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Virginia Accounting Schools

The universities and colleges in Virginia provide a variety of accounting programs that can help you reach your career goals while building on your areas of interest. This overview of accounting schools in Virginia will equip you with information on schools and programs for studying accounting in the state. Online accounting schools can also provide a path to earning your degree or certificate and may offer broader options for self-motivated students to pursue independent study.

Quick School Facts

  • 29 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Virginia.
  • 28 private colleges and universities offer an accounting degree in Virginia.
  • 17 schools offer a certificate in accounting.
  • 28 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.
  • 30 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • 5 schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Undergraduate Business Programs in 2013: University of Virginia (2), University of Richmond (17), College of William and Mary (27), James Madison University (29), Virginia Tech (52).
  • 3 schools ranked in US News Best Business Schools in 2013 (graduate schools): University of Virginia (12), College of William and Mary (70), Virginia Tech (75).

Learn more about accounting schools in Virginia, popular programs, and career paths for graduates by continuing to read below.

AACSB Accredited Accounting Programs in Virginia

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 Virginia have been accredited by the AACSB:

  • College of William and Mary (Mason School of Business)
  • George Mason University (School of Management)
  • James Madison University (College of Business)
  • Old Dominion University (College of Business and Public Administration)
  • University of Richmond (Robins School of Business)
  • University of Virginia-McIntire (McIntire School of Commerce)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (School of Business)
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Pamplin College of Business)

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 Virginia in 2013 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree (schools with at least 20 candidates):

  1. University of Virginia 81.8%
  2. College of William & Mary
  3. James Madison University
  4. University of Richmond
  5. Virginia State University
  6. Christopher Newport University

There were 22 schools in Virginia that sent first-time candidates with a bachelor’s degree and the pass rate ranged from 12.5% to 81.8% (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.

Virginia Accounting Graduate Degree Programs

University of Virginia

The University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce has a respected Master of Accounting program for qualified students. The one-year program allows participants to earn 30 credit hours, applicable toward state CPA requirements. Depending on their career aspirations, students can choose either the Financial Reporting and Assurance or Tax Consulting track.

James Madison University

Another popular place to earn a graduate-level accounting degree in Virginia is James Madison University. JMU’s business school offers a Master of Accounting degree to its business students. The program readies its participants to work in all levels of the accounting field while also preparing them to take the four-part state CPA examination if they choose. James Madison students are regularly offered internships and even full-time jobs with area businesses and are granted membership to national accounting professional societies like Beta Alpha Psi and IMA.

Virginia Accounting Undergraduate Degree Programs

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University’s College of Business and Public Administration has a full accounting department through which students can earn their undergraduate degree. Students can choose to minor in a related subject and take courses to prepare for the many accounting certifications available such as the Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Information Systems Auditor. Students can receive credit for accounting internships through the Old Dominion Career Advantage Program which partners with local companies.

Richmond University

Richmond University’s accounting program is a four-year undergraduate program that is structured so that students will experience a variety of lifelike scenarios and engage in hands-on problem-solving activities. Also included in the program’s model is focused CPA preparation. Students who qualify and wish to do so can transfer into the school’s respected graduate program and earn their Master of Accountancy degree.

Top Ranked Accounting Schools in Virginia

US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs

  • University of Virginia #19 (2012)

US News Best Accounting MBA Programs

  • University of Virginia (Darden) #27

Businessweek Top Undergrad Accounting Programs

  • University of Richmond (Robins) #7 (2012)
  • University of Virginia (McIntire) #11
  • College of William & Mary (Mason) #33
  • James Madison University #55
  • Virginia Tech (Pamplin) #122

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Virginia

Virginia is home to large financial institutions, which employ many accounting and finance program graduates from local schools. Capital One Financial is located in the state, as is national mortgage underwriting group Freddie Mac. Many government and military entities operate in the area as well, providing many jobs for accounting professionals. These provide just some of the many opportunities available to accounting graduates in Virginia.

Virginia CPA Requirements

Virginia requires that applicants complete 120 semester hours before they can qualify to take the CPA exam.1 Applicants must also have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related subject, like finance or business management. If the degree is not in accounting, it is up to the individual to make sure that any deficient courses are fulfilled.

Virginia Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford 410 $58,960
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol 480 $57,770
Richmond 6,720 $67,020
Roanoke 1,040 $61,640
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick 7,080 $81,130
Winchester 250 $70,740

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

Schools with Accounting Degree Programs in Virginia

Liberty University
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000
http://www.liberty.edu/

Student Review: “I loved my time at Liberty University! I especially loved the experience and work that I was able to do in the accountancy program. I have to admit that I was very apprehensive about getting an accountancy degree from an online school. One of the more comforting things about Liberty University is the fact that they have an enormous campus with thousands of students, as well as online programs with more than 60,000 students. I was able to visit the campus in Lynchburg, VA upon graduation of my accounting degree and was so impressed with the campus life, faculty and other students in the program. The accounting program and corresponding curriculum was very difficult online, and I can certainly see how I would have benefited from being able to actually be in the class with other students learning the material, rather than attempting to do it all on my own online. Overall, I enjoyed the accounting program very much and now have a meaningful career in accounting that I would not be able to enjoy if it were not for Liberty University. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!” -student at Liberty University
stars-4

Northern Virginia Community College (Springfield, VA)
6699 Springfield Center Dr
Springfield, VA 22150
(703) 323-3000
http://www.nvcc.edu/

Student Review: “I truly am enjoying my time at Northern Virginia Community College. I find that the classes offered really meet my busy schedule. The teachers I have been in classes with have been so terrific they provided me with such great understanding of the material and lessons. I have a better grasp on many different subjects now that are gearing me towards a great career. I find the campuses, and I have been to several, very attractive and appealing to the eye. NVCC has some of the newest technology and state of the art equipment. I find that I feel protected and safe while I am on campus and if I ever need any type of assistance I can receive it from the campus police, who are always around.” -Renee C., student at Northern Virginia Community College
stars-4

Old Dominion University
1 Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529
https://www.odu.edu/#prospective

Student Review: “I really enjoyed the accounting program at Old Dominion University. Some of the teachers were heartfelt and truly cared for the students; others were only there for a paycheck and it showed. Whether passionate or not, every teacher I had was extremely knowledgable about accounting and most had real world experience. It seemed that part of the curriculum was to relate lessons to real world applications; I think this helped me greatly. Accounting isn’t the most exciting topic but the teachers still made it interesting. I didn’t care for the amount of pre-requisite courses that were required. Due to the large number required, I graduated a semester later than I could have. I’m not complaining, however; college was the most exciting and adventurous time of my life.” -student at Old Dominion University
stars-4

University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434)-924-0311
http://www.virginia.edu/

Student Review: “The accounting program at the University of Virginia is top notch. It is a part of the McIntire Commerce School and students apply to it during their second year at the school. In the accounting program, the professors are excellent. Unlike many of the other classes I have taken, the accounting courses have actually been taught by the professors and not a TA. In addition to the great professors, the accounting program has already helped me in terms of job prospects. All of the Big 4 utilize on campus interviewing and take an astronomical number of students for both internships and full time jobs. I have also really enjoyed the guest lecturers that have spoken during my accounting classes. Finally, the guest speakers brought into the program have been fantastic. My favorite was a partner from PWC and that lecture convinced me to go the accounting track.” -Calvert B., student at University of Virginia
stars-4

Student Review: “The University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Business is considered by several rating systems as one of the best undergraduate business programs in the United States. I chose to attend this program even though I lived about an hour’s drive away. The University is a very writing-intense school. It did surprise me a bit to find that many of my assignments were not to calculate math problems but to write essays comparing and contrasting company reports and financial statements, such as explaining the use of balance sheets versus income statements rather than performing the quick assets ratio. We still learned all of the ratios but with the meaning behind why we would perform such calculations. Most of the professors were more than happy to talk to students regarding any of the assignments, accounting in general, and school in general. There are also many opportunities to work with businesses using accounting knowledge through school groups such as Enactus (formerly known as SIFE). There was no resource I might have needed that wasn’t offered at this University.” -Michelle S., student at University of Virginia
stars-5

Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
1007 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-6596
https://vt.edu/

Student Review: “For me, the accounting program at Virginia Tech was very challenging but highly rewarding. An accounting degree can be obtained from just about any university, but what set Virginia Tech apart for me was the quality of the teachers as well as the extensive networking opportunities they provided. Many of my classmates (myself included) found jobs and interning opportunities through our teachers’ contacts. Not to mention, the Pamplin School of Business has an extensive career fair every September called “Business Horizons” in which the Big 4 accounting firms recruit heavily. Being close to the DC area allows many VT accounting grads to work in the city for the government, government contractors, or private firms.” -Conor C., student at Virginia Tech
stars-5

Student Review: “The Virginia Tech accounting program has been a great experience for me. Through the years I have learned a great amount due to the passionate group of teachers that work in the department. For being such a large university, the professors in the department make it feel like a small tight knit community. They are available whenever you need to talk to them. The class offerings are plentiful and I have not taken a class that I did not enjoy.” -Craig L., student at Virginia Tech
stars-5

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