Accounting at Messiah College
Prepare to become a Certified Public Accountant; enter the financial, corporate, personal or tax accounting field; or pursue auditing–all within a Christian perspective.
As a Messiah College accounting graduate, you will be in high demand by public accounting firms and national corporations, as well as small businesses. In fact, like more than 70 percent of our graduates, you may even find yourself accepting a job offer early in your senior year.
Accounting major distinctives
- Messiah accounting graduates’ performance on the CPA Exam consistently exceeds the state and national averages for first-time test takers. In 2016, Messiah had a pass rate of 83.8% (vs. a national average of 54.4%) and was ranked as the #1 accounting program in the state out of 74 programs.
- Messiah College was named the #1 Best Business Degree Program for 2017 by Christian Universities Online.
- Develop competencies essential to maintaining, auditing and inspecting the financial records of individuals and businesses.
- Learn the skills necessary for preparing financial and tax reports.
- Take advantage of Messiah’s distinctive writing curriculum for accounting majors and compile a writing portfolio.
- Have the opportunity to be mentored by an accounting alum during your sophomore through senior years.
- Participate in an Internal Revenue Service-sponsored program where you’ll prepare tax returns for low-income individuals, elderly and those in need.
Career options for accounting majors
As a graduate of the accounting program, students are equipped to secure positions such as:
- Public accountant
- Financial, corporate, personal, auditing or tax accountant
- Financial analyst
- Financial planner
- Fraud examiners
- Risk management executives
For more information on career planning for the accounting program, visit the Messiah College Career and Professional Development Center.
Internship opportunities for accounting majors
Messiah’s nationally recognized internship program places students in a variety of accounting internships. A few examples include:
- Accounting firms
- Corporate offices
- Tax preparation
- Nonprofit organizations
- Auditing companies
Why study accounting?
As an accounting major, you will develop competencies essential to maintaining, auditing and inspecting the financial records of individuals and businesses. You will also learn the skills necessary for preparing financial and tax reports. Just open your favorite job search board and you'll find a long list of job opportunities for accountants. Nationwide, large corporations and public accounting firms, as well as small businesses and individuals, reflect this demand for trained accountants.
During your time at Messiah, you will be encouraged to gain practical experience in off-campus settings. Through the Career and Professional Development Center, you may obtain internships and cooperative education experiences in businesses in the surrounding communities. These practical experiences, some of which are paid, provide you with opportunities to clarify career goals and enhance classroom learning.
This major offers a distinctive program that incorporates the teaching of effective writing skills into the upper-level accounting course sequence. Evaluated for quality and content, assignments are typical of the kinds of writing required of students when they enter their profession. A single syllabus is used as students compile a portfolio of their writing which they continue working on throughout a four-course sequence. Feedback from students, alumni and recruiters reveals that this is a highly successful program.
Messiah students provide a vital service and gain practical experience through participation in an Internal Revenue Service-sponsored program known as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA) program. Students prepare tax returns free of charge for low income, elderly and disadvantaged individuals.
The CPA exam
Messiah College gives you an edge as you prepare to take the four parts of the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam. Our students regularly exceed the national average pass rate for first-time test takers. In 2016, our pass rate was 83.8%. In comparison, the national average was only 55.4%. Messiah ranked #1 in Pennsylvania (out of 74 programs); #1 for medium-sized accounting programs in the nation (out of 294 programs); and #10 in the nation overall (out of 858 programs).
All of the “Big Four” accounting firms recruit Messiah accounting graduates, and employers consistently report that Messiah College produces highly competent Christian accountants with the integrity, technical skills and writing ability needed in today’s demanding business environment.