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As a Public Accountant, you will be able to run personal assessments for your clients.

Public Accounting Overview

Learn the skills and background to become an integral part of the financial success of any organization.

With a Bachelor of Science in Public Accounting degree, you’ll be prepared for the business world. That includes: business concepts, the accountant's ethical responsibilities and role in the business world.

You’ll learn:

  • Accounting principles and procedures
  • Federal income taxation
  • Auditing standards and procedures

Want to take the Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.) examination? Our courses will thoroughly prepare you. (By itself this program no longer qualifies students for CPA licensure.) Student interested in becoming a CPA will need to complete the 150 credit hour requirement by enrolling in the M.S. in Public Accounting program.

A Certified Public Accountant working with her clients.

Career Opportunities

Public Accounting graduates may seek positions such as:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • government auditor
  • internal auditor, financial advisor
  • revenue agent
  • tax accountant
  • management services accountant

Become a CPA
Take the Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.) Exam

Our courses will thoroughly prepare you for the C.P.A. exam (by itself this program no longer qualifies students for CPA licensure). Student interested in becoming a CPA will need to complete the 150 credit hour requirement by enrolling in the M.S. in Public Accounting program.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does earning a degree take?

Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.

Do I have the academic credentials to sit for the C.P.A. exam in New York State?

No, you now need to complete the combined BS/MS Public Accounting program (150 credit hour CPA licensure qualifying program) in order to become a CPA in New York State.

Are there any requirements for matriculation from the BS to the MS in Public Accounting program?

The Accounting Chairperson must provide written approval for students who are eligible to switch majors to the combined BS/MS program. The student must show the ability to succeed in the MS program. The matriculation between the BS and MS degrees is seamless.

What You'll Get

  • Hands-on Experience with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance for low income citizens (VITA) program

  • Get real-world experience while still in school by working on various consulting projects

  • Learn from an executive faculty who are leaders in their fields. 

School of Business students working on a project in Manhattan.

Future Business Leaders Academy

This year's Future Business Leaders Academy was our most successful yet. The highly select group chosen to join us at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY learned about personal branding, matching their personalities to career paths, and visited some of the top global corporations in New York.

Program Details & Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

The stand-alone B.S. in Public Accounting Program is not a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure-qualifying program in New York State. The Combined B.S./M.S. in Public Accounting is the only 150-credit-hour CPA licensure-qualifying program at Mercy College. (See catalog description for details.)

General Liberal Arts and Sciences
General Education Requirements: 60 Credits

ECON 125, 210, 220, 221, 230, MATH 116 and MATH/CISC 120 are prerequisites for the major and must be used to fulfill general education requirements.

Core and Specialization

Business Core: 21 Credits
Public Accounting 36 Credits
Open Electives: 3 Credits

Total: 120 Credits

For a full curriculum listing visit our catalog.


Business Core

Students who choose the major concentration in Public Accounting must complete:

  • ACCT 120 Intro to Financial Accounting
  • ACCT 121 Intro to Management Accounting
  • FINC 235 Financial Management
  • BLAW 240 Business Law I
  • BLAW 340 Business Law II
  • MGMT 225 Principles of Management
  • MGMT 340 Organizational Behavior

Public Accounting *

  • ACCT 240 Intermediate Accounting I
  • ACCT 241 Intermediate Accounting II
  • ACCT 250 Cost Accounting
  • ACCT 261 Computer App for Accountants
  • ACCT 320 Gov/Non-Profit/Special Topics
  • ACCT 330 Advanced Accounting
  • ACCT 340 Intro Federal Income Taxation
  • ACCT 341 Advanced Fed Income Taxation
  • ACCT 410 Accounting Information Systems
  • ACCT 420 Auditing & Assurance Services
  • ACCT 430 Topics: Prof Examinations Acct
  • MGMT 460 Strategic Management (senior-level capstone course)

Open Electives

Any one course

*The College's 15-credit residency requirement in the major concentration of Public Accounting must be met with 12 credits in Accounting (ACCT) courses numbered 240 or higher, excluding ACCT 380 and ACCT 381, plus Management (MGMT) 460 (senior-level capstone course).

The major concentration in Public Accounting meets the educational requirements for candidates applying to take the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Examination.

Program Outcomes

At the end of this program, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts in the business core curriculum
  • Evaluate ethical issues in accounting, auditing, and business
  • Use accounting and research tools to integrate business and accounting information in making strategic decisions
  • Use oral, written, and presentation skills to communicate accounting information and auditing results