The accounting program has a rich heritage of producing successful business leaders. Our graduates excel on the CPA examination, and the majority of students seeking employment upon graduation are successful. With a strong alumni network and a solid reputation among major accounting firms, the accounting program at WVU has an excellent record of placing students in the accounting profession.
We are a unit of the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University, and we offer two degree programs: (1) a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.) with a major in accounting; and (2) a Master of Professional Accountancy (M.P.A.). Our faculty is comprised of 12 tenure-track faculty, three teaching instructors, and one visiting professor. Each faculty member is actively engaged in meeting the four elements of our mission: (1) educate students at the undergraduate and graduate levels; (2) conduct and disseminate research that impacts the accounting profession or society as a whole, (3) deliver service to the academy, the profession, the citizens of West Virginia and (4) engage in a program of ongoing assessment and continuous improvement.
The overarching goal of the accounting program is to meet the evolving needs of its constituencies through teaching, research, and service. The undergraduate accounting degree program builds upon a general education curriculum to provide students with a base of academic knowledge in business and accounting. It is designed to integrate basic knowledge with a professional orientation and form a foundation for future learning as well as career and academic success. The accounting program and course offerings are subject to periodic review for timeliness, professional requirements and relevance in a global marketplace.
The advanced courses in the program provide both specialized knowledge in accounting and financial reporting and an integrated overview of the economic activities of a business entity. These courses give students the basic educational foundation required for a variety of entry-level positions in accounting, business, government, and not-for-profit organizations. Accounting graduates may pursue careers that lead to positions such as controllers, financial officers, certified public accountants, managerial accountants, budget analysts, internal auditors, tax accountants, public administration officers, financial fraud investigators, and other executives.
The accounting major is also designed to give students the basic educational foundation necessary to prepare for the professional examinations that may be required of them in their careers. These examinations include those needed to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination vary by jurisdiction. Students are encouraged to become familiar with the requirements of the jurisdictions where they plan to be certified. Many states, including West Virginia, require 128 hours of college credit to sit for the exam and 150 semester hours of college credit to be certified. The College of Business and Economics offers a Master of Professional Accountancy (M.P.A.) degree that helps students meet the professional certification requirement while allowing students to earn a graduate degree. The College also offers an innovative graduate certificate in forensic accounting and fraud investigation designed to prepare entry-level accountants and others for forensic accounting and fraud investigative careers.
The accounting programs at WVU have been separately accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, since 1997. As of July 2010, only 173 programs had achieved this distinction.
Learn more about our Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination (FAFE) graduate certificate program.