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Wisconsin Accounting Schools

There are numerous colleges and universities in Wisconsin offering degree and certificate programs for aspiring accountants. The following overview of accounting schools in Wisconsin will help you understand and compare your options for taking the next step in your accounting career. As an alternative to traditional on campus programs you may find that online accounting schools are the right choice. Many students find that online accounting schools offer greater flexibility and opportunities for learning independently.

Quick School Facts

  • 28 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Wisconsin.
  • 31 private colleges and universities offer an accounting degree in Wisconsin.
  • 15 schools offer a certificate in accounting.
  • 30 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.
  • 38 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • 2 schools ranked in Businessweek’s Top Undergraduate Business Programs in 2013: University of Wisconsin (32), Marquette University (74).
  • 1 school ranked in US News Best Business Schools in 2013 (graduate schools): University of Wisconsin-Madison (34).

Continue reading for more information about accounting schools in Wisconsin, including profiles of popular programs.

AACSB Accredited Accounting Programs in Wisconsin

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 Wisconsin have been accredited by the AACSB:

  • Marquette University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (Wisconsin School 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 Wisconsin in 2013 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree (schools with at least 20 candidates):

  1. University of Wisconsin-Madison 83.0%
  2. Marquette University
  3. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  4. University of Wisconsin-Greenbay
  5. University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  6. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

There were 17 schools in Wisconsin that sent first-time candidates with a bachelor’s degree and the pass rate ranged from 29.4% to 83.0% (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.

Wisconsin Accounting Graduate Degree Programs

Wisconsin University

Wisconsin University’s graduate school allows students to choose from two different types of accounting degrees. The IMAcc (Integrated Master of Accounting) is designed to suit students whose undergraduate degrees are in accounting and who want to pursue work in any area of the field. The GMAcc (Graduate Master of Accounting) program is for students who do not have an academic background in accounting but want to pursue CPA certification and licensure. WU also has undergraduate programs that serve as an excellent foundation for graduate studies.

Concordia University

Students attending Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business can earn an MBA with an Accounting specialization. The school’s accounting department is one of the largest in the United States. Attendees of the accounting program will be well-prepared to sit for the state’s CPA exam and by graduation will have earned the semester hours necessary for certification.

Wisconsin Accounting Undergraduate Degree Programs

Marquette University

Besides making sure that students are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to practice accounting in a broad range of specializations, Marquette University facilitates real-life opportunities to practice team building and social responsibility. For instance, students can take part in tutoring programs and community outreach activities like making meals for homeless shelters. Students often find internships with local business that will help them to begin fulfilling the state’s experience requirements for CPA testing while they are still in school.

Lakeland College

Lakeland College has an accounting undergraduate program that aims to get its participants ready for the rigors of CPA testing and licensure, while also preparing them to work in any sector of the field. The college has several campuses throughout the state and also offers most of its courses online in order to help students find classes to fit their busy schedules. The Bachelor of Accounting program will fulfill 120 of the 150 hours required by the state to take the CPA and CMA exams.

Top Ranked Accounting Schools in Wisconsin

US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs

  • University of Wisconsin – Madison #19 (2012)
  • Marquette University #23

Businessweek Top Undergrad Accounting Programs

  • Marquette University #51 (2012)
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison #67

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Wisconsin

American Family Insurance is headquartered in Wisconsin, and employs many financial and accounting specialists. Many more large companies are regularly recruiting accounting program graduates to fill long-term positions. CPA and CMA holders have the added option of working as a public accountant.

Wisconsin CPA Requirements

Aside from the 150 semester hours that are required for exam eligibility, CPA applicants in Wisconsin must have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree.1 As long as these are met and no disqualifying information is found on any standard background checks, a person can take the exam without having any work experience. In order to become fully certified, however, one year of experience in the field must be completed.

Wisconsin Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Duluth 700 $58,650
Green Bay 1,270 $60,890
Madison 2,740 $62,030
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington 17,180 $65,130

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

Schools with Accounting Degree Programs in Wisconsin

Chippewa Valley Technical College (Eau Claire, WI)
620 W Clairemont Ave
Eau Claire, WI 54701
(715) 833-6200
https://www.cvtc.edu/

Student Review: “Most of my accounting program at the Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, I did from home, online. The beginning was not easy (in high school I had never been an A student), but as the subjects got harder, in general they also got more interesting, and my grades got a lot better. The instructors were always very helpful. The courses I liked most were managerial accounting and cost accounting. In my final semester, we did some group projects, which were very enjoyable. The income tax classes taught me a lot of really useful things and since I have got a lot of extra money by using specific tax credits and deductions I had been taught. I wrapped everything up with an internship at a food bank, a not-for-profit that uses a different kind of accounting, which was really interesting.” -Maarten D., student at Chippewa Valley Technical College
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Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)
1250 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233
http://www.marquette.edu/admissions/

Student Review: “I recently completed my degree in accounting at Marquette University, and I found it to be a fantastic experience that prepared me well for my current career. Though the coursework was challenging, I learned many valuable skills that can be applied to all areas of life and study. One of my favorite aspects of the program is that it offers out-of-classroom learning experiences. The curriculum is service-oriented, so we partnered with area nonprofits such as Hunger Clean-Up on class projects. The curriculum also offers fantastic opportunities to earn credits abroad, which I did during a short-term study trip to Antwerp with the business school. My professors and advisers worked hard to place me with mentors and internships around the city, some with national recognition. Overall, I felt the accounting program at Marquette integrated itself well into my college experience and was focused on developing me as a “whole person” and also preparing me for post-graduate life. My one complaint was that graduate and teaching assistants were not always available as I needed them to be, but that is a problem found on most campuses.” -Stephanie W., student at Marquette University
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References:
1. Wisconsin Institute of Public Accountants: http://www.wicpa.org/Content/PublicResources/BecomeCPA/150houreducationalrequirement.aspx
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/