When you’re heading to college for the first time, it’s often hard to know what you want. One of the advantages of being a transfer student is that you probably now have a much clearer idea of what you’re looking for.
But there’s still a lot to think about. If you’re considering pursuing a career in accounting, you’ll need a college with programs in business. What should you be looking for? What are your options? In this article, we’ll give you some information to help you move forward as you explore business colleges for transfer students.
What are your career goals?
Before you look at specific programs in accounting, you’ll want to have at least a general idea of what you hope to do upon graduation. Why? This will help you focus on programs that are the best fit for what you need to learn.
Let’s explore this just a bit. Within accounting, there is a basic distinction between public accounting and private (or managerial) accounting. If you want to go into the former, you’ll need to pass a rigorous examination to earn your certification as a certified public accountant (CPA). It’s possible to be certified in managerial accounting, too, as well as in other areas.
These exams have requirements in terms of the number of college credits you’ll need to earn and in which areas. So you’ll want a program that will prepare you for the path you want to take.
Aside from certifications, there is also the matter of specialization. Earning a degree in accounting can open the door to many different career paths. In a typical program, your coursework will give you a broad understanding of business that will make you a valuable advisor and partner in several areas of business operations.
Many programs will allow you to take courses in a narrower area to build on this foundation. You might, for instance, focus on forensic accounting or business analytics. This specialization will make you more competitive for particular positions than a general accounting degree would.
For these reasons, the clearer your career goals, the better you’ll be able to find a program that is an ideal fit for you. If you’re not too sure right now, however, don’t worry. Any good program in accounting will give you a solid foundation to begin your career.
Selecting a business college as a transfer student: What to look for
There are a few issues transfer students need to keep in mind that aren’t things you typically need to think about when you’re selecting a program right out of high school.
Here are five things you’ll want to investigate about potential programs:
- Required credits: Schools are likely to have stipulations about the number of credits you enter with. In some cases, you’ll need to meet a minimum threshold. You’ll also likely be required to earn a certain percentage of your total credits at the institution to which you’re transferring.
- Minimum GPA: Schools want to see evidence that you’ll be successful academically. You can expect to need at least a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at your previous institution.
- Credit transfer process: There is no guarantee that courses you’ve already taken will count towards your degree after you transfer. Even courses with the same name may have very different content and expectations at different schools. For this reason, admissions staff will usually determine transfer credits on a case-by-case basis. Make sure you understand the process and speak with someone about what you can expect to avoid surprises.
- Financial aid: Transfer students are not always eligible for the same kinds and amounts of aid as first-year students. Find out how the programs you’re interested in handle financial aid for transfer students in particular.
- Support for transfer students: As a transfer student, you face the same challenges of getting oriented and building a community as any new student does. However, not all colleges provide the same resources for this unique student group. Find out how they help students like you make the transition to their new academic home.
Business colleges for transfer students: Some options
Now that you have some ideas about what to look for, it’s time to consider particular programs.
There are hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. that award degrees in accounting each year. We can’t list all of them here, but we are going to look at three specific examples that will help you get familiar with the basic types of colleges you’ll encounter with business programs in accounting. Considering these three examples can help you narrow your focus to the kind of college that seems like the best fit for you.
Located in Greenville, South Carolina, Furman is a small, private college that offers a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in accounting. A BA as opposed to a BS (Bachelor of Science), indicates a program that emphasizes a broader set of courses in the liberal arts. This can help sharpen your communication and critical thinking skills. A possible downside is that you may not go as in-depth in as many areas of accounting as you might in a BS program.
University of Tennessee
The second school on our list is a large, public university with over 28,000 students in Knoxville, Tennessee. They have a few different accounting degree options. All of them lead to a Bachelor of Science and feature a strong foundation in business courses, including economics. Students can focus on business analytics, finance, information management, and international business.
Athens State University
Athens State University in Athens, Alabama is a smaller public university that is geared towards transfer and other non-traditional students. Part of what this means in practice is a priority of offering flexibility. Their accounting degree can be earned either on campus or online. Students can specialize in forensic or government contract accounting.
Launching your career in accounting at Athens State
We know you have a lot of options when it comes to selecting a business college. We want you to find the program that’s best for you, and we recognize that might not be Athens State.
But we’re confident about this: We understand the unique needs of transfer students and have built our programs to make the transfer process as seamless as possible. We offer flexible, affordable education that will equip you for career success.