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Kentucky Accounting Schools

This guide is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of accounting degree programs in the state of Kentucky. Kentucky offers students a variety of options when pursuing their educational and career goals, whether that be through online coursework or in a traditional classroom environment. Business novices and experienced professionals alike will find a program that meets their individual needs. Students can focus areas of interest on information systems, taxation, and forensic accounting. Programs throughout the state are also designed to prepare students for a variety of licensure, including Certified Public Accounting (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).

Quick Facts

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

The Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018

  • Transylvania University

Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016

  • University of Kentucky (Gatton College of Business and Economics) #110

AACSB-Accredited Accounting Programs in Kentucky

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 Kentucky have been accredited by the AACSB:

  • University of Kentucky (Gatton College of Business and Economics)
  • University of Louisville (College of Business)
  • Western Kentucky University (Gordon Ford 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 Kentucky in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for Kentucky being 55.1%:

  1. University of Kentucky 64.6%
  2. Bellarmine University 62.1%
  3. Western Kentucky University 60.8%
  4. Asbury University 58.3%
  5. Kentucky Wesleyan College 58.3%
  6. Berea College 55.6%

Schools in Kentucky with Accounting Degrees

Undergraduate Accounting Programs

Transylvania University

Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting that gives a broad introduction to business and accounting topics. In this program, students work closely with faculty and meet with local business owners to see real-world applications of classroom concepts. Students learn how to properly analyze financial information and communicate effectively in a collaborative business environment. This program encourages hands-on experience through community service, internships, and assisting professors with research. A variety of elective courses are available for students to focus their degree to their interests, including Partnership Accounting, Forensic Accounting, and Equine Accounting. Travel abroad opportunities are also available, allowing students to focus on international accounting while in Europe, equine accounting in Ireland, and forensic accounting at the Grand Canyon.

University of Kentucky

At the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky, students are able to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting. This AACSB-accredited program is designed to prepare students for a successful career in business. After taking 27 credits of advanced accounting coursework, students gain experience solving complex accounting problems in the public, private, and nonprofit sector. Courses also focus on strategic management and managerial accounting to empower students to make important financial decisions. Incoming students may apply for a four-year BSBA/Master of Science in Accountancy (MSACC). This accelerated program allows students to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree, while also sitting for the CPA exam in four years.

Murray State University

Murray State University offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business. Students may choose to major in Accounting and add on further specialties, such as Information Systems, Finance, and Financial Planning. In their first two years, students gain a comprehensive understanding of business fundamentals before moving on to advance accounting study. The accounting curriculum is designed to provide technical skills in statistics, information systems, and economics, while also going over concepts such as ethics, business law, and marketing. This program qualifies students to sit for the Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Financial Management (CFM), and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) exams.

Graduate Accounting Programs

Northern Kentucky University

The College of Business at Northern Kentucky University offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc). This program trains students to analyze and interpret financial information to empower graduates to make sound business decisions. Northern Kentucky University offers tracks for students with an undergraduate in accounting, as well as those looking to change their career to business. The Accounting Practice and Reporting track is a 36 credit hour degree that enables students without an accounting degree to prepare for CPA licensure and enter the business world. The Professional track is a 30 credit hour program designed for students with previous accounting coursework to complete the requirements for CPA licensure. Northern Kentucky University also offers a 30 credit hour Tax track for students with previous accounting experience who are interested in specializing in taxation.

University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky offers a Master of Science (MS) in Accountancy designed to prepare students for a career in business and CPA licensure. This 30-credit program provides an advanced understanding of taxation, financial statements, and information systems. Students gain a strong foundation in technology to prepare them for a fast-paced business world. Enterprise Information and Control Systems, Research in Accounting Theory, and Attest Functions are all classes students can expect to take in this AACSB-accredited degree program. The curriculum is designed to be completed in 11-months and allows for students to sit for the CPA exam. Students are given the opportunity to integrate the Becker CPA review coursework into their program path.

Online Accounting Programs

University of Louisville

University of Louisville’s College of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accountancy. This AACSB-accredited program gives students the opportunity to take several courses online, offering a flexible alternative to a traditional classroom experience. University of Louisville’s accounting program prepares students for a successful career in business and future graduate coursework. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of taxation and auditing practices, as well as governmental and non-profit applications. In this program, students are also able to choose an Information Security concentration, allowing them to specialize in computer security and pursue the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) licensure.

Western Kentucky University

At Western Kentucky University, students may earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting that prepares students for a wide variety of business and financial careers. Students develop skills meant to serve them throughout their careers, including problem-solving, effective communication, and analytic thinking. This AACSB-accredited program allows students to take several courses online. Classes are taught by full-time faculty with professional experience and certifications, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Students also have the option to choose from a variety of study abroad opportunities designed as an introduction to international business and accounting concepts. Western Kentucky University features an accounting JUMP program that allows senior accounting students to start working on their Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree. This 3 + 2 program helps students finish all coursework required for CPA licensure and be more competitive upon graduation.

Kentucky CPA Requirements

To become a Certified Public Accountant in Kentucky, a minimum of 150 semester hours is required, in which 39 credit hours must be business-related and 27 of those credit hours must be specifically accounting courses. A year of professional accounting experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA is also required. Applicants must earn a minimum of a 75 on all four portions of the Uniform CPA exam. Applicants may take the exam after complete 120 semester hours, but will not receive licensure until completing 150 semester hours.

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Kentucky

Accounting grads in Kentucky have a wealth of career opportunities, with many accounting firms and large corporations being headquartered in the state. Mountjoy Chilton Medley is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, and is one of the largest CPA firms in the region. Dean Dorton Allen Ford is a well-respected accounting firm with locations in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky. Global accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers also has offices in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky, making it a great location for recent graduates. Automotive, Manufacturing, and Healthcare are leading industries in Kentucky and major employers for recent graduates. Regardless of the industry, business-savvy and financially educated professionals are always in demand in Kentucky.

Kentucky Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Bowling Green 260 $64,670
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 9,380 $70,700
Lexington-Fayette 1750 $66,500
Louisville-Jefferson County 4,660 $69,150

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2018.8

Schools with Accounting Degree Programs in Kentucky

Northern Kentucky University
1 Louie B Nunn Dr
Highland Heights, KY 41099
(859) 572-5100
https://www.nku.edu/

University of Kentucky
410 Administration Dr
Lexington, KY 40506
(859) 257-9000
http://www.uky.edu/UKHome/

University of Louisville
580 S Preston St
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 852-5555
http://louisville.edu/

Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101
(270) 745-0111
https://www.wku.edu/

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/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, Kentucky: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ky.htm