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Post-Baccalaureate Accounting Certificate

The Post-Baccalaureate Accounting Certificate (PBAC) is an excellent program for students who have earned one or more baccalaureate degrees and who wish to complete the course work to prepare for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination. The program includes courses in accounting directly related to preparation for the exam, as well as professional preparation for public or industry accounting. In addition, courses are recommended in law, basic business, and other related areas for those whose undergraduate degree is not in business administration.

Students cannot earn a second degree in the same subject for which they earned their first degree, no matter where the first degree was completed. For example, students who have a degree in marketing cannot earn another degree in marketing.

Students who received an accounting degree outside the United States may earn the accounting certificate. Students who received an accounting degree in the United States are not eligible to earn an accounting certificate.

For detailed steps to apply to the School of Business as a post-baccalaureate student, visit

Application Criteria

The following requirements must be fulfilled prior to applying for admission to the School of Business Administration (SBA):

1. Be formally admitted to PSU as a post-baccalaureate and complete School of Business Opt-In Form.

Find instructions and forms on the Admissions site.

2. Complete pre-requisite courses

Students must complete each of the following business coures with a grade of "C" or better; P/NP grades are not accepted:

  • BA 211 - Fundamentals of Financial Accounting (4)
  • BA 213 - Decision Making with Accounting Information (4)
  • STAT 243 & 244 - Statistics I & II [register for business-specific sections of these courses, indicated by footnotes in the Schedule of Classes.]
  • EC 201 - Principles of Economics (micro)
  • EC 202 - Principles of Economics (macro)

Note: These courses are required for admission to the School of Business; however, they do not count toward the 48 accounting credits required for the PBAC.

Certificate Requirements

(valid 2009/2010 academic year only)

The requirements are 48-49 credits as follows:

Required Accounting Core (33 credits)

  • ACTG 335 - Accounting Information Systems (4)
  • ACTG 360 - Management Accounting (4)
  • ACTG 381, 382, 383 - Financial Accounting and Reporting (12)
  • ACTG 421 - Introduction to Taxation (4)
  • ACTG 430 - Governmental and not-for-profit Accounting (1)
  • ACTG 492 - Auditing Concepts and Practices (4)
  • ACTG 495 - Integrated Accounting Issues (4)

Plus two additional courses (7-8 credits) chosen from the following:

  • ACTG 422 - Advanced Taxation (4)
  • ACTG 460 - Advanced Managerial Accounting (4)
  • ACTG 485 - Business Law (4) (formerly Actg 412)
  • ACTG 490 - Advanced Financial Accounting and Reporting (3)
  • ACTG 493 - Advanced Auditing (4)

Other required courses (8 credits):

  • BA 303 - Business Finance (4)
  • BA 325 - Competing w/ Info Technology (a required prerequisite for ACTG 335) (4)

Important Note: Prior to starting the accounting requirements, it is highly recommended that students take ACTG 281. This class prepares students for the accounting mechanics (debits and credits) vital to success in the upper division courses. The class is offered every quarter, on a pass/no pass basis.

Important Note: WR 323, Junior Level English Composition, is required for any PBAC student whose first degree is from an institution where English is not the language of instruction.

Program Residency

At least 30 of the 48-49 credits required for the certificate and at least 27 credits in accounting must be taken in residence at PSU. Candidates must achieve at least a grade of "C-" in each course presented for the PBAC. A minimum program GPA of 2.5 is required for retaining admission to the SBA. See the PSU Bulletin for program retention rules.

Federally-Required Information on Gainful Employment Other than College Degree

Length of Program
Intended time to complete: 12 months full time
% of graduates who completed on time: 18%

Cost of Program (In-State 2012-2013 Rates) 
Tuition & Fees: $9,220 
Books & supplies: $1,650
Estimated room & board: $13,420
Other required fees?: $0
Total estimated cost: $9,220 program + $13,420 estimated room and board

Please click here for more information regarding tuition and fees. 


Jobs Related to this Program Stand Occupational Classification System Code
Accountants and Auditors 13-2011
Accountants and Auditors 13-2031
Credit Analysts 13-2041
Financial Examiners 13-2061
Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents 13-2081
Business Teachers, Postsecondary 25-1011

Median program graduate debt from:
Federal loans: $0
Private educational loans: $0
Institutional financing plan: $0


For advising information, visit the Advising page.

Accounting Advising Guide and Post Bacc Accounting Certificate Advising Guide

Please see our Accounting Advising Guide (PDF) for helpful information put together by our Accounting faculty.

Please see our PBAC Advising Guide (PDF) for information on the Post Bacc Accounting Certificate. 

Registration Restrictions


The School of Business strongly enforces prerequisite requirements. Prerequisites are stated in the PSU Bulletin (available online and from the PSU Bookstore, 503-725-3780) and are enforced through the online registration system. Please note: If a prerequisite course was taken outside of PSU and that course did not transfer, contact your advisor EACH TERM prior to registration.

College Restrictions

Registration for all 200, 300- and 400-level business courses is restricted to students admitted to the School of Business. The registration schedule for each term is posted on the Registration and Records site.

Waitlists and Class Attendance

For information on our Waitlist Policy, click here.