The Accounting Program at Gustavus Adolphus College is committed to providing a quality accounting education in contemporary subject matters and to supporting the student’s technical accounting coursework with a broad set of skills, knowledge and experiences in the liberal arts tradition.

We strive to prepare students to face challenges of a global business environment and to become active and engaged citizens who are able to apply accounting and business knowledge for the betterment of their communities. 

Why study accounting at a liberal arts college?

Employers today demand the communication skills, critical thinking skills, and other core competencies developed in a liberal arts college curriculum.

Why Gustavus?

1. Our program, with the use of January term and for-credit internships allows many students to reach the credit hour requirement for the CPA exam in four years, rather than five years, as is the case in accounting programs at other colleges.

2. With proper planning, many students are able to experience paid internships during their final semester while still graduating in four years. 

3. All students have access to the services of the Gustavus Career Development Center, where students can obtain career interest guidance, resume assistance, interview skills training, and access to the Center’s robust listing of internship and job placement opportunities.

4. Students may join the Gustavus Mentoring Program that connects students on campus with members of the Gustavus alumni community.

5. All faculty teaching accounting courses at Gustavus are Certified Public Accountants who have significant public accounting experience and/or industry experience

Developed Skills and Preparedness


E/M-108 (Principles of Microeconomics) is a prerequisite for further work in the department unless the student receives approval of an alternate from the department chairperson.

Accounting Majors

This section lists the requirements of the Accounting majors. A grade of C- or higher is required for each course counted toward the major and a departmental GPA of 2.33 or higher is required for all departmental courses counted toward the majors. January Interim courses are not counted toward any major in the department. The specific requirements are as follows:

  1. Departmental Mathematics Requirement (required of all majors). A grade of C- or better is required in each of these courses. Additional courses in Mathematics and Computer Science are strongly recommended for students anticipating graduate study.
    1. MCS-121 Calculus I or MCS-118 & MCS-119 Calculus with Pre-calculus Review 1a & b
    2. Complete one of the following listed below.
      1. E/M-125 Statistics for Economics and Management
      2. MCS-142 Introduction to Statistical Methods
      3. MCS-341 Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics I
  2. Departmental Core (required of all majors):
    1. E/M-108 Principles of Microeconomics
    2. E/M-109 Principles of Macroeconomics
    3. E/M-110 Financial Accounting
      1. In order to receive credit toward a major in the department, a grade point average of 2.33 is required for the three core courses, with a grade of C– being the minimum acceptable grade in any of the core courses.It is strongly recommended that the core courses as well as the mathematics requirement be completed by the end of the sophomore year.

        Students must complete the Departmental Core before enrolling in Level II 
or Level III courses in the Economics and Management Department. Students must complete the Departmental Mathematics requirement before enrolling
in Level III courses. Non-majors who wish to take Level II or III courses without having completed the above prerequisites may enroll with the permission of the instructor.

  3. Additional Course Requirements for Each Major as Follows: 
    1. All six of the following are required.
      1. E/M-230 Managerial Accounting
      2. E/M-231 Intermediate Accounting I
      3. E/M-232 Intermediate Accounting II
      4. E/M-240 Cost Accounting
      5. E/M-330 Auditing
      6. E/M-340 Federal Taxation
    2. Accounting Electives: One course credit from the following.
      1. E/M-241 Accounting Information Systems
      2. E/M-339 Advanced Accounting
    3. Management Requirements
      1. E/M-265 Business Law
      2. Three courses from the following.
        1. E/M-251 Ethics in Business and Economics
        2. E/M-260 Marketing
        3. E/M-261 Organizational Behavior and Management
        4. E/M-270 Business Finance
        5. E/M-350 Human Resource Management
        6. E/M-351 Globalization and International Organizations
        7. E/M-353 Operations Management
        8. E/M-360 Managerial Economics
        9. E/M-370 Managerial Finance
        10. E/M-371 Investments
    4. Complete a total of 37.5 courses, not counting more than .5 course of Physical Education activities or more than 4 courses of career exploration or internship.
    1. Accounting Major: This is a good program for those who do not plan to become CPAs and those who plan to complete an MBA before getting a CPA license. Students completing this program are prepared for a variety of entry-level positions in public accounting, private industry, or government. Those who complete this major may sit for the CPA exam in Minnesota, but must take additional courses to receive a license from the Minnesota Board of Accountancy.
      1. All six of the following are required.
        1. E/M-230 Managerial Accounting
        2. E/M-231 Intermediate Accounting I
        3. E/M-232 Intermediate Accounting II
        4. E/M-240 Cost Accounting
        5. E/M-330 Auditing
        6. E/M-340 Federal Taxation
      2. Accounting Elective: Choose option A or B.
        1. E/M-241 Accounting Information Systems (1 credit)
        2. E/M-339 Advanced Accounting (1 credit)
      3. Management Requirements:
        1. E/M-265 Business Law
        2. Two courses from the following.
          1. E/M-251 Ethics in Business and Economics
          2. E/M-260 Marketing
          3. E/M-261 Organizational Behavior and Management
          4. E/M-270 Business Finance
          5. E/M-353 Operations Management
          6. E/M-360 Managerial Economics
          7. E/M-370 Managerial Finance
    2. Public Accounting Major: This program is designed for students who want to complete the education requirements for CPA licensure in Minnesota prior to graduating from Gustavus. Notes: Completion of all requirements for the Public Accounting major may take more than eight semesters of study. The Public Accounting Major meets the education requirements for CPA licensure in Minnesota. Students should be aware that other states may have different requirements. Students who wish to obtain a certificate in a state other than Minnesota should contact the Board of Accountancy in that state as soon as possible and work with their advisor to take courses that meet these requirements.

Mathematics Courses

118 Calculus with Pre-calculus Review 1a (1 course) This is a beginning calculus course that has an extensive review of pre-calculus. Calculus topics covered include limits, derivatives, and applications of the derivative. This course is continued in MCS-119; this two-course sequence provides the same coverage of calculus as MCS-121. Pre-calculus topics are taught in the context of solving calculus problems. These topics include polynomials and rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Fall semester.

119 Calculus with Pre-calculus Review 1b (1 course) This is the second course of the beginning calculus with pre-calculus review. Calculus topics covered include differential calculus (calculating derivatives, applications of the derivative, implicit differentiation, etc.) as well as the integral as an area, indefinite integrals, the fundamental theorem of calculus, and integration by substitution. As in MCS-118, pre-calculus topics are covered on an as-needed, just-in-time fashion. The combination of MCS-118 and MCS-119 covers the same calculus topics as MCS-121. Prerequisite: MCS-118. MATHL, Spring semester.

121 Calculus I (1 course) Introduction to the basic ideas of differential and integral calculus and formal development of differentiation and integration. Prerequisite: Two years of high school mathematics beyond plane geometry, including trigonometry. MATHL, Fall and Spring semesters.

142 Introduction to Statistical Methods (1 course) Gathering, organizing and describing data, probability, random variables, sampling distributions, estimation, hypothesis Students who have already taken a statistics course may not earn credit for MCS-142testing, linear regression, and analysis of variance. Treatment is more mathematical than MCS-140, but the emphasis is still on applications. Introduction to the use of computerized statistical packages. Students who have already taken a statistics course may not earn credit for MCS-142. Prerequisite: MCS-119 or MCS-121. MATHL, Fall and Spring semesters.

341 Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics I (1 course) The probability model, random variables, conditional probability and independence, probability functions, density functions, expectation, some important discrete and continuous distributions, the central limit theorem. Prerequisite: MCS-222; a previous or concurrent course in statistics is recommended. Fall semester, even years.

Relevant E/M Courses

108 Principles of Microeconomics (1 course) Microeconomics examines the actions of the smaller components that make up the macroeconomy: individuals, households, business, unions, and governmental units. Most attention is given to the decisions facing a typical firm, and how those decisions will impact variables like price, output, and profit. Specific topics include demand theory, elasticity, production and cost, market structure, factor markets, international trade, and the role of government. SOSCI, Fall and Spring semesters. 

109 Principles of Macroeconomics (1 course) A continuation of E/M-108. Whereas microeconomics examines individual markets, households or business organizations, macroeconomics looks at the economy as a whole. A study of the performance of the American economy including an understanding of basic economic theories, economic institutions, and the history of the discipline of economics. Topics include introductory supply and demand analysis, national income determination, the money and banking system, monetary and fiscal policy, and the application of economic principles to the problems of achieving full employment, price stability, economic growth, and a favorable balance of payments. Some study of economic development and the impacts of globalization. Prerequisites: E/M-108, SOSCI, Fall and Spring semesters

110 Financial Accounting (1 course) This course introduces the measurement system used by entities to inform interested parties about their economic activity. The course provides a general overview of the quantitative and qualitative components of accounting information and also focuses on developing the basic reasoning skills needed to interpret an entity’s financial reports. This course, which is part of the departmental core, emphasizes a user perspective. Fall and Spring semesters.

125 Statistics for Economics and Management (1 course) The course emphasizes the application of statistical methods to economic, management, and accounting problems. In the course, students will develop their skills using current computer software and internet applications. The topics include presentation of data, measures of central tendency and dispersion, probability and probability distributions, sampling methods and distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation analysis, simple linear regression, time series analysis, and decision making under conditions of uncertainty. Credit cannot be earned for this course if another course in statistics has been completed. Prerequisite: higher algebra. Fall and Spring semesters.

230 Managerial Accounting (1 course) This course provides a basic foundation for those individuals who use accounting information to perform the management functions of planning, decision-making, and controlling. Students learn to use qualitative information, budgeting, and forecasting techniques for planning to meet short-term and long-term objectives. Decision-making tools emphasize the choice, interpretation, and use of relevant data for pricing, product mix, and process decisions. A third component is an understanding of the internal control system used by an entity. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, and E/M-110. Fall and Spring semesters.

231 Intermediate Accounting I (1 course) A detailed investigation of current financial accounting practice and related theory. The course emphasizes the methods, principles, and standards established by various accounting rule-making bodies and their official pronouncements. Special topics from current accounting literature will be assigned to update text material. This course develops basic theory and its application to assets and current liabilities. Prerequisite: E/M-108, E/M-109, and E/M-110. Fall semester.

232 Intermediate Accounting II (1 course) Continuation of E/M-231. This course covers long-term debt and stockholders’ equity issues. Long-term debt issues include accounting for bond financing, capitalized leases, and deferred income taxes. Stockholder equity issues include analysis of earning per share and income measurement problems. Prerequisite: E/M-108, E/M109, E/M-110 and E/M-231. Spring semester.

240 Cost Accounting (1 course) A detailed investigation of the methodology and systems
to accumulate and use cost and management data in product costing, inventory valuation,
and income determination and in planning, decision-making, and control activities. The course emphasizes the role of the cost accountant and the accounting information system in management decisions. The student will learn both traditional cost accumulation systems and new systems to support the needs of a changing economy. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, and E/M-230. Spring semester.

241 Accounting Information Systems (1 course) A study of the theory of accounting information systems and the design, installation, and operation of accounting information systems. Informational needs, internal control, and the behavioral effects of accounting information are stressed. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, and E/M-230. Spring semester.

244, 344 Special Topics (1 course, 1 course) Special topics in Economics/Management studies. Content will vary from semester to semester. Courses will explore a topic or problem in depth and students will read, discuss and write. More than one special topic may be taken. Offered occasionally.

251 Ethics in Business and Economics (1 course) This course explores ethical issues and moral dilemmas in the conduct of organizations and larger economic systems. Areas covered include personal values clarification, ethical decision-making processes, corporate social responsibility, employee rights and responsibilities, and ethical issues within globalized work environments. Contemporary moral philosophy models inform current organizational issues that managers will face and provide a compass by which to evaluate ethical decisions. Students will gain an appreciation for individual morals as they interact with organizational contexts, and will learn processes by which they may resolve ethical dilemmas in organizational settings with integrity. Prerequisites: E/M-108 E/M-109 and E/M-110. WRITD, Fall semester.

260 Marketing (1 course) This course focuses on the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services thereby creating an exchange that satisfy individual and organizational goals. Moving from a firm understanding of marketing basis—product, price, promotion, and place—this course then explores the changing dynamics surrounding exchanges. These changes are reflected in such issues as: “bricks and mortar versus online retail,” the changing role of market intermediaries, and evolving globalization of trade and exchanges. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, and E/M-110. Fall and Spring semesters.

261 Organizational Behavior and Management (1 course) A study of organizational and management methodologies, practices, principles, and theory. An examination of organizational and management functions and structure in terms of the traditional, situational, and behavioral approaches. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, and E/M-110. Fall and Spring semesters.

265 Business Law (1 course) A study of the principles of business law with particular emphasis on legal reasoning. Topics covered in the course include contracts, commercial law, business organization, and agency. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, and E/M-110. Fall and Spring semesters.

270 Business Finance (1 course) This course introduces student to the fundamentals of finance. The course provides an overview of financial ratio analysis, time value of money, cash flow and financial planning, risk and return, interest rate and bond valuation, and stock features and valuation. The student is then introduced to the management of corporate working capital, including current assets and current liabilities management. Pre-requisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, and either E/M-125 or MCS-142. Fall and Spring semesters.

330 Auditing (1 course) This course introduces the student to auditing theory and practice. Topics include auditors’ professional responsibilities, auditors’ legal responsibility, evaluation of audit evidence, internal control evaluation, statistical sampling, and audit reports. The course includes exercises designed to introduce the student to “real life” auditing decisions. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119, E/M-230, E/M-232, and computer competency. Fall semester.

339 Advanced Accounting (1 course) An analysis of accounting for corporations with multiple divisions or subsidiaries. Topics covered include the accounting for mergers and acquisitions, consolidated financial statements, segmented financial data, and accounting for foreign operations. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS142, MCS-121 or MCS-119 and E/M-232. Fall semester.

340 Federal Taxation (1 course) Federal taxation from the point of view of the taxpayer, emphasizing federal income tax and including social security taxes, gift tax, estate tax, and analysis of practical problems. Prerequisite: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119. Fall semester.

350 Human Resource Management (1 course) This course reflects the growing recognition that employees are an organization’s most important resource and, as a consequence, management of those resources is an increasingly critical function. Specific responsibilities in that regard include: recruitment and selection, testing and assessment, training and development, affirmative action, compensation and benefits, discipline and discharge. In addition, the course explores the ever-changing legal and regulatory elements that influence human resource activities and decisions. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119, and E/M-261. WRITD, Fall semester.

351 Globalization and International Organizations (1 course) This seminar examines cultural, economic, political, legal and social concepts, institutions, and events that affect the conduct of business in a global operating environment. Specifically, the course will explore cultural impact on decision-making and perceptions of ethics. Further, students will analyze multiple dimensions of globalization, emphasizing changing notions of state sovereignty, the emergence of non-state actors, the expansion of world organizations, capital market integration and its effects on economic development and labor markets. Prerequisite: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119,and E/M-261 or permission of instructor. WRITD, Fall semester.

353 Operations Management (1 course) This course explores the planning and control activities used by a firm to create goods or provide services to the customer. It begins with a description of the management process. The student is then introduced to some operational planning tools to include forecasting, production scheduling, and materials procurement planning. We conclude with a discussion of inventory management and production control systems. Additional topics include Total Quality Control, Just in Time manufacturing, and operations research. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119. Spring semester.

360 Managerial Economics (1 course) Managerial economics offers an intermediate-level microeconomic analysis of the decisions facing managers in both traditional businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Topics include basic optimization, demand analysis, production and cost, linear programming, pricing and output decisions, factor markets, risk analysis, and strategic behavior. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119. Fall semester.

268, 368 Career Exploration, Internship (Course value to be determined) Off-campus employment experience related to the student’s major. See description of the Internship Program. Fall and Spring semesters and Summer.

370 Managerial Finance (1 course) A study of the financial structure and problems of financing business enterprises, including financing of working capital, cash flow, capital budgeting, and monetary and capital markets. Students will develop a business plan and analyze its feasibility. Problem-solving is a major part of the class and students will work in small groups on assigned problems. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119 and E/M-270. Spring semester.

371 Investments (1 course) Examination of how financial instruments are valued and traded. Investment strategies, such as active versus passive investing and constructing efficient portfolios, are explored. Students will present investment recommendations to the class (generally individual stocks or mutual funds). Students are expected to use the Internet or other sources to conduct research. Prerequisites: E/M-108, E/M-109, E/M-110, E/M-125 or MCS-142, MCS-121 or MCS-119, and E/M-270. Fall semester.

291, 391 Independent Study (Course value to be determined) This permits wide latitude for well-qualified students to do supervised, individual study and/or research in a field of special interest. Open only to students majoring in the department and with permission of the department. Fall and Spring semesters and Summer.