Bachelor of Arts in Accounting

Start your journey in the rewarding field of accounting with our Bachelor of Arts in Accounting.

Accounting majors get hired. Accountants today are in high demand. And Bellarmine accounting majors learn more than just accounting. They learn business expertise, communication skills, ethical awareness and the interpersonal acumen to bring high value to any organization.

Why earn your accounting degree at Bellarmine?

The core of the Bellarmine accounting major is a four-year, 120-hour program that provides the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful accounting career.

Many students choose to obtain the 150-semester-hours required to take the Uniform CPA exam. Bellarmine offers several 150-hour alternatives, including supplemental minors, dual majors, or a dual BA/MBA.

If you already hold a degree in another field, you may wish to pursue our Certificate in Professional Accounting.

Thanks to an increasing demand for accountants and Bellarmine’s highly regarded accounting program, majoring in accounting is your ticket to a bright future.

CPA Exam Pass Rates

Bellarmine University, a fully accredited AACSB business school, has one of the highest overall CPA Exam pass rates in Kentucky according to data from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Bellarmine accounting graduates who take the CPA Exam for the first time average a pass rate of 65.8%, the highest in the state according to the data reported by NASBA. For those accounting graduates who take the exam within one year of graduation, the pass rate jumps to 85.7%.

Uniform CPA Exam Pass Rates for Accounting Students 

 2017 CPA Pass RatesOverallAUD.BEC. FAR.REG.
 Bellarmine55.6%60.9%50.9%50.0%59.1%
 Kentucky48.6%50.0%53.0%46.3%45.1%
 United States52.9%48.6%53.0%44.4%47.24%

Uniform CPA Exam Pass Rates for Accounting Students 

 2013 - 2016 CPA Pass RatesOverallAUD.BEC. FAR.REG.
 Bellarmine51.2%44.3%66.43%49.68%49.75%
 Kentucky47.88%44.9%54.58%45.78%46.9%
 United States49.53%46.63%56.1%47.05%49.07%

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Accounting right for me?
Accounting is a great path for you if you are detail-oriented, good with numbers, have strong analytical skills, and are good at communicating thoughts and ideas. Accountants are important members of all organizations and use business expertise, communication and interpersonal skills, and accounting knowledge to improve organizational decision-making. If you are looking for a rewarding career path:

  • The United States Department of Labor reports that employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026 (faster than the average for all occupations).
  • According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Salary Survey, accounting is one of the top degrees “in Demand.”
  • Robert Half’s 2018 Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance reports entry level salaries in public accounting range from $46,000 to $73,250 depending on the candidates knowledge base and experience level

What employment options are available with an accounting degree?
The core of the Bellarmine accounting major is a four-year, 120-hour program with curriculum designed to prepare students for a career in accounting and allows students to obtain entry-level positions in a variety of corporate, non-profit, and governmental entities. However, most students choose one of the many options that complete the 150-semester hours required to take the CPA exam and begin a career in public accounting.

Do I have to apply separately to the Accounting program if I am admitted to Bellarmine?
No, admission to Bellarmine is all that is required. Separate admittance to the Accounting program or Business School is not required.

What courses are required to complete the program?

  • Required core courses: ACCT 101, 102, 211, 212, 215, 225, 313, 317, 318, 414, 418, 425.
  • Required related courses: BUSA 103, 301, 305, 345, 346 (or ECON 410), 403, 499; ECON 110, 111, 314; FINA 315; MATH 125 or 117; MATH 205 or 315; COMM 103 or 205; PSYC 103.
  • Students must achieve a minimum 2.00 GPA for all Rubel School courses (accounting, business, economics, and finance) taken in the Rubel School (not counting transfer courses) to graduate with an Accounting major.

When do students begin taking Accounting courses?
Your professional career starts as a freshman at Bellarmine. You take two Principles of Accounting courses during your freshman year and Financial Accounting I in your sophomore year.

Upon entering Bellarmine, you will be assigned two academic advisors, one from Bellarmine’s Student Success Center and a Full-Time Accounting faculty member.

Do you provide job or internship placement?
The following are some of the organizations that have provided part-time internship positions for Bellarmine accounting students: A. J. Wissing, PSC; Atria Senior Living; Freibert Bigg; Humana; LG&E; Messer Construction; Mountjoy Chilton Medley; Papa John’s International; Republic Bank & Trust; Southern Graphic Systems; The Learning House; Texas Roadhouse; UBS Financial Services; KFB Foundation; and Yum! Brands.

Bellarmine accounting students have opportunities to complete full-time “busy” season audit or tax internships. All of the “Big 4” international Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firms and Louisville area regional and local firms interview on campus and hire Bellarmine students.

Bellarmine accounting students often obtain career positions prior to graduation.

Is the program accredited?
The W. Fielding Rubel School of Business at Bellarmine University is accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). Bellarmine is the first and only private university in Kentucky to achieve AACSB accreditation.

Can I transfer credit into this program from another institution?
All transfer courses in the Business School must be approved by the Department Chair.

Is financial aid available?
Please visit Bellarmine’s financial aid website for detailed information on financial aid packages.

All accounting students, beginning freshman year, are eligible for one of the many accounting scholarships we have available. In Fall 2018, over $60,000 in accounting scholarships were awarded to Bellarmine accounting students (scholarships typically range between $500 and $2,500).

How many hours can I expect to spend studying outside of class time?
Each student has their own learning style so this can vary greatly. As a rule of thumb, expect to spend an average of two hours studying for every hour you spend in-class.

Great opportunity for 2019 freshmen

If you are going to be a freshman this fall, you are eligible for a $5,310 summer scholarship in our Early Entry/New Freshmen Scholarship program. Participants will take two free courses over the summer, get a head start on college life, and gain early college credits. Learn more about the program on our Early Entry/New Freshmen Scholarship page.

Alumnus story

John Escosa

“I came to Bellarmine as a freshman with a general interest in numbers and business. From the moment I stepped onto campus, my peers and I were challenged by the accounting faculty to become strong enough, technically and personally, to work for some of the world’s leading public accounting firms. My experiences at BU led me to my career at Deloitte, the largest professional services network in the world, and helped me develop many of my closest friendships along the way. Words cannot articulate how much I value my years at Bellarmine!”

John Escosa, CPA, MBA ‘07
Audit Manager
Deloitte & Touche LLP

Careers in Accounting

All of the “Big 4” international Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firms and Louisville area regional and local firms interview on campus and hire Bellarmine students. Bellarmine accounting students often obtain career positions prior to graduation.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Salary Survey, accounting student starting salaries will exceed those in nearly every field except engineering. Robert Half’s Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance (Louisville market) reports starting salaries at midsize and large public accounting firms range from approximately $45,000 to $65,000 per year; and manager level (5-7 years of experience) salaries range from approximately $75,000 to $115,000 per year.

Internships

Bellarmine accounting students have opportunities to complete full-time “busy” season audit or tax internships during the spring semester of their junior year. Freshmen through seniors have opportunities to be employed by major corporations and CPA firms in part-time positions while attending school. Interns gain “real-world” accounting experience and work with experienced CPAs.

The following are some of the organizations that have provided internship positions for Bellarmine accounting students: A. J. Wissing, PSC; Atria Senior Living; Blue & Co. LLC; Crowe Horwath; Dean Dorton; Deloitte & Touche; EY; Freibert Bigg; Humana; KPMG; LG&E; Messer Construction; Mountjoy Chilton Medley; Papa John’s International; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Republic Bank & Trust; Southern Graphic Systems; Strothman & Company; The Learning House; Texas Roadhouse; UBS Financial Services; and Yum! Brands.

Student Activities

The Bellarmine University Accounting Association (BUAA) provides extensive access to and interaction with potential employers from the freshman year through career placement during the senior year and the start of the student’s career at graduation. The Accounting Association is a very active, student-led, organization and students are encouraged to join at the beginning of their freshman year. The firms, companies, and government agencies that recruit interns and graduates are guest speakers at the Accounting Association meetings and host social gatherings throughout the year. Recruiters expect students to attend these events if they are interested in later employment. Officers of the Association schedule the meetings, social events, and recruiting activities with the firms. Being an active member, and an Association officer, is a major advantage in obtaining the best positions after graduation.

Faculty Profiles

Here is a quick snapshot of a few of our faculty members. Read profiles of all of our distinguished faculty

Ms. Christy Burge

Ms. Christy Burge
Christy Burge is joining Bellarmine University after 17 years of teaching and mentoring students at the University of Louisville. She has been granted numerous top teaching awards over the years. She has taught in undergraduate and graduate programs. Christy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting with an emphasis in Information Systems, MBA and MACC. She held various senior corporate accounting positions including Chief Financial Officer/Director of Operations of The Cobb Group (Division of Ziff-Davis, Inc.), Plant Controller/VP of Operations & Customer Service of R. R. Donnelley & Sons, Inc., and Director of Finance/ Corporate Controller of DeAgostini USA Division. Her teaching areas include managerial/cost accounting, financial accounting, accounting information systems and leadership. She is active in the community as a business consultant and member of the IMA and KYCPA.

Dr. Elizabeth A. Payne

Dr. Elizabeth A. Payne
Dr. Payne is the Fr. Raymond J. Treece Endowed Chair and Professor of Accounting. She came to Bellarmine in 2017 with over 20 years of teaching experience in auditing, financial accounting and financial statement analysis. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in accounting, as well as a Ph.D., all from the University of Kentucky. She has published numerous articles in top academic journals including Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, the Journal of Information Systems, Current Issues in Auditing, and the International Journal of Accounting Information Systems. Dr. Payne is a CPA in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. She currently serves as an appointed member of the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy, a board member and VP of Professional Development for the Louisville Chapter of Financial Executives International; and on numerous university and college committees. She is a member of FEI, AAA (American Accounting Association), Beta Gamma Sigma, the KYCPA and the AICPA, and routinely speaks at various academic and accounting education conferences. Dr. Payne has received numerous teaching awards and research grants throughout her academic career. She worked in the accounting profession for ten years preceding academia, including public accounting (audit and tax) and as a controller of a large horse farm.

Dr. Keith Richardson

Dr. Keith Richardson
Dr. Richardson is a Professor of Accounting. Primary teaching areas are financial accounting and MBA. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Puget Sound, an MBA from Pacific Lutheran University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. Previous professional experience includes: Manager, Dwyer Pemberton & Coulson, CPAs; Arthur Andersen & Co, CPAs.; Financial Vice President, Affiliated American Corp; and Operations Manager and Controller, Ostrom Mushroom Farms.

Study Abroad

Bellarmine offers a wide variety of study abroad options around the globe. Learn what opportunities are available to you below.

Accreditation

The W. Fielding Rubel School of Business at Bellarmine University is accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), which places it among the elite business schools in the nation. Not only is Bellarmine the first and only private university in Kentucky to achieve AACSB accreditation, but less than 5% of the world's 13,000 business programs have earned AACSB Accreditation.

Contact Information

Bellarmine University
Office of Admission
2001 Newburg Road
Louisville, KY 40205
502.272.8258

School of Business
Bellarmine University
2001 Newburg Road
Louisville, KY 40205
502.272.8240

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