The accounting major provides a student with the foundation to excel as a certified public accountant, internal auditor, financial manager, controller, and consultant. Tools and techniques of planning, control, and decision analysis (including computer applications) are developed in broad areas such as financial and managerial accounting, taxes, consulting, cost analysis, computer auditing, and accounting systems.

Every significant transaction in today's world requires assessing employment of money and materials. Accountants suggest the best way to manage resources or monitor and report on an organization's financial well being. Career possibilities include corporate accountant, auditor, controller, consultant, tax advisor or systems expert.

Our Mission is to

  • Serve our students, the accounting profession, academia, and other stakeholders through nationally recognized leadership in all aspects of scholarship, with an emphasis on discipline-based research.
  • Provide meaningful learning experiences that engage the highest quality faculty and students who will be entering the accounting profession or the accounting academy and support the development of business professionals.
  • Provide leadership and service to the academic community and policy-making bodies.

Related Student Organizations

Beta Alpha Psi
Institute of Management Accountants
National Association of Black Accountants

Students wishing to pursue this major must be admitted to the School of Business. Once admitted, students are able to pursue any business major they choose. To find out more about the school's admissions process for undergraduate students, please see Entering the School.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

School of Business Requirements

The Wisconsin Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program is based on a broad educational foundation combined with courses in business and economics. This curriculum is designed for those students who wish to prepare for careers in business. Students completing any School of Business major are required to satisfy a common set of Pre-Business Requirements, Liberal Studies Requirements, Business Preparatory Requirement, Business Core Requirement, Business Breadth Requirement, and Credits for BBA Degree.

School of Business BBA Requirements
Complete requirements:
Liberal Studies
Business Prep
Business Core
Business Breadth

 Accounting Major Requirements

The accounting major is a total of 24 credits, distributed as follows:

GEN BUS 302 Business Organizations and Negotiable Instruments3
ACCT I S 301 Financial Reporting I3
ACCT I S 302 Financial Reporting II3
ACCT I S 310 Cost Management Systems.3
ACCT I S 340 Accounting Systems3
ACCT I S 406 Advanced Financial Reporting 13
ACCT I S 620 Fundamentals of Taxation3
ACCT I S 630 Audit and Assurance Services3
Accounting majors must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in business and econ courses every semester
Accounting majors must take a minimum of 18 credits of ACCT I S courses at the 301 level or higher at UW-Madison
Total Credits24

Students admitted to the Integrated Master's of Accountancy (IMAcc) Program who complete a spring semester internship must complete ACCT I S 600 and ACCT I S 601 instead of ACCT I S 406. IMAcc students who complete a summer internship will still be responsible for completing ACCT I S 406 as part of the undergraduate degree requirements and will not enroll in ACCT I S 600 and ACCT I S 601.

Recommended Electives1

ACCT I S 603 Financial Statement Analysis3
ACCT I S 621 Corporate and Advanced Taxation3
The following courses are recommended as program electives outside of accounting. The student is encouraged to elect as many as a program will permit.
FINANCE/​ECON  320 Investment Theory3
FINANCE 325 Corporation Finance3
INFO SYS/​COMP SCI  371 Technology of Computer-Based Business Systems3
INFO SYS 424 Analysis and Design of Computer-Based Systems3
OTM 654 Production Planning and Control3
REAL EST/​A A E/​ECON/​URB R PL  306 The Real Estate Process3
R M I 300 Principles of Risk Management3

Students who are interested in sitting for the CPA Exam may consider taking 1–2 extra accounting courses, as CPA requirements vary from state to state. Learn more about the CPA.

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Students will understand the conceptual and technical knowledge foundations of financial accounting, managerial accounting, taxation, business law, and auditing.
  2. Students will apply Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) (and relevant assumptions, principles, and constraints) to prepare financial statements.
  3. Students will understand that management accounting and control systems, providing financial and non-financial performance information, are integral to the successful design and implementation of an organizational strategy.
  4. Students will interpret and validate business events and transactions through the lens of business processes and systems.
  5. Students will demonstrate technical competence in income taxation of individuals, partnerships, corporations, and international organizations.
  6. Students will identify the legal implications of their choices and how the law impacts their interactions with others in a business setting.
  7. Students will explain how to complete an audit from beginning to end, applying auditing standards, assessing risk, and gathering evidence.
  8. Graduates will understand how earning trust and demonstrating integrity as successful accounting professionals impact business, contracts, and capital markets, as well as society at large.
  9. Graduates will understand that leadership in the field of accounting is the consistent display and communication of respect, trust, expertise and adaptability within various business relationships and contexts.
  10. Students will engage in effective written communication practices by crafting professional memos and reports that integrate research and analysis skills, technical information, and expert writing proficiency.
  11. Students will understand how accounting is a global practice requiring knowledge of national and international standards, the examination of sociocultural impacts within business contexts, and the ability to leverage the advantages that diversity brings to an organization.


Meet the academic and career advisors for Accounting.

Ariel Sorenson
Academic Advisor

Please visit the advising page for information on advising and appointments.

Students may direct questions about the IMAcc program to Kristen Fuhremann (, the director of the program, or their academic or career advisor.


Accounting is the development and use of a system for recording and analyzing the financial transactions and financial status of an organization. Accountants are responsible for the record-keeping methods involved in making a financial record of business transactions and in the preparation of statements concerning the assets, liabilities, and operating results of a business.

Find out more about common industries for accounting and essential skills needed on the BBA Accounting website.

Accounting Faculty and Staff

Lindsay G. Acker
Lecturer, BBA, MS

Dereck Barr-Pulliam, BBA, MS, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Mark Covaleski, BS, MBA, Ph.D.

Russell Epp, BA

Kristen Fuhremann, BBA, MA
Faculty Associate

Fabio Gaertner, BS, MS, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Tony Greig
Senior Lecturer

Emily Griffith, BBA, MS, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Karla Johnstone, BBA, MS, Ph.D.

Stacie Laplante, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Thomas Linsmeier, BBA, MBA, Ph.D.

Dan Lynch, BS, MS, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Ella Mae Matsumura, BA, MS, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of  the Full-Time MBA Program
Director of the Beyer Center

Brian Mayhew, BBA, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the Arthur Andersen Center for Financial Reporting and Control

Robert J. Misey Jr.

Raghavan Nair, BA, MA, MBA, Ph.D.

Ann O'Brien, BS, MBA
Senior Lecturer

Logan Steele, BA, MBA, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Alan Talarczyk, BBA, JD
Senior Lecturer

Tyler Thomas, BA, MBA, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Terry Warfield, BS, MBA, Ph.D.
Department Chair of Accounting & Information Systems

John Wild, BBA, MS, Ph.D.

Certified public accountant (CPA)

The state of Wisconsin and most other states have passed legislation mandating that candidates sitting for the CPA exam must have completed a 150-credit-hour program including at least the equivalent of an undergraduate major in accounting. Three advanced degree options for completing these requirements exist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. They are:

  1. The IMAcc (Integrated Master’s of Accountancy) program leads to a BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) with an accounting major and a Master of Accountancy degree. The BBA is 120 credits and the MAcc is 30 credits in this program. Students who are majoring in accounting apply for admission to this program during the spring semester of their junior year. Those who are admitted to the IMAcc program must complete a required internship during the spring semester of their senior year. Students are encouraged to take the GMAT exam during the first semester of their senior year.
  2. The BBA degree with an accounting major and an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree. The BBA degree is 120 credits and the MBA is a minimum of 36 credits resulting in a total of 156 credits. There is no accounting specialization track in the MBA, so graduate students must major in another area of business. Students can also satisfy the 150 credit hour requirement by completing the BBA degree with a major in accounting and 30 additional college credits in any area, including a second undergraduate major. 
  3. Any undergraduate degree with a MAcc degree. The graduate-only master's of accountancy degree program (GMAcc) does not require an undergraduate major in accounting or in business. There are 56 credits in this program, completed over two years. Students admitted to this program are required to complete an internship during the summer between the first and second years. The GMAT exam is required for admission.

Please consult the Department of Accounting and Information Systems for additional information.