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Minnesota Accounting Schools

The universities and colleges in Minnesota offer a broad array of accounting programs so that those considering higher education can select a program in line with personal interests and career goals. This overview of accounting schools in Minnesota will provide you with the information you need to select a school that fits your needs. Online accounting schools are an alternative to traditional on-campus programs that may also be a match; many students report that the additional scheduling flexibility that online programs offer is a key benefit.

Quick School Facts:

  • 34 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Minnesota.
  • 38 private colleges and universities offer an accounting degree in Minnesota.
  • 35 schools offer a certificate in accounting.
  • 45 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.
  • 45 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • 2 schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Undergraduate Business Programs in 2013: University of Minnesota (39), University of St. Thomas (80).
  • 1 school ranked in US News Best Business Schools in 2013 (graduate schools): University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (23).

Continue learning about accounting schools in Minnesota and potential careers for accounting graduates below.

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 Minnesota in 2013 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree:

  1. University of Minnesota Twin Cities 68.2%
  2. Minnesota State University Mankato
  3. University of Minnesota Duluth
  4. Saint Johns University
  5. University of Saint Thomas
  6. St. Cloud State University

This list includes the top schools in Minnesota with at least 20 candidates. There were 21 schools in Minnesota that sent first-time candidates with a bachelor’s degree and the pass rate ranged from 30.8% to 75.0% (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.

Minnesota Accounting Graduate Degree Programs

University of St. Thomas

The Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) degree program at the University of St. Thomas is the only private AACSB accredited graduate accounting program in the state of Minnesota. This established program relies on a foundation of close faculty and student relationships, and integrated, in-depth curriculum and enhanced technical skill development. Graduates of this program benefit from the mandatory paid internship facilitated through close ties between the faculty and reputable firms within the area. Additionally, the program stresses the importance of business ethics within the competitive business environment and aims to produce competent and responsible graduates.

University of Minnesota

The Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota offers a Master’s in Accounting program that focuses on preparing students to enter the fields of public, governmental, corporate, non-profit and consulting accounting. Course specialization is available in Auditing, Financial Forensics, Information Technology, Personal Financial Planning, Taxation, and Business Valuation. Dynamic instructors and lively debate within the classroom hone students’ ability to respond quickly to the fast-paced style of business and develop individual analytical and problem-solving skills. The Carlson Accounting Program emphasizes the expanding role of accountants in modern business and aims to prepare its graduates for a variety of career paths within the field of business management and monitoring.

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Minnesota Accounting Undergraduate Degree Programs

Minnesota State University

The Minnesota State University undergraduate Accounting Program is a pre-professional program that endows students with the basic skills and knowledge to pursue further education and immediate careers in the areas of CPA, corporate financial accountancy, corporate account management and internal auditing. Graduates of the MNSU Accounting Program have a strong record of exceeding the national average first-time pass rate of the uniform CPA examination. The program emphasizes the importance of in-field internships and facilitates these opportunities through work-for-credit programs and a strong alumni network within a variety of local and national firms.

Saint Cloud State University

Saint Cloud State University’s Bachelor of Science Accounting major includes a solid business foundation in conjunction with specialized courses designed to prepare students for professional careers in public accounting, corporate settings, not-for-profit organizations, and account management within the federal sphere. The prescribed courses develop individual analytical and problem-solving skills as well as impart the knowledge necessary to sit for various professional exams including the CPA, CMA, CIA, and CISA.

College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University

The CPA preparation concentration at College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University prepares students to take the CPA exam which requires 150 credit hours in the state of Minnesota. Students can complete the program in four years instead of the typical five years that it takes at most schools. There is also a traditional accounting concentration for students who plan to pursue careers in business without becoming a CPA. Students can participate in the school’s Accounting and Finance Club which offers opportunities to visit accounting firms, attend talks by guest speakers, and sign up for mock interviews. College of Saint Benedict students had the third highest first-time CPA exam pass rate in the country in 2011.

Top Ranked Accounting Schools in Minnesota

Businessweek Top Undergrad Accounting Programs
University of Minnesota (Carlson) #27 (2012)
University of St. Thomas (Opus) #77

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Minnesota

Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development projects that accountants and auditors will experience 15.3% employment expansion from 2009-2019, adding a total of 3,698 potential jobs for qualified accounting candidates.1 This projected growth rate compares favorably to the projected growth of most other occupations within the state. Large accounting firms headquartered in Minnesota include Clifton Larson Allen LLP., Olsen, Thielen & Co, LTD., and Schechter Dokken Kanter. For those interested in smaller firm environments, Eikill & Schilling Ltd., is a prestigious locally owned firm with a low staff turnover rate and ample opportunity for graduates. The state of Minnesota hosts the headquarters of several large national corporations such as the Target Corporation, Best Buy Co., Inc., General Mills, Inc., and the 3M Company, all of which regularly employ large numbers of financial and accounting staff. Numerous existing small firms within the Twin City area may provide stringent competition for those attempting to establish new accounting practices.

Minnesota Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Duluth 700 $58,650
Grand Forks 300 $58,520
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington 17,180 $65,130
Rochester 640 $52,540

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

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Minnesota Schools with Accounting Degree Programs

Capella University
225 South 6th St
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 339-8650
www.capella.edu/

Student Review: “I started out as an accounting major through Capella University’s online learning program. My advisor was very helpful throughout the entire registration process and even kept in touch with me through the first two classes I took. Capella is different than most colleges. Rather than taking five or six classes a semester, Capella uses quarters. Some of their classes are set up to be a half quarter long (5 units) and others are a full quarter (10 quarters). The accounting program was an eye-opening experience for me and Capella helped me discover that accounting is a career that I can truly see myself being happy doing. My advisors have always been there to help me make decisions on which classes to take when and how to seek help from Capella’s tutors. As I am almost done with my accounting degree, I can honestly say that I am so happy that I chose Capella over other online schools. Their accounting program was thorough and has taught all that I need to know to be confident in the accounting world. Thanks to Capella’s accounting program I can confidently say that I am ready to start looking for a job in the accounting field and am prepared to take on the tasks expected of an entry level accountant.” -student at Capella University
stars-4

College of Saint Benedict (St. Joseph, MN)
37 South College Ave
St. Joseph, Minnesota 56374
(320) 363-5011
www.csbsju.edu

Metropolitan State University
700 E 7th St
St Paul, MN 55106
(651)-793-1300
www.metrostate.edu/

Student Review: “Metro State is a school that specializes in working adults. At times, this meant that they were very flexible with a working adult schedule, although not always. The coursework at Metro State has the advantage of being taught mostly by adjunct faculty with real world experience in Accounting and Business which was very nice in providing real world perspectives and examples. The coursework was seldom very challenging and the amount of work required for a half time load fit easily into a life that included a forty hour work week. Metro State offers a significant number of online courses and the quality and difficulty level varied widely. Generally, if the course covered easy material, the online course was significantly less work and time than an in-person course. However, if the coursework was hard to understand, the lack of interaction and format made the course very difficult.” – student at Metropolitan State University
stars-3

Minnesota State University (Mankato, MN)
117 Centennial Student Union
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 389-1866
www.mnsu.edu

Saint Cloud State University (St Cloud, MN)
720 4th Ave S
St Cloud, MN 56301
(320) 308-0121
www.stcloudstate.edu

Saint John’s University (Collegeville, MN)
2850 Abbey Plaza
Collegeville, Minnesota 56321
(320) 363-2011
www.csbsju.edu

University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
100 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 625-5000
www.umn.edu

Student Review: “I attended the University Of Minnesota to obtain my CPA. I was extremely happy with my choice as I have lived in Minnesota my whole life and I was now able to enjoy it from the college aspect. The teachers at the U of M are top notch, which is why I chose the school. I would highly suggest making sure you are aware of the weather here in Minnesota before coming here, since you will be walking quite a bit at this campus. The things I disliked were the class sizes for the first two years. This is a big university and the class sizes do get enormous for general education majors.” -student at University of Minnesota
stars-5

University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN)
2115 Summit Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
(651) 962-5000
www.stthomas.edu

References:
1. Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development: http://mn.gov/deed/
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/