Any advice for upcoming accounting major?

best advice for upcoming accounting major
im a senior in highschool wanting to pursue a career in accounting, ive heard some stuff about UTD being good for accounting but have NO CLUE where to start. I graduate highschool in may and start UTD next fall. I’m interested in becoming a CPA, but don’t know the process in which UTD helps. Can any accounting majors that are also pursuing CPA help pave the path I need to succeed? I just need a plan to follow so I dont miss out on any deadlines or important dates that I should be looking for.

Hey so getting your cpa you basically just need enough credits to sit for the exam, which most people do a masters for to take enough classes. UTD has a fast track program that lines up with this well.

There’s also a program which I happen to be in called PPA which is for public accounting specifically. It has CPA review courses and you take the first three parts of the CPA exam before you graduate with your masters. It also has a built in internship where you get recruited from public accounting firms, and you can do this internship for half a semester and the other half you do condensed classes so you don’t have to do work and school simultaneously.

PPA is nice if you know you want to get your CPA for sure, but it’s not the only route. I personally enjoy it because of the cohort and the opportunities it provides, but I’m still not necessarily sure if public is for me since I haven’t had any working experience specific to it yet. I’ll find out soon tho!

Feel free to ask about more and I can answer what I currently know

Did you see if the JSOM website has any information or sample degree plans available online? Most of the schools at UTD have a library online resources or FAQ pages. Ex: Accounting resources: Accounting Program Resources - Naveen Jindal School of Management | The University of Texas at Dallas

JSOM specific career center: Career Management Center | Naveen Jindal School of Management

CPA exam resources: CPA Exam Education Qualifications - Naveen Jindal School of Management | The University of Texas at Dallas

How competitive is it to get in?

Generally not too competitive, it’s 70 spots give or take per class. The only people who don’t get in are usually the ones who either have too many credits to follow the PPA degree plan or too few credits, in which case you can defer entry to PPA for a year if needed. They generally want people who fit the requirements but the only hard requirements iirc are GPA and being able to take the cohort classes, and even then there can be exceptions.

Usually if you have a qualifying GPA, show involvement in campus culture or if not like have some job or responsibility that shows drive (which doesn’t have to be super tryhard like anything beyond only doing classes really) and just say you’re interested in public accounting and getting your CPA, it’s not too hard to get in.

I’d say about a quarter of the junior accounting majors in my year are in my PPA class. About half didn’t even apply because they either knew they didn’t want a CPA or public accounting, or other personal reasons probably. When they gave the presentation about PPA in our upper level accounting classes, many people scoffed at it because it does have a time commitment for going to events and meeting firms and such. But if you know it’s what you want then you should do your best to get in. You could also email Tiffany Bortz, the director, to get more information about it and see if it’s something you’re interested in.

I only became an accounting major the semester I applied to PPA and still got in because I had a good academic performance and school activity, and could show I wanted to work for the CPA and not just get in and flail. If you’re a senior in high school you’re already ahead of the pack by looking into this. Hope this helps!

Do we have to be enrolled in Intermediate 1 in order to sign up? i switched majors my second semester of sophomore year (spring 2023) and i’ll be taking accounting 2302 this upcoming semester. When you say too many credits do you mean in general or just accounting classes?