Bachelor's in accounting

Accounting is best defined as the systematic recording, reporting and analysis of financial transactions. Students who select accounting as their major generally show a talent for analyzing financial information, developing financial and investment planning strategies, verifying financial documents, and managing costs and assets. All organizations need these skills to ensure proper financial management.

As an undergraduate accounting major in the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business, you will be prepared to apply your accounting expertise in a variety of career paths that can include corporate, governmental, nonprofit or public accounting. Additionally, our program helps prepare students to sit for professional examinations, including Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and more.

Ilitch School accounting students learn the analytical and technical skills necessary for sound professional judgment in financial decision making.

Courses cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Preparation and interpretation of financial statements
  • Concepts and procedures for bonds, leases, pensions, income taxes and owners' equity
  • Techniques for database design and information systems auditing
  • Concepts related to business and individual taxation

AGRADE program

Highly qualified accounting majors are eligible to participate in the Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE) program. AGRADE students can cut substantial time and as much as one-third off the total cost of a WSU graduate business degree program by applying up to 12 credits toward both their undergraduate accounting degree and M.S.A., M.B.A. or other graduate business degree.

Students who plan to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination should be advised that, although as many as 12 credits can be applied to both a student's undergraduate and master's degrees, these credits will count only once for reaching the 150-hour requirement for the CPA examination and certification.

Departmental honors

Current Mike Ilitch School of Business students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher may enroll in courses with an honors component assignment option and complete the 15 required credits to qualify for an honors distinction on their transcript and diploma at graduation. Review departmental honors eligibility and requirements.

Accounting careers

Students graduating in accounting will continue to be in demand due to the need for thorough documentation of financial controls resulting from more stringent federal regulations. Additionally, individuals will be needed who can analyze increasingly complex financial data. Accountants with professional certification (CPAs, CMAs, CIAs and others) will enjoy the most career options and highest salaries.

Accounting career titles can include:

  • Auditor/internal auditor
  • Assistant controller/ controller
  • Budgetary control analyst
  • Certified public accountant
  • Chief financial officer
  • Claims adjuster/examiner
  • Cost accountant
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent
  • Financial analyst
  • Industrial accountant
  • Inventory control specialist
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigator
  • Managerial accountant
  • Payroll manager
  • Treasury management specialist

Additional accounting career information from the U.S. Department of Labor:

Study abroad

Study abroad programs organized by the Ilitch School are offered in Brazil, China, Italy and Central Europe. These opportunities are led by faculty and involve visits with the foreign operations of Detroit-area companies and various cultural sites. Students majoring in global supply chain management, marketing, management and technology, information systems and analytics (TISA), as well as graduate students, are strongly encouraged to fulfill some of their program requirements via an Ilitch School study abroad program. For undergraduate majors in accounting or finance, a study abroad course could be applied toward Free Elective credit hours. Please check with your academic advisor for guidance before pursuing the study abroad option.

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.