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University of Pittsburgh    
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jun 13, 2024
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Accounting Certificate

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Develop a practical and theoretical foundation in accounting while earning a certificate. Offered by the College of General Studies and the College of Business Administration, the 24-credit part-time evening program enables students to take the same subjects required for accounting majors in the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program offered by the College of Business Administration.

Participants benefit from the academic instruction of the College of Business Administration and the nontraditional student services available through the College of General Studies. Credits earned may be counted toward certain state licensure requirements.

Who should participate:

Professionals who already have earned a bachelor’s degree in any field and wish to develop careers in accounting or another business field in which substantial knowledge of accounting is an asset.

Upon completion of this certificate, participants will be able to:

  • Share substantial knowledge of accounting
  • Enhance their careers in the business field
  • Meet many of the requirements to sit for the certified public accountant (CPA) examination in Pennsylvania.

This certificate is applicable to fields such as public accounting, auditing, taxation, corporate accounting, governmental accounting, and other careers in business that require a substantial knowledge of financial and/or managerial accounting.

Admission requirements

A bachelor’s degree and a 2.75 or higher cumulative grade point average are required for admission to the program. A certificate application must be completed online. For an application and additional information on admissions guidelines, see admissions Web page. Credits earned at other accredited educational institutions will be evaluated for transfer. However, a minimum of 15 credits must be earned at the University of Pittsburgh. Students must earn a grade of C or better in all University accounting courses.

CPA preparation

Becoming a CPA in the state of Pennsylvania will require 150 credit hours of coursework, 36 credits of which must be in accounting, auditing, finance, tax, and business law. At that time, completing the certificate program will no longer be sufficient preparation to sit for the CPA exam. Please contact Melvin Watkins, CGS Academic Advisor, at to discuss options for meeting these requirements while enrolled in the College of General Studies.

To learn about becoming a CPA in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Web site at You can also contact the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy for more information at 717-783-1404 or by E-mail at

Obtaining the certificate

To receive the certificate, you must fill out an application with your academic advisor prior to completing your last term in the program. Check with your academic advisor for the application filing form and deadline, and be sure all requirements for the certificate have been met. To avoid a late fee, you should complete this process when registering for the term.

Curriculum (24 credits)

Students must complete their required courses and a minimum of one elective course for a total of 24 credits. A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the program. Students must follow the approved prerequisites for each course. All courses are three credits, and all courses are offered in the evenings.

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