The Accounting (BSBA) degree at Appalachian State University introduces and further develops skills in various areas of accounting, including the recording and reporting of financial performance, tax return preparation, cost accounting, information systems and auditing. Knowledge and skills in these areas prepare you to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and pursue a career in public accounting, industry or government.
Major selling points of the program include employability and faculty/student interaction. Faculty members in the Department of Accounting are known for giving personal attention to their students, and their connections with employers foster networking opportunities that lead to career-starting internships and full-time jobs. Accounting students are strongly encouraged to participate in an internship, for which they will receive academic credit and gain valuable experience in the accounting profession (most internships are also well paid). The majority of internships lead to permanent employment for students after graduation.
Employment: Students find jobs in public accounting, industry, non-profit organizations, and government. Firms that consistently hire Appalachian accounting graduates include: PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton, McGladrey, BDO, Dixon Hughes Goodman, CohnReznick, Cherry Bekaert, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and a number of other smaller firms in and around North Carolina.
Graduate school: Many graduates stay at Appalachian for the one-year Master of Science in Accounting degree. This degree provides advanced education for people pursuing careers in accounting at the professional level.
This is a program that can lead to licensure or certification in North Carolina. Appalachian State University cannot confirm whether this program will meet the requirements for professional licensure in other states or territories.
If this applies to you, check the Professional Licensure webpage for information on licensure requirements and licensing agencies in other states. Or, you may address questions to State Authorization at App State at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-262-7559.
A minor is not required. A popular choice, however, is Computer Information Systems.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
Beta Alpha Psi (BAP): International honorary organization for financial information students and professionals. The Appalachian chapter of Beta Alpha Psi has consistently earned superior chapter status from the national organization throughout the past 25 years.
Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society: Membership in this group is the highest international recognition a student in business can receive in an undergraduate or master’s program at an AACSB accredited school.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
All business students fulfill an international requirement, and an increasing number choose to study abroad through a wide variety of exchange programs. The college maintains partnerships with universities across the globe and continues to expand groundbreaking opportunities in emerging markets.
Requirements for declaring a major within the Walker College of Business are detailed here.
- Appalachian accounting majors have a CPA pass rate that exceeds the national and North Carolina averages.
- The department hosts an annual “Meet the Firms” event, which brings approximately 25 accounting firms looking for interns and full-time employees to campus to meet and connect with students.
- Prior to participating in the internship recruiting process, junior-level students are encouraged to attend a series of seminars on career opportunities, resume preparation, interviewing skills and other areas of career development.
- Many students stay for Appalachian’s one-year Master of Science in Accounting degree, which provides additional preparation for students’ future careers as well as support for preparing for the CPA exam.
- The Department of Accounting awards more than 50 scholarships each year, with amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000.
On campus only
Starting salaries average between $45,000 and $55,000. Career possibilities include the following:
- Bank Examiner
- Chief Financial Officer
- Cost Accountant
- FBI Agent
- Financial Analyst
- Forensic Accountant
- Fraud Examiner
- Governmental Accountant
- Internal Auditor
- IRS Investigator
- Management Consultant
- Systems Analyst
- Tax Specialist
Dr. Pennie Bagley