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Bachelor's Degree

The Department of Accounting and Information Systems strives to provide a world class accounting and information systems education to our students. With our Undergraduate Programs we seek to prepare students to enter the accounting and information systems professions with the skills and knowledge of business, information systems, and accounting concepts and practices.

We offer two majors.  Both majors provide a fundamental education for careers in public accounting (CPA) firms, large and small corporations, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations.

  • The Accounting & Information Systems Major is designed to help prepare graduates for the broadest range of accounting careers, including those in public accounting that require the CPA professional certification.  This major has three options:
    • Accounting & Auditing
    • Tax Compliance & Planning
    • Accounting Information Systems & Controls
  • The Accounting & Business Analysis Major is designed to provide students with flexibility to combine a core accounting education with a leading-edge specialty in accounting, business analytics, or another discipline.

It is hard to beat Virginia Tech if you want to study Accounting.
Virginia Tech accounting majors receive $16,000 more than the average accounting grad.
--from College Factual, March 2019 & 2022

Program Descriptions

Accounting & Information Systems Major -
Accounting & Auditing Option (AAA),

previously named the Accounting Option (ACCT)

The Accounting & Auditing Option prepares students for careers in the preparation, reporting, audit, analysis, and use of financial information. Graduates from the Accounting & Auditing Option go on to careers as accountants, auditors, chief financial officers, consultants, controllers, cost accountants, financial analysts, forensic accountants, partners, business owners, treasurers, etc.  

Accounting & Information Systems Major -
Tax Compliance & Planning Option (TCP)

The Tax Compliance & Planning Option prepares students for careers in individual and business tax planning, compliance, and consulting.  Graduates from the Tax Compliance & Planning Option go on to careers as tax preparers, tax consultants, financial planners, partners, etc. 

Accounting & Information Systems Major -
Accounting Information Systems & Controls Option (ASYS),

previously named the Accounting Information Systems Audit Option (ISA)

The Accounting Information Systems & Controls Option is an innovative systems program designed to prepare students for careers in assurance and advisory services pertaining to corporate technologies as well as related business processes.  Graduates from the Accounting Information Systems & Controls Option go on to careers as information systems auditors, information systems professionals in enterprise risk assurance services, computer risk management services, forensic accountants, consultants, partners, etc.

Accounting & Business Analysis Major (ABA)

The Accounting & Business Analysis Major allows students to select electives in the field of accounting as well as related disciplines to build a specialized background in Accounting Analytics, Artificial Intelligence & Accounting, Sustainability Accounting, or other emerging areas in accounting.  This major also supports traditional corporate accounting careers such as cost accountant, internal auditor, management consultant, budget analyst, etc.

Initially, I studied computer science at Virginia Tech, yet went on to obtain a degree in accounting. At that time, the accounting information systems major was not available. My education at Virginia Tech and participation in the accounting honors fraternity, Beta Alpha Psi, helped me secure a position with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., later to become KPMG. After 10 years experience as an auditor, I accepted the opportunity to build the information risk management practice in Virginia. This practice focuses on the risks inherent in the technology systems used to support our clients' business objectives. I'm proud to say that some of the best and brightest professionals in our IRM practice today are recent accounting information systems graduates from Virginia Tech. Go Hokies! 

Lynne Doughtie, '85, Chairman and CEO, KPMG
Lynne Martin Doughtie, '85, Chairman and CEO 2015-2020, KPMG

Required ACIS Courses by Program

All ACIS programs share a common core of 6 accounting courses. 

ACIS courses common to all programs:  1104, 2504, 3115, 3504, 4212 and 4654.

All three options of the Accounting & Information Systems Major require another 3 accounting courses essential for all CPA-bound students, plus an additional 3-4 courses specific to an accounting specialty area.  The Accounting & Business Analysis Major adds a second accounting analytics course to the common core.

Courses by major and option.

Accounting & Information Systems Majors have 3 or 4 electives, depending on the option chosen, and Accounting & Business Analysis Majors have 10 electives.  Some of these electives are ACIS electives, and some may be free electives.

Courses used to fulfill ACIS restricted electives.

As a CPA candidate and later as a senior accountant with Arthur Andersen, I always felt that I was well prepared to complete the assignments I was asked to undertake. However, it was not until I returned to school to pursue an MBA at Cornell University and subsequently joined Air Products that I truly appreciated how well-rounded my undergraduate education was. The accounting program at Virginia Tech is demanding, but the skills I acquired as an undergraduate (communication, teamwork, leadership and organization) have served me well, especially in juggling the demands of work and family. The Pamplin College of Business is committed to turning out graduates who are not only technically competent, but also those who communicate well, thrive on teamwork, and are well-qualified to meet the exciting challenges presented by an ever-changing business environment. ---Jennifer Snyder Thomas, ’91, Financial Analyst, International Gases Air Products & Chemicals Inc.

Other Major Requirements

All Accounting and Information Systems majors must complete an Option Selection Form which identifies the option (AAA, ASYS, or TCP) desired. This form should be completed by the second semester of the sophomore year or within 3 weeks of being admitted to the major. Completed forms should be delivered to Pamplin 3007.  If a student wishes to change options, they should submit a revised Option Selection Form.  Students selecting the Accounting & Business Analysis major (ABA) do not need to complete the Option Selection Form.

In addition to having a minimum 2.00 in-major and overall GPA, all ACIS students must also earn a grade of C- or higher in ACIS 3115, ACIS 3504, ACIS 4214, and ACIS 4654 to graduate.  

For more details about program requirements, see our 24/25 Sample Checksheets:

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Professional Certification

All three options of the Accounting & Information Systems Major (AAA, TCP, and ASYS) meet the educational requirements to sit for the CPA Exam in Virginia.  Accounting & Business Analysis Majors (ABA) should consult their advisor or ACIS department regarding specific electives necessary to meet educational requirements required to sit for the CPA Exam.

In addition to the CPA exam, graduates of our programs sit for other professional certifications.  If students are interested in pursuing other professional certification(s), it is recommended that they discuss with their Advisor or ACIS faculty to determine if the major will help prepare them for the respective professional certification(s). 

152-hour Program

For students who enroll as undergraduates and who are interested in becoming certified public accountants, we have a special 152-Hour Program that combines undergraduate and graduate course work. The program allows students to take courses necessary to take the CPA examination in Virginia and to receive both the Bachelor's degree and the Master's degree in Accounting and Information Systems upon completion usually in five years or less.