North Carolina Accounting Schools
The following outline of accounting schools in North Carolina is designed to help you locate schools that are a good match for your skills, interests, and career aspirations. North Carolina’s universities and colleges offer many accounting programs in generalized practice areas as well as specialized practice areas such as managerial accounting, fraud investigation, and information management. Students of all educational backgrounds should be able to find a program that fits their goals, including business novices and those seeking advanced graduate study. Flexible programs with online classes also help working professionals achieve their education and career goals.
- 67 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in North Carolina.1
- 22 private not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in North Carolina.1
- 52 schools offer a certificate in accounting.*1
- 51 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.*1
- 36 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.*1
- 11 schools offer a graduate degree in accounting.*1
- 2 programs ranked in US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2018.2
- 2 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
- 4 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 North Carolina
US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2018
- Wake Forest University #15
- University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill #19 tie
US News Best Graduate Accounting Programs 2018
- University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill #9 tie
- Duke University #24 tie
The Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018
- Elon University
Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016
- University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler Business School) #7
- Wake Forest University (School of Business) #13
- North Carolina State University (Poole College of Management) #47
- Elon University (Love School of Business) #48
AACSB Accredited Accounting Programs in North Carolina
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 North Carolina have been accredited by the AACSB:
- North Carolina A&T State University (College of Business and Economics)
- North Carolina State University (Poole College of Management)
- The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Joseph M. Bryan School of Business and Economics)
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Belk College of Business)
- Wake Forest University (School 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 North Carolina in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for North Carolina being 59.0%:
- Wake Forest University 82.6%
- Davidson College 76.3%
- Duke University 72.2%
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte 69.1%
- Western Carolina University 69.1%
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 67.0%
Schools in North Carolina with Accounting Degrees
Undergraduate Accounting Programs
High Point University
The Phillips School of Business at High Point University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting. This degree program is designed to prepare students for a career in professional accounting through analytical study and experiential learning. Students may engage in roundtables with the business community and participate in the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Organizations such as Alpha Kappa Psi, the Entrepreneurs Club, and the Floyd Craven Investment Club. BSBA students may take courses like Principles of Macroeconomics, Advanced Taxation, and Mergers and Acquisitions. Upon graduation, alumni have gone on to have careers at top accounting firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, and Dixon Hughes Goodman.
Elon University offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BSA) that prepares students for entry-level business positions, as well as pursuing graduate study. This accounting degree provides students with a solid foundation in financial and cost accounting, taxation, and auditing. Undergraduate students are required to complete an internship with an accounting firm. students have worked with Deloitte, Ernst and Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Alumni have also gone onto careers at Baker Tilly, Grant Thornton, CohnReznick LLC, and Lincoln Financial Group. Elon has several student organizations that can help advance an accounting student’s career, including Beta Alpha Psi. This international honor society for accounting students, along with the Student Professional Development Center, offers an Accounting Meet and Greet once a year to help students network with working professionals. Elon also offers the Becker FastPass CPA review. This intensive summer course prepares students for the CPA exam, helping them gain a competitive edge upon graduation.
North Carolina State University
The Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BSA) that allows students to concentrate in a variety of areas. Students may decide to have no concentration or can choose between five areas of focus: Financial Analysis, Information Systems, Internal Auditing, Managerial Accounting, and Government and Nonprofit. All students take courses in Concepts of Financial Reporting, Risk and Assurance, and Introduction to Income Taxation. North Carolina State University has many student organizations that can help students gain hands-on experience, including the Accounting Society, Internal Audit Student Club, Finance Club, and the International Business Club. Individual career coaching is also offered to students, as well as mock interviews and resume building. North Carolina State University is listed in Bloomberg Businessweek for Best Undergraduate Business Schools.
Graduate Accounting Programs
Wingate University offers a Master of Accountancy that is designed to provide students with hands-on experience in the business world. This AACSB accredited program can be completed either part-time or full-time and offers 20% of classes online. Wingate University features a state-of-the-art accounting and finance lab to provide experiential learning for students, allowing for simulated scenarios and preparation for the CPA exam. Course titles include Advanced Taxation of Business Property, Financial Institutions and Management, and Financial Accounting Methods. Students in the Master of Accountancy program receive resume building help, as well as personalized job-search techniques. Students also work to build a portfolio to show to prospective employers. GMAT scores are required to apply and students without an undergraduate business or accounting degree may have to complete prerequisite courses.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The Belk College of Business at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers an AACSB-accredited Master of Accountancy degree that is designed for students of all levels. This accounting program offers four curriculum tracks: Professional Accounting for students with an undergraduate degree in an unrelated area; Financial Accounting/Auditing for accounting students who wish to become CPAs; Tax for CPAs and non-CPAs who wish to specialize in taxation; and Individualized for students who want to design their own program of study. Full-time students can complete the program in as little as 12-16 months, but a part-time option is also available. UNC Charlotte has a close relationship with the business community, including an active advisory board made up of top business professionals within the Charlotte area. The Belk College of Business offers career coaching, alumni networking, and interview tips to help students gain professional development. An undergraduate degree is required to apply, as are GMAT or GRE scores.
Online Accounting Programs
East Carolina University
East Carolina University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting designed to prepare students for entry-level business positions and graduate coursework in accounting. Students are given the option of taking several online courses, as well as participating in on-campus coursework. The online accounting program at East Carolina includes courses such as Managerial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Taxation for Decision Making, and Internal Auditing. ECU offers career guidance and networking opportunities, including career fairs, graduate school preparation, and resume reviews. Career Services can also help students with internship placement to gain hands-on professional experience. Students may also apply for ECU’s Cooperative Education program (CO-OP) which allows students to alternate periods of academic work and professional work, giving them the opportunity to work full-time for a company while retaining full-time student status.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a Master of Accounting program which can be completed either on campus or online. This flexible format gives working professionals the opportunity to pursue their educational goals and advance their career. The accounting degree at UNC-Chapel Hill is designed to prepare students for the CPA exam and can be completed in one year. Students with an extensive background in accounting may be eligible for reduced coursework. MAcc students may take courses like Professional Communication for Accountants, Data Analytics for Accountants, and Managerial and Cost Accounting. Students are also given the opportunity to participate in a global immersion program to gain experience in trading regulations, tax treaties, and other topics unique to international business.
North Carolina CPA Requirements
To obtain public accounting certification in North Carolina, a bachelor’s degree is required. Applicants must also have successfully completed at least 150 hours of course studies, including 30 hours of accounting coursework, at an accredited higher learning institution. A score of 75% or higher is required on all four sections of the CPA exam. Previous work experience is also required to sit for the exam, which can be achieved through a variety of ways. The first is to have one full year of supervised accounting experience. The second option is to have at least four years of unsupervised accounting experience in either the public or private sector. Additionally, individuals who have at least four years of related teaching experience may qualify.
Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in North Carolina
North Carolina is home to several top accounting firms, as well as various government agencies – both state and federal – that provide ample opportunity for long-term career placement for accounting graduates. Large companies like Lowe’s and Duke Energy are headquartered in the state and employ many tax and accounting specialists throughout the many divisions of their operations. Many financial institutions are also based in North Carolina, including Bank of America in Charlotte and BB&T in Winston-Salem. This variety affords recent graduates many options when seeking employment in the business industry in North Carolina.
North Carolina Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Accountants & Auditors Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News||6,070||$77,440|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.8
Schools with Accounting Degree Programs in North Carolina
Appalachian State University
287 Rivers St
Boone, NC 28608
Student Review: “Participating in the Appalachian State University accounting degree program at the Walker School of Business has been one of my greatest journeys. The program seemed at times overwhelming, however; I can now look back and see that the program prepared me to easily enter and transition into a graduate program and prepared me for the hard deadlines in my current profession. The program is and has been for years now ranked at the top among accounting degree programs for both regional and state-supported universities. The program offers great access to instructors and their teacher assistants (TA’s), access to other resources and the opportunity to gain valuable and relevant work experience that can be of great benefit to those students who choose to take advantage of these excellent opportunities and place these relevant experiences on their resumes or CV or record them on their applications for graduate or other professional school applications. I am sincerely grateful for the learning experience that the accounting program offered and am even more sincerely grateful to those instructors and other individuals that I was exposed to during my journey at Appalachian State University who inspired and had a helping hand in the building of the happy, fulfilled life I live today.”
North Carolina State University
1005 Capability Dr
Raleigh, NC 27607
Student Review: “The NC State accounting program was one of the best after talking with fellow friends at other colleges. The opportunities, accessibility, and helpfulness of the program is what kept me going and interested in the program. The professors in the program are all excellent and have real world experience to back up their teaching. The staff’s main goal is to assist students in job placement and passing the CPA exam (we have a great passing rate!). In addition, the program provides all the tools to prepare students for work life after graduation.” – student at North Carolina State University
143 Main St
Buies Creek, NC 27506
Student Review: “My experience with the accounting program at Campbell University was a pleasant one. At times I wondered if I should have gone to a larger university but I believe if I did I would not have had as great of an experience as I did at Campbell. One of the best parts I believe about attending a smaller university are the class sizes, as well as the relationships you are able to build with your professors. I had some classes with as little as ten or twelve students which made that learning experience much more personal. This also allowed for close relationships with professors to form to the point where you were a student whom they actually cared about rather than just another name on the attendance sheet. The knowledge and education I gained from the accounting program at Campbell has enabled me to excel career wise in that field. Also, the exposure from the program such as alumni connections, internship opportunities, and the multitude of incoming guest speakers and other professors allowed for networking opportunities, the ability to build relationships, as well as being able to speak with others about how the classroom experiences relate to real world application.” – student at Campbell University
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
1400 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27412
Student Review: “I have attended UNCG for 4 years and am an accounting major. When I first enrolled in the major I was unsure if it was what I really wanted to do in life. However, the instructors in the accounting department soon showed me how satisfying the practice can be. With the exceptions of graduate assistants, every instructor was an expert in their field. Every time I had a question about a topic (such as prime cost or audit procedure) I was met with a friendly and helpful answer. I felt less like a student and more like a peer. Graduate assistants are always available to tutor students in the accounting program. Overall I have enjoyed my experience here and can’t wait to begin my career in the field!” -Andrew M., student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Student Review: “The University of North Carolina offers an excellent business program. What I believe is so great about the university is that it has its own business department called The Bryan School of Business and Economics. This department is especially focused on the whole business aspect of the degree. As a freshman, I had a special advisor that worked only in the business department of the university so I didn’t have to worry about taking the wrong courses or taking courses that wouldn’t help me progress in my major. The university offers both online and classroom/lecture classes. The classes are challenging, but they are not too difficult. The professors that I have had so far are amazing. They listen to you and they are often times willing to help you with any questions or problems you may incur while taking their course.” -Shakori B., student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro
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, North Carolina: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nc.htm