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Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting 

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Home » Programs » Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting

Crunch the Numbers on a Career in Accounting

While money may make the business world go round, the people who keep it from spinning out of control are the accounting professionals with the knowledge and skills to keep everything in balance. National University’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree is designed to prepare you for a broad range of accounting-related careers.

All online accounting degrees are not created equal, and if you’re considering a career in the field, it matters what you learn and who you learn it from. That’s why it’s important to know that NU’s curriculum is taught by full-time faculty members who work directly in the accounting and finance industries. They’ll work with you to understand your career goals and share their firsthand, industry-current experience to help ensure you’re prepared with the skills sought by today’s employers.

All coursework in this program can be take online and is aligned with industry-standard exams, including CPA, CMA, and CFE to set you up for success when you graduate.

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Course Details

Preparation for the Major

Choose 1 of the following 2

  • 6 courses; 27 quarter units

Key mathematical and statistical concepts useful for understanding business problems and making informed decisions with the right tools are introduced. Concepts relate to numbers, formulas, linear equation models and descriptive statistics. Applications focus on personal decisions and decisions within businesses in the areas of finance, discounts, pricing, interest rates, loans, insurance, investment, payroll and taxes. Microsoft Excel is the software used in this class. MNS 205 and MTH 210 are the primary quantitative courses required for MNS 407. Students who have taken college algebra or calculus (MTH 220) are exempt from this course. 

Prerequisite: MTH 12A and MTH 12B, or Accuplacer test placement evaluation

The first part of a comprehensive two-month treatment of Algebra and Trigonometry preliminary to more specialized study in Mathematics. The course covers Higher Degree Polynomials, Rational Functions, Exponential and Logarithmic Functions, transformations and the Algebra of functions, Arithmetic and Geometric sequences.

Prerequisite: MTH 216A

The second term of a comprehensive two-term treatment of Algebra and Trigonometry; this course is a continuation of MTH 216A. Topics include: Trigonometric Functions, Analytic Trigonometry and Application, Matrix Algebra, Systems of Linear and Non-Linear Equations and Inequalities, and Applied Problems. A graphing calculator may be required.

Required Courses

In this course, students will study the price system, market structures, and consumer theory. Topics covered include supply and demand, price controls, public policy, the theory of the firm, cost and revenue concepts, forms of competition, elasticity, and efficient resource allocation, among others.

This course provides an examination of aggregate economic activity. It includes a study of aggregate supply and demand, the monetary and banking systems, aggregate economic accounting, inflation, unemployment, the business cycle, macroeconomic policy, and economic progress and stability, among other things.

A survey of contracts, sales, agencies, personal property, commercial paper and associated topics. Emphasizes prevention of litigation and liability arising from business operations.

A survey of basic accounting theory and the application of accounting principles, this course includes the recording and summarization of business transactions in the form of financial statements under the rules of generally accepted accounting principles. (GAAP). It is designed for students who have little or no prior knowledge of financial accounting, this course corresponds to Principles of Accounting I at other colleges.

PrerequisiteACC 201

This course is an overview of the use of financial accounting and cost accounting data for the design and preparation of reports to aid management in organizing, directing, controlling, and decision-making functions. The topics include the fundamentals of cost accounting, budgeting and responsibility accounting for cost and profit centers.

*May be used to meet General Education requirements ^ Eligible for Credit-by-exam waiver: Contact Academic Program Director

Prerequisite for all Accounting Courses

Students must have completed ACC 201 or its equivalent with a minimum grade of “C” within two years of taking any of the following accounting courses, unless a grade of 75 or better is received on an appropriate challenge exam.

Requirements for the Major

  • 17 courses; 76.5 quarter units

Business Requirements

  • 4 courses; 18 quarter units

Overview of Information Systems (IS) infrastructure and its utilization in today’s global business environment. The use of technological tools and the role of information systems will be discussed from the organizational strategic, tactical and operational view. Students learn how to choose and utilize information and knowledge to gain competitive advantage in the industry.

Introduction to the roles of managers and the vision, mission and goals of organizations. Investigates management theories and explores the four primary functions of managers: Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling. Covers issues related to human resource management, organizational structure and behavior, creative problem solving, effective communication, and the management of teams, change and innovations.

PrerequisiteACC 201

This course is a survey of the basic principles and concepts used in the financial management of a business enterprise addressed from both theoretical and practical standpoints. Topics include money and capital markets, financial management of working capital, capital budgeting and fixed asset management, cost of capital, and short-term and long-term financing by means of debt and equity capital.

Other Requirements

Choose 1 of the following 3

This course is the introduction to contemporary marketing theory and practice in both the local and global marketplace. Basic concepts of marketing are examined with an emphasis on marketing positioning, segmentation and targeting as well as product development and distribution.

PrerequisiteECO 203 and ECO 204

A study of the accelerating internationalization of all business, this course introduces upper-division undergraduate students to all facets of international business within three broad subject areas: (1) the economic framework of international business, (2) the operating frameworks of multinational corporations, and (3) a framework for global strategic management. It uses case studies to illustrate concepts and methods.

PrerequisiteMNS 205 and MTH 210

An introduction to the fundamentals of business analytics. Focuses on the management science approach for problem solving, the application of linear programming, the use of decision analysis techniques, as well as project management tools. It is practical and students gain advanced skills in Excel. This course is a prerequisite for MGT 451.

*Recommended for students considering the CPA or CMA designation

Accounting Requirements

  • 13 courses; 58.5 quarter units

PrerequisiteACC 201

Often referred to as “Intermediate Accounting,” ACC 410A, B and C cover a substantial portion of the U.S. accounting standards known as GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles). In particular, ACC 410A entails a more in-depth and detailed study of the principal financial statements, accounting concepts, revenue and expense recognition, and accounting for cash, receivables, and inventories.

PrerequisiteACC 410A

Often referred to as “Intermediate Accounting,” (See ACC 410A for a series description.) ACC 410B covers accounting for plant, property and equipment, intangible assets, leases, current and long-term liabilities, and stockholders’ equity and retained earnings.

PrerequisiteACC 410B

Often referred to as “Intermediate Accounting,” (See ACC 410A for a series description.) ACC 410C covers earnings per share, investments, deferred income taxes, pensions, accounting changes and errors, preparation of the statement of cash flows, and full disclosures with emphasis on segment and interim reporting.

PrerequisiteACC 410C

An examination of advanced concepts of accounting for business combinations, with emphasis on the consolidation of parent/subsidiary balance sheet and income statement reporting. It also covers accounting for the formation, operation, and liquidation of partnerships, as well as special reporting requirements for multinational entities.

PrerequisiteACC 201

An introduction to the theory and practice of federal income taxation of individuals, including income, deductions, exemptions, credits, capital gains, depreciation, and deferred compensation plans. As a course requirement, students prepare Form 1040 income tax returns.

PrerequisiteACC 432A; ACC 431

An introduction to the theory and practice of federal income taxation of partnerships, subchapter S, and subchapter C corporations. Students learn the use of tax research publications.

PrerequisiteACC 202

This course covers managerial accounting topics for decision-making including relevant costs, balanced scorecard, value added and non-value added costs, allocations of indirect costs using direct, step, and reciprocal methods, allocating joint cost, main and by-product costing, determination of Economic Order Quantity (EOQ), accounting for spoilage, transfer pricing, performance measurement, and capital budgeting techniques.

PrerequisiteACC 201

A study of the specialized accounting principles applicable to state and local governments and other non-profit organizations, with an emphasis on fund accounting principles used in the recording of assets, liabilities, equity, revenues and expenditures. Also covers the analysis and interpretation of financial statements of such governmental and nonprofit entities.

PrerequisiteACC 201

Emphasis on the design and internal control perspectives of accounting information systems, including systems analysis, decision support systems, system implementation, and the audit of management information systems.

Studies the fundamentals of accounting ethics focusing on case and scenarios analysis, discussions, identification of possible solutions focusing on students acquisition of good ethical judgement. The objective of the course is to increase a students ethical sensitivity to major areas of ethical concern in the study of accounting. At the present time, completion of the course provides credit for CPA licensing in the State of California.

Provides skills to input, manage, and analyze large sets of data. Other skills emphasized are the extraction of relevant data and the effective communication of that information to the end user. Exposure will be provided to one or more ERP systems.

A study of financial statement audits in accordance with auditing standards promulgated by authoritative bodies. Topics include planning of the audit engagement, auditor’s responsibility for fraud, review of internal controls, gathering substantive evidence using analytical procedures and test of account balances for the revenues, acquisition and expenditures, and inventory processes.

PrerequisiteACC 435A

A continuation of ACC 435A, this course focuses on sampling plan and techniques, gathering substantive evidence for cash and investment cycle, long-term debts and owners’ equity, and contingent liabilities. It also covers audit work papers, audit opinions, attestation services, compilation and reviews, and auditor’s legal liability associated with an audit engagement.

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as articulated below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper-division level, and a minimum 69 units of the University General Education requirements.

In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy total units for the degree. The following courses are specific degree requirements. Refer to the section of undergraduate admission requirements for specific information regarding admission and evaluation. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution.

Students who have completed the California Community College Associate in Science in Business for Transfer (AS-T) degree by completing the Transfer Model Curriculum (TMC) for business, will have completed the lower division requirements of the University General Education requirements and the Preparation for the Major.”

NU’s online accounting degree will prepare you to seek a wide range of careers in fields such as public and corporate accounting, internal auditing, and accounting in not-for-profit organizations. Accountants are also needed at state and local government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, Defense Contract Audit Agency, FBI, and others. According to Emsi Labor Analyst data*, job postings for positions in accounting exhibit a higher-than-average posting intensity. This indicates a strong market for:

  • Accountants
  • Financial Analysts
  • Staff Accountants
  • Controllers
  • Accounting Managers

Regarding potential employers, you can expect an ongoing need for accountants at banks, tax preparation firms, and retailers, with significant demand at business consulting firms, finance organizations, insurance companies, and manufacturers, all of whom need accounting professionals with skills in:

  • Financial Analysis
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Strategic Planning
  • Excel spreadsheets

Click here to learn more about career opportunities in accounting.

*SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at https://www.economicmodeling.com/company/ (Report viewed: April 6, 2022. DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for accountants and auditors was $73,560 in May 2020. Salaries can vary by industry as follows:

  • Finance and insurance: $78,600
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $76,230
  • Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services: $73,180
  • Government: $72,260

While job seekers can enter the accounting profession with only a small number of accounting courses, accounting careers with higher levels of responsibility and pay tend to go to professionals with certain specializations. Each accounting specialization serves different purposes and has its own certification exams and licensing requirements. Three common accounting specializations are CPA, CMA, and CIA. NU’s online Bachelor of Science in Accounting is structured to prepare you to sit for the CPA exam.A certified public accountant (CPA) provides assurances to external parties about a company’s financial information and health. Often employed by a public accounting firm, a CPA examines a company’s financial statements and attests to their integrity. CPAs also prepare and file taxes for companies and individuals. Many CPAs hold high-level positions within corporations and government organizations.

Click here to learn more about specializations in accounting.

Many NU students pursuing their bachelor’s in accounting degree choose to continue their studies and enhance their credentials by earning an MBA. A master’s degree can open up more senior-level career opportunities and, as a result, higher salary expectations. National University offers you a faster path to earning this credential. Students who are currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Accounting program, have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and are within six courses of graduation may register for the BSACC/MBA transition program, allowing them to take up to three MBA classes as electives during the BSACC. Students can select any three graduate-level accounting courses for which required course prerequisites (if any) have been met, or may select from the following MBA core courses: ECO 607, IBU 606, and MGT 605.

Students must complete graduate-level coursework taken as part of the BSACC degree with a grade of B or better. This coursework, which counts as electives in the BSACC, will not transfer as graduate-level credit to National University or any other institution as it is part of an undergraduate degree program. Grades earned in graduate-level courses will be calculated as part of the student’s undergraduate grade point average.

Students must apply for and begin the MBA program within six months after completing their final BSACC course. The number of courses required to earn an MBA degree for transition program students is reduced from 14 to as few as 11 courses, depending on classes selected and grades earned. Students must complete their MBA program within four years, with no break exceeding 12 months.

All coursework in National University’s BS in Accounting can be taken online. Most online courses offer one or two live voice/visual evening sessions per week, in which instructors orally explain important concepts, visually illustrate problem-solving techniques, and respond to student questions. These sessions are recorded so that students who are unable to attend at the scheduled time can play back the video recording at a convenient time.

Program Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of National University’s bachelor’s degree in accounting, you’ll have earned the career-focused knowledge and skills to:

  • Utilize current technologies for presenting and analyzing accounting information
  • Demonstrate mastery of a common body of accounting knowledge
  • Develop ethical sensitivity to accounting scenarios
  • Employ effective communication of accounting information
  • Demonstrate awareness of International Financial Reporting Standards
  • Research issues to support critical assessment of accounting information

Hear From Our Faculty

A Bachelor’s in Accounting degree will prepare you to seek careers in fields such as public and corporate accounting, internal auditing, and more. Apply online.


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Frequently Asked Questions

A Bachelor’s degree in accounting is typically called a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. However, some universities may offer a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting.

The best degree for accounting depends on your career goals and aspirations. A Bachelor’s degree in accounting, whether it’s a BS, BA, or BBA, is typically the minimum requirement for entry-level accounting jobs. If you’re interested in advancing your career in accounting, you may want to consider pursuing a Master’s degree in accounting or a related field.

Like any degree program, a BS in accounting can be challenging, but it’s certainly doable with hard work and dedication. Some students may find certain accounting courses or concepts difficult, but there are resources available, such as tutoring and study groups, to help you succeed. Ultimately, success in an accounting degree program depends on your willingness to put in the time and effort to learn the material.

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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.

*Positions may require additional experience, training, and other factors beyond successfully completing this degree program. Depending on where you reside, many positions may also require state licensure, and it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all licensure requirements are met. We encourage you to also review program-specific requirements. Any data provided on this page is for informational purposes only and does not guarantee that completion of any degree program will achieve the underlying occupation or commensurate salary.