Washington DC Accounting Schools
This page provides a comprehensive guide of accounting schools in Washington DC. With the information below, you can compare options to ensure you find the program that best fits your career and educational goals, whether you’re a new student or an experienced professional. Several programs also offer online classes, allowing for more flexibility than a traditional on-campus school. Washington DC offers a wealth of opportunities from prestigious universities, internships with major accounting firms, and options to start a career with federal agencies and non-profit organizations.
- 1 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Washington DC.1
- 7 private not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Washington DC.1
- No schools offer a certificate in accounting.*1
- 1 school offer an associate’s degree in accounting.*1
- 8 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.*1
- 4 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
- 3 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 Washington DC
The Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018
- Georgetown University
Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016
- Georgetown University (McDonough School of Business) #17
- George Washington University (School of Business) #54
- American University (Kogod School of Business) #66
AACSB-Accredited Accounting Programs in Washington DC
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 Washington DC have been accredited by the AACSB:
- Howard University (School of Business)
- George Washington 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 Washington DC in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for Washington DC being 55.9%:
- Georgetown University 80.7%
- American University 68.1%
- George Washington University 60.9%
- Howard University 50.0%
- Catholic University America 36.1%
Schools in Washington DC with Accounting Degrees
Undergraduate Accounting Programs
Georgetown University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting. This program fosters strategic thinking, teamwork, and effective communication while also teaching essential technical skills required for a successful business career. A strong liberal arts core provides students with critical thinking and reasoning skills before moving onto business courses and advanced accounting coursework. Accounting electives include Financial Statement Analysis, Governmental and International Accounting, and Decision Support Systems. Students from Georgetown University are prepared for entry-level accounting and business opportunities, as well as graduate-level coursework in accounting, economics, and law.
University of the District of Columbia
Students at the University of the District of Columbia can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. This 126-credit program prepares students for financial and accounting work in both for-profit and non-profit companies. Students learn how to prepare and explain financial statements, prepare federal income taxes, and assist in financial management and decision making. Technical skills are emphasized through hands-on experience with the latest accounting software. Students also may participate in an IRS-authorized tax clinic to gain experience in taxation with real clients. This degree program requires courses such as Accounting Information Systems, Quantitative Business Techniques, and Cost Accounting.
Trinity Washington University
Trinity Washington University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting designed to prepare students for entry-level work in accounting, as well as adequately prepare students for the Uniform CPA exam. Students in this program will gain proficiency in preparing, analyzing, and presenting financial statements. Case studies and group projects challenge students to make managerial decisions while analyzing complex business and accounting problems. Ethics, business law, and forensic accounting are also emphasized to help prepare students to become Certified Fraud Examiners. The program at Trinity Washington emphasizes real-world experience through a semester-long externship, followed by a capstone experience during the students’ final year.
Graduate Accounting Programs
George Washington University
George Washington University offers a Master of Accountancy (MAccy) designed to prepare students for CPA licensure. This AACSB-accredited program gives students the option of pursuing the degree as either a part-time or full-time student. Technical skills and critical thinking are emphasized through case-studies to teach students problem-solving and decision-making capabilities. Students take courses specifically designed to prepare them for the Uniform CPA Exam, including Federal Income Taxation, Cases in Management Accounting, and Contemporary Auditing Theory. Students also have the opportunity to intern with a wide variety of business and accounting firms, including the Big Four accounting firms, the IRS, FBI, and the World Bank.
Howard University’s School of Business offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) designed to provide students with the skills necessary for a successful career in professional accounting. In this 30-credit, AACSB-accredited program, students are prepared to pursue accounting in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Courses cover topics on the Uniform CPA Exam, including challenging courses like Corporate Financial Accounting, Business Ethics for Accountants and Auditors, and Governmental Accounting. Students work with accomplished faculty members, many of whom hold a terminal degree and CPA licensure. GMAT scores are required to apply, as well as an undergraduate degree in accounting.
Online Accounting Programs
Catholic University of America
At the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America, students are given the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. This flexible program allows students to take several business and general education courses online. Students learn technical skills through real-world experiences and hands-on exercises. This program prepares students for careers in government, non-profit, and the private sectors. Students work closely with an accomplished faculty of CPAs to understand contemporary issues in accounting. This program first emphasizes business fundamentals, such as economics, ethics, and management theory. Students then can expect to take more advanced accounting courses including Managerial Accounting, Cost Accounting, and Taxation.
The Kogod School of Business at American University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting that prepares students for a wide variety of careers in accounting and business. American University was ranked #66 by Bloomberg’s 2016 Best Undergraduate Business Programs. This program is designed to prepare students for CPA licensure through an understanding of business fundamentals and advanced accounting theory. Analytical tools and case studies are used to provide students with opportunities for growth and hands-on experience with accounting software. Teamwork is also highly emphasized to prepare students to work in a collaborative environment. Many business, economics, and general education courses are offered online, giving students flexibility in scheduling to pursue internships.
Washington DC CPA Requirements
To become a Certified Public Accountant in Washington DC, applicants must complete 120 semester hours and hold a baccalaureate degree with a concentration in accounting to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. Twenty-seven credit hours must be accounting coursework and a total of 150 semester hours is required to complete licensure. Applicants are also required to have one year of accounting experience under a licensed CPA.
Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Washington DC
Recent accounting graduates in Washington DC have a wide variety of career options in the governmental, non-profit, or private sectors. Federal bodies such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security offer numerous opportunities for those interested in federal accountancy and auditing. Additionally, a high concentration of large non-profit groups, including the headquarters of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, make Washington DC a promising place to begin a career in non-profit accountancy. The “Big Four” international accounting firms also all house large offices within the District and employ a number of CPAs and auditors. The diversity of organizations, firms, corporations and government bodies within this area make it a prime location to begin or expand an accountancy career.
Washington DC Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Accountants & Auditors Employed||Average Annual Salary|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.8
Schools with Accounting Degree Programs in Washington DC
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, DC 20064
The George Washington University
2100 M Street #310
Washington, DC 20052
3700 O St NW
Washington, DC 20057
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 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Washington DC: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_dc.htm