West Virginia Accounting Schools
West Virginia’s colleges and universities offer a wide variety of accounting programs for those interested in careers in the accounting field and in business. Programs differ in format, area of specialization, and curriculum, but students can choose the degree that best fits their schedule and career goals. Graduates from accounting programs in West Virginia may find opportunities to work in the state or start their own business after graduation. Continue reading below to find out more information about school rankings, professional accounting licensure, and career outlooks in West Virginia.
- 13 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in West Virginia.1
- 7 private not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in West Virginia.1
- 6 schools offer a certificate in accounting.*1
- 5 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.*1
- 13 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
- No 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.
AACSB-Accredited Accounting Programs in West Virginia
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 West Virginia have been accredited by the AACSB:
- Marshall University (Lewis College of Business)
- West Virginia University (College of Business and Economics)
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 West Virginia in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for West Virginia being 47.5%:
- Shepherd University 58.8%
- Marshall University 58.0%
- University of Charleston 47.6%
- West Virginia University 47.4%
- Wheeling Jesuit University 45.5%
Schools in West Virginia with Accounting Degrees
Undergraduate Accounting Programs
Students at Shepherd University’s College of Business can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. This program emphasizes the fundamentals of the accounting industry as well as the management and leadership skills needed to succeed in the field. The core curriculum includes courses such as Managerial Accounting, Income Tax, Auditing, and Business Law. In addition, students learn problem-solving skills and critical thinking strategies. Through real-world case studies and relevant coursework, students also gain a perspective on the modern accounting field and the next generation of accountants. Graduates from this program go on to pursue advanced degrees in accounting and positions in public, governmental, private, or not-for-profit organizations.
At the Lewis College of Business at Marshall University, students can complete a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. The curriculum at Marshall has been developed with the advice of the Accounting Advisory Board, a group of business professionals, to ensure that students learn relevant industry knowledge. Students learn core business and accounting knowledge, communication strategies, critical thinking skills, and technical accounting software and databases. Undergraduates can also join student groups, search for internships, or pursue mentoring opportunities to gain experience in the field while still in college. This degree prepares students to pursue graduate study and CPA licensure, or graduates may also sit for examinations to become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Graduates from the BBA program can go on to work in many different roles in accountancy or business.
Wheeling Jesuit University
Wheeling Jesuit University’s Department of Business Administration offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BABA) in Accounting. Students learn the fundamentals of a broad range of subjects such as accounting, finance, marketing, management, and economics. The curriculum also focuses on the interpersonal tools needed in the modern business environment, like communication, leadership, and teamwork skills. Students explore real-life examples of business structures and processes, and accounting majors also learn how to use the technical software and databases common in the industry. Wheeling Jesuit’s student body has multiple clubs and student organizations devoted to accounting and business, and students can find opportunities to network and pursue professional development events through the university. Many students also choose to complete an internship at a local bank, law firm, or business.
Graduate Accounting Programs
West Virginia University
At West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics, students can earn a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree. This program is ideal for individuals interested in the CPA designation. The curriculum includes CPA review courses and most students complete at least two sections of the CPA examination before graduating from the program. All students take required core classes such as Accounting Decision Making, Mergers and Acquisitions, Fraud Investigation, and Accounting and Business Consulting. These courses are designed with the input of the MAcc Advisory Council, a group of industry professionals and educators who update the curriculum to keep the subjects relevant to the industry. Students can choose to tailor their electives to pursue either an Assurance or Tax track, depending on their interests and career aspirations.
Marshall University’s Lewis College of Business offers a Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) degree. Through this program, individuals interested in becoming licensed CPAs can fulfill the educational requirements and be prepared to sit for the CPA examination. The program’s core curriculum focuses on advanced knowledge needed in professional accounting as well as fundamental business skills. Students learn accounting research methods, gaining experience using electronic databases and computer auditing techniques. Graduate students also learn communication and leadership methods necessary to succeed in the accounting industry. Some students choose to pursue part-time internships or other learning opportunities while in the graduate program. Those without an undergraduate accounting degree may need to complete some prerequisite courses before beginning the program.
Online Accounting Programs
West Virginia State University
West Virginia State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting degree completely online. Students with previous academic credit may be able to transfer some course credit, so this program can be completed in two to four years. The BSBA curriculum first starts with general education courses and a business core. Accounting majors then complete classes such as Cost Accounting, Auditing, Intermediate Accounting, and Personal Income Tax Procedure. Students learn a mix of fundamental theory and real-world skills in accounting technology. The coursework also emphasizes critical thinking skills, decision-making leadership, and effective communication. Graduates from this online program may go on to pursue further advanced accounting study or entry-level positions in the accounting field.
University of Charleston
The School of Business and Leadership at the University of Charleston offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting degree on-campus or online. This program emphasizes real-world skills in accounting casework and business problem-solving. Online students learn accounting fundamentals as well as tools for communication and critical thinking. Some students take advantage of the university-organized mentoring program, and the university also encourages students to complete internships in their local regions. An optional minor in Cyber Security is available for those interested in an interdisciplinary degree. Students who wish to sit for the CPA examination can consider the “fast-track” program that combines UC’s BS in Accounting with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. These two degrees can be jointly completed in less than five years.
West Virginia CPA Requirements
The West Virginia Board of Accountancy requires students interested in the CPA designation to complete 150 semester hours of college education at an accredited university. Candidates must then pass the Uniform CPA examination. After passing the examination, candidates should complete at least one year of work experience in public accounting, and the work should be verified by a licensed CPA. Individuals can then apply for CPA licensure, and this professional designation must be maintained through the completion of Continued Professional Education (CPE) hours.
Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in West Virginia
Graduates from accounting programs in West Virginia may find many different opportunities to work for companies in the state or start businesses of their own. There are several companies in West Virginia that provide opportunities for accounting, finance, and tax specialists, from small local businesses to larger statewide companies such as United Bankshares and Summit Financial Group. Large accounting firms in the state include Hayflich and Arnett Carbis Toothman, and many other small and local CPA firms offer accounting positions statewide. Accounting graduates may also find work in local or state governmental positions or regional not-for-profit organizations.
West Virginia Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Accountants & Auditors Employed||Average Annual Salary|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2018.8
West Virginia Schools with Accounting Degree Programs
1000 Vermillion St
Athens, WV 24712
Davis and Elkins College
100 Campus Drive
Elkins, WV 26241
Student Review: “Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, WV is, in my opinion, home to an excellent accounting program. Though the coursework was, at times, extremely difficult, I felt that I definitely benefited from such a challenge. My professors were all very helpful and personable; each of them even took the time to learn things about me, my family, and my personal life, and I have since kept in touch with most of them. They definitely taught me the skills I needed to land my first accounting job, and I could not be more grateful. The college also provided me with the wonderful career management center resource, from which I was able to complete an invaluable internship during my junior and senior years.” -Cassie D., student at Davis and Elkins College
1 John Marshall Dr
Huntington, WV 25755
Mountain State College
1508 Spring St
Parkersburg, WV 26101
West Virginia University
1550 University Ave
Morgantown, WV 26506
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/accreditation/accredited-members
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, West Virginia: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wv.htm