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Accounting BS

College of Management / Accounting
Undergraduate major / Bachelor of Science

About The Program

A degree in accounting provides a strong foundation for careers in many aspects of business. Accountants create order and meaning out of data, manage information systems and work cross-functionally to accomplish goals. Accountants articulate and analyze economic activities to help organizations predict future results, allocate resources, and make decisions that drive long-term viability.

Accounting graduates flourish in a variety of occupations throughout organizations. Accountants work with financial and non-financial data interpreting quantitative and qualitative information, solving problems, and effectively communicating analysis and solutions to all levels in an organization. These skills lead to careers such as:

  • Staff Accountant
  • External Auditor
  • Financial Analyst
  • Internal Auditor
  • Cost Accountant
  • Tax Accountant
  • Fixed Asset Accountant
  • Treasurer
  • Budget Analyst
  • Controller
  • Project Accountant
  • Administrator
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Entrepreneur

IMA Endorsed Curriculum and Preparing to become a CMA®

The IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) Higher Education Endorsement Program identifies business curricula that meet the quality educational standards required to enable students to earn the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) designation.

IMA® is dedicated to excellence within the management accounting profession. The CMA® is a globally recognized certification that provides an objective measure of an individual’s knowledge and competence in the field. It gives management accountants and finance professionals greater credibility, higher earning potential and leadership opportunities.

Metropolitan State’s accounting courses align with the CMA exam’s practical body of knowledge and skills in financial planning, analytics, control, decision support and professional ethics. To be eligible for CMA certification, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, pass a two-part exam covering twelve competencies in Management Accounting and show two years of relevant work experience.

Preparing to become a CPA

The Metropolitan State University Accounting major provides the necessary accounting and business coursework required to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) Exam. In Minnesota, students can sit for the exam after completing their accounting degree. However, please note, to be licensed as a CPA, candidates also require 150 credit hours (in either undergraduate or graduate coursework), must pass a self-study ethics examination, and have at least one year of relevant work experience. Also, please note the above information is in reference to the licensing statutes and regulations in Minnesota. No determination has been made with respect to the education requirements for licensure for any other states or U.S. protectorates. Each state or U.S. protectorate has its own requirements that change based on the local laws enacted. Students desiring to take the CPA exam outside of the State of Minnesota need to consult with the appropriate state or protectorate Board of Accountancy to determine the licensing rules.

Student outcomes

 On completion of the accounting program, a graduate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of accounting theory, assumptions, procedures, limitations and economic consequences.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical implications of accounting decisions and policies.
  • Accurately complete technical calculations using financial and non-financial information to support stakeholder decision making.
  • Prepare financial statements and reports using relevant standards and procedures.
  • Critically analyze financial reports, information, stakeholder perspectives and the general business environment to evaluate economic impacts across functions within an organization.
  • Create oral and written recommendations to managers involved in short- and long-term decision-making, based on accounting information.

Related Minors

Given the broad opportunities available with an accounting education many minors complement this degree. Student goals with respect to certifications (such as CMA or CPA) and desired employment drive recommended additional courses and minor choices. We encourage accounting students to consult with their college advisor before declaring a minor or pursing additional credits.

How to enroll

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Accounting BS now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Accounting BS

More ways to earn your degree: Metropolitan State offers the flexibility you need to finish your degree. Through programs at our partner institutions, you can find a path to getting your Accounting BS that works best for you.

About your enrollment options

Program eligibility requirements

Students must complete the major program courses with a grade of C- or better. The COM Foundation Courses are prerequisites for many upper division College of Management courses. Completing these courses early in your program will help you succeed and have the most valuable experience in other College of Management courses.

Courses and Requirements


The accounting major residency policy requires that at least four (4) of the accounting major required courses must be completed at Metropolitan State. See also the COM policies page for requirements that are common to all programs.

Requirements (120 credits)

+ College of Management Foundation (22 credits)

This course in financial accounting acquaints students with the "language of business" and the concepts and practices of accounting in order to understand, interpret, and analyze the financial accounting reports of economic entities. Topics include: economic context of accounting; introduction to basic financial statements with emphasis on the statement of cash flows; measurement fundamentals; analysis of financial statements; cash; receivables; inventories; investments in equity and debt securities including Consolidations; long-lived assets; current and long-term liabilities; stockholders' equity; and time value of money concepts and computations for decision making: international accounting practices are incorporated into every topic. This is not a bookkeeping course.

Full course description for Financial Accounting

This course focuses on the economy as a whole and studies how government can affect the economy. After starting with principles of markets, the price system and supply and demand, the course covers national income accounting, business cycles, inflation, unemployment, fiscal policy, monetary policy and the Federal Reserve System, different approaches to economic growth, and the foundations of international trade.

Full course description for Macroeconomics

This course focuses on the interactions between the consumer and the producer. It begins with the theory of markets, supply and demand, and the price system. Then it covers demand elasticity, the costs of production including the various factor inputs, the four major market structures (pure competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly and monopoly), and ways to increase the competition in markets.

Full course description for Microeconomics

This course develops the fundamental concepts of algebra with an emphasis on the classification and analysis of linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential and logarithmic functions. Applications to the natural and social sciences are given throughout. It aims to provide insights into the nature and utility of mathematics, and helps students develop mathematical reasoning skills.

Full course description for College Algebra

This course is the first information technology foundation course in the College of Management. It focuses on the technology literacy, managerial and business problem solving dimensions of computer based information systems. It provides students with an introduction to the fundamental terminology of the hardware, software and the people involved with computer based information systems. The course includes hands on computer lab time to introduce students to word processing, database, spread sheet, and Internet microcomputer applications. This course is designed specifically to prepare students for information technology competence as needed in College of Management courses.

Full course description for Fundamentals of Information Technology in Organizations

This course covers the basic principles and methods of statistics. It emphasizes techniques and applications in real-world problem solving and decision making. Topics include frequency distributions, measures of location and variation, probability, sampling, design of experiments, sampling distributions, interval estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression.

Full course description for Statistics I

+ College of Management Business Core (20 credits)

This course surveys factors that marketing managers take into account when creating a marketing plan, including consumer behavior principles, market segmentation, product life cycle, packaging, branding, pricing, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, personal selling, product distribution methods and key laws affecting marketing practices. The course takes a practical approach to explaining how to identify marketing objectives and determine strategies for reaching them. It is useful to general business students, students who plan marketing management or marketing communications careers and those who wish to be better informed consumers. This course is also offered online. Prerequisite: Goal 1 writing requirement plus 30 credits must be satisfied.

Full course description for Marketing Principles

This course is designed to define the role of information systems in organizations, and in particular the roles of IS staff and end-users in developing and maintaining computer systems. The managerial aspects and implications of databases, telecommunications, hardware, software and e-commerce are included. Special attention is given to management information systems theories in the organizational setting including: infrastructure, transaction processing, operational reporting, decision support systems and executive information systems. Also included are all phases of the systems development life cycle (SDLC) as well as alternative development methodologies. The course prototypically includes analysis of real world business cases and post-implementation audit report of a recently completed management information system. All students taking this class must have completed as a prerequisite the MIS 100 Fundamentals of Information Technology in Organizations course or its approved…

Full course description for Principles of Management Information Systems

This course introduces the application to financial decision-making of mathematics, statistics, economic theory, and accounting procedures. The two central ideas are time value of money and the relationship between expected return and risk, and how these ideas are used to value bonds, stocks, and other financial securities, and to make capital investment decisions.

Full course description for Principles of Finance

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the fundamental concepts and techniques of production and operations management for both service and manufacturing organizations. It will address the role of operations in relation to other functions and the methods to increase organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Topics covered include: product and service design, capacity planning, design of work systems, location planning and analysis, material requirements planning, supply-chain management, enterprise resource planning, inventory management, total quality management, Six Sigma, lean enterprise and kaizen approaches, aggregate planning, just-in-time systems, scheduling, and project planning. Also included are tools and processes used in operations decisions such as forecasting, breakeven analysis, and critical path method using available software.

Full course description for Introduction to Operations Management

+ Required (32 credits)

This course is the first in a two course sequence (Intermediate Accounting I and Intermediate Accounting II) that provides for the preparation and understanding of financial information. Topics include accounting theory and practice, the conceptual framework of United States (U.S.) generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), recognition of economic transactions, the preparation and analysis of financial statements and the related disclosures. Intermediate Accounting I focuses on the role of accounting as an information system and the measurement, recognition, presentation, and disclosure of economic transactions focusing on the following: basic financial statements, time value of money, cash and receivables, inventories, property, plant, and equipment, depreciation and impairment, and current liabilities and contingencies.

Full course description for Intermediate Accounting I

This course is the second in a two course sequence (Intermediate Accounting I and Intermediate Accounting II) that provides for the preparation and understanding of financial information. Topics include accounting theory and practice, the conceptual framework of United States (U.S.) generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), recognition of economic transactions, the preparation of financial statements and the related disclosures. Intermediate Accounting II focuses on intangible assets, long-term liabilities, stockholders¿ equity, dilutive securities and earnings per share (EPS), investments, revenue recognition, income taxes, pensions and postretirement benefits, leases, accounting changes and error analysis, the statement of cash flows, and full disclosure in financial reporting.

Full course description for Intermediate Accounting II

The focus of this course is the strategic role of the management accountant in an organization and the use of financial and nonfinancial information for planning and control decisions. Special emphasis is placed on strategy and the application of concepts and practices of management accounting on economic and noneconomic decisions. Topics include: cost behavior and estimation; cost analysis for planning and control decisions including value chain analysis, target costing, quality costs, customer value measurement systems, and benchmarking; cross-functional teams; activity-based management; and cash and operations budgeting.

Full course description for Strategic Management Accounting

This course provides a conceptual framework to stress the responsibility of accountant, auditor and manager for the design, operation and control of the accounting information system and the needs of information users within an organization. Traditional accounting transaction cycles are organized around events-based information technology. Students learn how the accounting information system records, classifies and aggregates economic events.

Full course description for Accounting Information Systems

The third course in the three-course financial reporting sequence, this course emphasizes accounting theory and practice including special disclosure and reporting problems; international accounting and foreign currency translation; not-for-profit accounting, governmental accounting; business combinations; and consolidated financial statement preparation and analysis.

Full course description for Advanced Accounting

The audit of corporate financial statements by the independent registered accountant using generally accepted auditing standards of the Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board for publicly traded corporations is the focus of this course. A risk based approach is used with emphasis on both auditing concepts and audit programs.

Full course description for Auditing

This course continues the emphasis on the role of financial and nonfinancial information for strategic planning and control decisions from the Strategic Management Accounting course. It focuses on the strategic components of cost/price, quality, time, flexibility and innovation in the learning organization. Coverage of strategic cost management, cost of capacity, kaizen, time-based competition, agility, competitive intelligence, pricing, distribution channels, environmental accounting, cost accumulation systems and comprehensive performance indicators is included.

Full course description for Advanced Strategic Management Accounting

This course focuses on identifying issues that affect the taxation of businesses. Ten Chapters are covered: foundation of taxation, including types of taxes, structure of the income tax, taxpayers, and general concepts of income and deduction; business income and expenses; taxation of property transactions; and overview of corporations, S corporations, partnerships, and entity choice. Planning options are emphasized.

Full course description for Business Taxation

+ College of Management Capstone (4 credits)

This advanced course uses the case study approach to develop systems and techniques for analyzing the internal strengths and weaknesses of diverse organizations and the external environments in which they operate. Students craft strategies and develop implementation plans that apply organizational resources to opportunities and threats in its external environment. This course should be taken during the last semester of a student's program.

Full course description for Case Studies in Strategic Management

+ CMA recommended elective

Recommended for students preparing to take the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) examination.

+ CPA recommended electives

Recommended for students preparing to take the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination.