The accounting major is designed to prepare students for accounting careers in public accounting, business, government and nonprofit organizations.

Accounting is often called the "language of business.” Every manager, investor and person active in the marketplace needs a clear understanding of accounting terms and concepts to participate effectively in the business community.

Houghton’s accounting major provides broad exposure to management concepts in addition to the core accounting courses. The program includes federal taxation, auditing, accounting theory and practice, current developments as the U.S. moves towards international accounting standards, and ethical considerations discussed in a Christian context.

Why Major in Accounting?

  • Get real-world, hands-on experience in the field with our many student-run business opportunities.
  • Study with faculty members who have years of professional business experience in a variety of fields, including (but not limited to) broadcasting, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, nonprofits, banking, public relations, higher education and human resource management.
  • Qualify to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam in New York State.
  • Earn your MBA and 150 hours toward the CPA exam in our 4+1 accelerated partnership with Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
  • Satisfy your internship requirement by participating in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant Program where students prepare tax returns free of charge for low-income, elderly and disadvantaged individuals in the local community.

Major Requirements

Accounting Major (BS)


Hands-on Experiential Learning

Business and accounting majors at Houghton have many opportunities to get real experience in the field. Our Student Investment Group manages a six-digit real money portfolio while the innovative Houghton Student Enterprises group plans, manages and operates numerous on-campus businesses. Students interested in human resources management run the Houghton student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. Professional members of the business community are brought to campus regularly through our Guest Executive Dinners to meet with students and present seminars on topics of current interest in the business world. Guest lecturers have included the CEOs of Johnson and Johnson and Cardone Industries. Every student is involved in at least one for-credit internship as part of the program. Students can also participate overseas in the International Business Institute.

Faculty Members with Solid Experience in the Field

Many of our business faculty members have 25 years or more of professional working experience prior to their academic career. Our professors have served as Certified Public Accountants, human resource managers, financial consultants, public relations directors, business analysts, television and radio broadcasters, communication strategy managers, organizational effectiveness consultants, lawyers, and entrepreneurs. The experience they bring into the classroom enriches and validates what students are learning through their coursework.

Business Investment Center

The Business Investment Center is designed to give select business and accounting students the hands-on opportunity to research and buy and sell stocks with real money. Equipped with a 24-foot-long stock ticker streaming the latest quotes, LCD screens showing market commentators and their predictions, and four dual-screen trader stations presenting market research results, the Investment Center serves as trading room, classroom and study area. Students have been managing a portion of the Houghton College stock portfolio since 2001 and have grown the assets under management to approximately $360,000—consistently outperforming the S&P 500.

4 + 1 Accelerated MBA: Five Years, Two Degrees

Houghton has established agreements with selected graduate schools whereby qualified students who have earned a BS degree in business can accelerate their MBA degree. Students can waive certain MBA foundation courses, allowing them to complete an MBA in one year. Houghton currently has 4+1 agreements with Alfred University, Clarkson University, Niagara University, Rochester Institute of Technology and St. Bonaventure University.

Qualify for the CMA Exam

Students interested in focusing on the accounting and financial management skills that drive business performance might prefer the CMA designation. The CMA exam is designed specifically to validate mastery of the advanced skills required to manage finance functions within an organization, enabling you to deliver value in today’s complex business environment.