Undergraduate Accounting Degree Program
What is Accounting?
Accounting is defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) as "the art of recording, classifying, and summarizing in a significant manner and in terms of money, transactions and events which are, in part at least, of financial character, and interpreting the results thereof."
The accounting programs at the University of Montana are accredited by AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International). Only 173 institutions worldwide hold this "gold standard" accreditation, and no other accounting program in the state holds this distinction. In fact, only 10 schools in all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana hold separate AACSB accounting accreditation. We are very proud of this distinction and strive to continually improve our programs in the spirit of AACSB accreditation.
Expectations of Accounting Graduates
The undergraduate Accounting curriculum develops competence in a broad range of accounting skills and practices. The curriculum strives to foster critical thinking and problem solving skills. Accounting students are prepared to enter professional positions in accounting with business, nonprofit, or government organizations. In addition they may continue their education in the Master of Accountancy Program and/or pursue a variety of professional certifications.
Careers in Accounting
Because virtually all organizations produce and use financial data for decision making, the career possibilities for an accounting major are diverse. Many students launch careers at public accounting firms, seeking their Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. Public accounting firms provide external audit, tax prep/research, consulting, and other financial services to their clients. The state of Montana requires 150 credit hours to qualify for the CPA license, so many students pursue a Masters in Accountancy or a double major to achieve this. Beyond public accounting, students may seek careers with for-profit companies, not-for-profit organizations, and governments. These organizations use internal accountants, internal auditors, financial analysts, IT risk managers, cost accountants, tax specialists, and controllers. Students may also seek careers in compliance, fraud, and forensics with organizations such as the IRS and FBI.
Business Major Requirements apply to all undergraduate business administration degrees.
Use this Accounting Check sheet to track the requirements for this degree.
Master of Accountancy Program
The Master of Accountancy Program is designed to prepare ethical and informed decision makers with the potential to become leaders in the profession of accountancy. This program has achieved national recognition due to the outstanding performance of our graduates on the uniform CPA examinations. The Master of Accountancy students achieved the highest pass rate in the nation on the May 2000 uniform CPA examinations. Graduates hold positions in some of the most prestigious firms in the world.
Students planning to do graduate work in accounting please note that ACTG 203, 321, 305, 306, 307, 410, 401, 411, and 415 are required for the MAcct Program. See MAcct Director Lisa Eiler, GBB 368, for further information. Accounting courses are not offered every semester. Talk with your advisor about scheduling.