Professional Accounting (BS)

Chair: Ian J. Redpath, JD, LLM


To become a licensed Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.), all states require students to complete 150 credit hours of instruction at an accredited college or university.  In the state of New York, students can take the C.P.A. exam after only completing 120 credit hours of instruction, but before receiving a C.P.A. license, individuals must complete an additional 30 credit hours of instruction as well as complete one year of full-time work experience in the accounting field.  Because a traditional Bachelor's degree program in New York usually requires 120 credit hours of course work, colleges and universities have developed alternative ways for accounting students to meet the 150 credit hour standard required for professionals who wish to become licensed Certified Public Accountants.
One option available at Canisius College is for students to complete an undergraduate program consisting of 150 credit hours of instruction leading to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Professional Accounting.  This degree can be combined with a second major or taken as a stand-alone degree. This program usually takes 5 years to complete, but with proper planning can be completed in 4 1/2 years. AP credits may also reduce completion time. This program is registered with the State of New York and qualifies a graduate to take the C.P.A. examination and become fully licensed once all other New York State requirements have been met.  In addition to the BS in Professional Accounting, 150 Hr. Program, Canisius offers other 150 Hr. programs that might provide additional benefits to qualified students.  Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their career goals and learn about C.P.A. licensing early in their college career by meeting with their academic adviser.

Licensure Disclosure

Canisius College cannot determine whether completion of this program would be sufficient to meet licensure requirements outside of New York State for the intended occupation. We advise you to contact your state licensing board or appropriate licensing entity to determine whether the program meets requirements for Professional Licensure in the state where you are located or the state in which you intend to pursue licensure. Please contact the associate dean of your school if you have further questions.

Note: Please see the Accounting Programs Overview page in this catalog for important information about degree policies and courses.

Admission to the Professional Accounting (150 Hr.) Program

Students do not need to seek special admission to the Professional Accounting Program, but they must declare their intent to pursue the major by completing a major declaration form with the Student Records Office, and by emailing their department Program Adviser and the assistant dean of the Richard J. Wehle School of Business.


An Ignatian Foundation

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum. Many schools refer to their college-wide undergraduate requirements as "general education" requirements. We believe that the core curriculum and the honors curriculum are more than a series of required classes; they provide the basis for a Jesuit education both with content and with required knowledge and skills attributes that are central to our mission.

Free Electives

Students may graduate with a bachelor's degree with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Free electives are courses in addition to the Canisius Core Curriculum or All-College Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum number of credits required for graduation. The number of credits required to complete a bachelor's degree may vary depending on the student's major(s) and minor(s).

Major Requirements

Business Core
Required courses for all business majors49-51
Additional Major Requirements
ACC 301
ACC 302
Intermediate Accounting I
and Intermediate Accounting II
ACC 303Cost Accounting3
ACC 307Accounting Systems and Analytics3
ACC 415Basic Taxation3
ACC 416Advanced Taxation3
ACC 421Advanced Accounting Problems3
ACC 425Auditing Theory and Practice3
ACC 426Information Systems Auditing3
ACC 427Advanced Auditing3
ACC 451Accounting Theory and Research3
LAW 371Business and Commercial Law3
LAW 372Business Organizations and Commercial Paper3
ENG 389Business Communication3
Accounting Elective3
Business Elective3
Total Credits97-99


Typical Schedule

Professional Accounting (150 Hr.)

ENG 111ENG 112
MAT 105 (or MAT 106)
PHI 101
ECO 101MAT 106 (or an A&S elective if MAT 106 was taken in the fall)
RST 101ECO 102
BUS 101MKT 201
Arts & Science Elective
MGT 101ACC 212
ECO 255ACC 307
ACC 201ECO 256
ISB 101Field of Knowledge 3 (Arts)
BUS 201Free Elective
Field of Knowledge 4 (History) 
ACC 301ACC 302
ACC 303ENG 389
FIN 201Field of Knowledge 2 (Philosophy)1
LAW 371LAW 372
Field of Knowledge 1 - ReligionField of Knowledge 6 (Natural Science)
 BUS 401
ACC 416
MGT 325MGT 446 (college core capstone)
ACC 415ACC 427
ACC 421A & S Elective
ACC 425Free Elective
Business Elective 
Fifth Year
ACC 426Accounting Elective
ACC 451Arts & Science Elective
Arts & Science ElectiveFree Elective
Free ElectiveFree Elective
Free ElectiveFree Elective

Ethics Course

Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goal 1

Students will apply current principles of accounting to the measurement and reporting of accounting information.

Students will:

Objective A: Construct  the financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each statement;
Objective B: Evaluate the reporting and valuation of assets and liabilities in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;
Objective C: Evaluate the various alternatives to the measurement of income and the determination of financial position;
Objective D: Apply aspects of FASB's conceptual framework to transactions and compare/contrast the reporting impact of the concepts applied.

Learning Goal 2

Graduates will know how to compare/contrast alternative business decisions, and evaluate the potential impact of these decisions on future financial performance.

Students will:

Objective A: Demonstrate a sound understanding of cost behavior and analyze the differences resulting from fixed and variable costs in financial performance;
Objective B: Analyze the differences that result in financial reporting from the company's choice of inventory costing techniques;
Objective C: Apply budgeting techniques in the preparation of static and flexibile budgets;
Objective D: Evaluate effectiveness of controls and the methods used to test controls.

Learning Goal 3

Graduates will know the characteristics of internal control procedures needed in the aggregation of accounting information.

Students will:

Objective A: Demonstrate understanding of the purpose of internal controls;
Objective B: Demonstrate understanding of principles of controls;
Objective C: Analyze the relationship of technology and controls;

Learning Goal 4

Graduates will know how the external regulatory, legal, and ethical environments impact business decisions and financial reporting requirements.

Students will:

Objective A: Apply different ethical frameworks in making business decisions;
Objective B: Apply both societal and governmental laws/regulations in making business decisions;
Objective C: Apply Federal Tax Law and regulation in the determination of taxable liability.