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Minnesota Accounting Schools

The universities and colleges in Minnesota offer a broad array of accounting programs for those interested in a career in the field. This overview of accounting schools in Minnesota will provide you with the information you need to select a school that fits your needs. Programs range from undergraduate to graduate degrees, and schools offer different concentrations and formats. Read on below to learn more about school rankings, career outlooks, and professional opportunities in the accounting field in Minnesota.

Quick Facts

  • 36 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Minnesota.1
  • 14 private not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Minnesota.1
  • 26 schools offer a certificate in accounting.*1
  • 27 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.*1
  • 24 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.*1
  • 6 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
  • No schools ranked in the Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018.4
  • 2 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 Minnesota

Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016

  • University of Minnesota (Carlson School of Management) #69
  • St. Thomas University (Opus College of Business) #95

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 Minnesota in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for Minnesota being 59.9%.

  1. Northwestern College 72.2%
  2. University of Minnesota Twin Cities 62.1%
  3. Gustavus Adolphus College 60.0%
  4. St. Cloud State University 59.4%
  5. University of Minnesota Crookston 57.9%

Schools in Minnesota with Accounting Degrees

Undergraduate Accounting Programs

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University of Northwestern St. Paul

The University of Northwestern St. Paul offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. This undergraduate degree lays the foundation for students to work in many different industries. The curriculum focuses on accounting fundamentals and their application to the business world, and students are also prepared for further graduate study and the CPA examination. The core accounting classes include Income Taxation, Business Law, Auditing, and Corporate Strategies and Policies, and the classwork emphasizes data analysis and communication skills. UNW also offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, and graduates can go on to work as CPAs, financial planners, auditors, corporate controllers, and other types of accountants.

St. Cloud State University

Students at St. Cloud State University can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. By taking courses such as Internal Audit, Financial Accounting and Analysis, Cost Accounting, and Fraud and Forensic Accounting, students learn how to make financial decisions through the framework of accounting. Classwork focuses on practical skills such as analyzing financial statements, managing assets and liabilities, and short and long-term strategic planning. This undergraduate degree prepares graduates to work in private industry, government, education, and not-for-profit organizations. For post-graduation opportunities, students can take advantage of real-world learning opportunities through student accounting clubs and internships.

Gustavus Adolphus College

Students at Gustavus Adolphus College can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. This undergraduate track prepares students to pursue further graduate study and it also provides the basic accounting and business knowledge for those seeking entry-level employment after graduation. The curriculum emphasizes fundamentals through required courses like Managerial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Federal Taxation, and Auditing, but students are also encouraged to search out real-world learning opportunities. Through university-approved study or work abroad opportunities, Gustavus Adolphus students can earn academic credit and practical experience in the field. For those interested in a CPA licensure, the business school also offers a Public Accounting major. Though this track may take more than eight semesters of study, graduates can complete all education requirements for CPA licensure before graduation.

Graduate Accounting Programs

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree. This program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis and admission is open to those without an undergraduate accounting degree. The curriculum is designed around the technical and interpersonal skills needed to become a leader in the accounting industry. Core classes include Auditing Principles and Procedures, Internal Control, Corporate Finance Analysis and Decisions, and International Financial Management. After finishing these courses, students can then choose from electives in accounting, finance, taxation, supply chain and operations management, and information systems. MAcc candidates can choose a specialization in Tax, and the Carlson School also offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Business Taxation (MBT) degree.

University of St. Thomas

Students at the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business can earn a Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA). This 11-month program is ideal for those interested in fulfilling the educational requirements for CPA licensure and preparing for the professional examination. The graduate curriculum emphasizes core accounting concepts as well as emerging industry trends. Courses include International Accounting, Advanced Managerial Decision Making, and Forensic Accounting. The University of St. Thomas also focuses on professional development skills and growing graduates’ professional networks. Students can take advantage of personal coaching, career advising, and networking opportunities through the Opus College of Business.

Online Accounting Programs

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting that can be completed entirely online or on the Crookston campus. The curriculum provides students with the theoretical and analytical knowledge necessary to work in public, private, or governmental accounting. Through classes such as Accounting Systems, Income Tax, and Managerial Finance, students learn the foundational and technical skills needed in the accounting industry. Graduates from this online or on-campus program have the foundation to pursue professional designations such as CPA, Certified Management Accountant (CMA), or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and work in such fields as financial analysis, public accounting, management accounting, banking, or taxation.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

At Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, students can earn a Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) either completely online or partially on-campus. Students learn advanced financial knowledge and leadership, as well as management strategies. The core curriculum, which includes classes such as Forensic Accounting and Fraud Analysis, Strategic Management Accounting, Taxation and Business Decisions, and Financial Communication, can be completed in one year. This graduate degree prepares students to pursue CPA or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) licensure, as well as management positions in public or private accounting firms, corporate or nonprofit organizations, or governmental departments.

Minnesota CPA Requirements

The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants requires that CPA candidates hold at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting and 150 semester hours of collegiate education. After completing the Uniform CPA examination, applicants must then fulfill the work experience requirement through one year, or 2,000 hours, of professional accounting experience. This experience must be verified by a licensed CPA. After gaining CPA licensure, individuals must complete Continued Professional Education (CPE) hours through educational activities and professional development efforts to keep their license active.

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Minnesota

Those with accounting degrees in Minnesota may find many opportunities to work in the state after graduation. Large accounting firms headquartered in Minnesota include CliftonLarsonAllen, Olsen, Thielen & Co, and Schechter Dokken Kanter. For those interested in smaller firm environments, Minnesota is home to smaller local firms such as Eikill & Schilling. The state of Minnesota hosts the headquarters of several large national corporations such as the Target Corporation, Best Buy, General Mills, and the 3M Company, all of which employ large numbers of financial and accounting staff. Graduates may also find positions with numerous existing small firms or start their own within the Twin Cities area or other city centers.

Minnesota Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Duluth 680 $61,600
Grand Forks 350 $59,990
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington 19,240 $73,710
Rochester 520 $60,640

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2018.7

Minnesota 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.

College of Saint Benedict
37 South College Ave
St. Joseph, Minnesota 56374
(320) 363-5011
http://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
117 Centennial Student Union
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 389-1866
https://mankato.mnsu.edu/

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

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

University of Minnesota
100 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 625-5000
https://twin-cities.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
2115 Summit Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
(651) 962-5000
https://www.stthomas.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/features/2016-best-undergrad-business-schools/
6. The NASBA Candidate Performance Report, 2015 University Edition: https://nasbareport.com/
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Minnesota: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm