Tennessee Accounting Schools

The following overview of accounting schools in Tennessee will help you become familiar with your options for pursuing a degree or certificate in accounting. Tennessee’s colleges and universities offer a variety of programs to build your understanding in accounting subjects like forensics, taxation, and auditing. In addition, online accounting schools offer similar programs that may be a fit for your interests, career goals, and scheduling needs.

Quick School Facts

  • 13 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Tennessee.
  • 32 private colleges and universities offer an accounting degree in Tennessee.
  • 9 schools offer a certificate in accounting.
  • 12 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.
  • 29 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • 1 school ranked in Businessweek’s Top Undergraduate Business Programs in 2013: Belmont University (97).
  • 2 schools ranked in US News Best Business Schools in 2013 (graduate schools): Vanderbilt University (30), University of Tennesse (67).

Continue reading to learn more about what you can do with a degree or certificate from the accounting schools in Tennessee.

AACSB Accredited Accounting Programs in Tennessee

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is a globally recognized organization that provides accreditation for undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. Only 180 accounting programs are currently accredited and have been found to meet the rigorous standards established by the AACSB. The following accounting programs in Tennessee have been accredited by the AACSB:

  • Belmont University (College of Business Administration)
  • East Tennessee State University (College of Business and Technology)
  • Middle Tennessee State University (Jennings A. Jones College of Business)
  • Tennessee Technological University (College of Business)
  • The University of Memphis (Fogelman College of Business and Economics)
  • University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (College of Business Administration)
  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville (College of Business Administration)

Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with a Bachelor’s Degree

The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in Tennessee in 2013 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree (schools with at least 20 candidates):

  1. Vanderbilt University 78.8%
  2. University of Tennessee Knoxville
  3. Lee University
  4. University of Tennessee Chattanooga
  5. Belmont University
  6. Tennessee Technological University

There were 21 schools in Tennessee that sent first-time candidates with a bachelor’s degree and the pass rate ranged from 11.1% to 79.2% (including schools with fewer than 20 candidates) according to the 2013 NASBA report. For data on all schools, see the 2013 NASBA Uniform CPA Examination Candidate Performance report provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Tennessee Accounting Graduate Degree Programs

The University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee in Knoxville has an esteemed Master of Accountancy program available for qualified individuals. Program students can choose from one of two MAcc tracks: Audit and Controls or Taxation. The Taxation track is ideal for students who wish to become publicly certified and includes CPA preparation in its course load. In conjunction with a bachelor’s degree, the program will complete the 150-hour education requirement to qualify for the state CPA exam.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University also has a recognized MAcc program designed to prepare students to sit for the CPA and to be competitive in any area of accounting they choose to work in. The school has partnerships with local firms and the Big Four accounting firms to foster opportunities for paid internships as well as career placement after graduation. The program also includes a CPA review course in partnership with Becker Professional Education to help students prepare to pass the CPA exam.

Tennessee Accounting Undergraduate Degree Programs

Eastern Tennessee State University

Eastern Tennessee State University students can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in accounting. The educational track is designed to give students the knowledge and skills that they will need to succeed in the accounting field. Graduates of the program will also be given preparatory education geared toward helping them pass the CPA examination if they choose to take it. Students will have full access to a network of financial databases through the school’s Compustat program.

University of Memphis

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting at the University of Memphis is a very popular undergraduate degree because of the program’s job placement rates as well as the consistent and growing demand for accounting professionals. Students of the program are often considered and chosen to serve internships with firms of all sizes through the school’s relationships with several local companies. Both general and specific accounting concepts are addressed through the program’s coursework and CPA preparation is also included in the curriculum.

Top Ranked Accounting Schools in Tennessee

Businessweek Top Undergrad Accounting Programs

  • University of Tennessee – Chattanooga #84 (2012)

Tennessee Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Chattanooga 1,570 $54,180
Jackson 240 $64,790
Johnson City 250 $50,460
Memphis 3,130 $62,120

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011.

Career Opportunities for Accounting Program Grads in Tennessee

Tennessee accounting program graduates will find many opportunities in the accounting field whether they seek employment in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors. The local branches of the Internal Revenue Service provide many jobs for accounting and tax specialists. There are several national corporations in Tennessee that employ accounting professionals including Covenant Transport, Auto Zone, and Cumberland Pharmaceuticals. Tax preparation firms throughout the state hire public accounting experts regularly and CPA holders can start their own accounting or tax preparation business.

Schools with Accounting Degree Programs in Tennessee

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.

Eastern Tennessee State University
807 University Pkwy
Johnson City, TN 37604
(423) 439-1000

Middle Tennessee State University
1301 E Main St
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
(615) 898-2300

Student Review: “I went through the accounting program with the Jones College of Business path. Overall it was decent at best, I had a good amount of professional and helpful teachers, and then of course there are some that are always “too busy” to help out. MTSU also had a free tutoring lab for accounting classes which helped me when I got stuck. The thing that annoyed me most about my major was in the beginning at Acct 1010 (Principles of Accounting). I struggled a lot because they standardized the test, it was as if I was taking an ACT, and my tests were loosely based on what my instructor taught me because all the instructors from the department made the test together. Besides that, I struggled and had difficulties here and there like every other student. To me college was all about getting through it, and I’m happy to say that I finally have.” -student at Middle Tennessee State University

University of Memphis
101 John Wilder Tower
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2000

Student Review: “I have been going to the University of Memphis since I lost my job as a college instructor. It is good that the times and classes have a good selection. I am able to work and do my schoolwork. They are good at teaching you with computer technology. I use the programs on Connect Plus and Cengage to really learn the material well. I have been making pretty good grades and it is a result of having good teachers. I think the computer-aided learning, along with the great instruction I received, has helped me to do well. I am now a junior and the upper level classes seem to be going well with good teachers.” -student at University of Memphis

University of Tennessee
Circle Park
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996
(865) 974-1000

Student Review: “I transferred to the University of Tennessee from a community college in order to pursue my four-year accounting degree. I’m not sure whether I had become accustomed to the ease of the community college courses or whether the accounting classes at UT were just that difficult, but the challenge was overwhelming. I had many resources available (like teachers, grad students, tutors) to help with anything that I had difficulties with, and I took full advantage of all. The accounting classes at UT were the most difficult college courses I took during my college career. However, the payoff will be more than worth it when I find employment. The professors at UT taught me that the things in life that are difficult are worth attempting to obtain. I had a hard time my first semester or two trying to adjust to the rigorous curriculum of the UT accounting program, but the hard work and endurance made the sense of accomplishment that much sweeter.” -Derrick S., student at University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37403
(423) 425-4501

Student Review: “The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s accounting program was quite a challenging one. There were many difficult courses that made me work hard and test myself on a daily basis. I am graduating this spring with my bachelor’s degree and don’t regret that decision at all. The professors were very well informed and prepared for classes. The online system (Blackboard) was used by all of my accounting teachers/professors in a way that encourages participation. Syllabus, assignments, and feedback were all available on the Blackboard website. The reason I rate the school with a 4 out of 5 is because of the advising system in place. The school of business has one advisor that meets with every student within the school of business (not only accounting students) once per year to keep the student on track for graduation; an excellent service no doubt that would be better with a more online advising system. The only other item that could be improved is a fully-online accounting program. The school provided many opportunities to hear speakers in the field and meet companies during the “Meet the Firms” event held annually. I learned a lot and would recommend this state school over ivy-league.” -Timothy M., student at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996
(865) 974-1000

Student Review: “I personally believe that the accounting program here at the University of Tennessee is one of the best in the country. In recent years, the university has invested a lot of time and resources into improving many areas of the College of Business Administration. For example, the new and improved Haslam Business Building provides state of the art facilities and resources for students, and the current faculty all are experienced individuals who provide a meaningful education. The accounting courses at UT are challenging, but at the end of the day the effort is worth it for what you gain from the classes.” -Garrett H., student at University of Tennessee – Knoxville

Vanderbilt University
2201 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37235
(615) 322-7311

1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Businessweek Top Business School Rankings Undergraduate Business School Programs: https://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek/graphics/2013-bs-undergrad-rankings/rankings2.html
3. US News & World Report Best Graduate Business Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/mba-rankings/