Accounting Major/Minor

The accounting major at Saint Mary’s prepares students for a variety of careers in accounting.

Course work accommodates students interested in public accounting (CPAs), management accounting (CMAs), controllership, taxation, and/or governmental accounting. Saint Mary’s accounting program meets the requirements for taking the Uniform CPA exam in Minnesota and many other states. The university offers several ways for students to meet the educational requirements for CPA licensure. Students who are considering the CPA path are strongly encouraged to consult an accounting faculty member early in their college career to individually determine the best way to meet the requirements

Are you an adult looking to finish your bachelor's degree? Please visit our bachelor's completion program page.

Career Options

Budget analysts; financial analysts; financial clerks; financial managers; government accountants and auditors; management accountants and internal auditors; public accountants

High School Preparation

Business; Calculus; Computer Science; Macroeconomics; Microeconomics; Statistics

Enhance Your Experience

Students who major in accounting oftentimes pursue a double major or minor in international business, finance, or mathematics

Accounting Minor

The accounting minor pairs well with a variety of Saint Mary's majors. In particular, students with entrepreneurial aspirations will benefit from accounting coursework as it allows them to take complete charge of their business, whatever it may be.

Degree Requirements

A. All of the following:

AC222 Accounting Concepts (3 cr.)

This course provides an introduction to accounting with an emphasis on the interpretation and use of accounting information for effective business decision-making. The course employs an "information user/managerial approach" rather than an "information preparer approach." Students are introduced to the accounting system, financial statement analysis, and quantitative managerial accounting techniques.

AC223 Financial Accounting Principles (3 cr.)

This course is a study of analyzing and recording business transactions and preparing financial statements for proprietorships and partnerships. Topics include the accounting cycle and detailed examinations of balance sheet and income statement accounts.

AC321 Intermediate Accounting I (3 cr.)

A comprehensive study of selected financial accounting topics, the course considers financial statements, short-term receivables and payables, inventories, plant assets, intangible assets, depreciation, current liabilities, contingencies and long-term liabilities. Similarities and differences between U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and international financial reporting standards are considered throughout the course.

B. Nine additional credits approved by the business department chair.

A. All of the following:

AC222 Accounting Concepts (3 cr.)

This course provides an introduction to accounting with an emphasis on the interpretation and use of accounting information for effective business decision-making. The course employs an "information user/managerial approach" rather than an "information preparer approach." Students are introduced to the accounting system, financial statement analysis, and quantitative managerial accounting techniques.

BU243 Business Computer Applications (3 cr.)

This course provides in-depth coverage of Microsoft Excel and Access in the context of business applications. Excel topics include formulas and functions, charting, large datasets, pivot tables and what-if analysis. Access topics include relational database concepts, database design, basic query construction, and report generation. This course combines on-line and hands-on learning.

BU285 International Business Environment (3 cr.)

An introduction to the international business environment, including cultures, ethics, economics, geography, and legal systems, associated with our global society. The course serves as a foundation for international business majors and as a survey course for other business majors.

BU312 Business Law I (3 cr.)

This survey course is designed to introduce students to the study of law through a review of its historical origins, the various sources of the law and the practical context in which laws are applied. Particular attention is given to areas of law which are relevant to today's business environment; for example, torts, contracts, agency and sales.

BU452 Strategic Management (3 cr.)

This capstone course in business develops students' understanding of strategic decision-making through integrative use of business knowledge from each of the major functional areas in business. Extensive use of decision cases is made to address such issues as: What is strategy?, Who makes it?; What are the basic strategic options of a firm?; How is the business environment analyzed for strategic purposes? Highlights of the course include a business case competition and computer simulation.

EC261 Principles of Microeconomics (3 cr.)

A traditional introduction to the principles of microeconomics, concentrating on behavior of the household and the firm. The course analyzes factors determining prices, production and allocation of economic resources. Current issues are emphasized.

EC262 Principles of Macroeconomics (3 cr.)

A traditional introduction to the principles of macroeconomics, concentrating on how aggregate levels of economic activity are determined. The course analyzes macroeconomic policies and economic issues such as problems of unemployment and inflation. Current issues are emphasized.

FN341 Corporate Finance (3 cr.)

The goal of corporate financial management is to maximize the wealth of the stockholders. Decisions regarding risk and return, the management of current assets and current liabilities, and capital budgeting are examined in view of this goal. Students are also introduced to the stock market and other financial institutions and systems.

MG219 Principles of Management (3 cr.)

This first course in management stresses an understanding of the management functions as an integral part of the business organization. Attention is given to planning, leading, organizing, controlling and other aspects of the managerial process.

MK217 Principles of Marketing (3 cr.)

This beginning course in marketing develops an understanding of the marketing function and its central importance to the business organization. Attention is paid to a variety of marketing topics including products, channels and distribution, pricing, promotion, buyer behavior, and ethical issues in marketing.

PH362 Business Ethics (3 cr.)

The course examines critically the major ethical or moral theories that are at the basis of decision making in the complex area of contemporary behavior we know as "the business world." It is recommended for business majors.

B. Mathematics: one of the following

Please note: Students may take either M148 and M149, or M145 or M151

M145 Finite Mathematics (3 cr.)

This course provides an introduction to noncalculus mathematical modeling methods prevalent in business. Topics include: matrix methods, systems of linear equations and inequalities, linear programming by the geometric method and by the simplex method, and the mathematics of finance.

M148 Calculus I with Precalculus (part 1) (4 cr.)

This course, followed by M149, provides a two-semester sequence that covers the material of M151 along with built-in coverage of precalculus topics. Topics in M148 include: solving equations, functions, classes of functions (polynomial, rational, algebraic, exponential, logarithmic), right triangle trigonometry, angle measure, limits and continuity, derivatives, rules for derivatives. Credit is not granted for this course and M151 or courses equivalent to college algebra and college trigonometry.

M149 Calculus I with Precalculus (part 2) (4 cr.)

This course completes the two-semester sequence that begins with M148, and together with M148 provides a two-semester sequence that covers the material of M151 along with built-in coverage of precalculus topics. Topics in M149 include: trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, rules for derivatives, applications of derivatives, and definite and indefinite integrals. Credit is not granted for this course and M151.

M151 Calculus I (4 cr.)

This course provides an introduction to the differential and integral calculus. Topics include: the concepts of function, limit, continuity, derivative, definite and indefinite integrals, and an introduction to transcendental functions. Credit is not granted for this course and M148 and M149.

C. All of the following:

AC223 Financial Accounting Principles (3 cr.)

This course is a study of analyzing and recording business transactions and preparing financial statements for proprietorships and partnerships. Topics include the accounting cycle and detailed examinations of balance sheet and income statement accounts.

AC320 Federal Tax (3 cr.)

Recommended for all business majors, this course considers income tax concepts and income tax law as it applies to individuals.

AC321 Intermediate Accounting I (3 cr.)

A comprehensive study of selected financial accounting topics, the course considers financial statements, short-term receivables and payables, inventories, plant assets, intangible assets, depreciation, current liabilities, contingencies and long-term liabilities. Similarities and differences between U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and international financial reporting standards are considered throughout the course.

AC322 Intermediate Accounting II (3 cr.)

A continuation of AC321, this course involves a study of financial accounting in the areas of stockholders' equity, revenue recognition, taxes, pensions, leases, statement of cash flows, financial statement analysis and full disclosure.

AC324 Cost Accounting (3 cr.)

The systems of cost accounting are studied as they apply to both manufacturing and service organizations. Topics include job order and process cost systems, budgeting, and other selected accounting topics which are used in management decision-making.

AC325 Accounting Information Systems (3 cr.)

Systems consist of methods and procedures established by management for accomplishing and documenting business tasks. This course covers the systems created and monitored by management in order to provide reasonable assurance that company operations are effective and efficient, financial reporting methods are reliable, and the company is complying with laws and regulations pertaining to it.

AC426 Auditing (3 cr.)

This course is designed to provide the student with a basic understanding of audit theory and practice. Emphasis is placed on applying audit theories and procedures in the examination of an organization's financial statements by a certified public accountant.

AC428 Advanced Accounting (3 cr.)

The course includes a study of business combinations, a survey of international accounting, and partnership accounting.

D. One or two of the following

(dependent on track)

AC427 Governmental and Not-For-Profit Accounting (3 cr.)

The course covers accounting and financial reporting issues of governmental agencies at the local and state levels, federal government agencies, and the federal government as a whole. Non-governmental, not-for-profit organizations which must demonstrate accountability for financial and operational performance to providers of their resources are also examined.

BU413 Business Law II (3 cr.)

As a follow-up course to BU312, this course examines in detail the laws which impact businesses and commercial transactions. The course surveys topics including the transfer of negotiable instruments, the establishment of business organizations such as partnerships and corporations, debtor-creditor relations, the regulation of business and property concepts.

MG409 Production and Operations Management (3 cr.)

This course presents the quantitative or management science approach to management. Topics which may be included are quality control, forecasting, inventory management, resource allocation, work design, scheduling, project management and control, and facility design and location. Current techniques and tools are examined and used.