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Academic Majors



Accounting is the analysis, interpretation and communication of financial information about the resources of an organization and the use of those resources. Accountants help others make business decisions and provide auditing and tax services, as well as fraud examination (forensic accounting services).

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The Program

The accounting major offered by the College of Business prepares students for entry-level positions in public accounting, corporate accounting, government accounting and forensic (fraud) accounting. The accounting curriculum includes accounting and business courses with a wide range of other courses selected to help develop well-rounded, well-educated graduates. Computer and information systems courses give students the ability to apply accounting knowledge using computers—a very important skill in today’s business environment. Courses in other areas of business help students understand how their work relates to marketing, management and finance.

North Dakota law requires that persons who sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) professional examination must have completed 150 semester hours of college education. Students are expected to meet this requirement through a combination of the undergraduate accounting major and the Master of Accountancy (MAcc.) degree offered at North Dakota State University.

To succeed in the accounting profession, an individual should have a solid mathematical background and be able to interpret information. Good communication skills are essential to be able to present information to others. Interpersonal skills and the ability to work with others are also important.

Career Opportunities

An accountant could find a position in public accounting, management, private industry, governmental or other not-for-profit accounting, academia or forensic accounting. Therefore, the employment opportunities for an accountant are many and varied. In addition, some students use accounting as a pre-law program.

The most familiar professional designation in accounting is the CPA. Achieving this certification involves passing a comprehensive examination and meeting other requirements set by each state. CPAs provide auditing, tax and advisory services to businesses, other organizations and the general public.

Management accountants are employed by a single enterprise to perform services such as measuring and controlling costs or budgeting. These specialists may earn the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certificate.

Internal auditors are concerned with determining whether the auditee is following prescribed organizational policies and procedures along with safeguarding organizational assets. The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) is the professional designation of these accountants.

An accountant may also work in the area of governmental or not-for-profit accounting. Governmental accountants work for federal, state or local government agencies. The duties of governmental accountants include the control of tax revenues and expenditures. Not-for-profit organizations, such as charities and universities, also need the services of an accountant.

Forensic accounting is a rapidly growing area of accounting concerned with the detection, investigation and prevention of fraud and white-collar crimes. A Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) is a specialist in the detection and/or deterrence of a wide variety of fraudulent conduct—from discovering employees or executives who misappropriate company assets to assisting investors who are defrauded in the course of commercial transactions.

Accountants also are employed in the academic sector to teach accounting courses, conduct research and write educational materials such as textbooks.

Cooperative Education Program

Accounting majors are able to gain experience at professional level jobs through the Cooperative Education Program. Co-op experiences are most commonly taken during the final two years of the program. The experience can include employment during the summer, during the school year or both. Students’ salaries vary with the career field and job complexity.

Three credits of cooperative education can be used to fulfill the practicum requirement. Three credits are typical for a semester-long, full-time work placement. Students make these credit arrangements with NDSU’s Career Center.

Selective Admission

Students who wish to study accounting at NDSU enroll as pre-accounting majors in the College of Business for their freshman and sophomore years. Pre-accounting majors apply for admission to the professional program during their second year. Transfer students with sufficient credits and appropriate course work also may apply. Admission to the professional program requires the successful completion of the pre-accounting requirements, a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and junior standing.

Sample Curriculum

General EducationCredits
First Year Experience
  BUSN 189 - Skills For Academic Success                        1
  COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
  ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II3, 3
  ENGL 320 - Business and Professional Writing3
Quantitative Reasoning
  STAT 330 - Introductory Statistics 3
Science & Technology
  CSCI 116 - Business Use of Computers4
  Science and Technology Electives6
Humanities & Fine Arts
  PHIL 216 - Business Ethics3
  Humanities & Fine Arts Elective3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
  ECON 201 - Principles of Microeconomics3
  ECON 202 - Principles of Macroeconomics3
Cultural Diversity-
Global Perspective
   ECON 201 - Principles of Microeconomics or
     ECON 202 - Principles of Macroeconomics

Pre-Professional RequirementsCredits
ACCT 200 - Elementary of Accounting I3
ACCT 201 - Elementary of Accounting II3
MATH 103 - College Algebra3
MATH 144 - Mathematics of Business 4
PSYC 111 - Introduction to Psychology3
STAT 331 - Regression Analysis 2
Professional RequirementsCredits
ACCT 311, 312 - Intermediate Accounting I and II4, 4
ACCT 318 - Taxation in Management Decisions or
   ACCT 418 - Tax Accounting I

ACCT 320 - Cost Management Systems 3
ACCT 420 - Accounting Information Systems3
ACCT 421 - Auditing I3
BUSN 430 - Legal and Social Environment of Business3
BUSN 489 - Strategic Management (Capstone Course)4
FIN 320 - Principles of Finance3
MGMT 320 - Foundations of Management3
MRKT 320 - Foundations of Marketing3
MIS 320 - Management Information Systems3
Accounting Practicum3
300-400 Level Courses9
Degree Electives10

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Barry Hall
Room 200

Barry Hall is located in downtown Fargo at 811 2nd Ave. N. (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Accounting, Finance and Information Systems
North Dakota State University
Barry Hall Room 200
Dept #2410, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-5845 / Fax: (701) 231-6545

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230 PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:57:41 PM