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Michigan Accounting Schools

This guide to accounting schools in Michigan will help you find a school that is a suitable match for your skills, interests, and career goals. MichiganĂ¥s colleges and universities can prepare you for a rewarding career in accounting roles like auditor, budget manager, and assurance officer, as well as many other exciting career paths. Online accounting schools also offer a variety of programs to help you complete your education in accounting with benefits like increased flexibility in scheduling.

Quick School Facts:

  • 43 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Michigan.
  • 32 private colleges and universities offer an accounting degree in Michigan.
  • 27 schools offer a certificate in accounting.
  • 42 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.
  • 44 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • Two schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Undergraduate Business Programs in 2013: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (8), Michigan State University (43).
  • Two schools ranked in US News Best Business Schools in 2013 (graduate schools): University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (14), Michigan State University (43).

Learn more about accounting schools in Michigan by continuing below.

AACSB Accredited Accounting Programs in Michigan

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 Michigan have been accredited by the AACSB:

Central Michigan University (College of Business Administration)
Grand Valley State University (Seidman College of Business)
Michigan State University (The Eli Broad College of Business)
Oakland University (School of Business Administration)
Western Michigan University (Haworth 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 Michigan in 2013 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree:

  1. University of Michigan Ann Arbor 83.2%
  2. Hope College
  3. Michigan State University
  4. Eastern Michigan University
  5. Oakland University
  6. Grand Valley State University

This list includes the top schools in Michigan with at least 20 candidates. There were 30 schools in Michigan that sent first-time candidates with a bachelor’s degree and the pass rate ranged from 19.6% to 83.2% (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.

Michigan Accounting Graduate Degree Programs

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business is renowned for its strong graduate accounting program that benefits from a foundation of faculty research in corporate financial reporting, disclosure practices, accounting-based valuation, compensation and management performance. The Master of Accounting Program (MAcc) combines a 10-month MAcc Program with the Ross School of Business’s prestigious MBA Program. This integration diversifies the curriculum base and has fostered strong recruitment from accounting firms, investment banks, consulting and government agencies. Ross students are prepared to sit the Michigan CPA exam immediately upon graduation and consistently have one of the highest CPA passing rates in the nation.

Wayne State University

Wayne State University offers a selective and growing Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree program that emphasizes career development rather than entry-level training. The program fulfills Michigan’s 150-hour education CPA examination requirement and enables graduates to immediately sit the exam. Wayne State University offers graduate accounting courses at all of the campuses as well as online to accommodate a variety of students. Though the program is oriented toward professional careers in public accounting, it is also appropriate for those wishing to pursue careers in private industry, financial institutions, government and non-profit organizations.

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Michigan Accounting Undergraduate Degree Programs

Michigan State University

The Broad College of Business at Michigan State University offers an Accounting major based upon integrative studies, writing and business core components. The program prepares students for additional study in business and accounting and for careers in public accounting, managerial accounting, and governmental accounting. Students are permitted to supplement internship or work experience for credit towards completion of this degree.

Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University’s undergraduate Accounting Major, within the Haworth College of Business, includes a comprehensive background in financial, managerial, tax accounting, and auditing supplemented by an overview of business law and practices. The breadth of the course requirements aims to place accounting within the wider scope of the business environment. The curriculum focuses on developing critical thinking and communication skills while providing an excellent foundation for careers in government, law, and education.

Top Ranked Accounting Schools in Michigan

US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor #7 (2012)
Michigan State University #13

US News Best Accounting MBA Programs
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (Ross) #6 (2012)
Michigan State University (Broad) #23

Businessweek Top Undergrad Accounting Programs
University of Michigan (Ross) #35 (2012)
Michigan State University (Broad) #41

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Michigan

The large number of national corporations based in Michigan has consistently fueled a high demand for accountants and auditors within the state. This demand is projected to continue its positive growth trajectory through 2020, totaling a 10.1% employment increase according to the Michigan Labor Market Information.1 In Detroit, General Motors Company and Ally Financial Inc., offer numerous opportunities to recent graduates or career changers. Other large corporations based within Michigan include the Kellogg Company, Ford Motor Company and the Dow Chemical Company. For those interested in pursuing careers within private accounting firms, Yeo & Yeo actively recruits from statewide campuses, includes a thorough training program for new employees and was ranked among the 2011 Best Firms to Work For by Accounting Today. The already dense accounting demand in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Troy is expected to expand further producing ample opportunity for both accountants and auditors.

Michigan Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Ann Arbor 1,180 $65,240
Detroit-Warren-Livonia 14,650 $70,250
Grand Rapids-Wyoming 3,410 $69,630
Jackson 300 $66,460
Lansing-East Lansing 1,660 $63,850
South Bend-Mishawaka 940 $59,350

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

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Schools with Accounting Degree Programs in Michigan

Alma College (Alma, Michigan)
614 W. Superior St.
Alma, Michigan 48801
(989) 463-7111
http://www.alma.edu/

Student Review: “My experience at Alma College has been exciting and full of information. Since Alma is a liberal arts college, I received a wide range of experiences in different subjects. All of the experiences add up into making my accounting degree that much more credible. I began by taking the basic accounting and business classes and now I am currently in the intermediate accounting and finance classes. The great thing about these classes is that there are only a few professors that teach them. This allows me to bond with them and learn their teaching styles. Not only are they excellent professors, but they are also very experienced in their fields. They provide several real life experience stories that make the student interact and use critical thinking skills. When I am struggling in a class, they are always there for me to answer questions. The accounting program at Alma is very difficult; only about ten students a year receive their accounting degree. This is because the classes are very difficult and most students find the subject to be boring. The professors assign several homework problems that are very time consuming and they expect you to do it. If you don’t do the homework your grades will go downhill. The accounting program at Alma College is up there with the best. The professors teach students the things they need to know and prepare them for the real world. Basically, it all comes down to whether the student is willing to put in the effort to receive their accounting degree.” -student at Alma College
stars-4

Davenport University (Lansing, MI)
220 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, MI 48933
(517) 484-2600
www.davenport.edu

Student Review: “I, for the most part, thought that Davenport University was a good choice for a school to go to for an accounting degree. First of all, the enrollment process was very short and simple. I found it very easy to register and pay for the classes that I chose to take. The staff was very helpful and was always there for me if I needed anything or had any questions. The classes themselves were challenging, but I believe that this would be the case with any school that you pick. The teacher to student radio was low, so I was able to get the attention that I needed in order to feel like I firmly grasped the topics that were being discussed in class. The only downfall of this school is that it is very expensive in comparison to other universities. But, with the money you are also getting a better group of professors and a better experience overall. I would highly recommend this college for anyone who is looking to get a degree in anything, especially accounting.” -Megan L., student at Davenport University
stars-4

Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI)
1 Campus Drive
Allendale, MI 49401
(616) 331-5000
www.gvsu.edu/

Student Review: “Grand Valley State University has an amazing accounting program. I wasn’t sure initially if that the was the right path for me but their department head really helped me with questions I had and gave me a good idea of what the experience would be like. From there I entered their accounting program. The curriculum was challenging but fun. It always was made to feel relevant to what you were doing at the time and learning, which really makes all the difference. It’s one thing to just memorize something in a book but something else entirely when you can actually apply what you learn. My professors always pushed me to do my best and learn as much as I can and they’re responsible for the professional I am today. I can’t recommend their accounting program enough. It’s a great school with great professors.” -student at Grand Valley State University
stars-5

Student Review: “I cannot recommend the Accounting Program at GVSU’s Allendale campus enough. When I first started there, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do study-wise, so I toured the different departments and spoke with the department heads to get an idea of what made them passionate about their respective fields. It was the attention and description of the accounting department head which sold me. The whole world of finance and regulation and order really spoke to me as a person. The degree program itself is guided by professors who are passionate about what they do. The material is presented in a very relateable and current fashion that’s more effective and easier to absorb than just memorizing or reciting from a textbook. Not only that they emphasize skills that aid you in the work place; not just accounting knowledge but working with teams, doing presentations, writing skills. It is all wrapped up in a comprehensive package that prepares you. I wouldn’t be where I was today if it wasn’t for that program. If you’re considering a career in accounting, they’re the best.” -student at Grand Valley State University
stars-5

Hillsdale College (Hillsdale, MI)
33 East College St.
Hillsdale, MI 49242
(517) 437-7341
www.hillsdale.edu/admissions

Student Review: “The accounting program at Hillsdale College is certainly a challenging one. While the classes proved to be difficult, the professors were always willing to take time out of their schedule to assist you with any problems. The intermediate accounting courses were two of the toughest courses I have ever taken, but they taught me a lot. Career services took a huge role with setting up many on campus interviews with Big 4 firms and some smaller accounting firms. This was very helpful with getting internships and loading your resume with job experience. I am proud to have successfully made it through this program at Hillsdale.” -Patrick C., student at Hillsdale College
stars-4

Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)
138 Service Rd
East Lansing, MI 48823
(517) 355-1855
https://msu.edu/

Student Review: “I will admit to my school’s business education infrastructure (including the accounting program) to be somewhat frustratingly balkanized. Since accounting was not my singular focus (I was a student of multiple disciplines and multiple colleges), I encountered several instances in which my enrollment in accounting classes required a direct, personal override, arrange by either a department dean or by an individual professor. I had to jump through numerous hoops in order to take the accounting classes I sought to take, and was often faced with the threat of not being allowed to enroll in classes I thought would be interesting, informative and helpful in my future. Almost consistently, however, I was able to enroll after numerous additional steps, and almost consistently, I found the accounting program to be supremely beneficial. My hoop-jumping and letter-writing always seemed worthwhile, given the quality and depth of the finance and accounting classes I participated in. The professors were experienced, insightful, accessible and willing to provide assistance whenever asked. The information was thorough, relevant and directly applicable to my goals. I’m glad to have had the opportunity, even if it was not easy enough to get.” -Alex H., student at Michigan State University
stars-4

Saginaw Valley State University (University Center, MI)
7400 Bay Road
University Center, MI 48710
(989) 964-4000
https://www.svsu.edu/

Student Review: “I attended Saginaw Valley State University from 2000-2004, graduating in August 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. The campus facilities, from housing to the library to the academic buildings are absolutely amazing; very modern. I am fully satisfied with the College of Business; the professors were all very nice and went out of their way to help me, and a wide variety of accounting courses were offered at the 300-400 level. One thing I liked was that most of the courses were consistent in outline; four equally-weighted exams that determined your final grade. Attendance was not usually mandatory, but could help you in the end if you were in-between grades. Overall, I am happy to have attended SVSU and feel that I was challenged intellectually by great instructors. Though not a prestigious (just an “average” school) university, it is more than adequate for students unable to get into an Ivy League or Big Ten-caliber institution. I still keep in touch with a handful of my fellow students from the accounting and other business programs and all are doing well in respective fields. After working in corporate accounting for a couple years, I became the controller of a large construction company, and I credit much of this to my academic experience at SVSU.” -student at Saginaw Valley State University
stars-4

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
503 S State St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 764-1817
www.umich.edu

Student Review: “I have taken numerous classes in the University of Michigan accounting program and while they were very challenging they were very rewarding and I learned quite a bit. I first took a class two years ago, and I had some concerns at first, as the teacher was very young and wasn’t the best speaker of English. But I soon found that if I stayed patient, she improved over the course of the semester, and truly had a mastery of the material. Accounting tutors are easy to find and I’ve heard of numerous friends having great success in the classes with the help of the tutors. The program has prepared me very well for my future in the business world and I truly feel that I could perform extremely well in an accounting entry-level position today.” -Bryan M., student at University of Michigan
stars-4

Washtenaw Community College (Ann Arbor, MI)
4800 E Huron River Dr,
Ann Arbor, MI 48197
(734) 973-3300
www.wccnet.edu

Student Review: “I have found the accounting program at Washtenaw Community College to be a good experience. I have 6 more classes to complete in order to receive my degree, but overall I feel like the courses are preparing me to transfer to a 4-year program. The class sizes are small which makes it easier to approach the professor. Another huge benefit is that I’ve had the same professor for many of my accounting courses, who happens to be the schools accounting advisor. He knows everything accounting, but he doesn’t do as well with the computer programs as a younger professor might. Sometimes I find that I learn better by going through the book and learning things on my own. This makes me wish that they offered more accounting courses online. The online classes that are available are very easy to follow. Even though the program could be better, I don’t regret choosing to go to Washtenaw Community College to get my associate’s degree.” -Marianne G., student at Washtenaw Community College
stars-4

Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI)
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269)387-1000
https://www.wmich.edu/

Student Review: “I attended WMU for my undergrad as well as graduate study in the field of Accountancy. I was happy with WMU as they have a very reputable business college and their accounting department specifically is very supportive. The majority of the professors in the accounting department are very knowledgeable and supportive. The best part about the accounting program at WMU is the fact that the MSA is meant to get you the additional 30 hours of course work required to take the CPA exam. I also enjoyed that the bulk of my classes, especially in grad school, were all located in one building which made parking a breeze and getting from one class to another very simple. They also provided adequate study space in the main business college building which was also very convenient. My only complaint would be that there were a couple professors there that were both not supportive of students as well as incompetent as instructors, but I would assume you are bound to run into that just about anywhere.” -student at Western Michigan University
stars-4

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