Credits and costs
Online AACSB–Accredited Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Earn a credentialed degree that sets you apart from the competition. Penn State's online Bachelor of Science in Accounting, offered through World Campus in partnership with Penn State Harrisburg, is one of only a few AACSB–accredited programs available online, an honor reserved for the top 5% of business schools worldwide. Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to help you prepare for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam or to pursue another certification, including:
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
- Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
- Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
- Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
This program can start you on the path to graduate school or help you pursue an accounting career in public accounting, industry, government, or the not-for-profit sector.
Your Online Accounting Courses
The B.S. in Accounting curriculum is both comprehensive and diverse, giving you an appreciation of how the discipline of accounting intersects with other areas of business. You will complete business-focused course work on topics like finance, business strategy, business law, marketing, and supply chain management. In later semesters, you will refine your studies by taking accounting courses specific to your career aspirations.
Upon graduation, you should be able to:
- demonstrate competence across a variety of accounting disciplines, including the preparation of financial accounting information, cost accounting, tax accounting, and auditing
- effectively evaluate the impact and implications of relevant business functions and develop an integrative, interdisciplinary appreciation of business situations, problems, and solutions
- think critically, communicate effectively, and conduct business in an ethically and socially responsible manner
Preparing for the CPA Exam
There are multiple paths to achieving the requirements to sit for the CPA exam and become certified. These requirements vary somewhat from state to state. Please consult your state's licensing requirements and consult [email protected] to select a path that is right for you. Learn more about CPA regulations by state.
The Penn State Difference
As an expert in adult learning online, Penn State World Campus provides you with exceptional flexibility and support to study when and where it suits you. From online tutoring to career advising, you will receive the tools and skills you need to secure a better job for yourself. You will also acquire the relevant work-related skills to become an accounting generalist while pursuing electives that support your specific career goals.
The B.S. in Accounting from Penn State World Campus, renowned for excellence and its vast alumni network, can help open doors for you in the highly competitive business world.
The Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree requires you to successfully complete a minimum of 120 credits. The number of credits you will have to take will vary if you transfer courses into the degree program. Once you are admitted into the degree program, an assigned academic adviser will help you with remaining requirements.
Prescribed courses cover a wide range of accounting topics, including:
- financial accounting
- managerial and cost accounting
- federal income taxes
- governmental and not-for-profit accounting
- accounting information systems
Prescribed Courses (55 credits)
Additional Courses (select 18 credits)
Additional Courses - Group 1 (12 credits)
Additional Courses - Group 2 (6 credits)
Supporting Courses and Related Areas (6 credits)
Select 6 credits of 200- to 400–level business courses from: ACCTG, BA, ECON, FIN, MGMT, MIS, MKTG, or SCM. A letter grade of C or higher is required for all ACCTG courses. You are encouraged to work with your adviser to identify the appropriate supporting courses.
General Education Requirements
Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
- Integrative Studies: 6 credits
This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.
If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.
Costs and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||If you have 59 or fewer credits||If you have 60 or more credits|
|11 or fewer||$620 per credit||$664 per credit|
|12 or more||$7,527 per semester||$8,125 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
How to Apply
Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Fall Deadline: Apply by June 30 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by October 31 to start January 8
- Summer Deadline: Apply by March 15, 2024, to start May 13, 2024
New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.
Thank you for your interest in applying to this program. Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.
To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate or have completed your GED.
Entry to the Accounting major requires the completion of eight entry-to-major courses: ACCTG 211(4)*; ECON 102 GS(3); ENGL 015 GWS(3)* or ENGL 030 GWS(3) *; FIN 301(3); MATH 110 GQ(4) * or MATH 140 GQ(4) *; MGMT 301(3); MKTG 301(3); SCM 200 GQ(4) * or STAT 200 GQ(4) *; and a 2.00 or higher cumulative grade-point average.
*A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better.
For students transferring directly into the major:
- Completion of 27.1 credits or higher
- Cumulative grade point average of 2.50 or higher and completion of eight entry-to-major courses with a grade of C or better in each course: ACCTG 211, ECON 102, ENGL 015 or ENGL 030, FIN 301, MATH 110 or MATH 140, MGMT 301, MKTG 301, SCM 200 or STAT 200 or their equivalents.
- Note: A current Penn State student needs a grade-point average of 2.0 or higher to enter the major.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need the following items to complete your application:
High school transcripts or GED transcript — First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR). Official high school transcripts will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.
Official college or university transcripts, if you attended another institution, and/or official military transcripts (if applicable) — All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.
Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please send your transcripts by mail or electronically through Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where coursework was attempted.
Submit official documents by mail to:
Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Start Your Application
Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.
If this is your first time applying to Penn State, you'll need to complete the following steps:
- Review the application instructions before beginning.
- Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
- Pay the application fee.
If you have previously taken undergraduate accounting courses and have questions about which World Campus courses to enroll in to sit for the CPA exam, please send your questions and unofficial transcript to [email protected]. If you already know which courses to take and/or do NOT require advice, you may sign up for your courses directly. To do so, simply complete a nondegree enrollment form and course registration form. Scan and email your completed documents to [email protected]. Please note that because of course controls, you may not be able to schedule classes until close to the start of the semester. You may also need to complete additional courses in order to meet the prerequisite for each class.
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form and choosing "MyPennState — Check Application Status." Your decision letter (confirming your acceptance or denial) will be mailed four to six weeks after receipt of all application materials. An admissions counselor will contact you if additional information is required.
Review the technical requirements for this degree program.
Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.
Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?
Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
You can take the knowledge gained from this program and pursue careers in a variety of fields depending on your goals.
Professional Licensure / Certification
Professional Licensure / Certification
Qualify for a CPA certificate and license to practice public accounting.
To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Accounting offered in partnership with the Penn State Harrisburg School of Business Administration, or to check the status of your application, please contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Email: [email protected]
For questions about the program curriculum, contact:
Online Undergraduate Accounting Programs
Email: [email protected]
Thomas T. Amlie
DegreePh.D., Accounting, University of Maryland
DegreeMBA, University of Maryland
Dr. Thomas T. Amlie's teaching interests are in the area of financial accounting and reporting. His research interests center on the proper disclosure of accounting information, the assumptions underlying that accounting information, and the effects of those assumptions on business decisions and reporting.
DegreePh.D., Strategic Management, Fox School of Business and Management, Temple University
DegreeMBA, Management, Lehigh University
DegreeB.A., History, Saint Joseph's University
Dr. Richard Brown joined the Penn State faculty in August of 2013. From 1997 to 2006, he was an entrepreneur, founding and managing several Philadelphia-based real estate development firms. Dr. Brown was the recipient of the 2013–14 Beta Gamma Sigma Professor of the Year Award at Penn State Harrisburg's School of Business Administration.
DegreePh.D., Accounting, University of Mississippi
DegreeM.S., Accounting, Louisiana State University
DegreeB.S., Accounting, Mississippi State University
Dr. Thomas Buttross joined the Penn State faculty in summer of 2000, in the area of managerial and cost accounting. He has public accounting and prior teaching experience. Dr. Buttross is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant. He has published articles in various journals, including Strategic Finance, Management Accounting, Journal of Costs Management, and Journal of Accountancy.