South Carolina Accounting Schools
There are many public and private colleges and universities in South Carolina that offer programs in accounting. Some schools offer general undergraduate or graduate accounting degrees, while others offer specialized concentrations or areas of focus. This guide to accounting schools in South Carolina will help you find a program that best fits your career goals and interests. Continue reading to learn more about different programs, school rankings, career outlooks, and professional licensure requirements in the state.
- 22 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in South Carolina.1
- 11 private not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in South Carolina.1
- 13 schools offer a certificate in accounting.*1
- 11 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.*1
- 18 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.*1
- 5 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
- 2 schools 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 South Carolina
The Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018
- Clemson University
- College of Charleston
AACSB-Accredited Accounting Programs in South 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 South Carolina have been accredited by the AACSB:
- Clemson University (College of Business and Behavioral Science)
- College of Charleston (School of Business)
- University of South Carolina (Darla Moore 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 South Carolina in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for South Carolina being 59.1%:
- Furman University 83.3%
- Clemson University 65.9%
- Wofford College 63.0%
- University of South Carolina Columbia 62.7%
- College of Charleston 61.2%
Schools in South Carolina with Accounting Degrees
Undergraduate Accounting Programs
Clemson University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. Undergraduate students first complete a broad-based liberal arts core curriculum that includes classes in the humanities, English, public speaking, mathematics, and natural and social sciences. Accounting majors then take business and accounting courses, which include classes on accounting methodology, auditing, taxation, and financial management theory. Coursework focuses on accounting and technical knowledge used in the field, but students also learn analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills. Graduates are prepared to find management positions in organizations, start their own businesses, or pursue other roles in finance and business.
University of South Carolina
The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree with a major in Accounting. This program emphasizes the understanding and analysis of financial information and how it is used in different sectors. Through classes such as Financial Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, and Tax, students learn skills used in public or private accounting, budget planning, and tax accounting or auditing. The classwork focuses on a global perspective and professional development skills, and students can add an optional Accounting Business Analytics concentration to their degree. UofSC also maintains strong ties to the accounting community, and students can seek out internship or mentoring opportunities with practicing accountants.
Students at Furman University can earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting. The core curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary connections between accounting, finance, marketing, operations, and other subjects, and students learn how to communicate, think critically, and work collaboratively. In addition to learning accounting fundamentals, students also study management techniques and leadership strategies through an “MBA style” business core block. Junior and senior students work in teams to complete experiential exercises and special projects, and the business school also sponsors seminars, guest lectures, and company visits. Furman emphasizes experiential learning and career preparation, offering support for networking, professional development, and study abroad and internship placement opportunities. Graduates can go on to work in leadership positions in the industry or start their own firms and businesses.
Graduate Accounting Programs
College of Charleston
The College of Charleston offers a Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) degree. The program is designed for full-time students interested in pursuing the CPA designation and it can be completed in one year. The MSA degree offers two tracks, Financial Reporting/Assurance and Taxation. Students in either track who are interested in working with multinational firms can also follow a simultaneous International Track that emphasizes global perspectives and real-world experience. This graduate program focuses on the technical skills, professional development, and effective communication styles needed to work within public accounting, private industry, and government.
University of South Carolina
At the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, students can earn a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree. The graduate curriculum provides a foundation for pursuing CPA licensure as well as the technical knowledge needed to succeed in the accounting field. Students learn how to analyze financial information, think creatively, and communicate possible solutions for businesses and organizations. The Darla Moore School of Business offers two MAcc tracks, Taxation and Business Measurement and Assurance, and students can also choose from a number of specializations and certificates such as consulting or transaction services, managerial accounting, systems/IT, business analytics, international business, and small business/small firm accounting. Graduates are encouraged to take advantage of UofSC’s extensive alumni and industry network for post-graduation career opportunities.
Online Accounting Programs
Southern Wesleyan University
Southern Wesleyan University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree that can be completed on-campus or online. On-campus students have the option to add a concentration in Accounting or Management, but all business administration students study the same core curriculum. Courses cover subjects such as accounting, business law, economics, finance, management, marketing, statistics, and strategy. This classwork teaches students how to analyze and understand the financial information that impacts an organization. Students learn problem-solving strategies, collaborative teamwork skills, and relevant technology used in the field. Graduates from SWU can go on to work in management or accounting for an organization or use their entrepreneurial knowledge to start and operate their own business.
Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College
Students at Orangeburg-Calhoun Tech can earn an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Accounting and Enterprise Management entirely online. This 69-semester hour program can be the foundation for further undergraduate study or the starting point for entry-level work in the accounting field. The curriculum focuses on fundamental business principles as well as management and problem-solving techniques. Students learn relevant skills such as supply chain and operations management, strategic resource planning, and project management. Coursework also emphasizes business analysis and financial planning. OC Tech students can complete this program online at their own pace or through evening classes over the course of six semesters. Graduates with an AAS in Accounting can transfer their academic credit to one of the many four-year schools with which OC Tech partners.
South Carolina CPA Requirements
The South Carolina Board of Accountancy requires CPA candidates to earn at least a bachelor’s degree and 150 semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university. 36 of the semester hours must be accounting courses and 36 semester hours must be business courses. CPA applicants must then pass the Uniform CPA examination and complete a year, or 2,000 hours, of work as a professional accountant or five years of teaching accounting in an accredited college or university. This experience must be verified by a licensed CPA. After gaining licensure, CPAs must maintain their professional designation by completing Continued Professional Education (CPE) hours, such as professional development courses or specialized industry training.
Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in South Carolina
Graduates with accounting degrees in South Carolina may find many different opportunities to work within the state’s accounting industry after finishing their studies. South Carolina serves as headquarters to hospitality and restaurant industry giants like Extended Stay Hotels and Denny’s, which may provide jobs for the state’s accounting graduates. Other large companies like AgFirst and Bowater employ high numbers of accounting, finance, and tax experts. Accounting degree-holders often find their way into some of the top positions at these and other companies. Graduates may also find opportunities to work in statewide or local accounting firms or even start their own.
South Carolina Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Accountants & Auditors Employed||Average Annual Salary||Augusta-Richmond County||1,260||$63,550|
|Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach||780||$66,920|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2018.8
South Carolina Schools with Accounting Degree Programs
101 Sikes Ave
Clemson, SC 29634
College of Charleston
66 George St
Charleston, SC 29424
2100 College St
Newberry, SC 29108
University of South Carolina
816 Bull St
Columbia, SC 29208
“Overall, the University of South Carolina is a great school with a great accounting program. South Carolina is a place where the professors really want you to succeed and they understand how difficult accounting can be. Some of the upper level courses were extremely difficult as well as the finance courses required. The professors I had were great at teaching the material and made sure the class understood what was going on at all times. There were also special study sessions, review sessions, and student instructor sessions from students who had already taken the clases and done well. Overall, a great institution, with great professors, and a great hands on learning experience.” -Elijah W., student at University of South Carolina
Student Review: “The accounting program at the University of South Carolina definitely prepares students for the accounting field. It provides enough of a challenge that material stays fresh and interesting, but not so much that truly interested students become discouraged from taking it. As a double-major with a non-business minor, I also found that the accounting program is willing and able to work with other areas and programs at the university to provide the best experience and curriculum for students. My favorite aspect is the MAcc program, though. Students who persevere and work hard toward their goals are able to not only get a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s as well. The master’s program and it’s accompanying requirement of internships is built into the curriculum, so in five years, hard-working and diligent students at USC will walk away with a master’s degree and the experience necessary for the workforce.” -Sam B., student at University of South Carolina
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/accredited
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, South Carolina: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_sc.htm