Central's accounting program prepares students for professional careers in public, private, government and not-for-profit accounting. Central students have a strong history of success on the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) examinations. Central College accounting students are in demand — nearly 100% of accounting graduates are placed in great positions within six months! And Central students ranked 18th in the nation for first-time CPA pass rate among similarly-sized programs.

Nearly 100% of Central Accounting majors graduate in four years
students is the average class size, which ensures student engagement and success
of Accounting students complete at least one relevant internship, which often leads to job offers before graduation

The Central Difference

Professional Certifications

Faculty advisors help students interested in pursuing professional certifications ensure success. Each student has a defined pathway to full preparation for certification in his or her area of interest in four years. Examination requirements may be met with accounting coursework, internship experience and international study opportunities.

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

Climbing the Ladder to Success

For Grant Seuferer ’14, leadership began in the classroom and on the baseball diamond. It continues in the business world.


The Weller Center for Business and International Studies houses faculty offices and classrooms for the department of economics, accounting and management, department of sociology and anthropology and department of modern languages.

The $3.9-million building completed in 1999 includes state-of-the-art technologies, a 24-hour computer lab on the main floor and eight high-tech classrooms, two of which contain student computers.

Off-Campus Experiences

Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.

Accounting majors also get the chance to gain world perspective on global business and international corporations.

Professional Development

Finding and landing your first job is an important step. Central makes sure students are fully prepared for the job search through multiple events focusing on search strategies, resume building, interviewing practice and networking skills.

Central College student

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • Anne Williamson ’20, Audit and Assurance In-Charge, Deloitte
  • Stormi Peterson ’15, Accountant, Terex
  • Adam Shell ’14, Tax analyst, John Deere
  • Grant Seuferer ’14, Tax manager, Deloitte
  • John Seier ’14, Tax associate, BKD CPAs and Advisors
  • Shawn Jansen ’14, Accountant, Brownells
  • Shelley Kracht ’13, Software developer for 2nd Story Software

Central College Students at the Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

Central students participate in John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture workshops and competition.


  • EAM Club (economics, accounting and management)

No matter what your interests are, Central has a student group for you! Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.

Graduate Placement

Central students interested in pursuing graduate degrees have lots of opportunities for attending graduate school. Central students have gone on to achieve success at nationally renowned institutions.

  • The University of Iowa, business
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln, law
  • Northwestern University, business
  • Northern Illinois University, accounting
  • University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School
  • DePaul University - Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business


When it comes to future employment or entrance into graduate school, students with internship experience have a proven track record in a professional environment. Central’s powerful alumni network ensures our students have access to some of the best internships available!

  • AEGON, The Hague, Netherlands
  • Cambridge Investment Research, Fairfield
  • McGladrey, LLP, Des Moines
  • John Deere, various locations
  • Principal Financial, Des Moines
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

Central’s accounting curriculum begins with a solid foundation in financial and managerial accounting rooted in the liberal arts, including ethics, economics, communication, mathematics and statistics. In upper-level courses, students grow through coverage of a variety of theoretical and applied financial accounting topics, as well as cost, tax and auditing.

Central’s accounting faculty has designed the curriculum to hone the skills employers value most. Throughout their careers at Central, accounting students will develop public speaking abilities, polish professional writing skills and develop technological competencies. Coursework throughout the curriculum emphasizes critical thinking and application of professional judgment. The senior accounting capstone challenges students to perfect their research and presentation skills in a professional environment.


Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

  • Graham Lemke, B.Sc., M.S., Ph.D., Donald T. Butler Endowed Chair and Professor of Finance
  • Tuan Nguyen, B.B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics
  • George Nwaogu, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics
  • Maggie Schlerman, B.A., M.Acc., C.P.A., Associate Professor of Accounting
  • Julie Summers, Lecturer Management and Marketing

Sample Coursework

First Year

  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Public Speaking

Sophomore Year

  • Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • Introduction to Management Accounting
  • Principles of Management
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Ethics

Junior Year

  • Intermediate Financial Accounting I and II
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Advanced Management Accounting
  • Individual Tax Accounting
  • Professional Writing

Senior Year

  • Advanced Taxation
  • Government and Non-Business Accounting
  • Advanced Financial Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Accounting Research Seminar


Learn More

Want to find out more about Accounting at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.


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