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Basic and Advanced Accounting Certificates

Penn State Continuing Education's basic and advanced accounting certificates provide students with an introduction to business and accounting concepts, and offer a convenient way to "step up" to an associate or bachelor’s degree program using the credits you earn in the certificates. Students must first complete the courses required for the basic accounting certificate in order to earn the advanced accounting certificate. Completing both the basic and advanced certificates satisfies approximately half of the requirements for an Associate Degree in Business Administration.

Basic Accounting Certificate

The basic certificate covers essential business, communication, math and computing skills – preparing students for further business education or a career in bookkeeping.

Basic Certificate Course Requirements — 18 credits

Complete these Prescribed Courses:

  • ACCTG 151 Introductory Financial Accounting I (3 credits)
  • ENGL 015 Rhetoric and Composition (3 credits)
  • ACCTG 152 Introductory Financial Accounting II (3 credits)
  • MIS 204 Introduction to Business Information Systems (3 credits)
  • MIS 103 Microcomputer Applications in Business (3 credits)
  • MIS 190 Microcomputer Accounting and Transaction Processing (3 credits)

Advanced Accounting Certificate

The advanced certificate builds upon the basic accounting certificate to further develop skills in financial and managerial accounting.  Completion of this certificate can provide students with a solid foundation to pursue the designation of Certified Bookkeeper (CB) offered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

Advanced Certificate Course Requirements — 16 credits

Complete these Prescribed Courses:

  • MATH 021 College Algebra (or higher) (3 credits)
  • ECON 102 Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy (3 credits)
  • ACCTG 211 Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making (4 credits)
  • CAS 100A or CAS 100BEffective Speech (3 credits)
  • ACCTG 160 Cost Accounting (3 credits)


Penn State welcomes students with disabilities to participate in its educational programs. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about physical access, please contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) or call 814-863-1807 (V/TTY).