Develop the skills to enjoy a high-paying, and flexible career by studying a BBA in Accounting

The Marian University Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program helps students understand and develop the skills of the profession, allowing them to enjoy exciting, secure, high-paying, challenging, and flexible careers in corporate finance and banking, or in non-profit, government, or healthcare sectors. Earning a bachelor’s in accounting allows students to acquire a solid foundation of business knowledge and the crucial accounting skills needed to specialize in a field that interests them.

Regardless of the industry or sector, accountants are vital to any organization's success, which is why we help develop leaders who are prepared to provide a positive impact for all businesses.

Students with accounting knowledge are ready to work for nonprofit organizations, corporations, and government agencies. Marian prepares our graduates through coursework in accounting, economics, finance, law, management, marketing, and personnel. Whether students pursue careers as CPA’s, CMA’s, private accountants, or in the business sector, our BBA in Accounting curriculum prepares graduates to jumpstart their career.


Position yourself for success in the accounting profession!

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    Prepare for an Exciting Career as an Accountant

    No matter what sector of accounting you want to work in, you will graduate from Marian University with real-world skills and experiences.

    • Take courses that integrate real business challenges into the classroom.
    • Add real-world experience to your resume through internships and cooperative work experiences in your specific field of interest.
    • Get immersed in an international approach designed to teach the skills necessary to compete in global business, including creativity, critical thinking, communication, cultural awareness, and computer knowledge.
    • Gain competencies and experience needed to qualify to take the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) or Certified Managerial Accounting (CMA) exams.

    Explore an Accounting Degree

    Listen to Dr. Cheryl Seelig, professor, describe the business majors and minors at Marian University.  A business degree from Marian University opens the door for a career with any company, in any industry.  Choose a specialty in sport and recreation management, business administration, marketing, marketing and public relations, accounting, healthcare administration, management information systems, or finance. Professors bring topics to life through their real world experience in running companies and managing staff. Courses teach you about businesses not only from a local/regional perspective but also from an interconnected global perspective. Discuss current events and how to survive and thrive in different economic conditions. Whatever your major, participate in an internship where you spend between 150 and 300 hours at a business either in the U.S. or abroad.

    As a business student, you will take general education courses alongside students from all Marian bachelor programs.  Then you will take a core of business courses and courses specific to your concentration.  If you are not sure what business major is for you, reach out to our Center for Academic Support and Excellence (CASE).  They have tools to help you choose a business degree based on your interests and abilities.

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    The Program
    The Marian University Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program aims to develop leaders prepared for the global marketplace as technology rapidly expands worldwide. As a student in the program, you’ll explore and develop essential knowledge and skills in all aspects of business—including accounting, economics, finance, law, management, marketing, and personnel.

    General Education Courses

    As a bachelor’s level student, you are required to take about 30 credits of general education courses as part of the 120 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.  Gen eds are required regardless of your major.

    All students take 10.5 to 17 credits in these areas:

    • Mathematical Reasoning
    • Argumentative and Research Writing
    • Introduction to Christian Theology
    • Interpersonal Communication
    • Introduction to Ethical Reasoning
    • First Year Studies

    Accounting majors will take courses covering topics such as:

    • Financial accounting
    • Macroeconomics/Microeconomics
    • International business
    • Advanced cost accounting
    • Managerial accounting

    CPA Option: All of the required courses and completion of 150 credits from any discipline.

    For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.

    Sample Course Plan:
    Download Sample Course Plan

    Business programs core, 34 credits:

    The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to generally accepted accounting principles, basic accounting systems, accounting theory; and financial statements.

    A course in resume writing, interviewing skills, techniques for personal enhancement, and international business etiquette; supplies the student with criteria beyond academics for acceptance into the world of work and future entry-level management positions.


    An interdisciplinary introduction to the basic principles of data analysis with an emphasis on application. Students are expected to apply these principles to data analysis in their respective areas of study. The applied focus is on the computerized application of summary statistics, one/two/multi-sample tests, linear models, association tests, randomness/normality tests, time series comparison, quality control charts and probability distributions as used across a variety of community and organizational settings. Other techniques may be added as appropriate for specific disciplines.


    This course introduces the student to the economic, political, social and cultural issues of operating a business in a global economy. An understanding of exchange rate mechanisms, international trade agreements and international strategies will be developed.

    A study of business law. Topics included in the course include the American legal system, contracts, property, negotiable instruments, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy, agency, business organizations, labor and employment relations, government regulations, and torts.


    A capstone business course that integrates the functional areas of a business with the strategic decision-making process. In a team environment, students are expected to employ the skills and knowledge learned from their academic career in a computer-simulated industry. An analysis of case studies and/or current business articles will also be used to link academic concepts and theories to real-world situations. (Senior Standing, all Business core courses must be completed before taking this course.)


    This course is an introduction to microeconomics: the study of how households and firms interact and make decisions to allocate limited resources in the markets for goods and services.


    An introduction to financial management. Topics include the role of financial managers and financial markets, valuation of corporate securities, risk and return, financial statement analysis and capital budgeting.


    A systematic analysis of the management process involving an integration of classical, behavioral, and modern contemporary philosophies. The importance of relating the theoretical principles of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling to practical experience is featured.


    ENG 105 Expository Writing, ENG 230 Professional Comp. & Research Writing, or appropriate English placement test score

    A general overview of the scope and significance of marketing both domestically and internationally. The course emphasizes the marketing of consumer and industrial goods and analysis of the marketing mix variables of product, price, promotion and place. It introduces marketing policies and practices of business firms.

    This course introduces information technology systems that support organizational decision-making and problem solving. The course surveys the technical and organizational issues involved in the use and design of information systems and how the application of IT can enable an organization to improve quality, timeliness, and competitive advantage.

    Business programs core, 3 credits from the following:

    An application of contemporary communication theory to practical business situations, and an application of traditional rhetoric and communication theory to oral presentations. Students study communication theory; practice basic forms of business writing; write, deliver and evaluate public speeches; and explore communication systems in modern corporations.

    This course focuses on the exploration of fundamental principles of effective communication. Skilled communication behaviors are developed through the study and practice of interpersonal communication, public speaking, listening, and group dynamics. Practical applications include class discussion, group activities, listening exercises, and individual presentations.

    A course applying traditional rhetoric and communication theory to oral presentations. Students study, write, deliver and evaluate public speeches. Emphasis is placed on the students’ ability to speak from an outline in a variety of situations including informative speaking, persuasive speaking and demonstration speaking. All presentations are made in class and videotaped to aid in evaluation.

    Accounting courses, 18 credits:


    A continuation of ACC 201 with concentration on corporate financial statements and the basics of managerial cost accounting. Applications are designed to provide exposure to analysis and interpretation of accounting data for managerial planning, control, and decision-making.


    Builds on the theory and skills introduced in ACC 201 Financial Accounting. Emphasis is on accounting transactions through financial statement construction, valuation and measurement of cash, receivables, inventories, plant and equipment, intangibles, investments, and liabilities. Communication skills, as they apply to the accounting profession, are stressed.

    An extension of the theory and application of generally-accepted accounting principles with emphasis on accounting for contributed capital, retained earnings, investments, income taxes, pensions, leases, and accounting changes. Revenue recognition and cash flows are also discussed. Application of the generally accepted accounting principles in different areas is emphasized throughout the course.


    A study of federal income taxes as they apply to individuals with emphasis on determination of gross income, adjusted gross income, deductions, exemptions, and taxes due. Students are required to complete comprehensive individual income tax returns.

    A course covering the philosophy, concepts, and techniques used by independent and internal auditors. Professional ethics and legal relationships, the study and evaluation of internal control, audit program applications, statistical sampling, EDP auditing, and reporting obligations are included in the course. Integrated material provides application of the theory studied in the course. Focus is placed on the analysis and interpretation of data, events, and theory using collaborative learning techniques. Oral and written communication skills are emphasized.

    An advanced study of cost accounting systems in both an industrial and service environment. Topics discussed in detail include job order and process costing, standard costs, variance analysis, and activity-based costing. The relationship of budgeting to profit planning and business control is studied and applied.

    Accounting courses, 0-3 credits:

    A course designed to provide the student with field work experience through a work opportunity related to the student’s career objective. A learning contract is used to focus expectations, duration of the experience, and means for evaluation. The student will benefit from applying classroom learning to actual job experience. (“0” credit receives CR/NC grade.)

    A course designed to provide the student with field work experience through a work opportunity related to the student’s career objective. A learning contract is used to focus expectations, duration of the experience, and means for evaluation. The student will benefit from applying classroom learning to actual job experience.

    Elective Credits (recommended, not required):

    A study of accounting for business combinations, partnerships, and governmental fund accounting. Extensive coverage of purchase method, intercompany transactions, and consolidated financial statements. Also includes governmental fund accounting.


    A continuation of ACC 331 dealing with the taxation of corporations and partnerships. Topics include determination of taxable income, transfers to corporations, corporate distributions, and S corporations. Students are required to complete comprehensive corporate and partnership income tax return problems. Service learning through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is integrated throughout the course.

    University Electives, 16-23 credits

    Professional Standards in Business

    Business programs at Marian University focus on the following principles of business education:

    Outcomes Assessment – The academic business department designed and fully implemented outcomes assessments consistent with their mission and broad-based goals.

    Strategic Planning – The business faculty consistently review material and curriculum to provide continuous improvement in alignment with mission and future academic goals.

    Curriculum – Programs offered are consistent with current, acceptable business practices and the expectations of professionals in the academic and business communities.

    Faculty – Highly-qualified faculty provide appropriate program coverage and continue to devote time to scholarly activity, service, and teaching.

    Scholarly and Professional Activities – Faculty members participate in scholarly and professional activities that enhance the depth and scope of their knowledge.

    Resources – Financial resources available are sufficient to support a high-quality learning environment.

    Internal and External Relationships – Business faculty work collaboratively with other departments across the institution to create meaningful linkages that include building strong relationships with business practitioners and local external organizations.

    International Business Education – Business faculty ensure students possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to understand and deal effectively with critical issues in a dynamic global business environment.
    Educational Innovation – Business faculty collaboratively maintain an environment that encourages and recognizes innovation and creativity in the education of business students.

    Professional Conduct (Standard for Students)

    Faculty and staff in the Business Department in the College of Professions expect the highest standards of honest, ethical professional conduct from each student. Primary components of professional behavior expected include:

    • Respect for others
    • Full engagement
    • Responsibility and integrity, and commitment to quality.

    The Marian University Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program prepares students to understand common business principles. Developing the skills needed in accounting enables students to apply this knowledge in the field. Whether the choice is to pursue CPA and/or public accounting opportunities, students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in accounting will be ready to jump-start their career.

    Learning Outcomes
    The student will be able to:

    • Possess an integrated knowledge of business functions and systems.
    • Demonstrate effective written communication.
    • Exhibit effective oral and presentation skills.
    • Critically think to solve local, national, and global problems.
    • Conceptually understand the Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures and apply them to everyday accounting needs.
    • Understand the terminology and context of financial ratios, horizontal analysis and vertical analysis, and be able to perform analysis and draw conclusions about financial health.
    • Communicate oral and written forms of financial analysis.

    Graduating with a Bachelor’s in Accounting from Marian University prepares students to enter the professional world, with defined experience and competencies in preparation to take Certified Public Accounting or Certified Managerial Accounting exams.



    Outcome: Knowledge Acquisition – Business
    Measure: Peregrine CPC Comp Exam


    Marian Baseline Target = 50 %-ile (51.9% correct)
    Comparison (IACBE schools) = 50%-ile (51.9% correct)
    Marian Stretch Goal = 80%-ile (62.5% correct)
    Marian Average achieved = 78%-ile (59.9% correct)
    Marian Highest Achieved = 98%-ile (79% correct)


    On average, Marian students performed higher than the IACBE comparison average.
    Almost half of Marian students performed in the top 20 percent nationally (45%).
    In general, students have good knowledge of business concepts as measured by the CPC-Comp.

    Outcome: Integrated Knowledge of Business
    Measure: CAPSIM Business Simulation

    Standard: Balanced Scorecard – Standard = at/above National average (50th %-ile)
    Stretch Goal: Balanced Scorecard – Standard = at/above 80th %-ile
    Marian Achieved = All teams above average except 1. (Range: 16th to 96th %-ile)
    Marian Stretch Goal Achieved: 44% of teams at or above 80%

    94% of Marian teams achieved results at or above the national average compared with others teams.
    44% of Marian teams achieved the stretch goal performing at or above the 80thpercentile.
    In general, students do well in the simulation, demonstrating integrated knowledge of business.


    Recent graduates have held internships in places such as

    • Dreifuerst & Sons Moving
    • Fond du Lac County
    • Jefferson Land Trust
    • Mayville Engineering Company
    • Metalcraft of Mayville
    • Michels Corporation
    • Neenah Paper
    • Society Insurance
    • Tab Products

    Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    Through personalized support and quality practical applications, Business faculty will inspire and motivate Marian University accounting students to be prepared to become successful contributing members of their community. Our students benefit from having faculty who are experts in the business field, bringing with them decades of experience and a passion for serving others. Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Marian University, students have the skills, knowledge, and insight to be successful in the 21st-century business world.

    Criteria for Undergraduate Business Students

    A student who meets Marian University admission standards and who declares a business major must comply with the following standards at each class level:

    Freshman Criteria (for students with at least 30 credits completed)

    Students should have completed the following with a minimum grade of C:

    • ENG 101 or ENG 105

    Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00

    Sophomore Criteria (for students with at least 60 credits completed)

    Students should have completed the following with a minimum grade of C:

    • ENG 151 or ENG 106
    • MAT 111 or MAT 130 or MAT 132
    • BUA 210
    • Science lab(s)

    Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00

    Junior and Senior Criterion (for students with at least 80 credits completed)

    Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00

    Failure to Meet Criteria

    Any business student failing to meet these criteria is placed on probation. During the first semester of probation, students may continue taking business courses. If the student has failed to meet the criteria after one semester on probation, that student may only retake deficient classes and general education requirements.

    Graduation Requirements

    A business student is not allowed to graduate with a D+ or lower grade in any business course. If such a grade is recorded, the course must be retaken and a grade of C- or above must be achieved. All business students are required to take a comprehensive exit examination during the semester prior to graduation. Students pursuing more than one major in the business program must complete at least 15 credits of unique courses to count in each major. Students pursuing a minor must complete at least 9 credits of courses unique to the minor.

    Internship Experience

    The internship provides practical work experience related to the student’s career objective. All internships involve planned and supervised on-the-job training with interaction among the student, a faculty advisor, and a supervisor from the site of the internship. The student may complete the internship on a part- or full-time basis. Before the student begins their internship, they must consult with the internship coordinator in their respective discipline to review requirements and expectations.

    Prior to the start of the internship, the site must be approved and a learning contract and supervisor agreement must be completed. Students are eligible to register for a 0-3 credit internship upon achieving junior status. Specific internship requirements such as number of hours, paperwork, and other assignments may differ depending on major. Students must consult with the program director and internship coordinator for these details and cannot register for the internship until authorized by the internship coordinator. Business students are required to complete a minimum of one internship experience regardless of the number of declared majors.

    Recent graduates have found career success within the following organizations:

    • Clifton Gunderson, LLP
    • CD Smith construction
    • Grande Cheese
    • Grant Thornton
    • Hometown Bank
    • Internal Revenue Service
    • La Force, Inc.
    • Marshall & Ilsley, Inc.
    • Sargento Cheese
    • Schenck Business
    • Solutions
    • State of Wisconsin
    • Virchow, Krause & Company, LLP
    • Wegner, LLP

    W. Alan Dixon, Sr., Ph.D.
    Associate Professor

    As a student in the Marian University Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting program, you’ll engage in courses as part of our liberal arts and business core curriculum, as well as be able to select courses of special interest.

    Apply Now

    For more information, please contact:

    Office of Admission

    Scott Dell, CPA
    Accounting Program Director

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