The major in accounting is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in accounting. This program will qualify graduates to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination in Virginia. However, certification requires 150 hours of college credits. Most public accounting firms give hiring preference to applicants who have completed the full 150 hours prior to starting work.

Learning goals

  • Graduates will be able to effectively analyze accounting information and understand the impact of accounting information in a business context.
  • Graduates will possess the ability to analyze the ethical dimensions of an accounting issue.
  • Graduates will be able to effectively communicate financial information.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program:

  • Graduates will demonstrate a broad base of knowledge across accounting topics and be able to apply that knowledge in a variety of contexts.

  • Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of the core business and strategic concepts involved in accounting. Specifically, accounting graduates will comprehend the impact of information systems on the profession and to leverage technology for decision-making.

  • Graduates will demonstrate the ability to effectively identify and communicate accounting ethical issues; evaluate information in a manner free of distortion, personal bias or conflicts of interest; recognize situations where professional ethical standards apply; respect confidentiality.

  • Graduates will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate ideas and analysis of accounting problems. 

Special requirements

The foundation program specifies course work required during the freshman and sophomore years. Students are eligible for admission into the advanced business program with a major in the School of Business upon meeting the minimum cumulative GPA requirement and successful completion of:

A minimum of 54 credits in the foundation program54
ACCT 203
ACCT 204
Introduction to Accounting I
and Introduction to Accounting II
6
BUSN 201Foundations of Business3
BUSN 225Winning Presentations3
ECON 210Principles of Microeconomics3
ECON 211Principles of Macroeconomics3
INFO 160Digital Literacy: Computer Concepts, Internet, Digital Devices1
INFO 161Digital Literacy: Word Processing Skills1
INFO 162Digital Literacy: Spreadsheets Skills I1
INFO 165Digital Literacy: Spreadsheet Skills II1
SCMA 212Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business3
or MATH 200 Calculus with Analytic Geometry
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II (with a minimum grade of C)3
UNIV 200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument (with a minimum grade of C)3

The admission requirements for the School of Business detail the deadlines for students to be admitted to the advanced business program with a major in the school. At least 30 hours of the required business courses for the Bachelor of Science must be taken at VCU.

Students may need to take additional mathematics courses as prerequisites to SCMA 212 or MATH 200. These credits will count as electives in the foundation program. The sample curriculum outline includes SCMA 171 since many of our students will need to complete this course.

The INFO 160, INFO 161, INFO 162 and INFO 165 requirements may be waived upon successful completion of a Knowledge Equivalency Test administered by the Office of Undergraduate Studies. No more than two additional credits may be applied to the degree from the INFO 16x series.

No more than four credits in physical education courses may be applied to the degree.

INTL 493 may not be counted toward a business degree.

All upper-level accounting courses with a prerequisite course require a minimum grade of C in the prerequisite course and the following must be fulfilled:

  • Students must have received a minimum grade of C in all required accounting courses.
  • Required accounting courses in which students earn a grade of D or F must be repeated.
  • Students must achieve a 2.5 GPA in upper-level ACCT courses to graduate.

Degree requirements for Accounting, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Business foundation

General education requirements

University Core Education Curriculum
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
UNIV 200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved humanities/fine arts3
Approved natural/physical sciences3-4
Approved quantitative literacy:3-4
Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business
Calculus with Analytic Geometry
Approved social/behavioral sciences3-4
Total Hours21-24
Business general education requirements
ECON 210Principles of Microeconomics3
ECON 211Principles of Macroeconomics3
INFO 160Digital Literacy: Computer Concepts, Internet, Digital Devices1
INFO 161Digital Literacy: Word Processing Skills1
INFO 162Digital Literacy: Spreadsheets Skills I1
INFO 165Digital Literacy: Spreadsheet Skills II1
Business General Education electives (Select credits from the approved list.)3
Total Hours13

Additional business foundation requirements

ACCT 203
ACCT 204
Introduction to Accounting I
and Introduction to Accounting II
6
BUSN 201Foundations of Business3
BUSN 225Winning Presentations3
Open electives11-14
Total Hours23-26

Advanced business program

Advanced business core
BUSN 325Organizational Communication3
FIRE 311Financial Management3
MGMT 303Creativity and Ideation3
MGMT 310Managing People in Organizations3
MGMT 434Strategic Management (capstone)3
MKTG 301Marketing Principles3
SCMA 301Business Statistics I3
Major requirements
Advanced business core (flexible by major)
ACCT 307Accounting Systems3
BUSN 323Legal Environment of Business3
Select two of the following:6
Accounting Decision Analytics
Managerial Economics
Business Statistics II
Production/Operations Management
Select one of the following:3
Research and Communication for Accountants
Principles of Consulting
International Consulting Practicum
Leadership
Major-specific courses
ACCT 303Intermediate Accounting I3
ACCT 304Intermediate Accounting II3
ACCT 305Intermediate Accounting III3
ACCT 306Cost Accounting3
ACCT 405Tax Accounting Principles3
ACCT 406Auditing3
Approved accounting elective3
Approved technology elective3
Total Hours60

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

Business general education electives

Additional University Core Education Curriculum approved courses
Any AFAM, ANTH, ANTZ, ARTH, BIOL, BIOZ, CHEM, CHEZ, CRJS, DANC, ENGL, ENVS, FRSC, FRSZ, HIST, INNO, INSC, INTL (except INTL 493), MASC, MATH, PHIL, PHYS, PHYZ, POLI, PSYC (except PSYC 214), RELS, SOCS, SOCY, USRP or WRLD course
Any foreign language course
Any honors-designated course taught outside of the School of Business
Any of the following UNIV courses:
Food for Thought
The Truth About Lying
Finding Your Voice in Contemporary Society
Pseudoscience
What's the Big Idea?

Approved accounting electives

Select one course:3
Advanced Cost Accounting
Management Control Systems
Accounting Decision Analytics
Advanced Tax Accounting
Advanced Accounting

Approved technology electives

Select one course:3
Business Intelligence and Data Mining
Business Statistics II
Business Analytics
Quantitative Solutions for Supply Chain Management

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
INFO 160 Digital Literacy: Computer Concepts, Internet, Digital Devices 1
INFO 162 Digital Literacy: Spreadsheets Skills I 1
SCMA 171 Mathematical Applications for Business 3
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
Approved University Core Education Curriculum courses 6-8
 Term Hours: 14-16
Spring semester
BUSN 225 Winning Presentations 3
INFO 161 Digital Literacy: Word Processing Skills 1
INFO 165 Digital Literacy: Spreadsheet Skills II 1
SCMA 212
Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business
or Calculus with Analytic Geometry
3-4
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
Approved University Core Education Curriculum course 3-4
 Term Hours: 14-16
Sophomore year
Fall semester
ACCT 203 Introduction to Accounting I 3
BUSN 201 Foundations of Business 3
ECON 210 Principles of Microeconomics 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Business general education elective 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
ACCT 204 Introduction to Accounting II 3
BUSN 323 Legal Environment of Business 3
ECON 211 Principles of Macroeconomics 3
MKTG 301 Marketing Principles 3
SCMA 301 Business Statistics I 3
Elective 0-2
 Term Hours: 15-17
Junior year
Fall semester
ACCT 303 Intermediate Accounting I 3
ACCT 405 Tax Accounting Principles 3
BUSN 325 Organizational Communication 3
FIRE 311 Financial Management 3
MGMT 303 Creativity and Ideation 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
ACCT 304 Intermediate Accounting II 3
ACCT 306 Cost Accounting 3
ACCT 307 Accounting Systems 3
MGMT 310 Managing People in Organizations 3
Elective 2-3
 Term Hours: 14-15
Senior year
Fall semester
ACCT 305 Intermediate Accounting III 3
ACCT 408
Accounting Decision Analytics
or Managerial Economics
or Business Statistics II
or Production/Operations Management
3
ACCT 409
Research and Communication for Accountants
or Principles of Consulting
or International Consulting Practicum
or Leadership
3
Approved accounting elective 3
Elective 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
ACCT 406 Auditing 3
ACCT 408
Accounting Decision Analytics
or Managerial Economics
or Business Statistics II
or Production/Operations Management
3
MGMT 434 Strategic Management 3
Approved technology elective 3
Elective 3
 Term Hours: 15
 Total Hours: 117-124

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

ACCT 202. Accounting for Non-business Majors. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The course is open only to non-business students. A nontechnical introduction to the principles of financial and managerial accounting with emphasis on the use and interpretation of financial reports, managerial planning and control. The course is for the individual who seeks a basic knowledge of accounting and its uses. It is designed for the user of accounting information rather than the preparer. This course cannot be substituted for ACCT 203, 204 or 205. Students graduating with a major in the School of Business cannot receive credit for this course.

ACCT 203. Introduction to Accounting I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Theoretical and technical facets of financial and managerial accounting for business. Accumulation, analysis, interpretation and uses of accounting information. Course will focus on financial accounting.

ACCT 204. Introduction to Accounting II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ACCT 203 with a minimum grade of C. Theoretical and technical facets of financial and managerial accounting for business. Accumulation, analysis, interpretation and uses of accounting information. Course will focus on managerial accounting.

ACCT 205. Introductory Accounting Survey. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Restricted to students in the post-baccalaureate undergraduate certificate programs in accounting and information systems, students seeking a B.S. in Financial Technology, students enrolled in the School of Engineering, or by permission of instructor. An accelerated course covering theoretical and technical facets of financial and managerial accounting for business. Accumulation, analysis, interpretation and uses of accounting information. May not be counted toward any of the B.S. programs offered by the School of Business other than the B.S. in Financial Technology.

ACCT 291. Topics in Accounting. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course. 1-3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. An in-depth study of selected accounting topics. Graded as pass/fail.

ACCT 303. Intermediate Accounting I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ACCT 203 or ACCT 205 with a minimum grade of C. Restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing) or 24 credits with minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Focuses on financial accounting and accounting standards, including the conceptual framework for financial accounting. Includes an in-depth study of the income statement, the balance sheet and an introduction to the statement of cash flows. Also covers valuation of inventories.

ACCT 304. Intermediate Accounting II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ACCT 303 with a minimum grade of C. Restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Continues the study of financial accounting, covering accounting for acquisition and disposition of property, plant and equipment, intangible assets, contingencies, long-term liabilities, stockholders' equity, earnings-per-share, and investments.

ACCT 305. Intermediate Accounting III. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ACCT 304 with a minimum grade of C. Restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Continues the study of financial accounting, covering accounting for income taxes, accounting for pensions and post-retirement benefits, accounting for leases, accounting changes and error analysis, statement of cash flows, full disclosure in financial reporting and International Financial Reporting Standards.

ACCT 306. Cost Accounting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ACCT 204 or ACCT 205 with a minimum grade of C. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Cost accumulation for inventory pricing and income determination. Cost behavior concepts for planning and control. Job order and process cost systems, standard costs, budgets and special topics in relevant costs for managerial decisions.

ACCT 307. Accounting Systems. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ACCT 303 with a minimum grade of C. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Examines design and evaluation of manual and computerized accounting information systems. Emphasis on the system of internal controls and the impact of computers on those controls.

ACCT 401. Governmental and Not-for-profit Accounting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ACCT 304 with a minimum grade of C. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). The role of accounting in the management of resources entrusted to government and nonprofit entities, including accounting and reporting standards. Accounting in municipalities and nonprofit entities such as hospitals, charitable and health organizations, and colleges and universities.

ACCT 402. Advanced Cost Accounting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ACCT 303 and ACCT 306, each with a minimum grade of C. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). An advanced conceptual cost/managerial course designed to familiarize students with the more complex aspects of cost/managerial accounting concepts including process costing, standard costing, activity-based costing, Just-in-Time inventory systems, enterprise resource planning and issues relating to the relative strengths and limitations of managerial accounting.

ACCT 403. Management Control Systems. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ACCT 303 and ACCT 306, each with a minimum grade of C. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). An advanced conceptual management control systems course designed to expose students to the theoretical and conceptual foundations of management control systems and to integrate accounting into the managerial decision/control process. Uses a predominantly case-oriented approach. While primary emphasis will be on integrating accounting into the management control process, significant attention also will be devoted to the behavioral issues involved in management control system design and implementation. Students also will receive hands-on experience in structuring and formulating control systems in an Enterprise Resource Planning system environment.

ACCT 404. Introduction to Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ACCT 304 with a minimum grade of C. Introduction to the area of forensic accounting. Topics include the detection of fraudulent financial reporting, employee fraud, money laundering, digital forensic analysis and electronic evidence, evidence management, computer forensics, and an introduction to business valuation.

ACCT 405. Tax Accounting Principles. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ACCT 204 or ACCT 205 with a minimum grade of C. Restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Income tax legislation and the concept of taxable income; federal income tax law applicable to individuals.

ACCT 406. Auditing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ACCT 304 and 307 with a minimum grade of C. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). A study of the conceptual, theoretical and practical procedures applicable to auditing — both external and internal. Primary emphasis is placed upon the theory of audit evidence; the objectives, techniques and procedures for financial and operational audit reports.

ACCT 408. Accounting Decision Analytics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ACCT 307 with a minimum grade of C; and MGMT 301, SCMA 301, STAT 210 or STAT 212. Restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). The spreadsheet analysis and written communication of data relating to accounting-focused business problems.

ACCT 409. Research and Communication for Accountants. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ACCT 304 with a minimum grade of C. Restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Focuses on the research of accounting issues and preparation of technical reports relating to that research. Leadership and team dynamics are explored using group projects.

ACCT 410. Advanced Tax Accounting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ACCT 303 and ACCT 405, each with a minimum grade of C. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Complex tax problems of the trust, partnership and corporation. Particular emphasis is given to tax planning.

ACCT 413. Advanced Accounting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ACCT 304 with a minimum grade of C. Financial accounting for complex business relationships, including business combinations, consolidated financial statements, restatement of foreign financial statements, foreign currency transactions, derivative instruments, partnership accounting and pension accounting. Emphasis is on current issues confronting accountants and financial reporting and the potential impact of these issues on business entities.

ACCT 491. Topics in Accounting. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Prerequisites vary by topic. Study of current topics. Topics may vary by semester. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered.

ACCT 492. Independent Study. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Restricted to accounting majors who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). The purpose of this course is to allow international students to take advantage of an internship work experience. Graded as pass/fail.

ACCT 493. Internship in Accounting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 credits. Prerequisites: ACCT 304 with a minimum grade of B; senior standing in accounting and permission of the department chair. Intention to enroll must be indicated to the instructor prior to or during advance registration for semester of credit. Involves students in a meaningful experience in a setting appropriate to the major. A structured course in which the first three weeks are spent in the classroom, followed by 11 weeks at a workplace. The last week of the semester students return to the classroom for discussion and reflection on the work experience. An internship portfolio is required at the end of the course. Graded as pass/fail.

ACCT 497. Guided Study in Accounting. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. Maximum total of three credits. Prerequisites: junior standing in accounting and approval of adviser and department chair prior to course registration. Intensive study under supervision of a faculty member in an area not covered in-depth or contained in the regular curriculum.