Undergraduate Accounting Certificate

My professors did an excellent job of communicating their enthusiasm for material that might otherwise be dry ... I would recommend UVA’s certificate program to anyone.

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Prepare for the CPA Exam

The program provides the required coursework and hours to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination. The undergraduate Accounting Certificate online is for individuals new to the accounting profession and for mid-level professionals looking to advance their careers and increase their earning potential. Applicants only need a high school diploma to apply for the certificate, but students who want to sit for the CPA exam must have an undergraduate degree.

Please check with the individual State Board of Accountancy for specific licensure requirements as the University has not been able to determine the program meets licensure requirements for each individual state. For a complete listing of State Board of Accountancy, visit https://nasba.org/stateboards/

Please note that we are no longer accepting applications for the undergraduate accounting certificate as of April 2, 2021. The teach-out schedule is available here.

Key Takeaways
  • Career advancement for newcomers to accounting

  • CPA preparation for mid-level professionals with a bachelor's degree

Required Courses (6)
ACCT 2010 Introductory Accounting I

Designed to introduce students to the language of business, the course begins with the role of financial data in contemporary society, proceeds to develop the accounting model for capturing financial data, and finishes with the problems of measuring and reporting income, assets, liabilities, and equities.

ACCT 2020 Introductory Accounting II

Continuation of ACCT 2010. Approximately one third of the course deals with additional financial accounting topics, emphasizing managerial considerations and financial analysis. Cost accumulation, allocation, and product cost methods are studied in a manufacturing setting. Matters such as evaluation of performance planning, cost behavior, and special decisions are emphasized. Prerequisite: ACCT 2010

ACCT 3110 Intermediate Accounting I

An intensive study of the generally accepted accounting principles for asset valuation, income measurement, and financial statement presentation for business organizations, and the processes through which these principles evolve. Prerequisite: ACCT 2020

ACCT 3120 Intermediate Accounting II

Continuation of ACCT 3110, emphasizing accounting for the equities of a firm's investors and creditors. Covers special problem areas in financial accounting including accounting for leases, pensions, and income taxes. Prerequisite: ACCT 3110

ACCT 3140 Cost Accounting

Addresses analysis of cost behavior and volume profit relationships; responsibility accounting and reporting flexible budgets; and the use of standard costs to guide and control performance. Prerequisite: ACCT 2020

ACCT 5210 Introductory Auditing (Required)

Examines auditing methodology through a study of auditing standards. Includes the nature of evidence, program planning, work papers, internal control evaluation, types of audit tests, and audit reports. Prerequisite: ACCT 3120

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Elective Courses (Select 4)
ACCT 4450 Federal Taxation I

An analysis of the federal income tax law and its application to individuals. A study is made of problems covering personal and business tax situations. Several cases are assigned for which the student prepares illustrative tax returns. Prerequisite: ACCT 2020 or instructor permission

ACCT 4700 Federal Accounting

Provides a comprehensive overview of accounting principles, terminology, concepts, and standards unique to federal accounting to include an analysis and discussion of the laws, regulations and policies leading to current day federal accounting and reporting practices. The course introduces the Federal Accounting Standard Advisory Board (FASAB) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the rule-setting organizations of federal accounting, and introduces the U.S. Government Standard General Ledger as the basic foundation. Prerequisite:  ACCT 2020 Introductory Accounting II

ACCT 5250 Advanced Auditing

Builds on the concepts and practice examples from introductory auditing to provide students with an in-depth understanding of professional standards, the audit process, advanced audit techniques, and the auditor's role in ensuring that publicly issued financial statements are fairly presented. Prerequisite: ACCT 5210

ACCT 5310 Selected Topics in Advanced Accounting

Studies accounting and financial reporting for partnerships, business enterprise segments, home office/branch office, foreign transactions and translation, business combinations, and other inter-corporate investments and consolidated statements. Prerequisite: ACCT 3120

ACCT 5330 Accounting for Non-Business Organizations

Financial accounting for governmental and non-profit organizations. Studies the theory and techniques of accounting and reporting for various funds and groups of accounts. Prerequisite: ACCT 3120

ACCT 5410 Fraud Examination

Focuses on the principles and methodology of fraud detection and deterrence. Examines how and why occupational fraud is committed, how fraudulent conduct can be deterred, and how allegations of fraud should be investigated and resolved. Prerequisite: ACCT 3120

ACCT 5460 Federal Taxation II

Analyzes the federal income tax law and its application to corporations, shareholders, partnerships, partners, estates, and gift transactions. Prerequisite: ACCT 4450

ACCT 5470 Forensic Accounting

Analyzes the various forensic accounting techniques and investigative strategies used in forensic examinations; covers uses of accounting information systems in fraud detection, the nature of financial statement fraud as well as the framework for detecting fraudulent financial reporting, and the importance of internal controls in fraud prevention. Prerequisite: ACCT 3120

ACCT 5480 – Corporate Governance and Ethics

Provides in-depth understanding of corporate governance and ethics related to the public accounting profession. Explores different ethical decision-making models and apply formal corporate governance frameworks to resolve ethical conflicts as faced by accountants. Examines the challenges to ethical decision-making faced by internal accountants & auditors and learn to evaluate & resolve ethical conflict.

ACCT 5490 – Cybersecurity for Accounting

Provides essential knowledge needed to make sound strategic decisions related to investments in cybersecurity. Explores methods used to raise general security awareness, review current industry practices, and develop knowledge needed to adapt policies to protect and safeguard proprietary information.

The information contained on this web site is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.

As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)). Although California does not participate in SARA, it allows students to enroll in out-of-state programs. 

Upon completion of the Certificate in Accounting, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state.

Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C)) 

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).

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Duration: 30 undergraduate credits / 10 courses / 20 months on average

On average, students take two courses per term, including the summer, to complete the certificate in 20 months.

Format: Part-time: online


Admission Requirements


We are no longer accepting applications as of April 2, 2021.



$14,640 (same in-state and out-of-state)

  • This program is not eligible for financial aid

Tuition Details

* Additional fees may apply, including course materials. Tuition rates adjusted annually.