Mississippi Accounting Schools
The colleges and universities in Mississippi offer many different programs of study for students interested in pursuing a certificate or degree in accounting. This guide to accounting schools in Mississippi provides essential information on available accounting programs so you can decide which one best fits your career goals. Some undergraduate and graduate programs are available on a full-time, part-time, or entirely online basis, and different concentrations and specializations are available. Continue reading below to find out more about program details, rankings, salary projections, and professional licensure in Mississippi.
- 19 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Mississippi.1
- 3 private not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Mississippi.1
- 6 schools offer a certificate in accounting.*1
- 11 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.*1
- 11 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.*1
- 8 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
- 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 Mississippi
The Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018
- University of Mississippi
AACSB-Accredited Accounting Programs in Mississippi
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 Mississippi have been accredited by the AACSB:
- Mississippi State University (College of Business)
- University of Mississippi (School of Business Administration)
- University of Southern Mississippi (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 Mississippi in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for Mississippi being 48.2%:
- University of Mississippi 66.2%
- Belhaven University 53.3%
- Mississippi College 44.0%
- Delta State University 37.5%
- Mississippi State University 36.2%
Schools in Mississippi with Accounting Degrees
Undergraduate Accounting Programs
Mississippi State University
At the Adkerson School of Accountancy at Mississippi State University, students can earn a Bachelor of Accountancy (BAcc) degree. This degree is ideal for students interested in developing a strong foundation in accounting to use in further graduate study or to pursue entry-level accounting positions. Undergraduate students start with interdisciplinary general education requirements and business core classes. Accounting majors then take specialized courses such as Accounting Systems, Income Tax, Auditing, and Cost Accounting. Through the core curriculum, students learn accounting concepts as well as new technology and regulation trends. Internships in the field can be completed during the spring semester of senior year, and students also study communication and business skills in the classroom. For those interested in graduate studies, Mississippi State offers a Master of Professional Accountancy and a Master of Taxation.
University of Mississippi
Students at the School of Business at the University of Mississippi can earn a Bachelor of Accountancy (BAccy) degree. This interdisciplinary program combines specialized accounting concepts with broadly related subjects, such as management, business communication, and financial analysis. The core curriculum includes courses such as Business Finance, Accounting Systems, Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Business Law, and students can also tailor their electives to match their career interests. Accounting majors are required to complete a minor, either in the School of Business or in another department that formally grants a minor. For career development opportunities, students can join undergraduate clubs or attend networking events or seminars. Undergraduates are encouraged to apply for internships that can be used for academic credit.
University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi offers a Bachelor of Science of Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting. Students in this program develop a foundation in accounting and business that can be applied to many different career paths or graduate studies. The accounting program emphasizes how to understand and analyze financial information in order to make business decisions. Students learn applicable skills in research, database usage, communication, and other industry information technologies. Many undergraduate students complete an internship, and some pursue related accounting courses through study abroad opportunities. Many graduates from USM go on to pursue the university’s Master of Science in Professional Accountancy (MPA) degree and work in accounting, tax, or auditing roles for CPA firms, government and nonprofit organizations, and corporations.
Graduate Accounting Programs
Delta State University
Students at Delta State University can earn a Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAC) degree. This degree is ideal for those interested in careers in public accounting, industry, and government. The 30-credit-hour program can fulfill the educational requirements to sit for the CPA examination. Graduate students take advanced accounting courses such as Managerial Accounting, Financial Accounting, Fraud Examination, and Commercial Law, and after finishing the core curriculum, students can choose electives that match their career interests. Courses emphasize the accounting knowledge necessary to succeed in the field as well as professional development skills in management and communication. Students without an undergraduate accounting background can apply to the program but may need to complete some prerequisite courses before beginning the curriculum.
University of Mississippi
At the Patterson School of Accountancy at the University of Mississippi, accounting students can choose between two advanced degree programs. Both degrees are 30 semester hours, allowing students to fulfill the educational requirements for CPA licensure, and both prepare students for careers in professional accounting. The Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree focuses on advanced topics in public accountancy, and the Master of Taxation (MTax) degree emphasizes the tax specialization within the field of accounting. Students in both programs take core classes such as Income Tax II, Seminar in Accounting Theory, and Cost/Managerial Accounting before choosing electives. Ole Miss also offers CPA review classes for graduates interested in sitting for the examination.
Online Accounting Programs
Students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting entirely online through Belhaven University. The core curriculum includes classes such as Taxes on Business, Forensic Accounting, Governmental Accounting, Operations Management, and Auditing, through which students learn conceptual and applicable skills in the field of accounting. Online students learn how to analyze and understand financial statements in public, government, managerial, corporate, and not-for-profit accounting. This flexible program is ideal for those interested in entry-level positions or further graduate accounting study to qualify for CPA licensure. Some undergraduate students pursue accounting jobs or internships in order to gain additional experience and on-the-job training while earning their degree.
At Mississippi College, students can earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting entirely online, on-campus, or in a hybrid model of the two formats. This degree can be completed in as little as two years, and students study a wide range of business and accounting topics. Mississippi College emphasizes a global approach to modern business, and students also learn critical thinking skills, written and oral communication, and collaborative strategies. MBA students specializing in accounting study subjects such as accounting information systems, management and financial accounting, taxation, and auditing. Online students also receive support in searching for post-graduation job opportunities, and many students work full-time or find internships while completing the online degree.
Mississippi CPA Requirements
The Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy requires that CPA candidates hold at least a bachelor’s degree and 150 semester hours of academic credit from an accredited institution. 24 hours of this credit must be in accounting courses. After taking the CPA examination, candidates must complete a year of professional accounting experience that is verified by a practicing CPA. After applying for and obtaining licensure, CPAs must maintain their certification through Continued Professional Education (CPE) hours.
Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Mississippi
Graduates with accounting degrees in Mississippi may find many different opportunities to work within the state’s accounting industry after graduation. Major corporations include agricultural and industrial corporations such as Tyson Foods and Howard Industries. Small, well-established CPA firms in the state such as May & Company, GranthamPoole, and Nicholson & Company may offer positions in public accountancy for recent graduates. Large, leading firms like KPMG, BKD, Horne, and the Kemp Group all have offices within Mississippi and cumulatively employ a large percentage of Mississippi’s accountants. Accounting graduates may also find work in small business, nonprofits, and local and state government.
Mississippi Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Accountants & Auditors Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area||890||$63,520|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2018.8
Mississippi Schools with Accounting Degree Programs
University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Dr
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
200 Capitol St
Clinton, MS 39056
Student Review: “I can truly say the Accounting program at Mississippi prepared me for my career. First, I’ll say I attended two other universities before and my experiences in the programs there don’t compare to my experience here. The accounting program is one of the largest at the universities, but you could never tell. Professors are really hands-on. Because the curriculum is quite rigorous, professors are sure to answer questions in class (which is rare at many big universities) and you always have the opportunity to visit them to speak during office hours. One thing I especially loved about my experience there, is that about three months prior to graduation, the head of the accounting department meets with each student and inquires about how confident they feel in their ability to pursue their future career and any topics they may not be clear about. Mississippi College is also a Christian university so that plays a large part in the close-knitted family, caring atmosphere there. I would honestly recommend the accounting program there to anyone interested.” -student at Mississippi College
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
Mississippi State University
B. S. Hood Rd
Mississippi State University, MS 39762
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-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, Mississippi: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ms.htm