Accounting – Bachelor’s Degree Program (BS)

Accounting – Bachelor’s Degree Program (BS)

Study Accounting at the University of Montana

Earn your accounting degree and prepare for diverse business careers in the only AACSB accredited accounting program in Montana.

As an accounting major at UM, you’ll have numerous opportunities to gain real-world experience, through internships, service learning in the community and other hands-on work. You’ll also benefit from outstanding career services that help you build your resume, polish your interviewing skills and hit the ground running in your job.

Our business administration faculty members are professionally certified and incorporate the latest technology and trends into the classroom experience — keeping the curriculum and skills current and relevant. Once you complete your bachelor’s degree, you can also continue your education in our Master of Accountancy program and pursue a variety of professional certifications.

80%

of students participate in at least one internship

12th

ranked nationally among accounting schools with 16 or fewer faculty members

80%

of students are working or in grad school within three months of graduation

Other degree options for accounting at UM

Master of Accountancy

Accounting Information Systems Certificate

What can you do with an accounting degree?

Organizations produce and use financial data every day. For accounting majors, this means diverse and almost limitless career possibilities in business and finance. Accounting also offers outstanding job security and earning potential.

Graduates of our accounting degree go on to successful careers working with public and private accounting firms, government organizations, and financial and HR departments of companies large and small. Many also pursue master’s degrees and advanced study in their area of specialization.

Our track record speaks for itself: over 90% of UM’s accounting program graduates are employed in their field or accepted to graduate school.

Why employers choose UM accounting graduates

AACSB accreditation is the gold standard for business education, and we are one of a select group of universities with accounting accreditation in addition to business accreditation. For employers, this is key because they know they can count on our graduates to meet the highest standards as professionals, and possess the most current and relevant skills. Our accounting majors also gain extensive real-world training and practice throughout the program, developing practical career skills that give them an edge in the job market. 

Accounting jobs

When you major in accounting at UM, feel free to think big. Here are just a few of the companies that have hired our graduates:

  • Microsoft
  • Wells Fargo
  • Nike
  • Ernst & Young
  • Etsy
  • Farmers Insurance
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Deloitte

Accounting is a versatile degree that opens a variety of career pathways. These are some of the many high-demand accounting jobs you might consider with this degree:

  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Personal financial advisor
  • Auditor
  • Financial analyst
  • Forensic accountant
  • Environmental accountant
  • Actuary

Accounting salaries

In addition to its versatility, another advantage of earning your degree in accounting is access to well-paying careers. We estimate that the average salary of graduates of our accounting bachelor’s degree is $62,660.

Here are average salaries for several accounting jobs, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks: $41,230
  • Accountants and auditors: $71,550
  • Financial analysts: $81,590
  • Personal financial advisors: $87,850

Alumni Success Story: Elizabeth Atherton

After earning her degree in accounting at the University of Montana, Elizabeth Atherton decided to pursue her passion and help tackle extreme poverty. She is now the Chief Financial Officer at Nuru International.

“I had some great professors and mentors [at UM] … who took an interest in me and my career potential and encouraged me to stretch my thinking and push myself for more. I followed my undergraduate degree with the Master of Accountancy program, which provided a deeper understanding of the field — both theoretically and practically — and set me up for success in passing my CPA exam that same year.”

— Elizabeth Atherton, University of Montana alumna

Beyond the classroom: Experiential learning in the accounting bachelor’s degree program

Meet with professionals in various fields of accounting who visit our classes. Engage in internships with local businesses. Polish your accounting skills and serve the community by participating in volunteer events. As an accounting major at UM, you’ll learn by doing, gaining skills along the way that will position you for success.

Accounting internships

Our accounting majors participate in internships with local businesses during the fall, spring and summer learning skills such as tax, audit and corporate accounting. And because our accounting program has a national reputation for graduating exceptional students, we have major national firms who hire our accounting majors for summer internships across the United States. Learn more about internship opportunities for accounting and business administration.

Study abroad opportunities for accounting majors

Spend a few weeks, a semester or a year abroad in locations such as Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Romania. UM’s College of Business offers a variety of opportunities to take your accounting and business administration studies overseas. Learn more about study abroad opportunities at the University of Montana.

Service learning in the accounting program

Through our one-credit elective Volunteer Income Taxpayer Assistance (VITA) course, you can help income tax payers to prepare their tax returns, working alongside a licensed CPA. Some of our VITA students have even traveled to remote villages in Alaska to help with tax preparation. Other service learning and community initiatives include tutoring introductory accounting students and helping stock the food pantry.

Career development in the accounting program

Our goal is not just to ensure your academic success at college, but to give you all the support you need to hit the ground running once you earn your bachelor’s degree in accounting. We offer numerous professional development opportunities and outstanding career services that help you prepare for graduation and beyond.

As an accounting major, you’ll benefit from a variety of opportunities to network with employers and alumni in your field of interest. You can also join our Accounting Society (for freshmen and sophomores) and Beta Alpha Psi student groups, both of which bring in guest speakers from the industry, offer field trips to local accounting firms and more.

Accounting scholarships

Looking for additional help paying for your accounting degree? The College of Business awards almost $500,000 each year to business administration students. Learn more about scholarship opportunities for accounting and business administration majors.

Accounting degree requirements

Our bachelor’s in accounting curriculum isn’t just a series of classes that you take – it’s a connected set of experiences that builds carefully and thoughtfully from one class to the next. Through this course of study you’ll develop competence in a broad range of accounting practices while gaining critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will help you stand out to employers.

View all classes for the bachelor’s degree in accounting.