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Professional Accounting CPA

Professional Accounting (CPA)

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Type

Emphasis

Department

School of Business

Working as a Certified Public Accountant has its benefits: proven job security, higher salaries compared to unlicensed accountants, flexibility to find work anywhere, and the satisfaction of filling an essential role for businesses.

Program Overview

Professional Accounting CPA program

Learn how to analyze a business through its finances.

The Professional Accounting program will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of accounting systems and practices through courses in Accounting Information Systems, Auditing, Accounting Ethics, Organizational Behavior and more. If you want to put your skills and knowledge to practice, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, where IRS-certified students provide free basic tax return preparation to the community.

The program is designed to meet the 150 credit requirement that you’ll need to sit for the CPA exam. With the help of the Auditing course, you’ll feel prepared to pass the exam and begin your career. As a CPA, you can work in corporate or governmental accounting, business consulting or start your own independent accounting business.

Becoming a CPA

Boost your chances at not only job security, but also upward mobility in Western’s Professional Accounting program by becoming a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

A  minimum  of  57  credits  is  required  including  18  credits  of  Tool  Courses,  the 12-credit Accounting Nucleus:

Course List
Code Title Credits
Tool Courses
ACC 201Introduction to Financial Accounting3
ACC 202Introduction to Managerial Accounting3
ECON 202Microeconomics3
Select one of the following:3-4
MATH 140
College Algebra (GT-MA1)
MATH 141
Precalculus (GT-MA1)
MATH 151
Calculus I (GT-MA1)
One of the following:3
ECON 216
Statistics for Business and Economics
MATH 213
Probability and Statistics (GT-MA1)
One of the following:3
BUAD 220
Spreadsheets and Analysis
CS 120
Professional Computer Skills
Accounting Nucleus
ACC 301Intermediate Financial Accounting I3
ACC 302Intermediate Financial Accounting II3
ACC 320Advanced Management Accounting3
ACC 350Income Tax3
Total Credits30-31

And the following:

Course List
Code Title Credits
Major Requirements
ACC 340Accounting Information Systems3
ACC 410Auditing3
ACC 450Advanced Financial Accounting3
ACC 498Accounting Ethics3
BUAD 210Legal Environment of Business3
BUAD 270Principles of Marketing3
BUAD 315Advanced Business Law3
BUAD 360Managerial Finance3
One of the following:3
BUAD 333
Organizational Behavior
BUAD 350
Human Resource Management
Total Credits27

Capstone Course Requirement

ACC 498 Accounting Ethics will fulfill the capstone requirement for the Accounting Comprehensive Major: Professional Emphasis.  

Graduation Requirements

Undergraduate programs require a minimum of 120 semester credits for graduation.  Of those 120 credits, 40 credits must be in upper-division courses (those marked 300 and above).  Fifteen of these 40 upper-division credits must be earned in courses that are part of the standard or comprehensive major program being pursued. 

Students are expected to review all graduation requirements, which can be found in the Western Undergraduate Catalog: Graduation Requirements

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
BUAD 101 Business of Life 3
ENG 102 Writing and Rhetoric I (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 140 College Algebra (GT-MA1) 3
Natural Science GE 3
Elective Elective 3
 Credits16
Spring
BUAD 220 Spreadsheets and Analysis 3
ECON 202 Microeconomics 3
ENG 103 Writing and Rhetoric II (GT-CO2) 3
Natural Science GE 3
Elective Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
ACC 201 Introduction to Financial Accounting 3
ENG 103 Writing and Rhetoric II (GT-CO2) 3
ECON 216 Statistics for Business and Economics 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
Social Science GE 3
 Credits15
Spring
ACC 202 Introduction to Managerial Accounting 3
Arts & Humanities GE 3
Natural Science GE 3
Social Science GE 3
Elective Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
ACC 301 Intermediate Financial Accounting I 3
ACC 340 Accounting Information Systems 3
Arts & Humanities GE 3
BUAD 210 Legal Environment of Business 3
BUAD 360 Managerial Finance 3
 Credits15
Spring
ACC 302 Intermediate Financial Accounting II 3
ACC 320 Advanced Management Accounting 3
BUAD 270 Principles of Marketing 3
BUAD 315 Advanced Business Law 3
Elective Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
ACC 350 Income Tax 3
ACC 410 Auditing 3
ACC 450 Advanced Financial Accounting 3
Elective Elective 6
 Credits15
Spring
ACC 415 Information Technology Auditing 3
ACC 498 Accounting Ethics 3
BUAD 333 Organizational Behavior 3
Elective Elective 6
 Credits15
 Total Credits121

Careers


Top Skills

  • Attention to Detail
  • Auditing
  • Budgeting
  • Communication
  • Risk Analysis
  • Tax Preparation



Career Pathways

  • Assurance Services Manager
  • Certified Professional Accountant (CPA)
  • Financial Analyst
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Tax Consultant
  • Tax Examiner

Take the first steps toward your academic and personal growth.

Fostering your intellectual development is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling and enriched life after graduation. Wondering how you can apply your program of choice to your intellectual and personal journey? Check out our “What Can I Do With This Major?” tool to explore the diverse opportunities and pathways within any degree program.

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 30 for 2024. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Students work on the computer

Expand your community and your network.

Western is full of opportunities to set you ahead of the pack to advance your career.

  • CPA Prep: Our auditing class is designed to prepare students for the CPA.
  • Office of Career Success: Business students have a department-specific career services professional.
  • Study Abroad: Experience Harlaxton College in the English Midlands

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Department Information

School of Business

Associate Dean

Paula Mann, CPA

Associate Dean of the School of Business, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Contact Information

970.943.2231

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Borick Business Building 223
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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