg.psu.edu/business-administration/accounting/bachelor-science-accounting

Abington

DIVISION OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
1600 Woodland Rd.
Abington, PA 19001
215-421-0030
tws16@psu.edu

https://abington.psu.edu/majors-at-abington

Altoona

DIVISION OF BUSINESS, ENGINEERING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY
Aaron Building, 219
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5274
w7e@psu.edu

https://altoona.psu.edu/academics/bachelors-degrees/accounting

Berks

EBC DIVISION
Gaige Building
Reading, PA 19610
610-396-6448
mjs71@psu.edu

http://berks.psu.edu/bs-accounting

World Campus

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Olmsted Building, E355
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6139
tta2@psu.edu

https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/penn-state-online-bachelors-in-accounting-degree/overview