Penn State Smeal unveils new online Graduate Certificate in Corporate Accounting

March 08, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Applications are now being accepted for fall 2017 enrollment in the online Graduate Certificate in Corporate Accounting (CORAC) offered by Penn State’s Smeal College of Business. This twelve credit-hour certificate program is part of a growing portfolio of professional graduate offerings from Smeal. CORAC is designed for working professionals who seek a strong foundation in accounting.

“We think this program will benefit professionals from many backgrounds who have reached a point in their career where accounting knowledge is crucial to advancement," said Steven Huddart, chair of the Smeal Department of Accounting. "Employees who combine accounting expertise with knowledge of their industry and business are more valuable to their employers.”

“For example, professionals who have climbed to a level in their organizations where performance is measured in financial terms and coordination is achieved by budgets will benefit greatly from this curriculum," said Huddart. "Likewise, understanding how taxes affect outcomes, how internal controls protect an organization's resources, and how audits mitigate risk become more important at higher rungs of the corporate ladder.”

The Graduate Certificate in Corporate Accounting is delivered online via Penn State’s World Campus. The program will launch this fall with MBADM 811 Financial Accounting, the first of four required courses. Other courses, offered in subsequent semesters, are ACCTG 812 Taxation, ACCTG 813 Auditing, and ACCTG 814 Managerial Accounting. The certificate courses can be earned in one year.

Smeal’s Department of Accounting has been preparing accounting students for career success for 60 years. The department also offers top-ranked undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs. The same faculty who deliver the highly-regarded Smeal Bachelor of Science in accounting and Master of Accounting degrees also teach the courses in the Graduate Certificate in Corporate Accounting.

“CORAC delivers the essential elements of the undergraduate accounting major at a pace and depth suitable for graduate students,” Huddart added.

Students who wish to develop general business knowledge beyond accounting can count their Graduate Certificate in Corporate Accounting coursework towards the Penn State Online MBA Program. For students admitted to the Penn State Online MBA, MBADM 811 meets a core course requirement in the MBA program and other nine credit-hours of CORAC coursework satisfy the online MBA’s concentration requirement.

“Our vision is to connect the requirements of the Smeal College’s graduate certificates in areas such as corporate accounting, marketing analytics, corporate innovation and entrepreneurship, and other disciplines with master’s degree opportunities,” said Brian Cameron, associate dean for professional graduate programs at Smeal. “These pathways give students more opportunities to tailor their experiences in ways that align with their career goals.”

More information about the Graduate Certificate in Corporate Accounting and an overview of the application process can be found online. Applications for fall 2017 are due in July. For answers to specific questions, call (814) 863-0474 or email

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Last Updated March 20, 2017