Accounting is a term used to describe the process of gathering financial information and presenting it in a manner that will help users of that information make better decisions. Accountants are also frequently called upon to analyze financial information and provide important business advice.

The terms and definitions that have emerged from the discipline of accounting have become widely-used within industry. In fact, accounting is commonly described as the "language of business." Over the years, with the increased use of automation, the role of accountants has changed dramatically. Formerly regarded as simply number-crunchers, accountants have become recognized as valued business advisors and are important members of an organization's management team.

Major Curriculum


CourseCreditsTitle & Additional Information
ACCT 51014Intermediate Accounting I (prereq: B- or better in ACCT 2050 or passing ACCT 5101 pretest (68.65 KB))
ACCT 5102W4Intermediate Accounting II (prereq: ACCT 5101)
ACCT 51254Auditing Principles and Procedures (prereq: ACCT 5101)
ACCT 51354Fundamentals of Federal Income Tax (prereq: ACCT 2050)
ACCT 32012Intermediate Management Accounting (prereq: ACCT 3001)
BLAW 30584The Law of Contracts and Agency (prereq: 40 or more credits)
ACCT 31501

The Role of the Accountant in Today's Finance Function

*This course is required of all students who entered the school in Fall 2012 or later, and is recommended as an elective course to all currently enrolled accounting students. 


CourseCreditsTitle & Additional Information
ACCT 51262Internal Auditing (prereq: ACCT 5101)
ACCT 51602Financial Statement Analysis (Capstone) (prereq: ACCT 5101 or 5100)
ACCT 51802Consolidations and Advanced Reporting (spring only) (prereq: ACCT 5102W)
ACCT 52362Introduction to Taxation of Business Entities (prereq: ACCT 5135)
ACCT 52812Special Topics in Financial Reporting
ACCT 53102International Accounting (prereq: ACCT 5102W or concurrent)
ACCT 53202Current Topics in Accounting
IDSC 44112Accounting Information Systems and IT Governance (prereq: IDSC 3001)

Please note that all classes are not offered every semester. Please check the class schedule on OneStop for details.

Minor Curriculum


CourseCreditsTitle & Additional Information
ACCT 51014Intermediate Accounting I (prereq: B– or better in ACCT 2050 or passing ACCT 5101 pretest (68.65 KB))
ACCT 5102W4Intermediate Accounting II (prereq–ACCT 5101)



CourseCreditsTitle & Additional Information
ACCT 32012Intermediate Management Accounting
ACCT 51262Internal Auditing
ACCT 51354Fundamentals of Federal Income Tax
ACCT 51602Financial Statement Analysis (Capstone)
ACCT 51802Consolidations and Advanced Reporting
ACCT 52812Special Topics in Financial Reporting
ACCT 53102International Accounting



Accountants play an important role in every type of organization, large and small, profit and non-profit. Accountants often perform a range of activities from creating and analyzing balance sheets to evaluating a company's efficiency and profitability. Accountants often initially pursue one of two career paths: auditing or tax. Those in the auditing field work with a team to perform audits for both publicly and privately held companies. Those in the tax industry may be preparing tax forms for individuals, estates, trusts, corporations, and partnerships. A major aspect of accounting that has received a lot of attention in the past decade is understanding the compliance requirements enforced by the government. The use of accounting information systems has also become a vital part of the career in recent years.

Careers for Accounting Majors

Companies that Hire Accountants

Specializations and Common Job titles

  • Audit

  • Financial Forensics

    • Track down and help avoid accounting crime

    • Overview

  • Information Technology

    • Translate accounting into technology

    • Overview

  • Personal Financial Planning

    • Improve lives through hands-on accounting help

    • Overview

  • Tax

  • Business Valuation

    • Be an authority on what businesses are worth

    • Overview

More Resources

A Career in Accounting

Professional Associations

National Association of Tax Professionals

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants


Two optional internship opportunities are available for credit in the accounting program:

  • ACCT 3199 - Internship in Public Accounting (2 credits)
  • ACCT 3299 - Internship in Management Accounting (2 credits)

The accounting internships require full-time work, and provide an opportunity to apply accounting concepts and methods, and gain experience that can help in making career decisions. The public accounting internship emphasizes auditing and taxation. The management accounting internship involves developing cost data for specific projects, reviewing accounting procedures, and evaluating and operating some phase of an accounting system. Students may contact the instructor for permission to enroll in the course after securing an internship opportunity. These courses may not be used to meet accounting major requirements.


The fall 2015 application is now available! Apply through the University of Minnesota Office of Admissions website.

Student Organizations

CPA Information

For authoritative guidance relating to the Minnesota requirements to sit for the CPA Exam, please contact CPA Examination Services (CPAES) which is a division of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). The NASBA Minnesota Coordinator is Jeremy Miller. Jeremy can be reached by phone at 1-800-272-3926, or 615-880-4278, or by email at Additional information: