Degree type(s): Bachelor's; Minor
Degree field(s): Business & Finance
Location(s): Main Campus; Billings, MT; Fargo, ND; Grand Forks AFB, ND; Watford City, ND
Program offerings by location and modality are subject to change.

Accounting Bachelor's Degree Program

Four year degree; Bachelor of Science (BS)

In the Accounting Bachelor of Science program at the University of Mary, you will explore a wide range of business disciplines and learn to apply common accounting principles for different industries. Accounting courses cover topics such as IRS regulations, audit standards, and SEC reporting requirements.

The Accounting program at the University of Mary offers an accelerated curriculum designed to enable students to begin their MBA-accountancy program and prepare for the Certified Public Account (CPA) exam in less time than traditional programs at other universities. Graduates of the bachelor’s in accounting program will also learn how to incorporate servant leadership into their everyday lives as business professionals, through a curriculum infused with Christian, Catholic, Benedictine values.

The Accounting program is offered as a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Mary’s Gary Tharaldson School of Business, located on our main campus in Bismarck, North Dakota. You can also complete your accounting degree via evening or online classes.

Accounting Degree Program Highlights

A typical bachelor's degree in accounting requires 124 semester hours. Accounting students who wish to sit for the CPA examination must have a total of 150 semester hours of college credit, so most accounting students have to plan for a fifth year of study. The accounting curriculum at the University of Mary is designed so you can earn your bachelor’s degree in accounting and prepare for the CPA exam more efficiently:

  1. Graduate in 3.5 years

    Graduate with a bachelor's degree in accounting in three and a half years – and then begin the MBA.

  2. Prepare for Certification as a CPA

    Earn both an Accounting major and a Business Administration minor with emphasis on preparation for certification as a CPA.

  3. Earn your Master's degree

    Potentially complete your master’s degree in accounting and all or part of the CPA exam within five years.

Your accounting advisor will work with you to determine the best courses (graduate and/or undergraduate) needed to sit for the exam and achieve your individual career goals.

I liked the one-on-one, personal nature of the Accounting program at the University of Mary. The low student-to-faculty ratio allowed me to get to know my professors and peers and build relationships that have lasted to the present day. Relationships, such as these, have led to opportunities to share my story and build my public speaking skills by presenting to current Mary classes. I recommend this degree because accounting is a career that is always growing and has many types of jobs available in the private and public setting. Without my education, I wouldn't be able to have the career I have today as a CPA." 

Tahnee Magnus
Tahnee Magnus, Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Class of 2008

Career Outlook for Accounting Majors

In general, employment growth of accountants and auditors is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy. As the economy grows, more workers should be needed to prepare and examine financial records. The median annual wage for accountants and auditors was $70,500 in May 2018.

Accountants who have earned professional recognition, especially as a CPA, should have the best career prospects. Job applicants who have a master’s degree in accounting or a master’s degree in business with a concentration in accounting also may have an advantage.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook HandbookAccountants


For a list of courses for the Loading..., please visit the catalog.

Acceptance at the University of Mary does not automatically qualify you to pursue a program in one of the academic programs of study. Application requirements are specific to each major or academic program.

We recommend consulting your advisor for details. Applications are reviewed by the faculty members of the program. You will be notified that you have been admitted, admitted provisionally, or denied admission to the program.


How long does it take to earn a bachelor’s degree in Accounting?

Students at the University of Mary are able to earn their bachelor’s degree in Accounting in as few as three years. However, many students work with their advisors to create a plan to earn the 150 semester hours needed to sit for the CPA exam.

Can I sit for the CPA examination after earning my bachelor’s degree in Accounting?

A typical bachelor's degree requires 124 semester hours. Accounting students who wish to sit for the CPA examination must have a total of 150 semester hours of college credit. Our accounting curriculum is designed so you can earn your bachelor’s degree and prepare for the CPA exam. State requirements vary, so you will work with your advisor to determine the best courses and plan. Some students graduate with a bachelor's degree in accounting in three to four years and then begin their MBA, while others earn an Accounting major and choose a second major or minors at the undergraduate level.

Do I have to become a CPA after earning my bachelor’s degree in Accounting?

The simple answer is no. There are many jobs for people with accounting degrees that do not require the CPA designation. However, CPA licensure is required in some areas of accounting and will increase the number of career opportunities and salary potential for an individual with an accounting major. Yes, it is a difficult exam to pass after you complete your college courses, but the rewards are great! The CPA designation grants instant credibility in all areas of accounting and business.

Has technology and Artificial Intelligence reduced the need for accountants?

Not at all. Technology has helped with the more routine aspects of accountants’ responsibilities, but with technology, accountants’ skills and expertise go even further! Accountants are important members of the management team who offer unique insights into the financial records of an organization. Keen analytical skills and great communication skills are needed and are very much in demand for accountants in industry, government, and public accounting.