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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 and ACCT 201 Elements of Accounting II, ACCT 311 Intermediate Accounting I, 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.
Required Degree Credits to Graduate: 122

General Education Requirements

First Year Experience (F):
BUSN 189Skills for Academic Success (Students transferring in 24 or more credits do not need to take BUSN 189. )1
Communication (C):
ENGL 110College Composition I *3
ENGL 120College Composition II *3
ENGL 320Business and Professional Writing3
COMM 110Fundamentals of Public Speaking *3
Quantitative Reasoning (R):
STAT 330Introductory Statistics *3
Science & Technology (S):
CSCI 116Business Use of Computers *4
A one-credit lab must be taken as a co-requisite with a general education science/technology course unless the course includes an embedded lab experience equivalent to a one-credit course. Select from current general education list.6
Humanities & Fine Arts (A):
PHIL 216Business Ethics *3
Select from current general education list3
Social & Behavioral Sciences (B):
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics *3
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics *3
Wellness (W): Select from current general education list2
Cultural Diversity (D): Select from current general education list
Global Perspectives (G):
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics *3
or ECON 202 Principles of Macroeconomics
Total Credits40

Major Requirements

General Education Requirements40
Pre-College of Business Requirements
ACCT 200Elements of Accounting I *3
ACCT 201Elements of Accounting II *3
A minimum grade of B is required in ACCT 200 and ACCT 201 to enroll in 300 and 400 level accounting courses.
MATH 103College Algebra *3
This is waived for students who place into MATH 105 or higher.
PSYC 111Introduction to Psychology *3
or SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology
STAT 331Regression Analysis *2
Pre-Accounting Requirements
MATH 144Mathematics for Business *4
Accounting Major Requirements **
BUSN 301Organizational Citizen0
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 I4
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 Practicum
Students must complete one of the following options: ACCT 397 Cooperative Education Program; UNIV 492 Study Abroad Program; ACCT 413 Accounting Internship; IME 456 Program and Project Management; or AGEC 371 Export Management.3
Degree Electives: Potential of 10 credits to reach 122.10
Total Credits122

 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 if 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.
  • 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.
BUSN 18911COMM 1103 
ENGL 1103ENGL 1203 
MATH 1033MATH 1444 
PSYC 111 or SOC 1103Science/Technology Elective (w/lab)4 
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3Non-major Elective2-3 
Wellness 2  
 15 16-17
ACCT 2003ACCT 2013 
CSCI 1164ECON 2023 
ECON 2013PHIL 2163 
STAT 3303STAT 3312 
Cultural Diverstiy or Non-Major Elective3Cultural Diversity or Non-major Elective3 
 Science/Technology Elective2 
 16 16
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 time following the completion of BUSN 189 and 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, IME 456 Program/Project Management, BUSN 486 Senior Thesis, or AGEC 371 Export Management. Requires faculty adviser'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 adviser on a regular basis to review their plan of study.