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Iowa Accounting Schools

The following page about accounting schools in Iowa will help you find the information you need to compare schools and make the right decision for your interests and career goals. Iowa’s colleges and universities offer an array of programs to prepare future accountants, auditors, and analysts in various specialty areas. You may also find that online accounting schools provide comparable programs in a more flexible format that is a better fit for your individual needs and goals.

Quick School Facts:

  • 19 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Iowa.
  • 31 private colleges and universities offer an accounting degree in Iowa.
  • 16 schools offer a certificate in accounting.
  • 24 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.
  • 32 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • 1 school ranked in Businessweek’s Top Undergraduate Business Programs in 2013: University of Iowa (100).
  • 2 schools ranked in US News Best Business Schools in 2013 (graduate schools): University of Iowa (44), Iowa State University (70).

Continue reading for more information about accounting schools in Iowa and potential careers in accounting in the state.

AACSB Accredited Accounting Programs in Iowa

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is a globally recognized organization that provides accreditation for undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. Only 180 accounting programs are currently accredited and have been found to meet the rigorous standards established by the AACSB. The following accounting programs in Iowa have been accredited by the AACSB:

Iowa State University (College of Business)
The University of Iowa (Tippie College of Business)

Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with a Bachelor’s Degree

The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in Iowa in 2013 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree:

  1. Luther College 80.0%
  2. University of Northern Iowa
  3. University of Iowa
  4. Iowa State University
  5. Drake University
  6. Buena Vista University
  7. Simpson College

This list includes the top schools in Iowa with at least 20 candidates. There were 22 schools in Iowa that sent first-time candidates with a bachelor’s degree and the pass rate ranged from 25.0% to 80.0% (including schools with fewer than 20 candidates) according to the 2013 NASBA report. For data on all schools, see the 2013 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Iowa Accounting Graduate Degree Programs

Drake University

Drake University offers a Master of Accounting degree through its College of Business and Public Administration. With a focus on real-world scenarios and skills, the Drake University Master of Accounting degree prepares students to take the Uniform CPA Exam while encouraging a deeper understanding of accountancy. Drake University is a private institution located in Des Moines, Iowa. The university is frequently noted by major publications such as US News and Barrons for its educational quality and affordable tuition.

University of Iowa

The University of Iowa has a Master of Accountancy degree program through its Tippie College of Business. The course of study for the Master of Accountancy degree is uniquely tailored to each student’s experience and career goals, and can be completed in as little as one year. There are four areas of specialization including Financial/Auditing, Management Information Systems, Tax, and Managerial Accounting. Graduates of the program are qualified to sit for the CPA or CMA exam and the CPA pass rate of graduates is higher than the national average. The University of Iowa’s main campus in Iowa City is a hub of activity, befitting for a Big Ten school. The university is commonly recognized for its excellent research programs, well known Writer’s Workshop, and other educational and cultural activities.

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Iowa Accounting Undergraduate Degree Programs

Northwestern College

Northwestern College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting degree program that educates students about all aspects of accounting in public and private practice. The Bachelor of Arts in Accounting program encourages students to supplement their accounting education with internships, for which students may earn credit. Northwestern College is located in Orange City, Iowa, and provides students with an active campus life, intramural and intercollegiate athletics, and a wealth of cultural opportunities.

Iowa State University

Iowa State University’s offers a Bachelor of Accounting degree through The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSBB) accredited Iowa State University College of Business. The Iowa State University Bachelor of Accounting degree program emphasizes the analysis and reporting of financial data in accounting so that graduates are prepared to work in various accounting and auditing roles. Iowa State University is located in Ames, Iowa, and has been the location for many scientific and research breakthroughs. The university is also known for its dedication to supporting the arts and culture.

Top Ranked Accounting Schools in Iowa

US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs
University of Iowa #22 (2012)

US News Best Accounting MBA Programs
University of Iowa (Tippie) #32 (2012)

Businessweek Top Undergrad Accounting Programs
University of Iowa (Tippie) #88 (2012)

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Iowa

Accounting grads can find rewarding career opportunities working for small entities across the state of Iowa, or start careers with larger accounting entities in public, private, or government practice in one of Iowa’s several cities. Well known public accounting firm McGladrey was founded in Iowa in 1926. Today, McGladrey has nine office locations within the state. McGladrey promises its employees the opportunity to work with decision makers at client firms and mentorship by established McGladrey staff. McGladrey regularly posts openings for accounting grads. Honkamp Krueger & Co, P.C. is the largest non-public accounting firm in Iowa. Its client base includes clients in all fifty states, and the firm was recently recognized as one of the Midwest’s fastest growing firms. Honkamp Krueger is frequently hiring for recent accounting grads. The state government of Iowa, through the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, hires accountants and auditors to work for agencies and special projects across the state. Position openings are posted on the state’s online Talent Gateway.

Iowa Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Cedar Rapids 1280 $57,780
Des Moines-West Des Moines 3,220 $64,960
Iowa City 430 $56,540
Omaha-Council Bluffs 4,500 $67,920
Sioux City 430 $63,540

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011.

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Iowa Schools with Accounting Degree Programs

Ashford University
400 North Bluff Blvd
Clinton, IA 52732
(563) 242-4023
www.ashford.edu/

Student Review: “When I signed up for the Ashford University online college classes I was excited. I earned my degree in accounting. It was something I was always interested in. The online student portal was easy to manage, and the way they had the classes set up was very useful. They even had an area like a forum where all the students could chat and ask questions of one another, in addition to the instructors. The teachers were always very nice and helpful. It was also a good experience, because a few times I was late ordering my books. The instructor for the class would always help me out by sending me a few chapters to get me started while my book shipped. It was all together a very pleasant experience. I learned a lot!” -Student at Ashford University stars-4

Student Review: “I really enjoyed Ashford University. I took classes through an online portal. One thing I disliked was the process it took in getting a student loan. Looking back, I probably would have attended a local college rather than at Ashford. But the online student portal was good. There was a place to speak with your instructors and fellow classmates. The information was laid out well and easy to understand. The instructor would sometimes ask the class various questions throughout the week. I believe they were his forms of pop quizzes. After I graduated it was easy to get my diploma mailed to me in a beautiful frame. I enjoyed the experience.” -Student at Ashford University stars-4

Drake University (Des Moines, IA)
2507 University Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311
(515) 271-2011
www.drake.edu/

The University of Iowa (University, IA)
University Heights, IA
319-335-3500
www.uiowa.edu/

Student Review: “I graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012, double majoring in accounting and finance. My experience at Iowa was tremendous. The Tippie College of Business at Iowa is one of the highest regarded schools in the country. Majoring in accounting is quite a challenging but a rewarding experience. Without the challenges I faced at Iowa, I would not have been prepared for life after graduation. The University of Iowa gave me the skills and tools to be successful in life. During college, I was surrounded with resources at my disposal. I had professors who wanted to see me succeed, classmates to work with (some who would become friends for life), advisers to help me select courses, and courses using real life practices. The course selection is diverse, allowing students to study accounting from every aspect. I was lucky enough to find some courses that satisfied both majors, saving both time and money. My experience at the University of Iowa, majoring in accounting is one I wouldn’t trade for the world.” -student at The University of Iowa stars-5

Northwestern College (Orange City, IA)
101 7th St SW
Orange City, IA 51041
(712) 707-7000
www.nwciowa.edu

Iowa State University (Ames, IA)
2229 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50011
(515) 294-4111
www.iastate.edu


References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Businessweek Top Business School Rankings Undergraduate Business School Programs: http://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek/graphics/2013-bs-undergrad-rankings/rankings2.html
3. US News & World Report Best Graduate Business Schools: http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/mba-rankings/