Alabama Accounting Schools
This guide to accounting schools in Alabama provides key information to help you understand and compare your options for obtaining a degree or certificate in accounting in the state. There are numerous public and private colleges and universities in Alabama with accounting programs to prepare students for professional practice in general accounting or in specialty practice areas such as personal finance or business valuation. Alabama schools offer programs that range from general undergraduate degrees to specialized graduate degrees. More information about programs, school rankings, professional opportunities, and accounting licensure in the state of Alabama can be found below.
- 24 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Alabama.1
- 9 private not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Alabama.1
- 9 schools offer a certificate in accounting.*1
- 8 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.*1
- 23 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.*1
- 9 schools offer a graduate degree in accounting.*1
- 1 program ranked in US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2018.2
- No programs ranked in US News Best Graduate Accounting Programs 2018.3
- 3 schools ranked in the Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018.4
- No schools ranked in Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016.5
*Public or private not-for-profit colleges and universities only.
Top-Ranked Accounting Schools in Alabama
US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2018
- University of Alabama #28 tie
The Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018
- Auburn University
- Birmingham-Southern College
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
AACSB-Accredited Accounting Programs in Alabama
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) is a globally-recognized organization that provides accreditation for undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. While over 800 business schools have been accredited by the AACSB, only 186 institutions hold AACSB accreditation for their accounting programs, having been found to meet the rigorous standards established by the AACSB.6 The following accounting programs in Alabama have been accredited by the AACSB:
- Auburn University (Raymond J. Harbert College of Business)
- Auburn University at Montgomery (College of Business)
- University of Alabama (Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration)
- University of Alabama at Birmingham (Collat School of Business)
- University of South Alabama (Mitchell College of Business)
Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with a Bachelor’s Degree
Each year, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) releases a report including data on candidate performance on the Uniform CPA Exam.7 The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in Alabama in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for Alabama being 55.8%:
- Samford University 67.1%
- Auburn University 63.8%
- University of Alabama 59.8%
- Spring Hill College 56.3%
- University of South Alabama 52.7%
- Auburn University Montgomery 50.0%
Schools in Alabama with Accounting Degrees
Undergraduate Accounting Programs
University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting degree. The core curriculum includes classes such as Financial Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, and Accounting Information Systems. This coursework focuses on the foundational knowledge needed to understand, analyze, and support the financial health of organizations. Students learn accounting fundamentals as well as specialized knowledge in related subjects such as capital investment, marketing, and operations. The BSBA in Accounting is a full-time program, and graduates are also encouraged to pursue their Master of Science in Accounting (MAcc) at USA. The MAcc degree can be completed online or on-campus, and it can be finished in one year on a full-time basis or in two years for part-time students.
Spring Hill College
Students at Spring Hill College can earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting. This undergraduate degree starts with business fundamentals, and students then take specialized accounting courses to learn technical and functional industry skills. The core curriculum includes mathematical and statistical analysis courses as well as information systems and technology-based classes. The Division of Business also focuses on management and leadership skills in different kinds of organizations. Students have the option to add a Finance or Economics emphasis to their degree, and many students also complete a second major in Mathematics. Graduates are prepared for leadership positions in small and large businesses or public non-profits, and this undergraduate degree also prepares students to pursue graduate studies or professional licensure.
Birmingham Southern College
Through Birmingham Southern College’s Department of Business, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree with a major in Accounting. This program emphasizes core business and accounting knowledge, and students are also encouraged to develop their entrepreneurial and critical thinking skills. Through coursework, internships, and study abroad opportunities, accounting students learn the practical, applicable skills needed in the industry. The curriculum also focuses on effective written and oral communication and ethical decision-making. Birmingham Southern sponsors speakers and lecture series for business students, and graduates are encouraged to start their own businesses or pursue further study and professional licensure.
Graduate Accounting Programs
Students at Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business can pursue a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree. This program can be finished by full-time students in three semesters, online or on-campus, and working professionals can complete the degree part-time in five semesters online. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in accounting or have completed the equivalent courses before beginning advanced classes such as Research in Accounting, Federal Tax, and Advanced Auditing and Assurance Services. Graduate students learn technical skills needed in the accounting field, research and communication skills, and the functional knowledge necessary to pass the CPA examination.
University of Alabama
The Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama offers a Master of Tax Accounting (MTA) degree. This program is designed for those interested in working in the tax industry. Students follow an interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates law, finance, accounting, and business subjects. The curriculum includes courses such as Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders, Partnership Taxation, and Advanced Corporate Taxation. MTA graduates learn about accounting theory, the taxation system, tax law, and the tools used in research and communication in taxation and are prepared to do tax research utilizing accounting databases to solve tax problems.
Online Accounting Programs
Auburn University offers an online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting that is designed for those who are seeking a second undergraduate degree. Graduates with an AACSB-accredited business degree can complete this BS in Accounting in five semesters while working full-time. The 30-semester hour program is ideal for those interested in a career change or those who want to fulfill the educational requirements for the CPA examination. Students can study part-time through online courses, video recordings, and independent classwork that is identical to the on-campus curriculum. Online students follow the same calendar and complete the same coursework as their on-campus counterparts.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, students can earn an online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting through the Collat School of Business. This program is ideal for those interested in working in accounting in banks, private companies, nonprofits, insurance companies, or government agencies. The curriculum focuses on accounting principles, business communication, financial management, information systems, and quantitative analysis, and students learn the technical knowledge relevant to the industry. Through coursework and real-world experience, students also gain leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship skills. Graduates of the online program have access to UAB’s worldwide alumni network with numerous networking opportunities.
Alabama CPA Requirements
The Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy requires that CPA candidates complete 150 semester hours and hold at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or an equivalent subject. Applicants must have a transcript record of semester hours in upper-division accounting courses, business law, and other general business subjects. After passing the CPA examination, CPA candidates must complete a year of full-time experience in public accounting or two years in accounting, business, or teaching. This experience must be documented and verified by a licensed CPA. After earning an Alabama CPA license, professionals must maintain the designation through Continued Professional Education (CPE) hours.
Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates in Alabama
Students who graduate from accounting programs in Alabama have several career avenues open to them. In addition to opening their own accounting business or working as a self-employed accountant, graduates can pursue careers with major accounting firms such as Warren Averett and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Graduates can also seek employment with financial services companies such as Regions Financial Corporation, BBVA Compass, and Harbert Management Corporation. Several opportunities exist at the government level for accounting graduates as well, including with the IRS, FBI, and State Department. Graduates with accounting degrees in Alabama may find many different opportunities to work within the state after finishing their studies.
Alabama Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Accountants & Auditors Employed||Average Annual Salary|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2018.8
Schools with Accounting Degree Programs in Alabama
226 Thach Concourse
Auburn, AL 36849
Student Review: “The Auburn University accounting program was wonderful and I was glad to be a part of it. I enjoyed almost all of my classes. I found the subject material to be extremely challenging yet rewarding. The professors were great. Every class I took required the professor to have a certain number of office hours per week. If these office hours didn’t fit your schedule, you could talk directly with your professor and set up an appointment to get help. I greatly valued these 1-on-1 interactions with my professors as they allowed me to gain a much better understanding of the subject material. In addition, it was one of these close relationships with a professor that allowed me to land my very first accounting internship following my junior year. My favorite class in the program was definitely ‘Intermediate Accounting.’ It was advanced enough to challenge me, and it provided me with an extremely solid base to work from for the rest of my accounting courses. Overall, I had a great experience in the Auburn University accounting program and only regret that it flew by too quickly.” -Deron T., student at Auburn University
800 Lakeshore Dr
Homewood, AL 35229
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
Student Review: “I am very satisfied with the accounting program at the University of Alabama. My professors have been excellent. Being able to make accounting interesting and appealing is a rare talent, but virtually all of my accounting professors have been able to make the material engaging. I am also happy with the reputation of the accounting program at Alabama, and feel that having an accounting degree from Alabama will make me a more competitive candidate for jobs. My accounting advisor has been a terrific resource for me, she is extremely good at guiding students through the accounting program. Alabama also does an excellent job of stressing the importance of joining Beta Alpha Psi (of which I am a member). Beta Alpha Psi has been invaluable in connecting me with both local and national firms. I did not originally intend to major in accounting, but I could not be more satisfied with my time in the accounting program at Alabama.” -Cody S., student at The University of Alabama
Alabama A&M University
4900 Meridian St N
Normal, AL 35762
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. US News & World Report Best Undergraduate Accounting Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/business-accounting
3. US News & World Report Best Accounting Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/accounting-rankings
4. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges 2018 Edition. Penguin Random House, 2017.
5. Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016: https://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek/graphics/2013-bs-undergrad-rankings/rankings2.html
6. AACSB-Accredited Universities and Schools, Accounting: http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/accredited-members
7. The NASBA Candidate Performance Report, 2015 University Edition: https://nasbareport.com/
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Alabama: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_al.htm