Accounting Associate Degree

Accounting Associate Degree at Harper College

Begin your career in accounting

Career options  manufacturing construction icon


  • Accounting
  • Accounts receivable/payable
  • Payroll
  • Tax accounting

Prepare for a career in the accounting industry with this 62-credit- hour degree program, where you’ll learn about accounting theory and practice, corporate accounting and cost accounting.

Required business coursework will give you an overview of the corporate community and includes economics, business law and management classes. 

Take classes in financial accounting, business writing and organization, managerial accounting, payroll accounting, micro/macroeconomics, business law, individual tax accounting, cost accounting and more. All courses are taught by skilled faculty who are experts in the accounting field.

This program may be completed on campus or online. After completing the program, you’ll be ready to seek full-time employment in the accounting field as a junior accountant in commercial or government organizations. You may also choose to continue your education and complete a degree at a four-year university. 

AAS degree program requirements

This 62 credit-hour program is designed to prepare students for employment as junior accountants in business, industry and government.

The curriculum includes the study of accounting theory and practice, corporation accounting, and cost accounting. Required business course work provides for an overview of the corporate community and includes economics, business law and management classes. Computer information skills are essential to today’s accountants and are also required in this degree.

FIRST SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
ACC 101 4 Program Requirement

Description: Presents accounting as an information system that produces summary financial statements primarily for users external to a business. Emphasizes the reporting of the effect of transactions and other economic events on the financial condition and operating results of a business. Topics include: basic accounting concepts, financial statements, accrual and cash basis, the accounting cycle, monetary assets, inventories, fixed assets, current and long-term liabilities, and owner’s equity. The course assumes a corporate form of organization. NOTE: High school algebra is recommended. IAI BUS 903

CAS 160 1 3 Program Requirement

Description: Provides an opportunity to become proficient in the use of currently popular software packages or suites. Includes word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation software and the integration of these applications.

ENG 101 3 Communications

Description: Emphasizes the writing of expository prose. Introduction to the critical reading of nonfiction prose. IAI C1 900

Prerequisite: ENG 100 with a grade of C or better. Other placement options. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf ESL students need one of the following options: ESL 073 and ESL 074 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 086 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 099 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 with required writing placement test score; or ESL 074 with required reading placement test score.

MGT 111 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces the nature of business and the environment in which it operates. Forms of business ownership, introduction to operative and facilitating facets of business operation, management, marketing, accounting, statistics, business law, finance, investments, insurance and labor-management relations.

Mathematics2 3 Mathematics

SECOND SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
ACC 102 3 Program Requirement

Description: Presents accounting as a system of producing information for internal management use in a business. Emphasis is on the identification, accumulation and interpretation of information for planning, controlling and evaluating the performance of the separate components of a business. Topics include: theory and application of product costing, operational control, cost allocation, performance evaluation for manufacturing and service organizations, standard costing, job order and process costing, budgeting, JIT inventory control, decentralized operations, differential analysis, capital investment analysis and financial statement analysis. IAI BUS 904

Prerequisite: ACC 101 with a grade of C or better.

ACC 112 2 Program Requirement

Description: Provides students with applications of QuickBooks. Students apply accounting principles and manage accounting records like those used in small businesses.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in ACC 100 or ACC 101.

ACC 155 2 Program Requirement

Description: Explains the preparation of payroll records including the tax returns for old-age benefits and employment insurance.

Prerequisite: ACC 100 or ACC 101.

ECO 211 or

Description: Covers economic problems faced by the individual and the firm. Examination of market structures, price and output determination. The microeconomic approach. IAI S3 902

ECO 212 3 Social and Behavioral Science

Description: Covers economic problems faced by our society. Examination of resource allocation, national income and economic development, from a macroeconomic approach. IAI S3 901

Communications3 3 Communications
Humanities+ 3 Humanities

THIRD SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
ACC 201 3 Program Requirement

Description: Presents accounting and reporting process, accounting theory, inventories, tangibles and intangible fixed assets. This is a problem solving course that continues accounting principles begun in ACC 101 and ACC 102.

Prerequisite: ACC 102 with a grade of C or better.

ACC 211 3 Program Requirement

Description: Presents the history of the source of law, civil and criminal wrongs, law of contracts, agency, employment, property, and related topics. Problems and case materials are used. (NOTE: Transfer students should check with the school they will be transferring to regarding the transferability of this course.)

ACC 250 3 Program Requirement

Description: Offers a practical study of current Federal and Illinois income taxes as they relate to individual income tax procedures. Topics studied include income inclusions and exclusions, capital gains and losses, business and personal deductions, and accounting methods.

Prerequisite: ACC 101 with a grade of C or better.

Accounting elective4 3 Program Requirement
Business elective5 3 Program Requirement

FOURTH SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
ACC 203 3 Program Requirement

Description: Includes an examination of the nature of costs and the use of relevant accounting data for purposes of improved decision making. Topics covered are product costs (process, job order, and standard), overhead variance, by-product costs, joint-product cost, and direct and variable costing.

Prerequisite: ACC 102 with a grade of C or better.

Accounting electives4 6 Program Requirement
Business elective5 3 Program Requirement
Social and Behavioral Science+ 3 Social and Behavioral Science

1 - Students may substitute three (3) total credit hours from CAS 105, CAS 115, CAS 125 or CAS 215.

2 - Only MGT 150 or MTH 103 or higher will satisfy this requirement.

3 - Students may select ENG 102, ENG 130, or SPE 101.

+ - At least one of the Humanities or Social and Behavioral Science requirements must also meet the World Cultures and Diversity graduation requirement. See full list of AAS General Education Electives.

4 - ACC electives (students must satisfy prerequisite for each course elected): ACC 202, ACC 251, ACC 253, ACC 254, ACC 265, ACC 295 (limit 4 hours).

5 - Business electives (students must satisfy prerequisites for each course elected): ACC 213, CIS 101, FIN 215, MGT 205, MGT 218, MGT 270, MGT 280, MKT 245, PHI 150.

Program learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of basic accounting and bookkeeping procedures.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of microcomputers and current accounting software including MS Excel and Quickbooks.
  • Utilize interpersonal written and oral communication skills.
  • Update knowledge of rapid changes in the field, such as new tax laws.
  • Perform detailed work with a high degree of accuracy.

Related programs

Students interested in accounting may also be interested in:

Resources

Next steps

For more information about the Accounting Associate AAS Degree program, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.