Three students in an empty lecture hall looking intently at a computer screen

The undergraduate certificate in accounting provides students the opportunity to develop additional expertise in accounting without having to pursue a double major.  This certificate is available to all undergraduate students enrolled in the School of Business, with the exception of those students majoring in accounting.  This certificate allows for a lot of flexibility so that students can customize their coursework to best complement their current business major.  Students who complete this certificate would be prime candidates to continue their study in the one-year MAcc program, which will expand potential career opportunities.

How to Get in

To declare this certificate, students must be admitted to UW–Madison and the School of Business (WSB). To find out more about the school's admissions process for undergraduate students, please see Entering the School.  Contact the Wisconsin BBA Advising Center listed under the Advising and Careers tab for more information or to declare the certificate.

Students may not earn this certificate in conjunction with a BBA in Accounting.


A minimum 2.5 GPA must be earned on all course work applied to meet the requirements of the certificate program.  At least 50% of the certificate credits must be earned in residence at UW-Madison as a degree-seeking undergraduate.  Completion of this certificate satisfies one of the business breadth courses needed for the BBA.  

ACCT I S 301 Financial Reporting I3
ACCT I S Electives9
These electives can include any courses numbered ACCT I S 302 through ACCT I S 699
Total Credits12

 Certificate Completion Requirement

This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the proper presentation, measurement, and reporting financial statement elements and transactions, and the use of financial statement information for analysis purposes.
  2. Understand that financial and nonfinancial information serves numerous purposes in an organization, especially in relation to facilitating and influencing decisions.
  3. Document, evaluate, and recommend improvements to basic accounting information systems used to control processes and communicate information to be used in financial reporting.
  4. Understand the objective of taxes applicable at the federal level, and apply a framework for integrating income tax planning into accounting and business transactions as a foundation for structuring tax efficient business transactions.
  5. Gain technical knowledge about how to perform a high-quality audit, and gain familiarity with how independence, objectivity, professional skepticism, and ethical behavior contribute to a high-quality.

Advising and Careers


Advising is an integral part of any student’s educational journey in the School of Business Undergraduate Program. Starting at Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR), we encourage all students to connect with academic advisors. Business academic advisors have a wealth of knowledge about courses on campus, as well as policies and procedures.

Business career coaches help students with career exploration, internships, resumes, job search, interviewing, and more. We encourage students to connect with their career coach once they arrive on campus.

Business academic advisors and career coaches are passionate about student success. Students experiencing academic difficulty or personal struggles are encouraged to talk to their advisor about how their individual situation may affect their academic performance.

Assigned Academic and Career Coaches

Admitted business students will have one assigned academic advisor. Career coaches are assigned by academic major to be able to provide industry-specific career guidance. If a student has more than one major, they may have more than one assigned career coach. Students can find their assigned advisor and coach by logging into the Starfish portal through MyUW.

For students not yet admitted to the School of Business, there is a team of pre-business advisors available.

Accessing Advising

Drop-in advising and scheduled appointments are available for admitted business students. Pre-business students may also schedule an appointment with a pre-business academic advisor or utilize drop-in academic advising. 

For more information on accessing academic advising, please see our Academic Advising page.

For more information on accessing career coaching, please see our Career Coaching page.

Students may direct questions about the graduate programs to Katharine Widlak (, director of the master's programs, or their academic or career advisor.


The most common career paths in accounting include public and corporate accounting.

Public accountants work with clients to review or prepare financial documents. All areas of public accounting work together to inspect control processes and determine accuracy of financial information and compliance with laws, regulations, and generally accepted accounting principles. They make recommendations regarding business decisions and company finances. Public accounting includes audit/assurance and tax.

Corporate accountants manage an organization’s financials and provide expertise in financial reporting and control to assist management in forming and implementing business strategy. Corporate accounting is a broad term that can include many different functions, such as management accounting, internal audit, and financial analysis.

More information on Career Pathways.


For more information about the faculty and their research interests, please visit the directory.