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Oregon Accounting Schools

The many public and private institutions of higher education in Oregon offer a variety of accounting programs for students interested in earning a certificate or degree. The following overview of accounting schools in Oregon will help you navigate your options so that you can arrive at the right choice. Online accounting schools may also be the right choice for some students; many find that the additional flexibility and independent learning models at online accounting schools are a good fit.

Quick School Facts:

  • 21 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Oregon.
  • 13 private colleges and universities offer an accounting degree in Oregon.
  • 15 schools offer a certificate in accounting.
  • 17 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.
  • 12 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • No schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Undergraduate Business Programs in 2013.
  • 1 school ranked in US News Best Business Schools in 2013 (graduate schools): University of Oregon (91).

Read more about accounting schools in Oregon and potential careers for accountants below.

AACSB Accredited Accounting Programs in Oregon

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 Oregon have been accredited by the AACSB:

Oregon State University (Oregon State University)
Portland State University (School of Business Administration)
University of Oregon (Charles H. Lundquist 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 Oregon in 2013 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree (schools with at least 20 candidates):

  1. University of Portland 71.7%
  2. University of Oregon
  3. Oregon State University
  4. Southern Oregon University
  5. Portland State University
  6. Linfield College

There were 11 schools in Oregon that sent first-time candidates with a bachelor’s degree and the pass rate ranged from 10.0% to 71.7% (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.

Oregon Accounting Graduate Degree Programs

University of Oregon

The Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon offers a full Master of Accountancy degree program for qualified candidates. The degree is very specialized and reflects the graduate’s in-depth knowledge of the accounting and finance parts of running a business. The curriculum focuses on expanding and implementing the principles and skills learned during the course of accounting undergraduate studies. Students are placed in realistic scenarios where they will need to use teamwork and problem-solving skills to create an optimal solution. Graduates of the program often find work in the field within months of completing their degree.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University offers an MBAA (Master of Business Administration in Accounting) degree through their graduate Business Administration program. This is a good option for students who want to carry a more broad degree that gives them the skills needed to help businesses find success in an ever-changing climate. The degree is becoming more popular among business students as many seek to augment an existing MBA or to give themselves a competitive edge once they enter the job market.

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Oregon Accounting Undergraduate Degree Programs

University of Portland

The University of Portland’s Pamplin School of Business has a BBA in Accounting degree program that is renowned for its quality curriculum and high job placement rates among graduates. The program includes a wide variety of classes. This cross-discipline approach is designed to give students a degree that will enable them to succeed in several areas of the business world including finance, accounting, and market analysis. Students can choose to major in Accounting and minor in a subject that best complements the career path they want to pursue.

Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University offers Business undergraduate degrees with a focus on Accounting. The main objective of the program is to prepare students for the rigorous CPA exam. Those who don’t plan to work in the public sector still find an excellent opportunity to build a degree that will enable them to find careers in many areas of finance, accounting, and management. Many large firms regularly recruit employees from among the program’s graduates. Students in many cases are offered positions prior to completing the program.

Top Ranked Accounting Schools in Oregon

Businessweek Top Undergraduate Accounting Programs
University of Oregon (Lundquist) #76 (2012)

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grad in Oregon

Both CPA-holders and students who enter the workforce immediately upon graduation find ample opportunity for employment in Oregon. eCommerce and mail-order giant Harry & David runs its operations from Oregon and is one of the state’s largest employers. Many accounting program graduates find positions within the company. Many other large companies, both national and local, provide ample job opportunities for local graduates. Local branches of the IRS and other government entities employ large numbers of accounting, tax, and finance experts.

CPA Requirements in Oregon

Those who wish to become publicly certified in Oregon must fulfill the 150-hour credit requirement. In addition, they will have to log at least one year of experience under the supervision of a CPA in good standing. Once the application process has begun, candidates have up to three months to complete all required steps. If all registration requirements are not fulfilled before this time is up, the applicant will have to start the process over.

Oregon Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Bend 300 $62,920
Corvallis 250 $54,300
Eugene-Springfield 960 $63,540
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro 7,830 $63,420

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

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Schools with Accounting Degree Programs in Oregon

Eastern Oregon University (La Grande, OR)
1 University Blvd
La Grande, OR 97850
(541) 962-3672
www.eou.edu

Student Review: “Eastern Oregon University’s program for accounting is mixed with the business administration program. It involves at least 30 credits of accounting with emphasis on financial accounting and managerial accounting. Classes are also offered in not for profit and corporate accounting. I have enjoyed all of the accounting classes especially not for profit where I felt I learned a great deal. I do wish there was more emphasis on different computer programs that are used in the accounting field such as Sage 100. I believe it is a skill I will need to obtain employment after graduation. Overall it has been a great experience and I feel that I have a good grounding in accounting theory and if I chose to follow the CPA path I am well prepared. I have taken most of the accounting classes online and the teachers have been quick to respond with help when I had question or was stuck on a homework problem.” -Christa S., student at Eastern Oregon University
stars-4

Portland Community College
12000 SW 49th Ave
Portland, OR 97219
(971) 722-6111
www.pcc.edu

Student Review: “I studied accounting through an online program at Portland Community College. Online courses allowed me to work at my own pace, at my own convenience, and in the comfort of my own home. All of the tools I needed to succeed were readily available, including access to help from the instructors or tutors, outside resources and materials to expand one’s learning opportunities, and access to up-to-date technology. The course materials were also up-to-date, which is important in our ever-changing economy. I enjoyed learning about accounting practices and procedures. The instructors were all seasoned accountants, economists, or computer specialists with the knowledge and experience needed to effectively teach the courses. They also expressed optimism about future career opportunities in the field. Accounting itself is fairly easy to learn in an online environment, but I did have some difficulty with other necessary courses in the curriculum, such as Economics and Management. Economics, for example, is a somewhat complex social science, and learning about it through books or text-based discussions leaves something to be desired. Overall, however, my experience taking accounting courses online at PCC was very rewarding and I would recommend the same for any student interested in doing so.” -Student at Portland Community Collegestars-5

Student Review: “To put it frankly, my program felt utterly un-engaged. I understand that at a community college you can only anticipate so much depth from programs, as you are meant to go on to a four year college afterwards, but I witnessed the depth other programs gave, such as bioscience majors. Accounting and business, meanwhile, felt like being handed a list of rules, with no expectation of real-world experience, told to repeat the rules on a test, and then shipped out the door. The teachers were able to make it engaging on their own, but as a whole it felt like I was going through prerequisites and not the program itself.” -Student at Portland Community Collegestars-3

Portland State University (Portland, Oregon)
1825 SW Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97201
(503) 725-3000
www.pdx.edu/

Student Review: “I had a pretty positive experience in Portland State University’s accounting program. I gave it a 4 and not a 5 because I was very bored and didn’t feel like I was getting much out of it at first. The initial classes that everyone has to take were presented in a very monotone and boring fashion. I almost changed majors because I didn’t want to go through a entire major and be bored. Granted, accounting isn’t a very glamorous profession to begin with, but I think you can make it more interesting than lecturing straight out of a text book. Once I got into the upper level courses, I was pleasantly surprised. All the teachers had real world experience, and most of them still have full time accounting positions, either with a large company or an accounting firm. It was very refreshing to be able to talk to someone with real world experience, that wasn’t the case in the lower-level classes. I felt like I always had someone to bounce questions off of, and the accounting department even helped me find internships while I was in school and for the summers so I could get some real world experience while at school prior to finding a job. Overall, I was very happy with the resources that PSU provided for accounting students. The professors were great and excited to teach.” -Student at University of Portland
stars-4

Student Review: “I would say my overall experience in Portland State University’s accounting program was a good one. I felt the curriculum was sufficient to gain the knowledge needed to take the next step in becoming an accountant. I had a very basic understanding of accounting going into the program and I never felt like I couldn’t keep up. The staff was very welcoming and their office doors were always open if I was struggling with a concept or had general questions. My only complaint is that I wish I had more teachers with real world experiences. Most of the teachers I had, at least until I got into higher level classes, seemed to be career teachers with no accounting work experience.” -Student at University of Portland
stars-4

University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon)
1585 E. 13th Ave
Eugene Oregon, 97403
(541) 346-1000
www.uoregon.edu/

Student Review: “My teachers have always been very available after class to answer questions and concerns. The problems I’ve experienced were related to large class sizes, expensive and unnecessary books, and poorly scheduled classes. We have wonderful and technologically advanced facilities and top notch professors who seem to genuinely care about our success. Obtaining our undergraduate elective credits is easy and fun. We have a large school with lots of options. I took two years of French and had the opportunity to study abroad. Another benefit at our school is that although we have to buy many overpriced books, we have the opportunity to sell them back at almost full price. We have accounting tutors who are on staff full time every term. We have a staff of mentors and advisors just for our business college. I felt like I had a lot of help along the way to getting my degree.” -Emily C., student at University of Oregon
stars-4

Student Review: “The program was definitely designed for students to pass the CPA (which affords the best work opportunities post graduation). If you follow the coursework as planned, you should have enough credits and practice in all four areas to sit for the CPA upon graduation. However, I felt that the teachers were hit or miss. One issue with Oregon is that it’s a research institution, so the majority of the professors are there to write and publish papers, not necessarily teach. This can be an issue for some students, but if you’re willing to self-learn (when needed), the degree you get from this school will definitely open doors for you with great firms looking for accountants.” -student at University of Oregon
stars-4


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/