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What are the top accounting schools?

Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Many colleges and universities use their former students’ pass rates from earlier CPA Exams as an indicator of being a top accounting school. I recommend that you expand the criteria for finding the accounting school that is best for you. I recommend that you consider a college that

  1. is accredited by an organization such as AACSB
  2. has admissions criteria that you can meet
  3. is staffed by professional instructors with a passion for teaching
  4. has student organizations in accounting and other areas that will allow you to gain leadership and other skills
  5. has a vibrant campus placement or career services office with a track record of placing accounting students in the professional positions that you seek.

Here’s my point. What if many of the top performers on the CPA Exam graduated from universities that are not located near your residence and those universities have extremely high admissions standards? What if those universities allow only a small percentage of its students to enroll in the intermediate and advanced accounting courses and those courses have very strict grading standards? I suspect that the graduates of these programs will have outstanding results on the CPA Exam. Those schools can be labeled as “top” but those schools might not be what’s best for you. Hence, my suggestion that you look at additional criteria.

To help you identify a college accounting program that is appropriate for you, we recently expanded the website to include an Accounting Career Center. There you will find more details on selecting a college for studying accounting, direct links to the accounting departments at 700 colleges and universities in the U.S., information on the CPA Exam, a discussion of accounting jobs and opportunities, and more.

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About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on

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