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How do I get a Bachelor of Science in Accounting?

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  • Written By: Bobby R. Goldsmith
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2016
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To get a Bachelor of Science in accounting, you will need to attend a four-year university with an accredited accounting program. Though the curriculum requirements of various programs differ in duration and composition, there are basic guidelines that each one follows. Generally, in the United States, a Bachelor of Science in accounting requires two years of general education coureswork with a preparatory focus on mathematics and business, followed by the completion of 64-88 credit hours within the accounting discipline. There are three types of accounting degrees that are available at U.S. universities. If you are looking specifically for a Bachelor of Science in accounting, as opposed to a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, you will need to take an increased course load of math, statistics, and applied accounting classes.

Though a Bachelor of Science in accounting can only be conferred by a four-year university, you have the option to attend a two-year community college to complete the general education requirements of the degree program. Attending a quality community college for the completion of general education classes can save both time and money for focused, dedicated students, but attendance at such a school can complicate matters. You will need to be careful to attend only those classes that are transferrable to the four-year school that you plan to transfer to. Failure to ensure this can considerably delay the transfer process, and it may ultimately derail the pursuit of your degree.

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For the junior and senior years of your Bachelor of Science in accounting program, you will need to take specific courses in the accounting department of the university. For most programs, this will mean taking between 16 and 22 accounting-specific courses. Such courses include general accounting practices, database and spreadsheet accounting, accounting statistics, cost management, income tax management, and accounting ethics. You will need to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) for your accounting coursework, as well as a minimum GPA for your overall courseload. Though the standards vary by program, generally you will need to maintain a 2.0 overall, with a 3.0 GPA in your accounting coursework.

In order to qualify for Bachelor of Science in accounting, as opposed to a Bachelor of Arts or a business administration concentration, your accounting program will need to focus on the technical aspects of accounting. This is in contrast to the Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting program, which focuses more on the management and administration aspects of the financial sector. A Bachelor of Science in accounting, though, does not qualify you to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. In order to take the exam, you will need to have done a certain number of hours of work under a licensed CPA, as well as a certain number of post-graduate credit hours in accounting.

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