The undergraduate certificate in accounting fundamentals provides non-business students the opportunity to gain accounting knowledge and skills that are fundamental for many careers, but especially for wealth management, financial planning, corporate finance, and other finance-related careers. This certificate allows for a lot of flexibility so that students can customize their coursework to best align with their career interests. Students who complete the certificate would be prime candidates to continue their study in an accounting graduate program, which will expand potential career opportunities.

How to Get in

The certificate is open to undergraduates declared in a major outside of the School of Business who are in good academic standing. Students declared in a major in the School of Business are not eligible for the certificate. To declare the certificate, go to the Academic Forms page and complete the Business Major and Certificate Declaration form.


ACCT I S 100 Introductory Financial Accounting3
ACCT I S 211 Introductory Managerial Accounting3
ACCT I S 301 Financial Reporting I3
FINANCE/​ECON  300 Introduction to Finance3
Total Credits12

A minimum 2.0 GPA must be earned on all course work used to meet the requirements (12 credits) of the certificate program.  All certificate credits must be earned in residence at UW-Madison. 

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. Articulate Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) (and relevant assumptions, principles, and constraints) utilized to prepare financial statements.
  2. Describe management accounting and control systems and their role in the implementation of an organizational strategy.
  3. Describe conceptual and quantitative tools that are the foundation of corporate finance.

Advising and Careers

Students who have declared the Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals will be assigned to the Business Certificate Advising Committee.