Teacher lectures to accounting class

Accounting Program

The Accounting program at College of DuPage provides fundamental, advanced education and practice in accounting principles in areas of business, technology and taxation. Accountancy courses consist of bookkeeping, payroll, QuickBooks, income tax return preparation, auditing and more.

Certificate and occupational accounting programs are designed for students who plan to join the workforce immediately after college as accounting clerks, bookkeepers, junior accountants, bank tellers, credit analysts, auditing clerks and tax preparers. The program is also designed for students who are considering changing careers or interested in becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Students can also earn an Associate in Arts in Accounting or an Associate in Applied Science degree in accounting.

Determine Your Path

Employment opportunities are available in public accounting, government, private industry, forensic accounting, finance, management, private and corporate tax preparation. 

Whether you are preparing for a career in accounting, planning to transfer to a four-year college or university or updating your skills, COD offers:

  • Dedicated instructors with years of practical industry experience, certification, and licensing.
  • Instruction in top-notch facilities and on cutting-edge equipment.
  • Flexible course schedules with day and evening classes, online learning and accelerated hybrid classes.
  • Practical, hands-on experience as well as classroom-based studies, including providing free tax preparation services for the community.
  • Affordable programs that get you on the fast track to success without breaking the bank.
  • An advisory board made up of practicing professionals ensures that College of DuPage’s Accounting program teaches skills that are relevant and in demand by today’s employers.
  • An innovative transfer program that facilitates a convenient, affordable and streamlined approach to earning a bachelor's degree.
  • Certificate and degree programs designed to prepare prospective candidates to earn the coveted Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential. 
  • Discounts on local and national accounting memberships.

Accounting, Associate in Applied Science

The Accounting Associate in Applied Science degree program prepares students to become accounting clerks, bookkeepers, junior accountants, bank tellers, credit analysts, auditing clerks and tax preparers. Job opportunities exist in accounting firms, manufacturing companies, financial institutions, insurance companies, service organizations and not-for-profit and government agencies.

Accounting Transfer Pathway, Associate in Arts

The Accounting Transfer Pathway, Associate in Arts degree program starts students on the road to becoming professional accountants by providing the first two years of college coursework. Career opportunities for professional accountants include public accountant, auditor, tax specialist, management consultant, internal revenue service agent, financial analyst, credit analyst, cost accountant and budget analyst.

Job opportunities exist in public accounting firms, manufacturing companies, financial institutions, insurance companies, service organizations and not-for-profit and governmental entities. After completing their initial program of study at COD, many students transfer to a four-year institution and earn a bachelor's degree in accounting.

Paraprofessional Accountant

The Paraprofessional Accountant certificate prepares students for positions in bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, or tax preparation services under the direction of a Certified Public Accountant.

Advanced Accounting

The Advanced Accounting certificate is designed for Certified Public Accountant Examination candidates who have already earned a baccalaureate degree.

To be admitted to take the CPA examination, a candidate in Illinois must have successfully completed at least 150 semester hours of acceptable credit, completed a baccalaureate or higher degree, including a minimum number of hours in accounting and business courses.

Accounting Specialist

The Accounting Specialist certificate students for entry-level positions in areas such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll.  Also develops computerized general ledger software skills to complement this role.


The Bookkeeping certificate provides skills to record the financial transactions of a business.

Business Environment and Concepts

The Business Environment and Concepts certificate is designed for CPA Examination candidates who have a non-business baccalaureate degree.

Income Tax Preparer Certificate

The Income Tax Preparer Certificate prepares students for entry-level positions preparing income tax and payroll tax returns and general tax form preparation for individuals and small businesses.

COD Stories

Nico Falco

“Just know that College of DuPage has faculty that truly cares about their students’ success in and out of the classroom. That’s why I chose COD! And I can’t think of a better place where I could have started." - Nico Falco

Nico's COD Story 

COD Stories

Chambopha Loera

“COD helped me find my path and everything I wished for. I hope others students gain a wide perspective and see the great opportunity of education that COD has to offer in many significant ways." - Chanbopha Loera

Chanbopha's COD Story

COD Stories

Samuel Wilson

“At COD, you don’t just learn the material to pass the test. I learned the material, took the test and then applied the knowledge through programs like VITA.” - Samuel Wilson

Samuel's COD Story

COD Stories

Bianca Donato

“COD not only helped me transition from the daily routine of high school to the more independent routine of college, but it also gave me wonderful friends and an incredible mentor, Maureen McBeth. In my two years at College of DuPage, I grew both as a student and a person.” - Bianca Donato

Bianca's COD Story

COD Stories

Stephanie Przybyla

“COD helped me tremendously as I moved toward my educational and career goals. I was able to change major several times freshman year without worrying too much, and after taking my first accounting course, I knew that is what I wanted to pursue.” - Stephanie Przybyla

Stephanie's COD Story

Get Started Today

The first step to getting started in accounting is to apply for admission.

Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.

Accounting Program graduates will:

Accounting Competencies

Demonstrate accounting competencies of the profession that add value to business and contribute to a prosperous society in the following areas: Risk Assessment, Analysis and Management, Measurement Analysis & Interpretation, Reporting, Research, Systems & Process Management, and Technology & Tools

Professional Competencies

Demonstrate professional competencies that relate to the skills, attitudes and behaviors of accounting professionals in the following areas: Ethical Conduct, Professional Behavior, Decision Making, Collaboration, Communication, and Project Management.

Business Competencies

Demonstrate business competencies that relate to the broad business environment in which accounting professionals work in the following areas: Strategic Perspective, Global and Industry Perspectives, Process and Resource Management Perspectives, Government Perspective, and Customer Perspective

College of DuPage has several accountancy transfer agreements in place with four-year colleges and universities to save you time, money and make the transfer process easier.

Many of these agreements with other colleges and universities have specific course requirements and a pre-determined course plan that needs to be followed to be eligible to transfer. Contact a program faculty member or academic advisor to learn more as course requirements vary by institution.


Accounting Student Becomes an Outstanding Graduate

Samuel Wilson

Samuel Wilson explains how College of DuPage helped him succeed to become one of two students to receive COD's outstanding graduate recognition. Through his involvement, Wilson also received a scholarship from the Illinois Community College Faculty Association (ICCFA), awarded to only seven community college students in Illinois annually.

Career Information

Explore careers based on your interest, location and salary range or view top occupations by income.


Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your frequently asked questions regarding the Accounting program.

An Associate in Arts degree in accounting is usually geared for students who plan to transfer to a four-year university in a residential, full-time program.

The Associate in Applied Science degree is accepted by many local colleges and universities, especially adult part-time programs.

The Associate in Arts degree includes more liberal arts courses, while the Associate in Applied Science degree focuses more on a specialty area.

You may be well-suited for a career in accounting if you:

  • Desire a job with a good starting salary and potential for advancement.
  • Like working with people in an office setting.
  • Can effectively follow instructions and assume responsibility.
  • Enjoy working with numbers and are detail-oriented and organized.
  • Would like to combine your accounting skills with state-of-the-art computer technology.

Employment prospects for entry-level jobs are competitive. Because of this, you should be prepared academically and you must possess excellent oral and written communication skills and strong computer skills.

To advance in the accounting field, you should plan to continue your education after completing your initial program of study. Educational plans that include transferring to a baccalaureate-granting school will enhance your opportunity for advancement.

Every accounting course is not offered every semester, but many accounting courses are available each term.

Basic courses are offered every semester. These courses are also offered in day, evening and weekend sessions.

There are specific requirements you must meet to take the CPA exam. Visit CPA Examination Requirements for more information.

Contact Program Chair Maureen McBeth at (630) 942-2879 or mcbeth@cod.edu for more information on the Accounting program.