Accounting Requirements

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Accountancy (School)

The School of Accountancy is dedicated to the discovery, the interpretation, and the dissemination of knowledge to students, the profession and colleagues.

Accounting is the process of identifying, measuring, and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decisions by users of the information. Such information is required and used by parties, both internal and external to a business, a not-for-profit organization, and other entities.

The curriculum is designed with sufficient flexibility to prepare students for the many career options available to accounting graduates. Among the principal career options are public accounting (Certified Public Accountants), corporate accounting, not for profit accounting, and other business consulting or careers in finance. Illinois, and most other states requires 150 hours of college credit to sit for the CPA exam.

The curriculum consists of three segments, each designed for a specific purpose. The first segment, the University Core Curriculum, is designed to provide a solid grounding in the liberal arts and sciences, and promote analytic and imaginative abilities that are essential for a life of inquiry, creativity and informed civic participation. The second segment, the Professional Business Core, is required of all business majors. It provides a broad base of knowledge in accounting, finance, management, marketing, business law, technology, economics, communications, and math required for the professional study of accounting. The third segment, the Accounting Core, consists of essential accounting material all accounting professionals should master. Students preparing for a career in accounting will have access to separate courses in advanced accounting, accounting for public organizations, auditing, advanced cost, advanced taxation, and enterprise networks and communications. Those students preparing for a career in public accounting should also pursue a fifth year of study and the Master of Accountancy degree. Specialized courses of study in taxation and audit/systems are available.

A major in Accounting requires students to earn a minimum grade of C (a grade of C- is not sufficient) in each of the courses taken to satisfy the requirements for the Accounting major (as described below), and students must earn a minimum 2.0 grade point average for those major courses. The School of Accountancy enforces all prerequisites for Accounting prefix courses which, in some cases, include a grade of C or higher. All 300- and 400-level Accounting courses may be repeated for a grade only once. For Accounting majors and minors, Accounting courses completed more than seven calendar years prior to the current term must be repeated (excluding ACCT 208).

Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
Professional Business Core 47
Requirements for Major in Accounting. Minimum grade of C required for all classes in major area (a grade of C- is not sufficient). 30
Accounting Core 27
ACCT 321, ACCT 322, ACCT 421 9
ACCT 331, ACCT 431 6
ACCT 341, ACCT 441 6
ACCT 360, ACCT 460 6
Accounting Electives - Choose one of the following three-hour courses: ACCT 411, ACCT 465, ACCT 468, ACCT 471 or ACCT 495 3
Electives 1 4
Total 120

1 120 semester hours are required for graduation. Any additional hours of college level credit can be used to equal minimum 120 semester hours required for degree.

Online Accounting Degree Completion

The School of Accountancy offers an online delivery option for students residing outside the Carbondale community or who have work and/or family commitments that make traditional campus attendance impractical. The same curriculum requirements apply to both residential and online students.

Students enrolled in the online Accounting program are not allowed to concurrently take residential courses on campus that count toward this or another degree, without Associate Dean approval. Students enrolled in a residential degree program at SIU are not allowed to take courses in the online Accounting program, except in the specific case in which a student's graduation would be delayed because of a University-imposed time conflict between two required courses and when no other residential course option is available to fulfill that requirement - in these cases, Director of undergraduate online programs review and Associate Dean approval is required for all exceptions. Program courses are designated by 940 section numbers. Students enrolled in the online Accounting program can choose to switch enrollment from the online program to being fully enrolled in an on-campus degree program, assuming all requirements are met, but the student may only switch between programs once. Likewise, students enrolled in the residential on-campus degree program can switch to be fully enrolled in the online Accounting program, but may only switch between programs once. A student who changes enrollment between the online Accounting program and a residential program once may not be allowed to return to their original degree program in a future semester.

 Students must meet the following conditions for acceptance into the program:

  • Completed 26 semester hours of transfer work with 2.0 GPA, or higher, and
  • Completed (or in process to complete prior to program start) transfer course work for UCC/IAI core or Associate of Arts or Associate of Science, and
  • Completed (or in process to complete prior to program start) course equivalents for ACCT 220 and ACCT 230, ACCT 208/FIN 208/MGMT 208, CMST 101, ECON 240, ECON 241, ENGL 101, ENGL 102, MATH 139, MATH 140; PSYC 102 or SOC 108; or consent of the College of Business.

Students enrolled in the online Accounting degree cannot be concurrently enrolled to complete a dual degree with any other College of Business degree other than online Business and Administration. 

Accounting Minor

A minor in Accounting consists of a minimum of 15 semester hours, including ACCT 220, ACCT 230 and nine credit hours in Accounting at the 300-level or above. All prerequisites for these classes must also be satisfied. At least nine of the 15 semester hours must be taken at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. An advisor within the College of Business must be consulted before selecting this field as a minor.

A minor from the College of Business requires students to earn a minimum grade of C (a grade of C- is not sufficient) in each of the courses taken to satisfy the requirements for their minor, and students must earn a minimum 2.0 grade point average for those minor courses.

Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting

The Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting is a 30-credit certificate program for individuals who want intensive study in accounting without fulfilling all of the requirements for a bachelor's degree.  The program is ideal for individuals who already have a bachelor's degree in a non-accounting business field but need 30 credits of accounting coursework to take the CPA exam; individuals desiring entry-level accounting positions that do not require a bachelor's degree; and students who are pursuing degrees at other institutions but spend a year at Southern Illinois University under a study abroad or other exchange program.  The certificate requires students to complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit at Southern Illinois University, with at least 21 of the 30 credits in accounting or other business courses approved by the department as relevant to the study of accounting. (Candidates for the CPA exam must have a minimum of 30 credits in accounting courses.) The certificate is available to both residential and online students.

Program Objectives for Students

Students graduating with an undergraduate degree in accounting should possess a basic understanding of accounting concepts (financial, taxation, auditing, managerial, and accounting information systems) such that they would be able to prepare, analyze, and communicate accounting information. Students graduating with an undergraduate degree should also be able to communicate effectively in a business setting both orally and in the written form. Graduates should be able to apply their accounting knowledge to unstructured problems, to work effectively in a team environment, and to work effectively in a computer-based environment.

Capstone Option for Transfer Students

The Capstone Option is available to students who have earned an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree or have the equivalent and who have a cumulative 2.0/4.0 GPA on all accredited coursework prior to the completion of the A.A.S., as calculated by SIU. The Capstone Option reduces the University Core Curriculum requirements from 39 to 30 hours, therefore reducing the time to degree completion. See the Capstone Option section for more information on this option. Students who apply for the Capstone Option will work with the College of Business Advisement Office for approval of the Capstone Option and will complete a personal contract for a degree completion plan.

Differential Tuition

The College of Business assesses College of Business majors a differential tuition for declared College of Business majors. The College of Business has a “minor program fee” for other than College of Business majors that is equal to 15% of 15 credit hours of applicable tuition for declared College of Business minors.