Success Maps

Accounting Success Map


All Pillars | All Years
1st Year (0-30 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete 1st year BComm required courses. Gain exposure to a wide range of business subjects and understand areas of majors.

Review Non-Commerce Electives Suggestions from the Faculty of Arts or Science.

Considering international business? Use some of your Non-Commerce Electives to learn a language.

Read the course outline for each of your classes. All your course information is on Banner and Brightspace.

Need extra help? Visit the Math Help Centre in SB 239 or ECON tutor sessions.

Explore your options for majors and minors by attending the Programs Day across faculties in February.

Register for classes as soon as registration opens. Classes fill early!

Visit your Academic Advisor to be sure you have the right courses.

This year begins the foundation of the BComm Learning Goals: Communication Skills, Information Literacy, Critical Thinking, Global Perspective, Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Leadership, Business Knowledge and Competency.

Gather information on Cooperative Education opportunities.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Develop critical thinking and writing skills by interpreting and responding to written texts.

Use common business software and programming tools to process and analyze data.

Learn about business management, how to work as a team, and presentation skills through collaborative group projects.

Identify and define business problems. Use qualitative and quantitative analytical skills to solve problems with a high degree of divergent thinking.

Improve your writing and thinking skills at the Writing Centre. Get expert feedback and incorporate it into your work.

Develop research skills by navigating online databases and the stacks at the Patrick Power Library. Take a virtual tour.

Build a résumé and cover letter at workshops held by career services to prepare for internships, scholarships and summer jobs.

Start your Co-Curricular Record. Document your acquired skills from on and off campus activities and volunteer work.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Attend Welcome Week. Make friends. Meet classmates, faculty, and advisors at academic orientation. Attend a session about a culture of safety and respect at Saint Mary’s.

Introduce yourself to your professors after class or during office hours.

Read the BComm newsletter (emailed weekly to students) for current events and opportunities. Like Sobey B.Comm on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @SobeySchoolSMU.

Visit the Societies Fair. Explore student societies, including those that are culturally-based, before deciding which to join.

Try Speak Up!, a program where international students practice speaking English with Canadian students.

Stay Active. Explore SMUfit, campus sports, exercise, and recreation opportunities—no extra fees!

Apply for a scholarship. There are more than 260 available!

Need help with time management, organizational, or presentation skills? Book an Academic & Life Skills Coaching session.

Learn to budget your money. Attend a Financial Literacy workshop or get advice from Financial Aid and Awards.

Check in with Career Services to start discussing your career goals, related to your program. Experiment with different classes to see what you like.

When facing a personal crisis, get help from the Counselling Centre.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Consider courses with global themes for your electives.

Need a job? Create a HireSMU account to find available jobs.

Not from Halifax? Explore and discover all our cultural opportunities and have fun.

Keep current with local events. Read Pride in Your Shared Neighbourhood newsletter.

Travel while studying after 1st year. Investigate travel options beyond Canada at International Activities.

Obtain or update your passport in preparation for possible international travel.

Not from Canada? Browse Services for International Students for available support.

Attend International Night—an annual banquet showcasing SMU’s many cultures.

2nd Year (30-60 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete your 2nd year BComm required courses, especially COMM 2293, a prerequisite for many upper level courses.

Visit your Academic Advisor to be sure you have the right courses.

Complete ACCT 2241, and declare your major in Accounting through the Accounting Secretary in SB 352. Provide your e-mail address to receive important updates about the program.

Do you plan to apply to Co-op or believe you would like to complete your Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation? Consider choosing ACCT 3350 and FINA 2360 in the second term to get a head start to the upper level courses in the Accounting major. You can move your non-commerce elective and your ECON Elective to third year.

Considering a professional accounting career? Look ahead to the requirements for CPA designation by visiting the CPA website and attending an on-campus information session.

Thinking of changing majors or minors? Attend Programs Day for help.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Develop understanding of financial accounting to prepare financial statements and assist with audits/reviews.

Sharpen needed communications skills.

Support managerial decision-making by turning data into insight-based on business knowledge, including legal aspects, taxation, and ethics.


Upgrade your writing with one-on-one tutorials at the Writing Centre or through online resources.

Learn advanced researching techniques at the library.

Update your Co-Curricular Record to keep track of your accomplishments and set new goals.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life


Apply your classroom learning and improve soft skills by joining some student societies such as the Commerce Society or Accounting Society.

To learn to solve real-world problems, sign up for Accounting or Business Case Competitions in 2nd–4th year. Talk with Dr. Karen Lightstone or Dr. Daphne Rixon for more information.

Participate in intramurals. Demonstrate your team skills and character to future employers and admissions officers.

Browse the Scholarship List. and modify your cover letter to match the criteria. Apply between February and May.

Need more academic support? Contact Personal Counselling or Academic & Life Skills Coaching.

Take the stress out of managing your cash flow, student debt, or budget. Go to SMU’s Financial Literacy programming.

Seek Career Counselling. Explore the core competencies of your major, and career possibilities related to your strengths, interests, and values.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Discover ways to give back to your community, from local to global. Come to the Volunteer Fair held every September, or speak to a Career and Employment Coach at Career Services.

Get involved with activities outside of your major and minor. Employers like well-rounded candidates.

Expand your professional networks by attending a breakfast or lunch hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, APEC, or the Greater Halifax Partnership.

Attend a LinkedIn photo shoot and a LinkedIn Seminar with Career Services. Put your best (and most professional) face forward!

Keep your HireSMU Account updated with accurate contact information and most recent résumés.

Consider applying for the Co-op Program. Gain work experience over three terms.

Visit the International Activities office for a study-abroad program or an international field study course in 2nd - 4th years.

Explore options for international internships in your area of study.


Attend the Accounting and Finance career fair in September for leads on summer or co-op work.

3rd Year (60-90 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete required courses for your third year, as you focus on the chosen program.

If you chose ACCT 3350 and FINA 2360 in 2nd year, then take ACCT 3352 (after 3351) and a 3000 level ECON.

Aim to achieve a GPA of 2.2 or higher in 3rd year ACCT courses to complete a major in Accounting.

Visit your Academic Advisor to be sure you’re on the right track to meet graduation requirements.

Meet your Faculty Mentor/Department Chair for help with course selection, career advice, and certifications. Ensure that your free and accounting elective course planning best meet your plans (e.g., prerequisite courses for Chartered Professional Accountant or CPA).

Thinking about graduate school? Contact Career Services for options and admission procedures, and begin planning for applications with your Faculty Mentor/Department Chair.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Use information systems and processes to calculate, analyze, and interpret financial data to make business decisions and solve business problems.

Deepen the applications of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to help management set budgets, manage assets, or generate wealth for corporate shareholders.

Recognize that ethical practices at all levels, as well as corporate social responsibility, can impact the greater community.

Improve your research skills and grades by visiting the Library and using the Research-by-Appointment service for one-on-one help.

Visit the Writing Centre for workshops on Exam Writing & Preparation.

Update your Co-Curricular Record.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Get to know your professors. They are excellent contacts for reference letters. Chat about your future plans for 4th year and beyond.

Attend the Research Expo. Learn from the research and critical analysis of peers and professors. Also, showcase your own research project.

Join campus societies in your field. These provide opportunities to network with the industry and professionals.

Apply to become a teaching assistant in ACCT 2241 or ACCT 2242. Contact the Accounting Department Secretary for more information.

Run for a leadership position in a campus group.

Apply for over 200 scholarship and bursary awards.

Focus on summer or internship jobs within your major or career field of interest to gain specific experience and build credentials.

Visit the Career Development Centre for help with tactical job searches, including using social media, information interview, fine-tuning your résumé and cover letter, and practicing interview skills.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Attend the Accounting and Finance Career Fair in September including the employer information sessions and the Accounting Reception.

Attend the Halifax Career Fair in September and March. Discover career opportunities and employer expectations.

Let your networks know your major. Seek out potential employers for information and interviews.

Learn more about the CPA at a CPA information session or online.

Explore new internships designed to help international graduates gain experience in Nova Scotia.

4th Year (90-120 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete required courses for your 4th year, while transitioning to work or graduate school.

If you chose ACCT 3352 in 3rd year, then register for a Non-Commerce Elective this year.


Aim to achieve a GPA of 2.2 or higher in 4th year ACCT courses to complete a major in Accounting.

CPA Prerequisites can be used to satisfy your Accounting Electives and 1 Free Elective: ACCT 4443, 4450, 4453, 4454.

Complete a CAPP Degree Evaluation in Banner.

Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Discuss SMU graduate opportunities.

Contact your Academic Advisor and Faculty Mentor/Department Chair to ensure you are on track for graduation requirements and post-graduation plan.

Apply to graduate. Fill out an application for graduation form and submit it to the Service Centre. Get your picture taken for the yearbook.

Consider graduate schools or professional programs. Start early, and ask your professors and the Writing Centre to review your personal statement, cover letter, and applications.

Request transcripts, if required.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Demonstrate the ability to collect, synthesize, and interpret information for business cases in capstone courses.

Use strategies you learned to successfully negotiate with others.

Before you graduate, do a final update of your Co-Curricular Record, and request an official copy.

Visit Career Services to prepare to clearly and persuasively articulate all you have learned at Saint Mary’s (in and out of class) to an employer.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Serve as Department Student Rep. Speak to your Department Chair.

Enter your best research paper for the Academic Writing Awards.

Apply for the Accounting Achievement Award in November - an award of cash, a certificate, a notation on your university transcript, and public recognition at an official ceremony.

Get recognized for your involvement in the classroom and in the Saint Mary’s community. Apply for the Student Leadership Award.

Apply for other awards, including the SMUFU scholarship.

Brush up on your Financial Literacy. Receive guidance for a successful and healthy financial future, including student loan repayment.

Your degree can open the door to many types of careers. Use Career Counselling to discover where you want to go and how best to get there.

Plan to attend Career Services’ 4-week Job Search Seminar Series before or after graduation.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Attend the Halifax Career Fair in September and March. Discover career opportunities and employer expectations. 

Be prepared to apply, interview, and network when school begins, to maximize your chance of receiving some job offers before graduation. Many large and mid-sized accounting firms, as well as other organizations seeking accounting majors have applications due as early as September of your fourth year.

Bring your résumé to all career fairs. Prepare in advance to speak with recruiters and potential employers.

Apply for the Halifax Connector program. Meet with a Halifax professional in a field of your interest.

If you are a co-op student, arrange for your final work term placement early.

Are you an international student interested in staying in Canada and receiving permanent resident status? Contact the International Centre.

Get in contact with the SMU Young Alumni Association to begin your next phase as a Santamarian.

Remember, you have access to Career Services for three years post-graduation. Use these services to help you continue to get the most out of your degree.