Accounting Schools in Georgia
This overview of accounting schools in Georgia will provide interested students with key statistics and information on top master’s in accounting programs, select program profiles, and a comparison of every school offering master’s in accounting programs in the state. Here you will also find information on online schools as well as accounting career and salary information specific to Georgia. By comparing traditional, on-campus programs with online and distance education options for accounting, you can make a well-informed choice that can provide direction for your future career based on your skills, interests, and desired career track. Continue reading to find more information on popular accounting programs, schools, and accounting career information in Georgia.
- There are 59 colleges and universities with accounting degree programs in Georgia.1
- 18 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in accounting.1
- 3 schools were ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
- 1 school was ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2020.3
- 2 schools were ranked in Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019.4
- 1 school was ranked in US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2021.5
- 3 schools had a 2018 CPA exam pass rate at or above the national average of 51.9%.6
- 14 universities and business schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.7
- 4 schools are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).8
- 1 school is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).9
For not-for-profit colleges and universities with accounting degree programs.
Table of Contents
- Steps to Become a CPA in Georgia
- Georgia CPA Salary and Job Outlook
- Top Master’s in Accounting Programs in Georgia
- Georgia Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
- Select Schools in Georgia with Master’s in Accounting Programs
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Student Reviews
Steps to Become a CPA in Georgia
The Georgia Board of Accountancy (GSBA) oversees the process for becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state. There are five main steps to complete in order to earn a CPA license in Georgia.
- Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.
- Accumulate the required hours of experience.
- Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Apply for a license.
- Receive a license.
1. Complete 150 semester hours of college-level education in accounting.
The GSBA has adopted the 150-hour rule, meaning that all candidates for CPA licensure must have completed at least 150 semester hours of college education with a concentration in accounting and hold at least a bachelor’s degree. The education must include at least 30 semester hours in accounting above the elementary level and at least 24 semester hours in business-related courses. The first two accounting courses taken will be considered elementary-level courses and will not count towards the 30 semester hours of accounting courses required.
2. Accumulate the required hours of experience.
To qualify for a CPA license in Georgia, candidates must accumulate at least one year and 2,000 hours of supervised experience in accounting. Qualifying work may occur in business, industry, government, or academia. All work except for government or college teaching must be supervised by a currently licensed CPA. Government and academic work must also be supervised, but the supervisor need not be a licensed CPA. All work must consist of tasks and services meaningfully related to accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax, or consulting to qualify the candidate for practice.
3. Pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
Candidates must register online with the National Association of the State Board of Accountancy (NASBA) to apply to take the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Uniform CPA Exam. After the application has been reviewed, candidates will receive a Notice to Schedule for the examination. All four sections of the exam must be passed with a score of 75 or higher within a rolling 18-month period.
4. Apply for a license.
The GSBA uses NASBA to process all applications for CPA certificates. Applicants must include verification of work experience and have official transcripts for all college work completed sent to NASBA.
5. Receive a license.
After filing all parts of the license application, candidates will receive an acknowledgment email when the application has been received by NASBA. Processing of the application takes two to three weeks. Once approved, candidates will receive notification by mail along with a wall certificate and license card.
CPA License Renewal and Continuing Education Information
Once licensed, CPAs in Georgia must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) during each two-year renewal period with a minimum of 20 hours each year. At least 16 of the 80 hours must be in accounting and auditing. You can find additional information on the GSBA website.
Georgia CPA Salary and Job Outlook
Georgia ranks within the upper-division of states for employment in the accounting and auditing field.10 An estimated 36,860 accountants and auditors work in the state, and the average salary for an accountant in Georgia is $79,690 per year.11 The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell corridor of Georgia is ninth in the nation for the employment of accountants and auditors.10 The area currently has 27,560 accountants and auditors practicing with an annual average salary of $83,380, making this metro area one of the best places in Georgia to look for employment as an accountant.10 Georgia is expected to see the accounting profession grow by 21% between 2018 and 2028, much higher than the national average of 6.4%, and will reach a projected total of 47,670 accounting professionals by 2028.12
Georgia CPA Salary by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Number Employed11||Average Annual Salary11|
Top-Ranked Schools with Master’s in Accounting Programs in Georgia
Forbes’ Best Business Schools* 2019
- Emory University (#22)
- Georgia Institute of Technology (#28)
- University of Georgia (#48)
*With master’s in accounting programs.
Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Accounting Majors* 2020
- Emory University
*With master’s in accounting programs.
Public Accounting Report’s Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs 2019
- University of Georgia (#13)
- Georgia State University (#44)
US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2021
- Emory University (#32 tie)
Georgia Master’s in Accounting Program Comparison
Below we have compiled a table including information about all not-for-profit Georgia colleges and universities offering a master’s degree in accounting. The graduation rate is for first-time undergraduates seeking a bachelor’s degree, but since it is widely considered to be an indicator of a school’s overall success, we have included it for comparison. Also please note that tuition per credit is based on in-state, on-campus tuition; per-credit rates may vary for out-of-state and online students.
|School Name||Accreditation||CPA Exam Pass Rate6||Master’s in Accounting Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate13||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Tuition per Credit|
|Albany State University||ACBSP||N.Av.||MBA-Accounting||N.Av.||23%||Yes||$191|
|Berry College||AACSB||N.Av.||MBA-Professional Accountancy||100%||69%||—||$660|
|Brenau University||ACBSP||20.0%||Master of Accounting (MAcc);|
|Clark Atlanta University||AACSB||N.Av.||MA-Accounting||64.2%||44%||—||$905|
|Clayton State University||AACSB||20.0%||MBA-Accounting||N.Av.||30%||Yes||$335|
|Georgia College & State University||AACSB||50.0%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||N.Av.||64%||—||$294|
|Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus||AACSB||N.Av.||MBA-Accounting||40.1%||90%||—||$1,230|
|Georgia Southern University||AACSB||51.7%||Master of Accounting (MAcc)||N.Av.||50%||Yes||$277|
|Georgia State University||AACSB||47.0%||Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAcc);|
|Kennesaw State University||AACSB||%42.9||Master of Accounting (MAcc)||N.Av.||46%||—||$823|
|Mercer University||AACSB||33.3%||Master of Accounancy (MAcc)||80.6%||66%||—||$795|
|Saint Leo University-Gwinnett||ACBSP||N.Av.||MBA-Accounting||N.Av.||—||Yes||$570|
|Shorter University||—||33.3%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||N.Av.||37%||Yes||$525|
|University of Georgia||AACSB||80.8%||Master of Accountancy (MAcc)||41%||87%||—||$529|
|University of North Georgia||AACSB||N.Av.||Master in Accoutancy (MAcc)||N.Av.||38%||Yes||$230|
|University of West Georgia||AACSB||12.5%||Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc)||N.Av.||45%||—||$241|
|Valdosta State University||AACSB||73.3%||Master of Accounancy (MAcc)||N.Av.||40%||—||$254|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Select Schools in Georgia with Master’s in Accounting Programs
Clark Atlanta University’s School of Business offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Accounting program that supplements a bachelor’s degree in accounting with an advanced education focused on the principles of accounting. The MA program requires 30 semester hours and, along with an undergraduate degree in accounting, is meant to meet the 150 semester hour requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. Courses in the degree program include Accounting and Taxation Research; Financial Reporting; Accounting Information and Control Systems; and Not-For-Profit Accounting. In addition to core courses, students are encouraged to take electives in complementary fields such as finance, management, and computer information systems. Admission into the program requires a qualifying GRE or GMAT score for applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.25. Admission is not limited to applicants with a bachelor’s degree in accounting; however, applicants without a prior degree in accounting will need to begin the program in the summer semester in order to take prerequisite coursework.
Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business is a nationally-recognized business school that offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in Accounting that can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. The full-time MBA program can be completed in as little as one year. The MBA curriculum offers accounting courses such as Managerial Accounting and Control, Financial Statement Analysis, and Federal Income Taxation. Students are also required to complete a leadership project through the program’s IMPACT 360 courses, in which students work together under the supervision of faculty to develop a solution to real-world problems for selected clients. Students accepted into the MBA program receive personalized career counseling from the start of the program through graduation. Graduates of the Goizueta School of Business have a 95% employment rate within three months of graduation and have found employment with firms such as Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and J.P. Morgan Chase.
The University of Georgia’s (UGA) J.M. Tull School of Accounting confers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree that can help students meet the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA exam in the state of Georgia. The MAcc program is structured to be completed in one year with a full-time class load. Students may choose to pursue a specialization in Audit, Advisory, or Taxation. Typical courses for the degree include Accounting Data, Risk, and Control; Ethics; Financial Statement Analysis, and Accounting Analytics. The school offers students career support in the form of accounting specific career fairs, on-campus recruitment opportunities, and networking opportunities with the school’s alumni. Alumni of the MAcc program have gone on to work at companies such as Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and Viacom. Most applicants to the school are required to take the GMAT and pass with a score of at least 550. UGA also offers related accounting programs including a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), a dual BBA/MAcc degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Accounting.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Brenau University offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program that is available entirely online. The MAcc program consists of 30 credit hours and is designed to prepare students to take the Uniform CPA Exam and successfully enter the public accounting field. The program coursework covers areas such as taxation, accounting theory, auditing, and fraud prevention. Upon graduation students will be able to complete individual and corporate tax returns, carry out an audit, detect and protect against fraud, and prepare financial statements for for-profit and nonprofit businesses as well as government clients. Applicants for the MAcc program must have completed a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. Students without previous coursework in accounting may be required to take specific prerequisite courses before moving on to graduate-level classes. Applicants interested in the MAcc degree may also be interested in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting, or the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) with a Managerial Accounting Concentration, also offered by the university.
The School of Accountancy at Georgia Southern University offers an AACSB-accredited online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program that can be completed in as little as two years. The 30-semester hour program was created to prepare students for the professional accounting industry and fulfill the 150-semester hour requirement for licensure for students with an undergraduate degree in accounting. The online program is structured to accommodate working professionals. Students take 10 three-credit courses over six semesters, taking two classes each fall and spring semester and one class over the summer. Classes include Fraudulent Financial Reporting, Tax Research, and Current Legal Issues. Applicants to the program will need a bachelor’s degree and to have completed all prerequisite coursework. Students in the MAcc program are required to earn a “C” or higher in all accounting courses and may repeat a maximum of two upper-level accounting courses if necessary.
The Ledbetter School of Business at Shorter University offers an online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) that can be completed in 12 months. The 31-semester hour program is structured so that students with an undergraduate degree in accounting will meet the 150 semester hours needed to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. Students in the MAcc program will take classes such as Current Issues in Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis, Legal and Ethical Issues for Accounting; and Seminar: Internal Auditing and Fraud. Ledbetter accounting faculty members have been published in peer-reviewed journals and worked for such companies as Home Depot and Northrup Gruman. Applicants to the MAcc program will need a bachelor’s degree with a 2.75 GPA overall and a 3.0 GPA in accounting classes to qualify for the program. Applicants are expected to have five or more years of professional experience, but this requirement may be waived if the applicant received an undergraduate degree in accounting.
Top Accounting Firms for Graduates in Georgia
- Aprio: Formerly Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP, Aprio is the largest independent certified public accounting firm in Georgia and is also one of the top 50 accounting firms in the US. Aprio is committed to the personal and professional development of its staff and is an active recruiter of college graduates.
- Robinson, Grimes & Company, P.C.: One of the largest accounting firms in Georgia, with a regional focus on clients in real estate, distribution, government, non-profit, construction, and health care.
- Frazier & Deeter CPAs & Advisors: One of the 100 largest accounting firms in the US, the firm employs over 200 professionals engaged in providing a full range of accounting and business services.
Georgia Accounting Associations
- Georgia Government Finance Officers (GGFOA): Established in 1985, the GGFOA’s mission is to promote excellence in governmental financial management through educational programs, a referral network, and information about policy and legislation that may affect the financial profession.
- The Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants (GSCPA): With almost 14,000 members throughout Georgia, the GSCPA exists to provide advocacy, professional development, leadership, and service to CPAs in the state.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a CPA make in Georgia?
CPA’s in Georgia, included in the accountants and auditors category by the BLS, earn an average annual income of $79,690.10 Accountants working in the Atlanta metropolitan area have the highest average income in the state and the ninth highest in the nation at $83,380.11
How do I become a CPA in Georgia?
To become a CPA in Georgia you must first complete the 150-semester hour educational requirement, which includes obtaining a bachelor’s degree or higher and at least 30 semester hours of accounting coursework and 24 in business. Then you must complete one year of full-time work experience. Finally, you must take the Uniform CPA Exam. Upon passing the exam, you will be eligible to become a licensed CPA.
Do you need to work for a CPA in order to become a CPA in Georgia?
It depends on the type of work environment in which you are gaining your experience. Work experience in the public or private sectors will need to be under the supervision of a licensed CPA. Work experience in the academic or government sectors may be supervised by supervisors other than licensed CPAs. Candidates working in government or academia do not need to report to a licensed CPA.
Do I need a master’s in accounting degree to become a CPA in Georgia?
CPA candidates do not necessarily need to earn a master’s in accounting to obtain a CPA license in Georgia. While most master’s in accounting programs in Georgia meet the required hours of study, candidates only need to hold a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for licensure, but they do need to have 150 total hours of college-level education with a focus in accounting. Since most bachelor’s degrees are 120 credit hours, many CPA candidates seek a 30-credit hour master’s degree to fulfill this requirement.
Georgia College & State University
231 W Hancock St
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Student Review: “My college experience was overall positive. I started off as an accounting major. I breezed through the Intro to Accounting classes, but the major classes gave me some grief. I made the mistake of taking Intermediate I, Tax, Cost, and AIS at the same time and was overwhelmed with work. However, I ended up graduating with a double major and a 3.57 GPA. I felt like my professors were knowledgeable, but not the best around. Because of that, I regret not going to Georgia Tech or the University of Georgia. I could have, but I was afraid of being too far from home.” -Student at Georgia College & State University
Georgia State University
33 Gilmer St SE
Atlanta, GA 30302
Student Review: “I have attended GSU for my bachelor’s in accounting and I am currently working on my MBA. I had one job and because of my educational background and experience, I was offered another job in March 2012. I enjoyed the campus life and the flexibility of the large number of classes that GSU has. Attending GSU has opened so many doors for me. This has been an awesome experience for me and can’t wait to see what other opportunities will come available once I complete my MBA.” – Timothy P., student at Georgia State University
Middle Georgia State College
100 University Pkwy
Macon, GA 31206
Student Review: “Studying accounting seem daunting and difficult for a lot of people, but the faculty at Middle Georgia State College work hard to make the material and themselves accessible. The teachers all provide material that supports and reinforces the book. In particular, the intermediate professors get all of their students working problems out of a CPA exam guide along with the text. The professors are all more than willing to stay after class or meet during office hours to discuss content or simply to provide career guidance. While the accounting program at MGSC does not offer many internships and there is no co-op program, there are “Meet the Firm” events that allow students to network with local firms. There are also guest speakers that discuss career paths. Many of my classmates got work experience through contacts they made at these events. The program was certainly challenging, but I am a lot less worried about finding work than my psych major friends.” – Nicholas P., student at Middle Georgia State College
4760 Forsyth Rd
Macon, GA 31210
Student Review: “I received a great education from Wesleyan College. Their standards are high. I had always been at the top of my class in community college and another private university I had attended before. At Wesleyan, I was among my peers educationally and sometimes felt that I was trying to keep up. My biggest complaint was their office procedures. I received financial aid, and many times was asked to resubmit something that they had lost. I also was not able to attend graduation being out of state and although I had gone over this with the graduating office staff months before and been given the okay, I was threatened a few days before graduation with not receiving a diploma. I contacted the dean, and she was rather rude, but I got my diploma sent to me. Adult working students are not properly accommodated. I had to leave work mid-morning for one class in particular several days a week that was not offered in evening/weekends. ” -Student at Wesleyan College
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Forbes Best Business Schools 2019: https://www.forbes.com/business-schools/list/2/
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 385 Colleges, 2020 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2019.
4. Public Accounting Report 2019 Top 50 Master’s Accounting Programs: https://wpcarey.asu.edu/sites/default/files/documents/par-grad-2019.pdf
5. US News & World Report Best MBA Accounting Programs 2021: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/accounting-rankings
6. National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. The NASBA Report on the CPA Exam: Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination, 2018 Edition. National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, Inc., 2019.
7. Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International: https://www.aacsb.edu/
8. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP): https://acbsp.org/
9. International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE): https://iacbe.org/
10. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2019 Occupational Employment and Wages, Accountants and Auditors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm
11. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Georgia: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ga.htm
12. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
13. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2021: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools