Three students smiling as they work collaboratively

By pursuing the accounting major, you will develop strong technical and professional skills to succeed in a dynamic profession. Learn how emerging technologies are changing the landscape of business and gain an appreciation for the global and diverse nature of a career path in accounting.

Topics, skills, and concepts:

  •  Financial and managerial accounting, cost accounting, accounting systems, emerging technologies, taxation, audit and advisory services.
  • Evaluate the economic transactions on which businesses are built, and organize and reporting the impact of those transactions. Learn to evaluate the tax impact of business decisions.
  • Critical analysis, group dynamics, problem solving, and communication skills.

Related Student Organizations

Beta Alpha Psi
Institute of Management Accountants
Women in Finance and Accounting

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 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. 

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. Understand the conceptual and technical knowledge foundations of financial accounting, managerial accounting, taxation, business law, and auditing.
  2. Apply Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) (and relevant assumptions, principles, and constraints) to prepare financial statements.
  3. 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. Interpret and validate business events and transactions through the lens of business processes and systems.
  5. Demonstrate technical competence in income taxation of individuals, partnerships, corporations, and international organizations.
  6. Identify the legal implications of their choices and how the law impacts their interactions with others in a business setting.
  7. Explain how to complete an audit from beginning to end, applying auditing standards, assessing risk, and gathering evidence.
  8. Understand how earning trust and demonstrating integrity as successful accounting professionals impact business, contracts, and capital markets, as well as society at large.
  9. 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. 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. 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.

This page includes two sample four-year plans for students directly admitted into the School of Business from high school. The first plan represents the accounting major and the second plan represents the accounting major with the Integrated Master of Accountancy Program (IMAcc). We encourage all students to consult with their academic advisor to develop an individualized plan that meets their specific needs. 

Plan 1: Accounting Major

MATH 2115ECON 1014
GEN BUS 1061PSYCH 2023
GEN BUS 1101GEN BUS 3603
Communications A3Humanities3
Ethnic Studies3Elective3
 13 16
ACCT I S 1003ACCT I S 2113
GEN BUS 3063ACCT I S 3013
ECON 1024GEN BUS 3073
OTM 3003M H R 3003
 16 15
ACCT I S 6203ACCT I S 3103
ACCT I S 3023GEN BUS 3023
GEN BUS 3013Business Breadth3
 15 16
ACCT I S 3403ACCT I S 4063
ACCT I S 6303Business Breadth3
Science3Literature 3
Social Science3Electives5
 15 14
Total Credits 120

Students must choose one of the following courses: PHILOS 241 Introductory EthicsPHILOS 243 Ethics in BusinessPHILOS 341 Contemporary Moral IssuesPHILOS/​ENVIR ST  441 Environmental Ethics

Note: A student pursuing this plan may end up taking more credits to reach 150 total credits to be eligible to sit for the CPA exam. 

Plan 2: Accounting Major with IMAcc 

MATH 2115ECON 1014
Communications A3PSYCH 2023
GEN BUS 1061GEN BUS 3603
GEN BUS 1101Humanities3
Ethnic Studies3Elective3
 13 16
ACCT I S 1003ACCT I S 2113
GEN BUS 3063ACCT I S 3013
ECON 1023-4FINANCE/​ECON  3003
OTM 3003M H R 3003
 15-16 15
ACCT I S 3023ACCT I S 3103
ACCT I S 6203GEN BUS 3023
GEN BUS 3013Business Breadth3
 15 16
ACCT I S 3403ACCT I S 6006
ACCT I S 6303ACCT I S 6013
Social Science3 
Business Breadth3 
 15 15
Total Credits 120-121

Students must choose one of the following courses: PHILOS 241 Introductory EthicsPHILOS 243 Ethics in BusinessPHILOS 341 Contemporary Moral IssuesPHILOS/​ENVIR ST  441 Environmental Ethics



Advising is an integral part of any student’s educational journey in the Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 IMAcc program to Kristen Fuhremann (, director of the program, 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.

Accounting Faculty and Staff

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

Lindsay G. Acker, BBA, MAcc, CPA

Willie Choi, BSBA, MAcc, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor
David J. Lesar Professor in Business

Russell Epp, B.A., MPA, CPA, CISA, CFE, CIA

Ruyun (Ivy) Feng, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Kristen Fuhremann, BBA, MAcc, CPA
Faculty Associate

Fabio Gaertner, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Cynthia and Jay Ihlenfeld Professor for Inspired Learning in Business

Emily Griffith, BBA, M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Robert and Monica Beyer Professor in Accounting

Matt Griffith, CPA, CFE, CISA

Minjeong (MJ) Kim, BBA, M.S., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Stacie Laplante, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
James L. Henderson Professor

Thomas Linsmeier, BBA, MBA, Ph.D.
Thomas G. Ragatz Accounting and Law Distinguished Chair

Department Chair of Accounting and Information Systems

Dan Lynch, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Jay Price Professor in Accounting

Brian Mayhew, BBA, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Program, Wisconsin School of Business
Executive Director of the Arthur Andersen Center for Financial Reporting and Control
Arthur Andersen Alumni Professor

Robert J. Misey Jr., BBA, MBA, J.D., LL.M.

Ann O'Brien, B.S., MBA, Ph.D.
Distinguished Senior Lecturer

Vallabh Sambamurthy, B.E., MBA, Ph.D. 
Albert O. Nicholas Dean

Tyler Thomas, B.A., MBA, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Dan Wangerin, BBA, MPA, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
David J. Lesar Professor in Business

Joanna Wangerin, BBA, MPA

Terry Warfield, B.S., MBA, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Dean, Wisconsin School of Business
PwC Professor in Accounting

John Wild, BBA, M.S., Ph.D.

Karla Zehms, BBA, M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Doctoral Programs and Research
EY Professor in Accounting

Certified public accountant (CPA)

The state of Wisconsin, and most other states, mandate that candidates for the CPA license must have earned a bachelor’s or higher degree and 150 credit hours.  There are several degree options for completing these requirements at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, including:

  1. Master of Accountancy (MAcc): Students who earn the Master of Accountancy degree will meet the CPA requirements in most states.  Students can pursue the MAcc degree through different paths, including:
    1. Integrated: Undergraduate business students pursuing the accounting major in the School of Business are eligible to apply for the Integrated Master of Accountancy (IMAcc) program.  Students pursuing the IMAcc program will earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree with a major in accounting along with a MAcc degree, typically in about 5-years total.  The IMAcc program culminates with students earning a minimum of 150-credits and eligibility for the CPA exam.
    2. Stand-alone: Any student who has earned a four-year undergraduate degree, in any discipline, from an accredited institution, may pursue the MAcc program.  Students with an undergraduate major in accounting will complete a 1-year, 30-credit program.  Non-accounting business majors complete a 33-36 credit program while any students applying with a non-business undergraduate major will complete a 2-year, 54-credit program.  Upon graduation from the MAcc program, students will have a minimum of 150-credits and will be eligible for the CPA exam.
  2. Undergraduate Business Degree with Accounting Major: Students can meet the eligibility requirements for the CPA exam by completing a 120-credit BBA degree with a major in accounting along with 30-additional credits to meet the 150-credit requirement.  Students pursuing this option should carefully consider the CPA eligibility requirements in the state in which they intend to get certified as many states will require additional accounting credits beyond what is included in the BBA accounting major.  Students can earn the additional 30-credits as follows:
    1. Advanced Credits from High School: College credits earned in high school that are reflected on a student’s UW-Madison transcript may count towards the 30-additional credits for CPA eligibility.
    2. Double Major: Students may pursue an additional undergraduate major to achieve the additional 30-credits for CPA eligibility.
    3. Non-accounting Advanced Degree: Students who earn an undergraduate degree with a major in accounting and any other advanced degree (specialized masters, MBA, Law School, etc.) may be eligible for the CPA exam as long as they have 150-total credits.
    4. Undergraduate Credits: Students may earn the additional 30-credits by taking any undergraduate courses at a degree-granting institution.

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

Professional Certification/Licensure Disclosure (NC-SARA)

The United States Department of Education requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure about whether each program meets state educational requirements for initial licensure or certification. Following is this disclosure information for this program:

The requirements of this program meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:


The requirements of this program do not meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

Not applicable

The requirements of this program have not been determined if they meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming; District of Columbia; American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands


AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2026–2027.