Accounting Major

Student at desk

Companies today are looking for trained staff with financial expertise, strategic vision, personal integrity, communication skills, and accounting industry experience. So if you’re interested in becoming an accountant, a CPA, a CMA – or perhaps even a CFO – consider the Accounting major in SPU's School of Business, Government, and Economics.

About the Accounting Major

As an Accounting student at SPU, you can expect to study budgets, spreadsheets, and profit-and-loss statements. You’ll learn all about accounting concepts and reporting regulations. You’ll begin to master specialized areas such as financial, managerial, and international accounting. And you’ll learn about taxation, information systems, and auditing.

Beyond that, cooperative learning projects will help you improve your oral and written communication, problem solving, and group-management skills.

Look deeper, however, to uncover a unique program that stresses the importance of professional responsibility, ethics, and servant leadership. Here you’ll interact with role models who will inspire you, and you’ll discover opportunities to serve within the business, professional, and church community.


The Accounting major is designed to prepare you for a wide range of professional challenges, and provides the tools necessary to succeed in any number of key positions throughout the business world.

But the Accounting major from SPU’s School of Business, Government, and Economics offers an added dimension of integrity and ethics built on the Christian foundation, setting SPU graduates apart.

Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible to take both the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) examinations.

Career Opportunities

After graduation, you'll be on your way to serving in a position such as:

  • Sample job titles
  • Accountant
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Financial Analyst
  • Tax Specialist
  • Treasurer
  • Possible job settings
  • Banks
  • FBI
  • Small businesses
  • Consulting firms
  • Nonprofit organizations

Our school also has a very active Beta Alpha Psi student organization which connects students with professionals and alumni in accounting, finance, and information systems. 

For more career options, review "What you can do with a degree in Accounting." (PDF)

Courses and Degree Requirements

As an Accounting major, you will be required to take 104 credits, including a business core of 70 credits and an Accounting core of 34 credits. Those credits must include 60 upper-division credits. You must have a minimum of 45 credits in the major at SPU. 

Review all the Accounting major courses and requirements.

If you plan to obtain the professional designations for Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), you should contact an Accounting faculty member for advising.

Students who plan to take the CPA exam must have completed 225 quarter hours (equivalent to five years) of college coursework. Students may meet this requirement by earning a second bachelor’s degree, or by taking 45 additional undergraduate credits (which may be in any discipline and do not necessarily lead to a degree).

However, CPA-bound students are encouraged to apply for admission to a graduate program in the School of Business, Government, and Economics, either the Master of Business Administration (MBA) or the Master of Science in Information Systems (MS-IS). If you are interested in these programs, plan to do the following:

  • Participate in a cooperative education program with an accounting firm for at least one year.
  • Take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) exam (for the MBA) or the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) exam (for the MS-IS) in Autumn Quarter of your senior year.
  • Apply for admission to the graduate program in the Winter Quarter of your senior year.
  • Begin taking three graduate courses per quarter starting in the summer following completion of your senior year, and four more quarters (five quarters in total).

Note: ACCT 3353 Advanced Accounting is strongly recommended for students intending to take the CPA exam.


All Accounting students in the School of Business, Government, and Economics are encouraged to gain industry experience through internships. SPU Accounting students have held internships at leading local businesses and industries such as Boeing, Microsoft, and local Certified Public Accounting firms.

The Center for Career and Calling provides an accounting recruiting program each fall, inviting top accounting firms to recruit on campus, and coaching students through the application process. Students and employers also regularly make use of SPU’s internship and job-posting system, Handshake, which is updated weekly.

Faculty Contact

Kim Sawers

Professor of Accounting, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
PhD, University of Washington

Phone: 206-281-2221
Office: McKenna Hall 228

Ross Stewart

Why I Teach at SPU

Ross Stewart, Dean, Professor of Accounting

"It is a joy to teach at SPU and participate with my students in the learning process. It is exciting to see students mature into emerging professionals who engage their vocations with grace and passion. The context of faith at SPU enables the head and the heart to come together. It is a privilege to be involved in this relational learning endeavor."

“Knowing and seeing people who allow their faith to shape their career path is a huge encouragement. It shows me that my faith should shape my accounting career. Both Dr. Stewart and Dr. Kauppila’s classes have made me think about the current economy and accounting standards from a biblical perspective.”
Michelle Teng
Accounting Major

Become a Special Agent

An Accounting major can prepare you for a career as an FBI special investigator or Internal Revenue agent. Learn more from the fact sheet, "What you can do with a degree in Accounting." (PDF)