2023-2024 College Catalog

Accounting, Bachelor of Science

Department Co-Chairs:

Pauline Stamp
Aaron R. Stephens


Li Luo


Accounting (General)

Accounting CPA




Accounting’s focus on the preparation, communication, and use of economic information for decision-making is especially relevant in an information age. Accounting-based information is the central means of communicating with internal and external stakeholders. It is the language of business. Hartwick's demanding accounting program develops and stresses critical thinking, analytical ability, and effective communication. At its core is decision making. The program’s goal is to develop well-rounded individuals who understand the role of accounting within society, possess a solid accounting foundation, and can apply their education to ethical decision making. Graduates should be able to adjust to a dynamic, constantly changing economic environment, to recognize the need for continual learning, and to assist the profession in responding to challenges. Business leaders with strong accounting backgrounds have a significant competitive advantage. Many chief executive officers are certified public accountants (CPAs) or certified management accountants (CMAs).

As commercial, industrial, and governmental organizations increase in complexity and international activity, they will seek accounting graduates with solid quantitative backgrounds and refined communicative ability: the combination found in our interdisciplinary accounting program and Hartwick’s distinctive Promise requirements. The two majors within the Accounting Program are the Accounting-Certified Public Accountant (CPA) major (intended for those interested in licensure as a CPA) and the Accounting-General major (intended for those interested in internal reporting or graduate education as a path to licensure as a CPA). A minor in Accounting also is offered. The use of computers is integrated throughout the accounting curriculum that utilizes the Internet for research, spreadsheets for analysis, and accounting software programs currently used by small business and accounting professionals.

The Accounting-CPA major has financial accounting and external reporting as its central focus. It investigates the questions and ethical dilemmas that underlie generally accepted accounting principles by studying the preparation, communication, and analysis of accounting information. It is a four-year licensure-qualifying program, registered with the New York State Education Department Office of Professional Licensing. Registration identifies program graduates as having completed the 150 hours of designated academic credit required for CPA licensure in New York. It expedites CPA exam registration and licensure and includes the NYS licensure required Financial, Managerial, Taxation and Auditing Accounting courses. The Accounting-General major allows students more flexibility within the accounting discipline. Students complete 120 hours of study that may focus on management accounting or taxation. Accounting-General majors who are considering CPA licensure should include Auditing in their major’s electives. The Accounting minor offers advantages to all Hartwick students. It is a natural complement to majors in Economics, Computer Science, Business Administration, and Mathematics, among others. The minor helps prepare students for careers in business or in organizations that interact with business. It also provides an excellent foundation for students planning to pursue graduate study in business administration. A benefit of the interdisciplinary nature of the Accounting program is the ease in double majoring (e.g., Accounting and Economics, Computer Science, or Business Administration) or minoring in a related discipline (e.g., Economics, Finance, or Business Administration). For additional information, contact the department chair.