Washington Accounting Schools

Students in Washington can choose from a wide array of accounting programs offered by the state’s many colleges and universities. This overview will provide you with key information on accounting schools in Washington so that you can make an informed choice for your educational needs. Online accounting schools can also help you advance your career in the field of accounting, with flexible study options and reduced commuting times as well as additional benefits.

Quick School Facts

  • 39 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Washington.
  • 13 private colleges and universities offer an accounting degree in Washington.
  • 35 schools offer a certificate in accounting.
  • 33 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.
  • 16 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • 2 schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Undergraduate Business Programs in 2016: University of Washington (48), Seattle University (67).
  • 1 school ranked in US News Best Business Schools in 2013 (graduate schools): University of Washington (23).

Continue reading to learn about offered majors, profiles of popular programs, and more about accounting schools in Washington.

AACSB Accredited Accounting Programs in Washington

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 Washington have been accredited by the AACSB:

  • Gonzaga University (School of Business Administration)
  • University of Washington (Michael G. Foster School of Business)
  • Washington State University (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 Washington in 2013 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree (schools with at least 20 candidates):

  1. Western Washington University 75.2%
  2. Gonzaga University
  3. University of Washington
  4. Seattle University

There were 14 schools in Washington that sent first-time candidates with a bachelor’s degree and the pass rate ranged from 19.1% to 75.2% (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.

Washington Accounting Graduate Degree Programs

Washington State University

Many students choose to pursue their Master of Accountancy degree through Washington State University’s business school. The program gives accounting students the chance to explore more advanced principles and also serves to fulfill the credit requirements for taking the CPA exam. WSU students can join the Honorary Accounting Society, where they can network with other students and professionals in the field.

University of Washington

The Foster School of Business at the University of Washington has a top-ranked accounting program offering graduate-level programs. Students can earn their Master of Accountancy degree while preparing to take the state CPA if they have aspirations of a career in public accounting. The department’s faculty has received top ratings for their contributions to financial accounting research.

Washington Accounting Undergraduate Degree Programs

Seattle University

Seattle University has a respected Department of Accounting through which degrees in the discipline are offered. Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. Alternatively, they can choose to work toward a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major or minor in accounting. The school has a successful mentoring program that pairs students with exemplary professionals working in the field.

Central Washington University

Central Washington University also offers a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Elective classes like Fraud Examination and Accounting For Nonprofit Organizations enable students to fine-tune the focus of their degree. The courses included in the program will also serve to prepare participants to take the state’s CPA examination.

Top-Ranked Accounting Schools in Washington

US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs

  • University of Washington #13 (2012)
  • Seattle University #26

US News Best Accounting MBA Programs

  • University of Washington (Foster) #15
  • Seattle University (Albers) #19

Businessweek Top Undergrad Accounting Programs

  • University of Washington (Foster) #32
  • Seattle University (Albers) #44

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Washington

There are many opportunities for accounting graduates to pursue their career interests in Washington in different areas of the accounting field. Amazon operates out of Washington state, along with Boeing, Costco, and Microsoft. Accounting firms in Washington with the largest number of accountants on their staff include Moss Adams, Deloitte, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Washington CPA Requirements

Washington CPA requirements hold that in order to be considered to sit for the exam, a person must have at least 150 semester credit hours of education experience and have earned at least a bachelor’s degree.4 He or she must also take an ethics exam and agree to standard background testing. All CPAs must keep their license current by completing continuing education credit, due every two years.

Washington Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Bellingham 460 $64,920
Olympia 1,360 $56,200
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 14,160 $70,020
Spokane 1,910 $60,450

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

Washington Schools with Accounting Degree Programs

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.

Central Washington University
400 E University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 963-1111

Seattle University (Seattle, WA)
901 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 296-6000

Shoreline Community College
16101 Greenwood Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133
(206) 546-4101

Student Review: “I studied accounting at Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Washington. The program overall was good and prepared me for a future in the accounting and business administration fields. The majority of the classes that I took were online and therefore very convenient for me, as I live more than 90 minutes from the main school campus. The online classes were well executed and I received the necessary support from instructors and advisors. I liked the structure of the program and the content of the classes. I feel that they realistically prepared me for my future providing both realistic knowledge and practical skills needed.” -student at Shoreline Community College

University of Washington
NE Columbia Rd
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 543-2100

Student Review: “UW is a state school but it is commonly refer as a ‘public Ivy League.’ I’ve never been to a Ivy League school but the courses and program were quite challenging. I think the problem is because it is such a big school so there is the nature of competition. Since it is such a big school, you do meet a lot of people which is great for networking. My peers didn’t get me jobs right away but they did give me interview tips. Landing an interview at the Big 4 or Amazon is quite common. The Beta Alpha Psi is a good club to join. It’s not all accounting students which is nice. Like any college, the 200 level classes were not that tough but intermediate accounting was a big jump. I just wish there were more online classes for accounting.” -student at University of Washington

Washington State University
Wilson Rd
Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-3564

1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Businessweek: Bloomberg Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016: 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/
4. Washington State Board of Accountancy: https://cpaboard.wa.gov/