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Accounting Major


Accounting student in class 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 the classified section of any newspaper 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.


Practical Experience

During your college years, you will be encouraged to gain practical experience in off-campus settings. Through the Career Development Office and Internship Office, you may obtain internships and cooperative education experiences in businesses in the surrounding communities. These practical experiences, some of which are compensated monetarily, provide you with opportunities to clarify career goals and enhance classroom learning.


Community Service

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 exam. A national average of 10 to 15 percent of students taking the CPA exam for the first time pass all four parts. In comparison, an average of 27 percent of Messiah College graduates pass all four parts of the CPA exam on their first try. Among the more than fifty schools in Pennsylvania that offer accounting programs, Messiah graduates have consistently ranked first or second in total parts passed on the CPA exam.


The 150 Hour Accounting Education Requirement

Status of the Pennsylvania Senate Bill 838:


The bill (now Act 73) was signed into law in July 2008.


The Act requires a CPA candidate to complete 150 hours of post-secondary education (an undergraduate degree plus additional hours or a master’s degree), including 36 hours of accounting, tax, finance and business law, prior to becoming licensed as a CPA in Pennsylvania. The candidate can take the CPA exam prior to meeting the education requirements.


The Act will take affect for those sitting for the exam after December 31, 2011 (first-year students of fall 2008)


Status of the CPA Law for States Surrounding Pennsylvania:


Maryland, Ohio and New Jersey (New York in 2009), along with many other states have already implemented similar CPA laws. However, each state has its unique characteristics and students that anticipate moving to another state after graduating from Messiah College should meet with their advisor to discuss the necessary curriculum revisions needed to meet a particular state’s requirements.


Messiah College’s Approach to Meeting the 150 Hour Education Requirement:


We are encouraging students who need to meet the 150 hour requirement to anticipate this as soon as possible and begin working out a plan to meet these requirements. These plans can include any number of combinations of the following:


      • Advanced Placement (AP) credits
      • CLEP credits
      • Summer classes online through Messiah College or classes through a local community college or university (classroom or on-line)
      • Internship credits (summer before or after senior year)
      • Graduate credits (after completing undergraduate degree)


Many students in recent years have met the 150 hour requirement within their four years at Messiah College and we anticipate that this will continue to be the case with the new law.


The Effects of the 150 Hour Requirement on Recruitment of Messiah College Graduates:


In response to our direct questions to the accounting firms that are hiring our graduates, we continue to hear that as long as our graduates have completed (or have a short-term plan to complete) the required 150 credit hours, they either do not have a preference or would prefer that these credits be completed at the undergraduate level (i.e. a master’s degree is not needed).

Questions Regarding This Issue:


Please contact Jim Krimmel, Associate Professor of Accounting at 717-766-2511 ext. 6990 or


After Graduation

The demand for accountants is growing faster than the supply of qualified personnel. Recruiters from major industries and CPA firms, including several of the largest international firms, visit Messiah's campus to hire accounting majors in all fields of accounting. Presently, there are not enough Messiah graduates taking the CPA exam to fulfill the demands of CPA firm recruiters coming on campus. In addition, a number of Messiah students choose to further their studies in graduate school. Some students also sit for the Certified Management Accounting (CMA) exam.


Writing Integration

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.



For more details on the curriculum requirements and the types of courses you would be taking as an Accounting Major, visit our Online Course Catalog.  A list of major requirements can be found here or take a look at the printable Accounting Major Brochure.

For more details on the curriculum requirements and the types of courses you would be taking as an Accounting Minor, visit our Online Course Catalog.

(Course catalog and major brochure include PDF files. Click here for the Adobe® PDF Reader®)


How to Apply

To apply for admission to Messiah College, simply call and request an application at 1-800-233-4220 or apply online! Open House dates and major-specific events are scheduled throughout the year. Students may arrange for a variety of visit options to suit their interests and schedule.



* Messiah College does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, age, disability, or national or ethnic origin.


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