Accountancy program

Undergrad major Undergrad minor

What can you do with an accounting degree?

Use your skills with numbers to help organizations manage their resources, monitor or report on finances. Such insights will help drive important business decisions. An accounting degree is a springboard into a successful career with traditionally excellent pay.

In UWL's accountancy program, you'll find a flexible approach to earning the required 150 credits for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. You'll find many opportunities to earn money while you learn whether in full-time, paid accounting internships or scholarships. An extensive accountancy scholarship program offers more than $100,000 each year to support student success.

The accountancy program is committed to helping students find opportunities and network, as well as offering the most relevant, up-to-date practical and theoretical skills in the field.

Accounting careers

Accountancy majors enjoy a wide variety of career opportunities and starting salaries are excellent. The profession also provides many opportunities for advancement. 

The vast majority of graduates begin their careers as staff accountants in public accounting firms. Others find employment in industry, high-tech companies, healthcare and more. 


Entry-level opportunities

  • Bank manager trainee
  • Private industry accountant
  • Public or staff accountant
  • Revenue agent
  • Internal auditor
  • Tax accountant
  • Technical account trainee

Long-term career development

  • Graduate study in accounting, taxation, business administration or law school
  • Budget director
  • Chief cost accountant
  • Chief executive officer
  • Chief financial officer
  • Chief plant accountant
  • Controller
  • Partner in CPA firm
  • Treasurer

What distinguishes UWL's accountancy program?

Accredited program

Both the undergraduate and graduate business programs of UWL's College of Business Administration are accredited by the AACSB International. ACCSB accreditation places UWL's programs in the top 5% of business programs in the world today. It is also attractive to employers looking to recruit accounting graduates.

$100,000 in scholarships available each year

The Accountancy Department has an extensive scholarship program for both incoming students and continuing students with over $100,000 typically available. Applications are completed online through the UWL Foundation website. An annual spring accountancy banquet honors scholarship recipients and acknowledges donors. 

A flexible approach to earning CPA certification

Wisconsin and Minnesota, along with most other states, require 150 credits as part of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. In Wisconsin, you have flexibility in earning your credits. With 120 required business and accountancy credits complete, you have the option of sitting for the CPA exam if ready. Students earn certification once they complete the remaining 30 credits, which can be in any area of study.

Nearly all students have paid internships

Area public accounting firms and industry partners provide excellent opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in the field. Most students will find a paid, full-time internship where they can potentially earn up to 12 credit hours toward the required 150 credits. During tax season, students might work up to 60 hours per week and make anywhere from $20-26 per hour. An Accountancy Department faculty internship coordinator works with Career Services to coordinate internships. For almost all students, an internship leads to a permanent job offer.

Career connections

Every fall accountancy students are able to connect with employers during an Accounting Career Expo. This expo, specifically for accountancy students, attracts about 40 companies.

Nearly all graduates land careers in the field

Annually, almost all accountancy graduates are placed in accountancy positions with public accounting firms, industry, high-tech companies, healthcare and more. Many students receive offers while working as an intern. See the Academic Advising and Career Services website for up-to-date information.

Professors are experts in the field

The majority of accounting faculty hold doctoral degrees in the field and certifications as CPAs with relevant experience in public or private accounting, in addition to consulting. The business law faculty have juris doctor (J.D.) degrees, as well as substantial legal experience. The faculty in both the accounting and business law area are active researchers.

International honor society offers networking, more

UWL has a chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor society for accounting and other financial information professionals, which sponsors presentations by professional accountants. BAP members also have the opportunity to travel to regional and annual meetings across the U.S.

A facility where modern and historic meet

UWL's College of Business Administration is located in the recently-renovated Wittich Hall. Changes to the facility preserve the history of UWL's second oldest building, while providing modern places to connect and study. The facility was renovated with student input. Student spaces include computer labs, study spaces, sales competition rooms, a finance lab and more.

A growing program attune to business needs

UWL's accountancy program has been able to grow by recruiting talented faculty and students and continually adapting curriculum to match current business and industry needs, as well as CPA exam changes.

High-caliber students

UWL's accountancy program attracts the best of the best. Students frequently have high ACT scores and strong academic records. A collective atmosphere of determination and work-ethic pushes all to achieve their best.

Free CPA exam course prep

Certified Public Accounting Exam review courses are considered a key step to preparing for the exam. Students who find work at public accounting firms frequently find that firms where they hold internships will pay the exam expenses.

Professional certifications

Completion of UWL's accountancy program, including 150 credit hours, meets the educational requirement for professional certification. Graduates are eligible to take the professional examinations that are prerequisites for designations of Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), or Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). Successfully passing the CPA, CMA, CIA, or CFE exam is a valuable credential to possess when seeking permanent employment.

Sample courses

ACC 430 Taxation II A study of tax law affecting different forms of business entities. This course will include the preparation of various federal business income tax returns. Prerequisite: ACC 330; junior standing; admission to business. Offered Fall, Spring.

ACC 325 Cost Accounting The emphasis of this course is on reporting to internal constituencies, such as upper management, operations, marketing, purchasing, human resources and others. It extends and enhances the students' exposure to management accounting theory and practice related to planning, directing and controlling business activities. Topics include cost allocation techniques, budgeting and variance analysis, strategic cost and activity based management using monetary and non-monetary measures. Prerequisite: ACC 222, STAT 145; admission to business. Offered Fall, Spring.

ACC 327 Accounting Information Systems Procedures and problems in system design applied to the financial operations of a business and the role of the computer in processing financial information. Topics covered are responsibility accounting systems, inventory systems, sales analysis systems, and internal control. Prerequisite: ACC 311; IS 220; admission to business or information systems minor. Offered Fall, Spring.

ACC 311 Intermediate Accounting I The first course in the financial accounting course sequence, this course is designed for students considering an accounting major or minor. This course involves the intensive study of both theory and practice, as they relate to the preparation and analysis of the balance sheet, income statement, retained earnings statement, and statement of cash flows. Additional specific topics include receivables, inventory, fixed assets, and intangibles. Prerequisite: ACC 221; admission to business or declared accountancy major/minor. Offered Fall, Spring.

ACC 418 Business Law for Accountants The study of law as it relates to the professional accountant's need for an understanding of the legal environment. Among topics included are accountant's legal responsibility, federal security regulation, antitrust laws, employer-employee relationship, bankruptcy, forms of business organization, estates and trusts, commercial paper, contracts, sales, real estate and ethics. Prerequisite: BLAW 205; senior standing; accountancy major; admission to business. Offered Fall, Spring.

ACC 421 Advanced Accounting Principles and theories of financial accounting and reporting for consolidated groups of entities, state and local governmental entities, and partnership entities. A majority of this course relates to consolidated groups of entities including translating foreign exchange transactions and consolidation of foreign operations. Prerequisite: ACC 313; junior standing; admission to business. Offered Fall, Spring.

ACC 438 Principles of Auditing Introduces the student to auditing, attestation, and assurance services. Topics include: client acceptance, audit planning, client internal control systems, audit risk, materiality, audit evidence, audit sampling, audit documentation, engagement quality control, professional ethics, legal liability, and the audit, attestation or assurance report issues by the auditor. The sources of authoritative standards and interpretations addressed in the course include: Audit Standards issued by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board applied to clients that are required to report to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Statements on Auditing Standards for all other clients, and the Code of Professional Conduct issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Prerequisite: STAT 145, ACC 313, ACC 327; junior standing; admission to business. Offered Fall, Spring.