Business Accounting

Your passion for numbers can add up to a dream career

Prepare for a job you’ll love as you study financial and managerial accounting, systems and controls, and auditing and taxation.

Penn State Shenango’s Business Accounting major will guide you through the breadth and depth of knowledge necessary to pursue the abundant career opportunities in accounting and financial analysis.

Through this program, you will be prepared to pursue professional certifications as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) or the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) credentials, as well as graduate studies in accounting or other business fields.

You’ll love the Business Accounting major option if…

  • You want to become a flexible finance professional who’s equipped to adapt to the ever-changing workplace of the future
  • You are interested in an academic challenge with theoretical and practical focus in a competitive yet collaborative learning environment
  • You want transferable skills in the business sector
  • Developing a broad knowledge of business operations interests you

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Business Accounting career opportunities

With a Business Accounting degree, you can work in any industry and across a variety of roles. Pursue an accounting career in public accounting, industry, government, or the not-for-profit sector. The field is diverse and offers students the opportunity to be generalists or specialist with a median income of $73,560, more than $20,000 above the national average.

In addition, earning your Business degree at Penn State can lead to a master's or doctoral business-related degree, such as a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

Corporate control and financial management

Courses in this Accounting concentration prepare you for financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support. Students can obtain designations like the Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Management accountants provide forecasts, compute costs and benefits, perform variance analysis, and review and monitor performance, while managerial accountants design systems that provide information to decision makers.

Internal auditing and assessment

Internal auditors are employed by the organization they audit, providing a systematic approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of risk management, control, compliance, and governance processes. Students can obtain such designations as Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) in this line of work.

Public accounting

Public accounting is carried on by independent practitioners, most of whom are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). In addition to statutory audits, CPAs provide tax and management advisory services. To be licensed as a CPA in nearly every state, including Pennsylvania, students must complete 150 credit-hours of education, pass a demanding professional examination, and meet certain experience requirements.

Continuing your education

Earning your Business degree at Penn State can lead to a master's or doctoral business-related degree, such as a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

Business accounting student studies with friend on campus

What to expect in the Business Accounting major option

Penn State’s Bachelor of Science in Business is a professionally-oriented business degree program that combines the core business disciplines of management, marketing, finance, and supply chain management, with applied study in a practical setting. This Business degree offers a range of “options” or areas of concentration, such as Accounting.

Accountants develop and interpret financial data required for decision-making by managers, investors, regulators, and other stakeholders. Because of the working relationships with other parts of the organization, the accountant is in a unique position to develop a broad business perspective.

Through the choice of an 18-credit Accounting concentration, you will specialize in this high-demand business sector through specific coursework and internship experiences. Shenango’s Business major also offers areas of concentration in Marketing and Management, and a customizable Individualized option.

Graduating with a Penn State Business degree offers you endless career options, while the accounting area of focus uniquely positions you to have a competitive edge when entering the accounting field.

“$3,000 for your 3.0 GPA” scholarship program

Penn State Shenango believes you should be rewarded for your academic achievements. Inspired by a high campus average GPA, our signature scholarship program has expanded into a tiered system that can net you up to $5,000 in awards. Find out how much your grade-point average can earn you.

Teachings with roots in innovation

Penn State’s University-wide Invent Penn State initiative brings innovative and entrepreneurial resources to every campus, giving you the resources to think creatively in classes and the inspiration to pursue your passions. With expert faculty and the VenturePointe Innovation Hub, we’re excited to help you achieve your daydream.

We are Penn State

At the end of your program, be prepared to hit the ground running with a diploma identical to one earned by a student at the Penn State University Park campus. With one of the most recognized names across the globe, Penn State Shenango gives you the opportunity to earn a respected degree close to home.

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Business Accounting major option courses

Review the full Business course listing for additional requirements and a sample of the program’s structure.

Managerial Accounting: Economic Perspective

This course emphasizes the use of accounting information for internal purposes as opposed to the external disclosure focus of the financial accounting course.

Principles of Taxation I

The objective of the course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the concepts, terminology, and decision-making skills specific to the discipline of taxation that are germane to the professional development of those preparing for a career in accounting.

Intermediate Financial Accounting

This 2-part course provides students with an understanding of generally accepted accounting principles and procedures so that they properly account for and present information in financial statements prepared for external users.


Dive into the topics of financial compliance, internal and operational audits, standards and procedures, electronic data processing auditing, and professional issues.

Business accounting alum speaking at graduation ceremony

Gain Business Accounting experience before you graduate

Our Business Accounting program is designed for you to complete an internship in your senior year that facilitates the application of your classroom learning in a field setting.

This opportunity is designed to provide students with firsthand experience with both challenges and rewards of the business professional in our local communities, a design that sets the major apart from other business programs in the region.

Business majors have completed internships in a variety of businesses and organizations related to:

  • Amusement and entertainment
  • Business associations
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Community organizations
  • Manufacturing
  • Technology
  • Transportation and business logistics

Smeal Conditional Early Acceptance Program

Are you interested in partnering with the Penn State Smeal College of Business to pursue a master's degree in Accounting or Taxation?

Smeal's Conditional Early Acceptance (CEA) program is a two-year pathway to earning an accounting-related graduate degree immediately following your post-baccalaureate studies. The program does not require a deposit and is open to Penn State undergraduates who are currently in their junior year and are majoring in accounting at University Park or another Penn State campus.

Learn More About The Conditional Early Acceptance Program

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