University of Southern California
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Undergraduate Degree

Bachelor of Science, Accounting

The USC Leventhal School of Accounting offers the Bachelor of Science, Accounting (B.S.) degree designed to prepare students for entry into the professional program leading to a Master of Accounting degree. The undergraduate curriculum also provides a general background in business necessary for entry into the accounting profession. There are three tracks which students can choose: the accounting track, the accounting information systems track or the early admitted graduate track.


Students may be admitted to the program as incoming freshmen, as USC undergraduates transferring from another major or as students transferring from another college or university. Admission to Marshall is dependent on admission to the university and on academic performance, particularly in quantitative areas. USC students who have not been admitted to the major or the minor in the Marshall School of Business and/or the Leventhal School of Accounting may complete a maximum of 20 units from the Marshall School of Business and/or the Leventhal School of Accounting. No further course work may be taken unless a student is admitted.

Marshall Honors

Marshall Honors is available upon graduation to majors in business administration or accounting and results in a special designation of departmental honors on a student’s transcript. Achievement of Marshall Honors requires completion of BUAD 491 Honors Seminar (2 units) and maintenance of a minimum GPA of 3.5 in upper division Marshall School of Business and Leventhal School of Accounting courses. To enroll in BUAD 491, students must have senior standing, a minimum overall GPA of 3.3 and completion of at least 32 units of upper division BUAD courses with a minimum GPA of 3.5. For additional information, contact the Marshall School of Business Office of Undergraduate Advising, Bridge Hall 104, (213) 740-0690.

Progressive Degree Programs: Bachelor of Science, Accounting/Master of Accounting and Bachelor of Science, Accounting/Master of Business Taxation

These progressive degree programs permit exceptional students to complete all requirements for both the B.S. and M.Acc. or M.B.T. degrees in five years. For more information see Progressive Degrees.

Accounting Track and Accounting Information Systems Track
B.S. students who are denied, or who do not apply for, early admission to the Master of Accounting or Master of Business Taxation programs choose either the accounting track or the accounting information systems track. The accounting track is geared toward accounting or auditing in, for example, industry, government or not-for-profit entities. The accounting information systems track focuses on the design, implementation and utilization of accounting information systems.

B.S. Curricular Requirements for All Tracks
For all tracks, the B.S., Accounting is a 128-unit program. The curricular requirements fall into two parts: lower division (first and second years) and upper division (third and fourth years). In the first two years, accounting students share with all business students a curriculum designed primarily to provide a sound intellectual foundation for the major as well as prerequisite courses. In the last two years, the students devote much of their study to business and accounting subjects.


Academic advisement is provided through the Leventhal School of Accounting Student Services Office in Accounting 101, (213) 740-4838. Pre-business and business students will be required to meet with an academic advisor before registering and this requirement will be in effect until 24 USC units are completed. However, all students are encouraged to see an academic advisor on a regular basis. A record of each student is kept on file. Appointments for advisement may be scheduled at most times during the academic year. However, during busy times such as the preregistration, registration and drop/add periods, advisors may be available on a walk-in basis only.

Leventhal Undergraduate Student Services and Marshall Undergraduate Student Services offer students assistance in networking, finding internships, resume writing, interviewing techniques and other career related issues.

Transferring College Credit

College Courses
USC has established articulation agreements with most community colleges throughout California. Most academic courses are acceptable for transfer credit from a two-year school, but students may not receive credit for specialized, technical or remedial courses. Courses that do not appear on the articulation agreement are not transferable. A maximum of 64 semester units may be transferred. Check with the Degree Progress Department (SAS 010) for questions about transferable courses or see a counselor in Accounting 101.

Official transcripts of college work taken elsewhere must be submitted, at the time of application, to the USC Office of Admission. A credit evaluation will be completed which will list transfer courses accepted for credit. All business courses completed at a two-year college, if transferable, will be considered elective credit.

There is one exception to this policy. Students may transfer two semesters of introductory accounting and receive credit equivalent to one semester of introductory accounting at USC. Then students can register for BUAD 305 Abridged Core Concepts of Accounting Information and complete their accounting course requirement in one semester at USC. In this case, students would not be required to take BUAD 250ab.

Four Year Colleges
Most courses are acceptable for unit credit from all fully accredited four-year institutions. If the courses do not satisfy specific subject requirements at USC, they will be accepted for elective course credit.

Students are urged to complete all their required business administration courses at USC. All business courses from four-year institutions, if transferable, will be considered elective credit unless a challenge examination is passed. Only core classes, with the exception of BUAD 497, may be challenged. Students should consult with an academic advisor in Bridge Hall 104 to initiate the challenge examination process.

Grade Point Average Prerequisites for Transfer Students

Transfer students are required to meet the following grade requirements to be admitted to the Leventhal School of Accounting. An average grade of B in the two transferred accounting courses and BUAD 305 (with no grade lower than B-). Grades in accounting courses taken at other institutions will only be considered in meeting the admission requirement for the Leventhal School of Accounting. Once a transfer student completes a minimum of two accounting courses at USC, the student’s accounting grades at the prior institution will no longer be considered in determining whether the student meets the 2.5 grade point average standard (see Grade Point Average Prerequisites following).

In the computation of grade point averages for accounting courses taken at other colleges or universities, the courses will be weighted in terms of the number of units provided for the equivalent USC accounting courses.

Grade Point Average Prerequisites

The following are grade point average prerequisites for any undergraduate student enrolled in any accounting course. Individual instructors may not waive these standards: (1) an average grade of B or better in BUAD 250a and 250b with no grade lower than a B- (transfer students see previous section); and (2) a minimum 2.5 grade point average (A = 4.0) for all accounting courses taken previously.

In meeting the B average required in BUAD 250a and BUAD 250b, only one of the courses may be repeated. If the repeated course grade is higher, that grade will be considered in determining whether the student meets the B average, and the original course grade will be disregarded by the Leventhal School of Accounting in the administration of its grade point average requirements. See Repeated Course Work at USC for further restrictions on including grades in repeated courses in the overall university grade point average computation.

In computing grade point average prerequisites, BUAD 250ab or BUAD 305x, and BUAD 302T will be considered accounting courses.

When a student’s cumulative accounting grade point average falls below 2.5, the student is placed on probation. If a student on probation does not regain a minimum accounting cumulative GPA of 2.5 after completing the next 12 semester hours in all courses (including accounting units) attempted within the university, that student will not be permitted to continue as an accounting major in the Leventhal School of Accounting. Exceptions to this policy may be granted only in unusual circumstances by the Academic Standards Committee of the Leventhal School of Accounting. Decisions of the Academic Standards Committee are final.

To be removed from probationary status, a student may elect to take another accounting course or courses for which prerequisites are met or to repeat an accounting course or courses in an attempt to earn a higher grade. Regardless of the course of action taken, all courses completed will be counted in computing the cumulative accounting grade point average.

A grade of “W” in an accounting course taken while on probation will not extend probation. The probation period ends at the end of that semester during which the student completes a cumulative total of 12 semester hours of courses in any subject(s) at the university. Under no conditions will the student be permitted more than two successive semesters, including the summer semester, to complete the 12 semester hours of courses.

Graduation Standard
Students must attain a minimum 2.5 cumulative accounting grade point average (A = 4.0) to graduate with a Bachelor of Science, Accounting degree.

Lower Division Requirements

A total of 60 units of non-business course work is required for the B.S., Accounting degree. Students are expected to complete their prerequisites, general education requirements and BUAD 250ab before enrolling in upper division business classes. See the sample programs that follow for scheduling suggestions. Transfer students may meet individual subject requirements with three semester units or four quarter units.

Successful completion of upper division courses where lower division courses are prerequisites does not constitute a basis for waiving the lower division courses. For example, a student who passes BUAD 306 prior to taking BUAD 250b will not be waived from the BUAD 250b requirement.

In addition, international students working toward the business or accounting degree must take and successfully complete ALI 262 Argumentation. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the chairman of the Business Communication Department (ACC 400).

General Education Requirements (32 units)

The university’s general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program requires six courses in different categories, plus writing and diversity requirements, which together comprise the USC Core. See here and here for more information.

Accounting/Business Prerequisites (20 units)
ECON 203Principles of Microeconomics4
ECON 205Principles of Macroeconomics4
MATH 118x*Fundamental Principles of the Calculus (MATH 125 Calculus I may be substituted)4
MATH 218Probability for Business4
WRIT 140Writing and Critical Reasoning4

*Placement into MATH 118x is contingent on successful completion of MATH 117 or obtaining an acceptable score on the math placement exam or AP calculus or IB mathematics exam.

It is recommended that the required accounting course BUAD 250ab or BUAD 305x be completed before enrolling in upper division courses; however, it does not need to be completed for admission to the Marshall School of Business.

All prerequisites for business and all accounting and business courses must be taken for a letter grade.

A maximum of 24 units of undergraduate course work taken on a pass/no pass basis may be used toward the B.S., Accounting degree. No more than four units of credit (or one course) counting toward the general education categories may be taken on a pass/no pass basis. The writing course cannot be taken on a pass/no pass basis.

Business/Accounting Core

Accounting majors are required to complete the following core program.

Core ProgramUnits
BUAD 302T*Business Communication for Accountants4
BUAD 304Organizational Behavior4
BUAD 306Business Finance4
BUAD 307Marketing Fundamentals4
BUAD 310Applied Business Statistics4
BUAD 311T*Operations Management for Accounting Majors4
BUAD 350Macroeconomic Analysis for Business Decisions, or
BUAD 351Economic Analysis for Business Decisions4
BUAD 497Managerial Decision-Making and Planning (for seniors only)4

*If an accounting student has already completed the courses in a section not designated for accounting majors, he or she must check with an academic advisor in the Leventhal School of Accounting for advisement.

The Bachelor of Science, Accounting degree includes the following required accounting courses in addition to the business core courses listed above.

Required Accounting CoursesUnits
Courses required for the accounting track, the accounting information systems track and the early admitted graduate track
BUAD 250abCore Concepts of Accounting Information, or4-4
BUAD 305Abridged Core Concepts of Accounting Information4
ACCT 370abExternal Financial Reporting Issues2-2
ACCT 371abIntroduction to Accounting Systems2-2
ACCT 372Internal Reporting Issues2
ACCT 373Introduction to Assurance Services2
ACCT 374Introduction to Tax Issues2

Elective Courses for the Accounting Track
Choose four of the following two-unit courses:8
ACCT 416Financial Reporting and Analysis2
ACCT 470abAdvanced External Financial Reporting Issues2
ACCT 471Accounting Information Systems2
ACCT 472Managerial Accounting2
ACCT 473Financial Statement Auditing2
ACCT 474Tax Issues for Business2
ACCT 475Systems Security and Audit2
ACCT 476Performance Measurement Issues2

Additional Required and Elective Courses for the Accounting Information Systems Track
ACCT 478Accounting Systems Design4
ACCT 479Accounting Systems Development4

Additional Required and Elective Courses for the Accelerated Dual Degree and Early Admitted Graduate Track
ACCT 470abAdvanced External Financial Reporting Issues2-2
ACCT 471Accounting Information Systems2
ACCT 473Financial Statement Auditing2
ACCT 474Tax Issues for Business2

Accounting Minor

A minor in accounting is available to students in all schools and departments except the Marshall School of Business. The minor provides the opportunity for non-business majors to gain an understanding, from the perspective of the user of accounting information, of how accounting is used in the business world. To be approved for the accounting minor, students must have completed a minimum of 32 units of college-level courses and attained a minimum GPA of 2.75. Successful completion of the 22 units for the accounting minor requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the following courses:

Course RequirementsUnits
ACCT 410xFoundations of Accounting4
ACCT 411xUnderstanding of Financial Reporting2
BUAD 200x*Economic Foundations for Business2
BUAD 215xFoundations of Business Finance4

Choose three of the following courses:
ACCT 412xSpecial Financial Reporting Issues2
ACCT 416**Financial Reporting and Analysis2
ACCT 418xAccounting for Management Decisions2
ACCT 419xUnderstanding Accounting Information Systems2
ACCT 420xUnderstanding Income Tax2
ACCT 499Special Topics2

Choose one of the following courses:
BUAD 302Communication Strategy in Business4
BUAD 304Organizational Behavior4
BUAD 307Marketing Fundamentals4
BUAD 311Operations Management4
BUAD 403Legal Environment of Business4
FBE 400xIntroduction to Real Estate Finance and Development4

*Students who have taken ECON 203 and ECON 205 will be waived out of BUAD 200x.

**Prerequisite ACCT 411b