Bachelor of Science in Accounting

162 credits (minimum)

Accounting data and information are used by organizations to plan, monitor, control, and report financial activity. Knowledge of accounting is necessary to understand the operation and financial condition of any business, non-profit organization, or governmental agency. The BS in Accounting curriculum provides an integrated coursework approach to prepare students to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and also prepares students for a business environment that increasingly demands effective communication, critical thinking, understanding of diversity in the workplace, and the ability to analyze data.

Why Consider a Bachelor of Science in Accounting?

Western’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting prepares students for success in professional accounting, which requires the CPA exam and 225 credits. Accounting majors are increasingly required to go beyond being the preparer of information and are being relied upon to provide insights from the data. This requires an increased knowledge of the business environment, technology, statistics, critical analysis, and strong communication. The BS in Accounting is unique in the blending of accounting with analysis-based business coursework, and an internship requirement. The students graduating from the program are uniquely prepared for successful careers in public and private accounting that increasingly require systems and financial analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions

To become a Certified Public Accounting (CPA), you must have 225 quarter credits, which is equivalent to a 5th year. The BS in Accounting provides the opportunity to meet the 5th year CPA requirements and, additionally, complete a concentration that expands your skills and qualifies you for additional career opportunities.

The primary alternatives are to 1) take more accounting courses and deepen your accounting knowledge, 2) taken non-accounting graduate courses to broader your managerial skills, or 3) take a potpourri of courses to meet the 225 credit requirement. As an undergraduate degree the BS does not have the higher fees typically associated with graduate programs. BS in Accounting students focus their studies in an-analysis heavy concentration that broadens students’ skills beyond accounting, and yet, the concentration allows for a level of educational depth and understanding that less-focused educational alternatives do not provide.

Western's Bachelor of Science in Accounting is the only BS accounting program available from the major public and private residential campuses in the State of Washington. The BS in Accounting offers five different analysis-focused concentrations to meet a variety of student interests and provides the skills employers are increasingly requiring from graduates. The concentration areas are only available to Accounting students who choose the BS program. Finally, the BS in Accounting provides an integrated Accounting/Concentration course plan so that students’ learning and education experience are enhanced and broadened.

Both the BS in Accounting and your concentration area are specifically identified on your WWU diploma and transcript.

You must be accepted into the BS in Accounting program and concurrently, or soon thereafter, apply to and be accepted into your chosen area of Concentration. Please contact the accounting department with your specific questions.

No. The only requirement is the timely application and acceptance into the BS in Accounting program and a concentration area.

You are expected to complete the BS in Accounting in five years. This is a full-time program that requires a full load of coursework every quarter. Students are strongly encouraged to limit non-academic commitments.

The Accounting Department does not provide or guarantee an internship. Students find their own internships with the assistance of a graduate career advisor. In extraordinary circumstances and when an internship cannot be acquired, other accommodations may be available, but not guaranteed.

The same scholarships available to all accounting and CBE students are also available to BS in Accounting students. There are no scholarships solely dedicated to BS in Accounting students.

Plan of Study

BS, Accounting Plan of Study


BS, Accounting/Concentration Options

Economics Concentration

The economics concentration studies resource allocation and the societal costs and benefits. Many societal issues (e.g. inequality, discrimination, pollution, energy) require economic thinking and analyses. You can tailor your economics concentration to a specific area of interest or focus on business analysis, planning, and forecasting.

The BS Accounting/Economics concentration provides you with the skills to succeed in an analysis-driven environment.

Detailed course descriptions and prerequisites can be found in the University Catalog


Finance Concentration

The Finance concentration focuses on theories, concepts, and skills to help you make decisions using imperfect data. Finance and financial analysis rely on accounting information and are logical complements.

The BS Accounting/Finance concentration provides you with the skills to succeed in analyzing accounting and financial data.

Detailed course descriptions and prerequisites can be found in the University Catalog


Financial Economics Concentration

The Financial Economics concentration provides an understanding of core economic concepts and the functioning of the economy and financial markets. The emphasis is on developing students’ ability to apply economic and financial theory along with rigorous analysis and critical thinking to solve complex ambiguous problems.

The BS Accounting/Financial Economics concentration provides unique and integrated skills that combine the best of accounting, economics, and finance. 

Detailed course descriptions and prerequisites can be found in the University Catalog


Management Information Systems Concentration

The Management Information System (MIS) concentration provides the skills to solve problems at the intersection of organizations, technology, and people. Students learn to analyze, develop, and implement information systems to enhance organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

The BS Accounting/MIS concentration provides a combination of accounting skills and information system skills that are in high demand.

Acceptance into the MIS concentration is competitive and follows a strict application deadline. Please see your advisor to discuss the requirements.

Detailed course descriptions and prerequisites can be found in the University Catalog

Operations Management Concentration

The Operations Management (OM) curriculum provides students with the skills to increase organizations’ operational effectiveness and efficiency.

The OM curriculum and managerial accounting are natural complements. OM determines the resources necessary to complete a task or product, the most efficient method to obtain the resources, and the most effective way to deploy the resources to meet customers’ needs.

The BS Accounting/OM concentration is a great choice for students to expand their opportunities beyond public accounting.

Acceptance into the OPS concentration is competitive and follows a strict application deadline. Please see your advisor to discuss the requirements.

Detailed course descriptions and prerequisites can be found in the University Catalog