Public Accounting, Accounting (BS)

Degree: Bachelor of Science
Major: Accounting
Concentration: Public Accounting
Program Code: 3108

About This Major . . .

Accounting is the one degree with 360 degrees of possibilities. Every business needs accounting expertise, whether it’s a Wall Street law firm, a professional sports team, movie production company, or a rock band. With the proper accounting education your employment options are endless.  The Public Accounting concentration provides students with basic business skills as well as the accounting knowledge needed to pass the Certified Public Accounting CPA exam.  Graduates of this program have a very high CPA exam pass rate and are heavily recruited by local and regional CPA firms. Most graduates will have job offers months before they graduate.

 This program is designed to be the undergraduate component of the 3+2 accounting program which can earn the graduate a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in five years. In order to meet Colorado CPA licensing requirements (150 hours), students will need to complete the 3+2 program. The Public Accounting concentration is the required pathway for the 3+2 program and, in conjunction with the 3+2 program, will provide the curriculum needed for CPA licensure.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Utilize relevant and critically evaluated accounting information to apply accounting knowledge and skills in appropriate business contexts and transfer knowledge and skills to new situation. (Critical Thinking Information Literacy)
  2. Communicate clearly, persuasively to the audience, both orally and in writing. (Effective Communication)
  3. Effectively work in a team. (Applied Learning)
  4. Recommend appropriate ethical actions. (Personal Social Responsibility Ethical Awareness)
  5. Develop professional relationships with CMU stakeholders (CPAs and community members) by assisting area residents with annual income tax return filing requirements. (Personal Social Responsibility)
  6. Apply quantitative analysis methods correctly to develop appropriate business conclusions. (Quantitative Fluency)
  7. Demonstrate a mastery of the accounting body of knowledge appropriate for the bachelor’s degree level. (Specialized Knowledge)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below.  If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1
MATH 113College Algebra-GTMA1 23
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences 3
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Must receive a grade of "C" or better and must be complete by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


This is a 4 credit course. 3 credits apply to the Essential Learning requirements and 1 credit applies to elective credit.


7 semester hours, one course must include a lab.

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Essential Learning Capstone must be taken after completion of the Essential Learning English and Mathematics requirements, and when a student has earned between 45 and 75 hours.

Foundation Courses

(27 semester hours.  These courses, plus Essential Learning English & Math requirements, must be completed within the student’s first 60 hours.)

ACCT 201Principles of Financial Accounting3
ACCT 202Principles of Managerial Accounting3
BUGB 211Business Communications3
CISB 101Business Information Technology3
CISB 210Fundamentals of Information Systems3
CISB 241Introduction to Business Analysis3
or STAT 241 Introduction to Business Analysis
ECON 201Principles of Macroeconomics-GTSS13
ECON 202Principles of Microeconomics-GTSS13
MANG 201Principles of Management3
Total Semester Credit Hours27

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(55 semester hours, must pass each course with a grade of “C” or higher.)

Core Courses
ACCT 321Intermediate Accounting I3
ACCT 322Intermediate Accounting II3
ACCT 331Cost Accounting3
ACCT 360Professional Preparation I1
ACCT 392Accounting Information Systems3
ACCT 401Governmental Accounting3
BUGB 349Legal Environment of Business3
or BUGB 351 Business Law I
FINA 301Managerial Finance3
MANG 301Organizational Behavior3
MARK 231Principles of Marketing3
Concentration Courses
ACCT 350Ethics for Accounting Professionals3
ACCT 402Advanced Accounting3
ACCT 411Auditing I3
ACCT 412Auditing II3
ACCT 441Individual Income Tax4
ACCT 442Advanced Tax and Tax Research5
ACCT 471Data Analytics for Accounting3
BUGB 352Business Law II3
Total Semester Credit Hours55

General Electives

All college level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours. 1 semester hour.

MATH 113College Algebra-GTMA11
Total Semester Credit Hours1
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
MATH 113 College Algebra-GTMA1 4
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
Essential Learning - Social/Behavioral Science 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
Essential Learning - History 3
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
Essential Learning - Social/Behavioral Science 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
KINA Activity 1
 Semester Credit Hours14
Second Year
Fall Semester
ACCT 201 Principles of Financial Accounting 3
CISB 101 Business Information Technology 3
CISB 241
Introduction to Business Analysis
or Introduction to Business Analysis
ECON 201 Principles of Macroeconomics-GTSS1 3
MANG 201 Principles of Management 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ACCT 202 Principles of Managerial Accounting 3
BUGB 211 Business Communications 3
CISB 210 Fundamentals of Information Systems 3
ECON 202 Principles of Microeconomics-GTSS1 3
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Third Year
Fall Semester
ACCT 321 Intermediate Accounting I 3
ACCT 331 Cost Accounting 3
BUGB 349 Legal Environment of Business 3
FINA 301 Managerial Finance 3
MARK 231 Principles of Marketing 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ACCT 322 Intermediate Accounting II 3
ACCT 350 Ethics for Accounting Professionals 3
ACCT 392 Accounting Information Systems 3
BUGB 352 Business Law II 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
 Semester Credit Hours16
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
ACCT 401 Governmental Accounting 3
ACCT 411 Auditing I 3
ACCT 441 Individual Income Tax 4
ACCT 471 Data Analytics for Accounting 3
 Semester Credit Hours13
Spring Semester
ACCT 360 Professional Preparation I 1
ACCT 412 Auditing II 3
ACCT 402 Advanced Accounting 3
ACCT 442 Advanced Tax and Tax Research 5
MANG 301 Organizational Behavior 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for their intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be their responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.