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School of Accounting
Learn more about the College of Business.
Dr. Paul A. Copley, Director
Phone: (540) 568-3081
The mission of the JMU Accounting program is to cultivate an environment of educational excellence. The program does so by providing a learning environment in which students are encouraged to develop both technical and interpersonal skills necessary for successful professional accounting careers; encouraging and supporting meaningful intellectual contributions by our faculty and participating actively in the academic and professional communities.
The accounting faculty has identified strategic and tactical goals in three major areas: learning objectives for students, intellectual contributions for faculty and service to our profession and the community.
Learning Environment Objectives
We engage in the scholarship of teaching to prepare students for professional accounting careers in public accounting, industry or the public sector. We provide a learning environment which encourages a commitment to lifelong learning and develops a diverse set of skills in students, including technical competence, information technology proficiency, critical thinking, teamwork and communication.
Intellectual Contributions Objectives
We engage in the scholarships of discovery, application of knowledge and instructional development to advance knowledge in the field of accounting, to improve business practice, to encourage and support innovative teaching methods and curricula and to foster the intellectual and professional growth of our faculty.
We serve our school, college, university, accounting profession and business and academic communities through active participation and leadership in academic, professional and business organizations.
The programs of study offered by the Accounting Program provide an educational experience intended to prepare students for a variety of careers in the accounting, financial, auditing, consulting and information systems fields. Some of the job titles held by graduates of our program include the following:
Our graduates find employment with all of the "Big Four" international public accounting firms, dozens of local and regional public accounting firms and major international companies in the hotel, insurance, publishing, electronics, retailing, manufacturing, distribution, banking and computer industries. Many of our graduates work for business consulting firms and software developers. Recently, our graduates have been at the forefront of companies entering the arena of electronic commerce. The field of accounting has one of the highest demands for new graduates of any area in today's market, and accounting graduates enjoy some of the highest starting salaries in the College of Business.
Two program are available to accounting majors. The first is the four-year
major in accounting, leading to the Bachelor of Business Administration
(B.B.A.) degree. The second is the five-year Professional Program in
Accounting, which leads to the award of the B.B.A and the Master of
Science in Accounting (M.S.A.) degree at the end of five years. Students
should meet with their adviser during their junior year to discuss these
To register for ACTG 343, Corporate Financial Reporting I, a student
must have a 2.5 grade point average; have completed 56 credit hours
and have completed with “B-” or better both COB 241. Financial
Accounting and COB 242. Managerial Accounting.
The Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting requires a minimum of 120 credit hours of undergraduate work. Fifty percent of this work, or 60 credit hours, must be taken outside of the College of Business.
Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
1 Up to seven hours of core requirements in economics
and calculus may also be taken for General Education credit. Students
who take the General Education packages and courses recommended by the
College of Business will have only 38 credit hours of additional B.B.A.
In counting the 60 credit hours of nonbusiness courses, B.B.A. students may include all hours taken in General Education (usually 41-44), up to a total of nine hours in economics (GECON courses must be counted as economics), and three hours of COB 191, Business Statistics. The remaining hours, to bring the total to 60, must be taken from departments outside the College of Business. Students should carefully select these nonbusiness electives to help them gain additional knowledge and expertise for their careers and personal lives. A list of approved electives is available from the College of Business Academic Services Center.
Recommended Schedule for Majors
First Two Years
Students planning to major in accounting must complete the 29-30 hour lower-division B.B.A. curriculum prior to enrolling in upper-division core courses normally taken in the first semester of the junior year. It is expected that the lower-division core curriculum will be completed during the first two years of study along with all, or most, of the university General Education curriculum. Failing to complete all lower-division core requirements on time will delay enrollment in upper-division core and major courses until at least the second semester of the junior year.
Public Administration Concentration
JMU offers a specialty concentration in Public Administration. This concentration requires two alternative courses (ACTG 420 and ACTG 450) and a public administration (PUAD) non-business elective. These courses offer the student the opportunity to gain more knowledge about the government environment. Students will examine the standards under which the government financial manager performs accounting, financial reporting, and budget functions, as well as how to organize and conduct operational audits. Student completing the Public Administration concentration will pursue careers in government, internal audit, and not-for-profit organizations.
Many graduates desire to gain certifications in their selected area
of specialization. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the best
known of these certifications. Effective 2006, students taking the CPA
exam in Virginia will have to meet a 150-hour education requirement
in order to sit for the CPA exam. The requirements for other states
vary. However, most states already require students to meet the 150-hour
educational requirement. The five-year Professional Program is recommended
for those electing a career in public accounting.
The computer is the primary tool of today's accountant. The JMU accounting program gives students extensive hands-on experience using sophisticated technological tools in solving accounting problems. Most or all courses in the accounting program require computer usage, Internet reference, CD-ROM-based research and other uses of technology.
In general, all upper-division accounting course work (300-499) must be completed at JMU. Transfer credit for upper-division courses is awarded only in certain circumstances. In no case will transfer credit be awarded for more than two upper-division courses, and in no case will transfer credit be awarded for either of the corporate financial reporting (ACTG 343 or ACTG 344) courses. Contact the College of Business Academic Services Center for more information on transfer credit.