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Accounting Major

Accounting is a profession that deals with providing financial information used in making business decisions. Accounting involves a range of skills that includes collecting, measuring, interpreting, analyzing, and communicating financial activity. A major in Accounting focuses on the development of such skills along with an understanding of the legal, social, and ethical responsibilities involved in the accounting profession.

Financial accountants prepare financial statements used in investing and lending decisions. Auditors examine financial statements and attest to their status. Management accountants evaluate and communicate internal financial information used by managers to operate a business. Forensic accountants specialize in the investigation and detection of, and protection against, fraud and abuse. Accountants also provide tax advisory services to firms, clients, and governmental agencies. With their specialized knowledge concerning the internal operation of a business, many accountants provide management advisory services. Also, because of the specialized knowledge, many accountants advance into management positions.

Students majoring in Accounting are required to learn how to apply technology in business and must take courses in many other aspects of business to understand how an accountant’s work relates to marketing, management, finance, and production.

This four-year program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Accounting. Completion of this program qualifies students to take the examinations required to become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Students interested in sitting for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam need an additional 28 credit hours beyond the 122 credit hours required for the Accounting major. Students are encouraged to satisfy the additional credit hours through the Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.) degree. Additional information about the M.Acc. program can be found in the Graduate Bulletin online. 

Accounting Minor

Students earning majors in other fields may select a minor in Accounting. A minor includes ACCT 200 Elements of Accounting I, ACCT 201 Elements of Accounting II, ACCT 311 Intermediate Accounting I, and ACCT 320 Cost Management Systems, plus six credits in approved accounting courses. In addition, students must earn a 2.50 cumulative grade-point average in the accounting courses to be awarded a minor. A minor approval form is required and can be found at . Completion of a minor in Accounting provides students with additional depth in accounting that many employers prefer.

Major Requirements

Major: Accounting

Degree Type: B.S.
Minimum Credits Required for Degree: 122

General Education Requirements for Baccalaureate Degree

  • A list of approved general education courses is available here .
  • General education courses may be used to satisfy requirements for both general education and the major, minor, and program emphases, where applicable. Students should carefully review the major, minor, and program emphases requirements for minimum grade restrictions, should they apply.
Communication (C)12
College Composition I
College Composition II
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Upper Division Writing
Quantitative Reasoning (R) 3
Science and Technology (S) 10
Humanities and Fine Arts (A) 6
Social and Behavioral Sciences (B) 6
Wellness (W) 2
Cultural Diversity (D) *†
Global Perspectives (G) *†
Total Credits39

 May be satisfied by completing courses in another General Education category.

 May be satisfied with courses required in the major. Review major requirements to determine if a specific upper division writing course is required.

Major Requirements

Pre-College of Business Requirements
ACCT 200Elements of Accounting I (Requires a grade of B or better) *3
ACCT 201Elements of Accounting II (Requires a grade of B or better) *3
COMM 110Fundamentals of Public Speaking (May satisfy general education category C) *3
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics (May satisfy general education category B and G) *3
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics (May satisfy general education category B and G) *3
ENGL 110College Composition I (May satisfy general education category C) *4
ENGL 120College Composition II (May satisfy general education category C) *3
PHIL 216Business Ethics (May satisfy general education category A) *3
PSYC 111Introduction to Psychology (May satisfy general education category B) *3
or SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology
MIS 116Business Use of Computers (May satisfy general education category S)3
STAT 330Introductory Statistics (May satisfy general education category R)3
STAT 331Regression Analysis *2
MATH 144Mathematics for Business *4
Accounting Major Requirements **
BUSN 301Organizational Citizen0
ENGL 320Business and Professional Writing (May satisfy general education category C)3
FIN 320Principles of Finance 13
MGMT 320Foundations of Management 13
MRKT 320Foundations of Marketing 13
BUSN 430Legal and Social Environment of Business 13
BUSN 489Strategic Management (Capstone Course) 14
MIS 320Management Information Systems 13
ACCT 311Intermediate Accounting I (requires a grade of C or better)4
ACCT 312Intermediate Accounting II4
ACCT 318Taxation in Management Decisions3
or ACCT 418 Tax Accounting I
ACCT 320Cost Management Systems3
ACCT 420Accounting Information Systems3
ACCT 421Auditing I3
ACCT 300-400Accounting Elective3
300-400 Level Courses **9
Any 300-400 level course in BUSN, FIN, MIS, MGMT, MRKT, or ECON 324; includes courses cross-listed with CoB courses; excludes LEAD prefix courses and BUSN 318. Courses numbered 394/494 require departmental approval.
Accounting Practicum3
Students must complete one of the following options:
Fe/Coop Ed/Internship
Accounting Internship
Export Management
Study Abroad
Total Credits97

 Pre-college and pre-accounting major courses. A grade of 'C' or better for pre-college and pre-accounting major courses is required for admission into the Accounting major. The only exception is ACCT 200 Elements of Accounting I and ACCT 201 Elements of Accounting II, which require grades of 'B' or better.


 Students must earn a grade of 'C' or better, and have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA, in ALL courses included in the professional program (i.e., all required courses, elective requirements, and additional 300-400 level CoB electives or breadth electives). The only exception is BUSN 301, which is a P/F course.


 Denotes Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) course.

Degree Requirements and Notes

  • Students follow the published curricula for the accounting program of study from the semester/year of entrance in the College of Business to graduation provided enrollment at NDSU has not been discontinued for more than one year. Students who change their major are subject to meeting the curricular requirements in effect at the time the new major is declared.
  • Business courses from programs that do not hold AACSB International accreditation cannot be used for major or minor requirements in the College of Business (CoB); such courses may be eligible for use as free electives.
  • The CoB accepts a maximum of nine credits of non-NDSU 300-400 level business courses from AACSB programs with approval of the department.
  • Admission into the Accounting Major: Students must earn a 'B' or better in ACCT 200 Elements of Accounting I and ACCT 201 Elements of Accounting II, a 'C' or better in the pre-college and pre-accounting major courses that are indicated with an asterisk (*), achieve junior standing (60 credits), and earn a 2.50 institutional cumulative grade point average.  Students must submit an online application to the CoB.
  • Admission to the Accounting major is required to enroll in advanced 300- 400 level CoB courses.
  • A grade of 'C' or better is required in transfer courses accepted for all 300-400 level accounting, business administration, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing courses.
  • A 2.50 cumulative GPA is required to enroll in 300-400 level CoB courses.
  • A letter grade must be earned in any course that fulfills a major requirement (with the exception of some practicum options and BUSN 301).
  • Students must earn a 2.50 institutional GPA to graduate.                                             
  • Students must be accepted to the accounting major prior to the completion of the last 30 credits in 300 and 400 level CoB courses.
  • Of the credits completed in residence at least 30 credits must be in 300-400 level CoB courses.
  • A Business Administration minor is NOT offered with this major.                                              
  • For multiple majors within the CoB, at least 15 unique credits of 300-400 level CoB courses must exist between the majors.
  • Prerequisite for Accounting Practicum: ACCT 311 with a grade of C or better.
  • Students should refer to for current and complete listing of the major requirements.

Minor Requirements

Accounting Minor

Minor Requirements

Required Credits: 19

Students should refer to the College of Business for information on declaring the minor.

ACCT 200Elements of Accounting I *3
ACCT 201Elements of Accounting II *3
ACCT 311Intermediate Accounting I4
ACCT 320Cost Management Systems3
300-400 Level Courses6
Courses may be chosen from any 300-400 level accounting course with the exception of ACCT 397 and ACCT 413.
Total Credits19

 Requires a grade of 'B' or better in order to enroll in 300-400 level ACCT courses.

Minor Requirements and Notes

  • To be accepted into the minor program, students must have a 2.50 institutional cumulative GPA and at least junior standing (60 credits).
  • To complete a minor, students must earn at least a 2.50 GPA that is based on the courses used to satisfy the minor requirements. Courses may not be taken pass/fail. Students must also earn a grade of 'C' or better in all courses required for the minor; the only exception is ACCT 200 and ACCT 201, which require grades of 'B' or better.
  • If the cumulative GPA falls below the 2.50 after acceptance into the program, the student will not be allowed to register for the College of Business courses until the cumulative GPA returns to 2.50 or above.        
  • Students are subject to the minor requirements in effect during the year in which the minor was approved.
  • Minors must satisfy all course prerequisites.     
  • Approval for a minor does not guarantee enrollment in specific courses.

Plan of Study 

ENGL 1104COMM 1103 
PSYC 111 or SOC 1103ENGL 1203 
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3MATH 144 (Requires Math 103, Math 107, or placement as a pre-requisite)4 
Wellness 2Science/Technology Elective (w/lab)4 
Non-Major Elective3Non-Major Elective3 
 15 17
ACCT 2003ACCT 2013 
ECON 2013ECON 2023 
MIS 1163PHIL 2163 
STAT 3303STAT 3312 
Cultural Diverstiy or Non-Major Elective3Cultural Diversity or Non-Major Elective3 
 Science/Technology Elective2-3 
 15 16-17
ACCT 3114ACCT 3124ACCT 39723
ACCT 3203ACCT 4203 
ENGL 3203BUSN 4303 
MRKT 3203MGMT 3203 
MIS 3203  
 16 13 3
ACCT 318 or 4183BUSN 4894 
ACCT 4213300-400 Level Business Electives (2)6 
FIN 3203300-400 Level Accounting Elective 3 
300-400 Level Business Elective3  
Non-major Elective2-4  
 14-16 13
Total Credits: 122-125

At some point prior to graduation, all College of Business students must register for and successfully complete BUSN 301 (0 credits).


 Complete one of the following options: ACCT 413 Internship, ACCT 397 Cooperative Education Program, UNIV 492 Study Abroad Program, or AGEC 371 Export Management. Requires successful completion of ACCT 311 and faculty advisor's prior approval.

Note: This is only a sample curriculum; actual schedules will depend on course availability and individual choices. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor on a regular basis to review their plan of study.