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Arizona Accounting Schools

The following outline of accounting schools in Arizona provides information for those interested in pursuing an accounting degree in the state.s. Colleges and universities offer many different accounting degree options, such as undergraduate Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting degrees and graduate Master in Accountancy (MAcc) degrees. Some programs are designed for full-time students, while others may offer flexible options such as part-time study or online classes. Students who pursue accounting degrees in Arizona may find opportunities to work within the state’s accounting industry after graduation.

Quick Facts

  • 21 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Arizona.1
  • 1 private not-for-profit college or university offers an accounting degree program in Arizona.1
  • 18 schools offer a certificate in accounting.*1
  • 14 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.*1
  • 5 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.*1
  • 2 schools offer a graduate degree in accounting.*1
  • No programs ranked in US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2018.2
  • 1 program ranked in US News Best Graduate Accounting Programs 2018.3
  • No schools ranked in the Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018.4
  • 1 school 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 Arizona

US News Best Graduate Accounting Programs 2018

  • Arizona State University #28 tie

Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016

  • University of Arizona (Eller College of Management) #80

AACSB-Accredited Accounting Programs in Arizona

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 Arizona have been accredited by the AACSB:

  • Arizona State University (W.P. Carey School of Business)
  • University of Arizona (Eller College of Management)

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 Arizona in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for Arizona being 54.0%:

  1. Arizona State University West 70.0%
  2. Arizona State University 67.9%
  3. University of Arizona 67.4%
  4. Northern Arizona University 66.7%

Schools in Arizona with Accounting Degrees

Undergraduate Accounting Programs

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University of Arizona

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting. This program includes broad core courses, 30 professional and business units, and 21 accounting specialization units. Students learn business fundamentals in courses such as Organization Behavior and Management and Business Communication before taking major-specific classes like Cost and Managerial Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, and Analysis of Financial Statements. Coursework emphasizes how to report and analyze financial information for companies and organizations, as well as the skills needed to prepare taxes and make business decisions. The UA Accounting Student Association offers networking events and professional development opportunities for accounting students.

Northern Arizona University

Students at Northern Arizona University can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. This degree is ideal for those interested in an accounting career in industry, government, or public accounting. Students start with broad liberal studies requirements before completing 42 credit hours of business core classes and 30 units of accounting classes. These courses cover accounting fundamentals, industry-relevant information technology, and real-world applications of accounting, auditing, and financial analysis. The W.A. Franke College of Business also offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting.

Arizona State University

At the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accountancy. This business degree prepares graduates to work in accounting roles in both the private sector or government agencies. The curriculum is designed with input from the Professional Advisory Board, a group of working accountants who ensure the courses are relevant to the industry. Courses include classes such as Financial Accounting, Business Project Management, Enterprise Process Analysis and Design, and Organization and Management Leadership. Through these courses, students learn the basics of accounting, business, and information technology, as well as interpersonal skills in team-building and communication. ASU also is home to many active student groups in the accounting department that organize industry-relevant events and networking opportunities.

Graduate Accounting Programs

University of Arizona

At the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, students can earn dual Master of Science in Finance (MSF) and Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degrees. This dual program is designed for those interested in careers in leadership in corporate finance and accounting. The two degree requirements are 51 units in total, and students must be admitted separately to both programs. If students enter the programs meeting all prerequisites, they can complete both master’s degrees with only one additional semester of coursework. The dual master’s degree program is 16 months in duration if all prerequisites have been fulfilled, including an MSF summer project. Graduate students who do not meet all prerequisites may take 21-24 months to finish the dual degrees. The curricula of the two degrees cover the accounting, finance, and management skills necessary to advance into leadership roles in the world of business.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business offers both a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) and a Master of Taxation (MTax) degree. Both degrees are in a nine-month format, although students without an academic accounting background may need to take some prerequisites before starting either program. The curriculum is designed with input from alumni and other accounting professionals, so students learn applicable knowledge and skills. Classes focus on case methods and group discussion, and coursework emphasizes foundational knowledge as well as strategic thinking and communication skills. Graduates from either program may go on to take the CPA examination and apply for licensure.

Online Accounting Programs

Arizona State University

Through Arizona State University, students can complete an online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Business with a concentration in Corporate Accounting. This online undergraduate degree prepares students to work in careers in management accounting and it is designed to help students to prepare for certifications such as Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Students learn how to analyze and understand financial information, and the coursework also emphasizes how to apply this financial perspective to business and management decision-making. The curriculum includes accounting fundamentals as well as leadership and management techniques. The program is 120 credit hours, and most classes are taught in an eight-week format.

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree that can be completed in a flexible format or entirely online. This degree is ideal for working professionals and undergraduate students who are interested in obtaining CPA licensure to work as professional accountants or as consultants. Students learn advanced training in financial, managerial, and tax accounting, as well as the knowledge base and technical training needed to pass the CPA examination. The 30-credit hour program starts with 18 units of accounting courses, and students then complete 12 units of MBA or accounting electives. Students without an academic accounting background may need to complete certain prerequisites before beginning the program. Online students can take advantage of UA’s career counseling to search for summer internship opportunities or other post-graduate career assistance.

Arizona CPA Requirements

The Arizona State Board of Accountancy requires that CPA applicants have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and that candidates have completed at least 150 semester hours. At least 36 of these hours must be in accounting courses, and 30 hours must be in business foundation courses. CPA candidates must then pass the CPA examination. Once applicants sit for the examination and pass, they must complete at least 2,000 hours of relevant experience in accounting that is verified by a licensed CPA. Applicants must also complete a professional ethics course. After gaining CPA licensure, individuals must maintain their designation through Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit obtained through courses, webinars, and other professional development efforts.

Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates in Arizona

After graduation, accounting students in Arizona have several career choices available to them. Major accounting firms in Arizona such as Gaintner Bandler Reed and Peters, Ascot Tax and Accounting, and Henry and Horne may offer accounting positions. Graduates can also pursue work opportunities for major government entities like the State Department, Department of Defense, and other agencies located in the state. Financial companies such as Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Northern Trust, and Charles Schwab have centers in Arizona, providing possible accounting positions. Graduates who earn CPA certification also have the option of starting their own accounting business or working for other small businesses in the state.

Arizona Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Flagstaff 340 $58,520
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale 15,450 $71,300
Tucson 2,060 $62,600
Yuma 210 $70,090

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2018.

Arizona Schools with Accounting Degree Programs

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Arizona State University
4701 W Thunderbird Rd
Glendale, AZ 85306
(602) 543-5500
https://www.asu.edu/

Student Review: “The Arizona State University Business Accounting and Management program proved to be very different from what I thought it would be. The whole process was somewhat lengthy, as I had to see a career counselor, a guidance counselor, and a schedule coordinator. Once I was enrolled full time, classes were very easy to schedule and work around. The internship process was great, as there were many participating companies eager to take new students under their wings and teach them how to perform properly in the industry. I graduated a semester early due to the coordination that I had with my schedule. Overall, I loved the program and what I took out of it.” -Joshua S., student at Arizona State University
stars-4

Northern Arizona University
2020 S Avenue 8 E
Yuma, AZ 85365
(928) 317-6400
https://nau.edu/

University of Arizona
1401 E University Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85721
(520) 621-2211
“http://www.arizona.edu/

YavaPai College
1100 E. Sheldon Street
Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 445-7300
https://www.yc.edu/

Student Review: “I have attended two semesters at Yavapai College and overall, I have been impressed with the curriculum and faculty. The classes are challenging yet manageable, and there are ample online programs for those students who do not have time for traditional classes. Yavapai College has an impressive library that is well suited for studying and contains many volumes. I was in the accounting program and I must say that I learned a lot. Additionally, there were ample office hours available for any questions that I had. Also, the scholarship opportunities that the school can provide through their foundation partners are immense. I got very good grades and was able to procure enough scholarships to completely pay for my books and tuition. Overall, it’s a great school with a great staff!” -Student at Yavapai College
stars-4

References:
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/features/2016-best-undergrad-business-schools/
6. AACSB-Accredited Universities and Schools, Accounting: https://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/accredited-schools
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, Arizona: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_az.htm